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SeniorProjectReflection

MadelineDoak

Advisory

Mrs.Hurrell

16May2016

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MadelineDoak
Mrs.Hurrell
Advisory
16May2016
SeniorProjectReflection
Myseniorprojectwasnotclearlyconceptualizedfromtheoutset.Theoriginalplanfor
myprojectwastohostaFamilyScienceNightundertheguidanceofMrs.Rittersdorfhowever,
giventhatshewasnolongeramemberoftheArborPrepcommunity,Idecidedtochangemy
project.Withtheinspirationofafamilymember,Isoonbegantheprocessofcreatingadigital
literarymagazine,tobehostedonawebsite,andconsolidatetheverybestofshortstories,
poetry,andartworkfromArborPrepstudents.Thisproject,originallybeguninmyjunioryear,
wascompletedthroughatrialanderrorprocess,inwhichIlearnedmuchaboutmyselfandmy
peers.Whilemyapproachcouldhavebeenfurtherrefined,Ibelievemyprojecttohavebeena
successoverall.
MyoverallgoalsforcollegeandmyfuturecareerareallwithintherealmofSTEM
(Science,Technology,Engineering,andMathematics).Despitethisfocus,Ihaveapassionfor
thelifeofthemindandforbroaderlearning,andthereforewillbeattendingReedCollege,a
liberalartsschoolofthehighestcaliber.Ihopetoexpandmymindthroughthestudyofawide
varietyofacademicsubjects,alongwithextracurricularactivities,includingaliterarymagazine
orschoolnewspaper,ifpossible.Giventhiszestforbroadeningmymindandengaginginawide
varietyofactivities,Idecidedtopursuethecreationofadigitalliterarymagazine,whichwould
allowmetoexploremyinterestinliteratureandfinearts,whilethedigitalaspectwouldallow

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metodevelopmytechnologicalskills,whileatthesametimetheprojectasawholewould
encourageimprovedpublicrelationsandadvertisingskills.Givenallofthecategoriesit
included,Ifeltthatthisprojecthadastrongconnectiontomygoals,includingpersonal,
academic,andcareer.
TheprojectitselfIbelieveembodiesmanyofthecorevaluesofArborPrep.Itplaces
valueontheworkofeachandeverystudentandtheircreativeabilities,respectingtheirwayof
thinkingandencouragingthemtoembracetheirpointofviewandallowittobemadevisibleto
theworld.ThroughoutthisprojectIlearnedexactlyhowhesitantmanyteenagersaretoshare
theirperspectiveandallowthemselvestobemadevulnerableinsuchaway,whichallowedme
todevelopagreaterrespectandadmirationforthosewhowerewillingtosharesuchpersonal
material,muchofwhichImighthavebeentooafraidtosharemyself.Overall,thisprocess
taughtmemuchthatIbelieveispartofthecoremissionofArborPrep.
Myresearchwasnotintendedtoprovidethestructureandmeansfortheprojectitself
rather,itwasintendedtoprovidecontextforthetheorybehindtheproject,namelythatdigital
mediahashad,andwillcontinuetohaveanenormouseffectonstudentwriting.Theprimary
lessonItookfrommyresearchwasthateaseofaccesstoinformationhasgreatlyimprovedwith
theimplementationoftheinternetintostudentlifeandacademiaoverall,butwiththiscomesa
lazinessandinabilitytodetermineproperwritingstyleandmethodofcitation.Imadesureto
useonlyscientificjournals,academicpapers,andotherreputable,unbiasedsourcesinmy
research,inordertoprovidethemostaccurateperspectivepossible.Thisprocess,alongwiththat
ofcreatinganannotatedbibliography,taughtmemuchabouttheimportanceofcredibility,
outsideofeventheactualcontentofadocumentorothersource.Withoutthisbackground

