Sunday, May 22, 2011

Senior Seminar, Had I Known..

I learned so much this year and the best thing is that I was my own teacher. I had to be eager to learn and work on my project for more than the completion grade. If you're not eager to learn or work, it's going to be a long year.
One of the things I really should have done was think about my project during the summer. I didn't give it much thought, and for that I had some complications in the beginning of the year. I had problems picking my project and I changed it three times. The beginning of the year would have gone by smoothly had I decided my project beforehand.
The most important thing for my senior project was truly taking time out my day to work on it. I had to make sure I had all the rest of my work done in order to work on it.  So prioritizing is definitely important. Time management is crucial in the project and turning in assignments on time. This greatly affects your grade in the class and also reflects the work you’ve done so far.
One thing I didn’t do so great at is that I didn’t take pictures. I really wish I could have taken pictures of my project and old models. I was doing architectural work and would sometimes throw it away. Keep everything and it can work very well with your final presentation. Documentation is also very important. Make sure all the sources you used for your research are documented so it’ll all come easily together in the research paper. The research paper is very challenging so get to it immediately.
The project website is pretty big so make sure you dedicate time to this. Building a website is tricky and very time consuming. So get this done on time or it’ll become very stressful.
One thing I hardly made any use of was my board. We get to choose our panel or group of advisors who will end up grading us. Teachers around campus have some very interesting talents and can be more helpful than you may think. It’s a smart move to come to these people when you think you’re stuck along the road.
The most important thing through all of this would definitely be to picking your project wisely. I had fun with my project but I made sure it would be something I’d enjoy. So make sure it’s something that’s challenging but fun. You’ll be doing this for the rest of the year future seniors. I made plenty of mistakes with my project and most of those mistakes are highlighted in this blog, so take it in and learn from it.  Keep on going with the project and ask for others opinions and advice. Staying motivated can be difficult, but my classmates helped me through their own efforts on their project.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Well as I went through my senior year kind of struggling to manage my time and fit everything in correctly with that of my family and having to get graduation things together, and having to apply to colleges everything was a hassle.
My advice to you is use you time during the summer don't slack off at all. I know that you all will have to start on your own senior project, so use the summer for that. Do NOT procrastinate, it WILL affect you in the long run. Use the summer figure out what you want to do, read the book, research the information needed if you have an idea. Another thing is don't be shy or scared to ask how can you make your project more precise...I know you might feel like the teachers are making your project harder than what it is, but listen to them because they have a reason why they do that. Another thing is that you might hit a stopping point and you have to have a plan B just in case your project doesn't go through. I know for my project it depended on what the student body had to stay and I had to think of another back up plan for the same reason. All I can say is manage your time and use the summer and everyone around you its important . For the summer like we've talked about use the summer to apply for scholarship, start on your resume, start on some college applications. Doing this is very important and if you leave until the last minute you will add more stress than what you already have. Good Luck.

Final Days

Throughout this crazy last high school year (senior) I have learned to be patient with so many things. I have this weird thing that when I have to wait for something then I get to urge to really have to go pee. Throughout this project patience was one of the things that I had to have and developed. Working with some one like Robert helped a lot because he is a patient and more organized person than I am. He was a pretty good research person and that helped the project a lot. I am more of a hands-on person and well research is huge part to this. I don't think that without the research he did and the research he made me do this project would have been possible. The Tutoring program came out of many different ideas as you can see through my blogs. There were times where I had to read and reread a lot of things so that I can understand what Mentoring/Tutoring really is. The presentations were fun for because I enjoy speaking in front of people and this was the place where I felt comfortable and could show my hard work in. The best thing is to have an idea ready and just go with it. Our final product didn't really come until creativity week. It is a great thing to ask your teachers and talk to them about your projects because they will surprise you with their knowledge and ideas that they have. Many people in the class decided to do great things but they were too big. Many of our ideas were too big to put into action in just a year. Many of us had to readjust our schedules many times so that we can work on our senior project. It is a great experience and please do something that you are fully passionate about because if not you are stuck doing something that you are going to keep doing over and over again! I know at the beginning I wanted to do something with soccer, volleyball, tennis, and kids. I know I should've tried other things such as doing something like starting FFA for this school, or a volleyball tournament, or soccer camp.


