Senior projects: the cure for senioritis?


Shana Levine

Helen Mehreteab, Staff Photographer

Every spring, just as “senioritis” has overcome the senior class and their ability to complete actual coursework, seniors embark on a multi-week project. During this time, they are allowed to explore almost any topic. The projects can be introspective culminating experiences or simply a chance to explore something new. This year’s Senior Class has spent this time in many creative ways. Some of this year’s projects focus on nature, art, service, sports and science.

Senior John Gudgel’s project includes a mix of his interests: nature, hiking, and art. “I was inspired to do it in my [AP] Art History class. We watched a video on an artist named Andy Goldsworthy, and what he was doing was making these sculptures out of rocks, sticks, and whatever he could find in nature. And he was doing really creative stuff, and I thought it was cool, and I kind of wanted to emulate him,” said Gudgel.

Making art but for a different purpose, Nick Chen and Sarah Lippman have teamed up to create a fun video about PDS for the Admissions Office. “Because PDS is such a unique and cool community, we didn’t just want to make the boring traditional video, where you just interview kids about what they like at PDS and stuff. We are going to make a music video of the school. We’re going through the halls and exploring different sounds around the building,” said Lippman.

“We thought if we showed the entire school playing the song and together making music that kind of gives a sense of what the two of us, Sarah and I, both believe PDS is about – creativity through community,” said Chen.

Seniors Aiden Jones, Joey Levine, and Malavika Rajagopal have been creating a documentary on the JV sports programs at PDS.

“We are going to get footage of games and practices, but mostly it’s going to be footage of interviews with players, coaches, former players, and other PDS students that are not players, just focusing around how they could be under-appreciated in the PDS community. . . You don’t really hear too much about JV sports. We wanted to shed some light on those [JV] programs,” said Jones.

Other seniors have chosen to spend their time working at and learning about different businesses. Senior Jacquelyn Hart has been working with a local start-up company that uses equine supplements as a fundraising product for non-profit organizations. “I do a lot of marketing and advertising materials and there are several shows to go and sell the product and help pony clubs to fundraise, so I help them prepare for those shows as well,” she said.

Tess Gecha is following her passion for medicine by working at her dad’s office. “In the senior project, I’ll be able to go to the hospital, and witness some surgeries there. And hopefully shadow some more doctors,” she said.

Similarly, Rea Issac has been volunteering in a nursing home. There, she helps the elderly throughout their daily activities, and comforts those in the rehab center who recently underwent surgery. Her love of medicine and science inspired her to do this project. “A few years ago, I think it was my winter break of my sophomore year, I shadowed a geriatric specialist, who is a doctor for the elderly, and I saw the scientific side of it. And I really got to make close bonds,” she said.

As for advice regarding senior projects, many seniors agree that it is essential to pick something important to you, as these six weeks are your time to choose and explore something you could not find time for during high school’s busy years.