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knowledgeIwouldhavelackedadepthofunderstandingofthedegreetowhichtechnologyhas
playedaroleinstudentwritingandpublishing,aconceptwhichformedacrucialroleinmy
project.
Oneofthemostimportantcomponentsofmyresearchwastheinterviewwithmy
mentor,Mr.Pankiewicz,anEnglishteacherwithexperienceinacademicliterarypublications.I
metwithhimseveraltimesoverthecourseoftheyeartodiscussoptionsandideasforthe
project,andheofferedmanysuggestionsthatwerelaterimplemented,includinganincentive
program.Duringtheinterviewweprimarilydiscussedthetransitionhehadwitnessedinstudent
writingasaresultoftheincreasedusageoftheinternet,aswellastheimpacthebelieveditto
havehadoverall.Oneofhisprimarypointsisonethatformedabasisforthetheorybehindthe
projectitself:theinternethasmadeitfareasierforstudentstopublishtheirwriting,andhas
madethemfarmorewillingtodoso.Socialmediaespeciallyhasplayedakeyrolein
encouragingpublicationofwriting,afactwhichIshouldhavetakenintoaccountwhen
developingmyadvertisingcampaign.Withoutthisinterview,andothermeetingsthroughoutthe
year,thefinalproductforthisprojectmighthavebeencompletelyandutterlydifferent.
Thisprojecttaughtmealotaboutmyself.WhenIinitiateditinmyjunioryear,using
flyersandadvertisingduringmorningannouncements,therewasverylittletonosuccess.During
thedevelopmentofmyseniorproject,Ihadintendedtousesuchmethodsalongwithmoredirect
networking,inordertoproducethemostfruitfulresult.However,thiswasabandonedinfavorof
thenetworkingalone.WhileIreceivedatleasttentimestheamountofresponsesIdidin
previousattempts,Ilackedtheinitiativetocreateastrongeradvertisingcampaign,whichcould
havebeendonethroughflyers,announcements,aswellassocialmedia,whichIcouldhave

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utilizedaspartofmytechnologicaleffort.Despitethisflawinmethodology,Iimplemented
variousproblemsolvingtechniquesinattemptingtogeneratesubmissionstothemagazine,
includinganincentiveprogramoffreedressdaypassesthatwasinspiredbyasuggestionfrom
mymentor.OneoftheotherprimarychallengesIfacedwasthisprojectwaschosenmore
lastminutethanIwouldhavepreferred,andwhileIeagerlyadoptedtheidea,itwastakenfrom
afamilymemberandIwasnotnearlyaspassionateaboutitasIhadbeenaboutpreviousideas
therefore,Ilackedthemotivationtodevelopthisprojecttoitsfullestpotential,whichInow
regret.Inthefuture,IwilltakewhatIvelearnedandfindgreatermethodstoselfmotivate
besideslastminutepanickeddesperation,perhapsbybreakingtheprojectintosmallerpiecesso
thatitislessdaunting.Furthermore,Iwilltrytobemoreproactiveinmyefforts,reaching
outsideoftypicalsocialcirclesforprojects.
Mypresentationaccuratelyreflectedthedevelopmentofthisprojectandofmyprocessof
learningthroughoutit.Ifeltsatisfiedwiththefinalproductofmyproject,despitetheflawsinits
developmentandthechallengesthatIfaced.IfIweretodotheprojectagain,Iwouldfocusmore
stronglyonmyadvertising,throughannouncementsandfliersaswellasthroughvarioussocial
medianetworks,inordertoreachthebroadestaudiencepossible.Iwouldalsofindawayto
streamlineandstandardizetheprocessofcreatingthemagazine,whichwascumbersomeand
requiredmanyhourstoproperlyformat.Overall,Ifeltasiftheprojectwasagoodreflectionof
myabilities,thoughIcouldhavebeenmorededicatedanddonefarmorewithithadIputinthe
necessarytimeandenergy.Themagazine,Ibelieve,wasasuccessfulendeavoroverall.