Learning for the future

In having to take the senior seminar course I have learned that time management is a very important skill to have. I also learned that the senior project is something that is very hard to do, even though it is over something that you enjoy , you have to do a lot of research that takes up your time. you have to master your topic. I also learned how to be more flexible in my schedule since other people, my panel members, were also included in my project and had different time schedules than mine. Being a bit more organized helped a lot in the sense that I knew where to go and at what time certain people were available.
     What I recommend for next years seniors is to  take advantage of the time Susan gives you over the summer. Trying to figure out what it is that you want to do and what you need to do in order to succeed on this project. Another thing that you might want to do is have a schedule of what you want to do. Talk to seniors and try and get a sense of what you need to do. Also ask the seniors  what classes they took so you could have a sense of what classes you might be taking so you can build your schedule around that. Also get connections or at least try and look people up who are willing to help you with the project so looking for people won't be as tie consuming as it would be if you tried to do it at te lat minute.                                                                                                                                                     
       But the most important thing is just to actually work on it during the summer. Susan will give you a paper that tells you what it needs to have and all that stuff. definitely use that to your advantage because you will need that time. They make it a yearly project because it does take that long to master what your topic is
My biggest take away from this project is that we can accomplish anything no matter how big the idea is. Rebecca and I aimed very high with wanting to paint a mural. We were able to accomplish it thanks to our hard work. Oe big piece of advice for the seniors next year is to always have a back-up plan. We didn't end up painting the mural where we initially wanted it to be but since we were open to other options we were able to paint it. Many of my classmates didn't have one that's why their project started to fall apart once something went wrong. Or maybe they were able to come up with a plan, after they had failed, but they wasted a lot of time.

The Past and Future

Over this passed school year, I learned many things from working on my senior project. The experience itself was something very useful to comprehend for the "real" world to come. But the thing I learned the most, was that this project is the "real deal." In other words, there is no way around this project. You must do this in order to go off into college. This project can determine your future if you don't take it seriously. So, don't procrastinate, get things done early and on time and manage your time

Looking Back

Looking back to the beginning of my senior project, at first I had no ideal what I wanted to do;I was going to try to get a swimming pool here on campus. Boy that would of been a funny and stressful process-thank God I switched to composing music. For all you upcoming seniors, make sure you choose a mission that you are very interested in because if not then this project will just be a drag. To be honest that's the best advice I can give you all because as long as you do that then all the blogs, the literature review, and the presentations will come easy for you and won't take up much thought.
Even though it doesn't seem like much of a project, you have a lot of responsibility because it is all based on you to keep up with deadlines for finishing your work; Susan hardly says anything to remind you. From this project I gained a little bite more responsibility since I had to work on the project outside of school the majority of the time. I had to use non-school based resources most of the time which also added more responsibility. With that being said have your topic chosen this summer and be ready to get your grown-up on in senior-seminar next fall. Goodluck.

Finishing Up

This year has been a difficult one, but in the end I can safely say it was all worth it. I am so glad we had a senior seminar class.I know there would be times where I thought the class was pointless and just giving me extra stress, but those were mainly just times where I was breaking down. I actually enjoyed the class time (after all of the Ray lectures). His lectures where very helpful so it's important to listen, but sometimes he did not know when to stop. This class helped give me an extra push to gain my leadership and full communication skills. I had to learn to start from the beginning many times before making any real progress. It was a class that was really easy to do well in as long as you actually and genuinely put effort into it. My project helped me put time into something I truly enjoyed doing while also creating something for myself and the rest of the world. Although the process was frustrating at times it really helps teach anyone time management and discipline. If I started my website this week in order to have it ready by the following week it would be a wreck! Big projects , although you enjoy doing them, take A LOT of time. Senior seminar has taught me that even though I love something it does not necessarily mean I know everything about it. It gives you a real taste of real life and how deadlines and communications work. If your not on top of you game 100% of the time you WILL fail miserably and in a course that is truly easy if you just do the work. My advice to the rising seniors is to really fake this class seriously and take the time to really put your full effort into the class. It is really a time to just relax and work on a project you enjoy doing. I am thankful for having this class and good luck to you seniors next year!

