Senior Project English completes


Austin Lahr

For some students partaking in Senior Project English, the class can be frustrating, but for senior Colton Blomker the class has, for the most part, been easy.

“I had Mrs. McGraw last year, and when you’ve experienced one year with McGraw, it’s really all the same,” Blomker said, referring to her high work expectations.

Recently the two Senior Project English classes completed the research portion of the project and have begun working on the final product. Throughout the year in Senior Project English, students are required to complete a research paper, provide a minimum of 15 hours of community service, and complete a final project product of their choice.

Blomker decided to learn a few professional dance moves.

“[My product] is going fairly well; I’ve actually learned how to do the majority of the dance steps that my mentor has taught me,” he said.

For others, the same does not hold true.

“My project is going alright,” senior Lynda Dadej said. “I’m just a little a little unmotivated right now, but it’s going.”

Dadej said her product involves learning how to play the guitar.

“I hope to be able to actually play guitar instead of pretending to play,” she said.

For many, the project comes as a relief due to the stress caused by the research paper.

“The paper was pretty stressful, and though I fell behind I eventually caught up and it turned out fine,” said senior Ryan Hohn, who admitted to procrastinating.

Some seniors said that although the paper was stressful it was quite helpful.

“No matter how many times I cried, I was still able to learn from my mistakes and get it done,” Aaron Duffy said. “Now it’s all downhill from here.”

While the completion of the paper provides relief for many, the stresses and struggles do not end there. Students are required to find a mentor within the community who is willing to provide his or her services and knowledge to helping the students complete their final product.

Blomker said the stress now resides in the planning of meetings between partners and mentors.

“I’m trying to manage not just my schedule, but four others as well, which is a bit stressful,” he said.

With the ever-increasing amount of work expected of students, time management becomes an overwhelming factor in this project, Hohn said. He is attempting to recreate the costumes of Jessie and James from the anime series “Pokémon.”

“It’s extremely hard to get anything accomplished when everybody helping me has different schedules,” he said.

Senior English teacher Jamie McGraw acknowledges how stressful the project can be.

“Even though it is stressful sometimes, I think a certain amount of stress is productive stress,” she said.

In her third year of teaching Senior Project English, McGraw said she believes the most stress is caused by the increasing responsibility students take on during the project.

Students are responsible for the planning of the meeting between community mentors, staff representatives, as well as completing the product with minimal reminders.

There are 46 students participating in the project this year, and McGraw said she was “baffled” by these numbers due to the fact that last year’s class enrollment was well in the high 90’s.

“[Senior Project] is teaching students to work towards their goals. It’s not always easy, but it can be a lot of fun,” Hohn said. “Plus, it’s a good feeling when you’re making progress.”