Get to Work

This advice is for those who are creating something creative.

Set aside some time every week to work on your project. This time should not be during the senior seminar period because you will be too busy working on other things during that class. Set aside 2 hours a week for actual designing/building/painting/sculpting/whatever. All your research should be done by the end of the first semester, so that come second semester you are dedicated to working.

The senior seminar period is mainly to work on blogging, research and assignments that Susan gives you. Try not to use it for working on college/scholarship apps or watching YouTube videos. You have a lot of time for that in the fourth quarter. Also don't work on assignments from other classes.

My FInal Blog

What have I learned in AP English and Senior Seminar? Those are two separate categories. I learned how to write like a person in AP English. I learned how to read things with the purpose of knowing the author's purpose. In short, I had never really did anything involving paper and a pencil that was analytic, but AP English taught me how. In Senior Seminar, I learned that being a senior should be about leaving your mark this last year; about having a legacy of helping the place where you just spent four years. I learned that many teachers that want to add something to the curriculum don't have it easy at all. But most of all, between the two of them, I learned how to work. I unlearned how to procrastinate. I think those classes helped more than almost anything in my high school career.

It's Coming to an End

After a long year full of both stressful and pleasing moments, my graduation lies only a couple of days ahead of me. I felt like this year was more of experimentation; I didn't know what I was getting into when I chose the DREAM Act topic.

After diving into the research and a having to swim through various types of articles, I realized that this would be more of a learning experience for me, rather than teaching others about what I thought I knew.I learned that politics can get nasty sometimes, and also that how hard it is for someone in office to please everyone and survive re-election. There are positives and negatives to the DREAM Act, but the purpose of it certainly cannot be denied by anyone who knows the importance of an education.

Currently, I'm working on a research paper that deals with the Economics of Immigration. I'll see how this enriches my area of interest. The Facebook page is going well, I am noticing that a couple of people actually read what I post up.

My presentation, which will be May the 19th, is going to be a Powerpoint speech consisting of what I did over the year, what I learned, and possibly a short hypothesis on what would happen to the economy if the DREAM Act was passed. Let's see how this turns out.
My senior project even to now has been the benefactor of alot of my stress. From the very beginning I have had to almost daily change the way my project is going to commence. At the beginning I thought i was going to do a radio show which i prepared for for about


Let me start off my giving the rising seniors a piece of advice. It is very important that you read the following sentence closely, it will decided whether you have the aspiration to succeed to complete your senior, culmination project. First, do not be afraid to be in doubt. Get your queries answered and start jotting ideas down on paper. Second, think beyond the obvious, what are some things you would like to see happen? Third, ask for help for that is the key that will make you when it comes to giving your final presentation.

Chinquapin has been a huge part of my life. It has thought me to not be afraid of the unknown, whatever that might have been made me stronger as years progressed. I could not never have imagined writing a theatrical play for my own amusement. Senior Seminar has allowed me to cherish my time as a student, young adult going into the real world for there are skills that I have learned here that will never be learn elsewhere.

The Experience

The stress and the days when I had to continue on with the struggle that the senior project offered was overbearing. I had my ups and downs, but still I didn't seem to bother as to why the senior project was so stressful and I wouldn't go anywhere. Still, I had fun. The most important thing that I learned after such experience was time management and organization. At times when i thought I didn't have time, I was too busy worrying about other stuff or doing things that I wasn't supposed to do, yet after everything that happened I was willing to change my behavior. Of all the things is to give advice to the future seniors who now have an idea of what to expect next year. My only hope is that the junior class uses their time wisely and try not to stress out too much. It'll be a struggle and it won't be easy, seeing that this year with all the things we had to do, the juniors as well will have to bear with the burden of doing everything possible to do well their senior year.

Last Blog

Because of my senior project I learned how to become much more organized. I knew the amount of time I had, so I had to get to work. I learned that everyone is always busy so you have to tell them ahead of time of your plans. You always have to have a plan B and C because most of the time your plan A won't work or something gets in the way. You also have to keep your focus, don't forget your project and leave it out in the blue.

Juniors don't get too caught up in the blogging because it may take away at your time. You have to have a good balance between your actual project and your blogging. Your blogging is important, but don't let it become more important than your project.

Last Words

This year I have learned a new sense of responsibility for my education through the senior seminar. I have learned that time management is an important skill to have as well as the ability to be able to prioritize your work. These were skills that I thought I had but learned that I lacked to some degree.

As a word of advice, I encourage the up and coming seniors to begin thinking about their project this summer and to begin the development of their idea so that they can hit the ground running. It would even be beneficial to begin the research portion of the project during the summer so the year can be used efficiently.

I also want to say that the time designated for the senior seminar should be respected and used solely to work on the project because if you use the time to work on college applications or other class work then you will surely fall behind on your work and you will be forced to try a find a way to finish the year off on a good note.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you enjoy working on your project as much as I did.

End of the Year

Well the end of the year is here and I know that it is a time full of reflections and looking back not only at the year, but at high school and Chinquapin. One thing that made the year different from any others is that we had a Senior Seminar, a class which was really up for us to do anything that we wanted to do. Senior Seminar is a fun class. I learned that I need to always try to do something that I like to do, if not it really won't be an enjoyable experience. Advice for next year: do something that you like. If not it really isn't fun and it will just be a waste of time. Use your time wisely because it will go by so fast! Every class period counts and every class period is a chance to do something that you like to do outside from the other classes. Senior Seminar is a chance to start to put a foot down and step into the real world. It is a chance to learn what you like to do, to make mistakes, and to leave your last foot print at Chinquapin.

Reflection of the Year

This year has taught me that there is no way getting around deadlines and schedules. I have to say that before we embarked upon the Senior Project I never realized how important it was to learn to manage my time. Initially, I spent so much time trying to figure out what I was going to do. I also did not realistically access how much time the project would really take. I also learned that no matter what you do as Daniel Pink says you have to have some passion or care for what you do. If you are passionate about what you do there is a higher chance that you put more effort and dedicate time to you project.

I would say that I learned the skills of getting actual real world data. So this is when I advice everyone to pick people for your panel of judges who know about the subject of your project. They are essential tools. To tell everyone the truth, I had never really designed a science project of my own. Research for me required earnest dedication. I had to take time outside my busy schedule to read a few extra books and studies about shyness and girls. So, I advice everyone to seriously take time to research. You will have a lot to talk about.

I advice you all to pick something you love and actually care about. Don't do something just because there is nothing else to do. It will be easier for you in the long run. This leads me to my next point you cannot create time and wait until you have time. You have to set aside time. Since you all will pick something that interests you should not have a hard time doing this. At times you will have to a million other things to do that the Senior Project may seem another pointless and consuming class. Do not let it get to you. The way you do this is by actually taking advantage of the help that Ms. Adams provides you with. She will give you a schedule which you can choose to ignore or take advantage of. Also have your own planner. I'm sure you all do.

Lastly, I wish you all good luck. I hope that you enjoy this experience. Have fun with it.

Finishing Up! (finally)

The senior project has definitely done what it was purposed to do, keep us busy through out our senior year and discouraging laziness at the end of the year. Although I have not yet presented my senior project I am confident that I have been well prepared to do so. I am glad that we were the first ever Chinquapin students to participate in senior seminar and I am confident that it will be successful through out the future senior classes. It gave us an opportunity to experience true autonomy and taught it what it really means to get things done on your on and what it takes to do that.

At the End of the Road

So I will be presenting in 5 days. I am very excited that my project will finally going to be presented! I have gone through a great journey. I have learned more about music and have increased my love for it.

I would advise next year's Seniors to not slack off. Even from the beginning of the year when the end of the year seems so far away. You really don't have a lot of time. Some of your projects wil require much time and patience. Understand, also, that if one idea fails, keep trying. You won't achieve your goals if you just give up. My original idea is much different than what my final project will be.

Also, choose your panel members wisely. Don't just pick them because you like them or you talk to them a lot. Pick someone who will strengthen you in your subject. Also when you do finally pick your panel members, talk to them, ask them for advice, help. I'm sure they will have much knowledge on your subject. My panel members helped me by giving me books to read, more information, and personal stories on my subject. I didn't take as much advantage of my panel members as I should. I advise you all to take advantage of your panel members.