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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • For their Senior Project, Nate Stratton ’19, Jamie Donovan ’19, and Noah Slager ’19 recorded a podcast.

    • Naomi Tomlin’s ’19 project titled “Yellow Berry” uses visual and written art to explore her childhood fears.

Seniors Present Work at Project Fair

Julia Kosinski ’21
Each spring, seniors have the opportunity to design and orchestrate independent projects of their choice. The project process culminates in the Senior Project Fair at the end of the school year.
Each spring, seniors have the opportunity to design and orchestrate independent projects of their choice. The project process culminates in the Senior Project Fair at the end of the school year. Students show off their hard work to
faculty, alumni, parents, and other students. On May 20 in Heath Commons, 36 seniors presented 26 unique projects ranging from written work, to ventures in entrepreneurship, to a machine that harnessed Hopkins’ own food waste to create sustainable energy.

The Senior Project Program grants seniors the time and freedom to explore in depth a subject of particular interest. Maliya Ellis ’19 wrote short stories and sonnets, some originally in Spanish, and others originally in English, and then translated each into the other language. When asked what inspired her project, Ellis responded, “I spent last summer doing community service in Ecuador, which left me with both a renewed interest in Spanish and a whole lot of interesting experiences to unpack. I wanted to reflect on those experiences via creative writing, logically in Spanish, the language in which I experienced everything.”

She continued, “I’ve also read a lot of literature in translation, and it’s never quite the same as the original, so I wanted to understand that process through myself.” When asked about the challenges of her project, Ellis described how “I knew the original writing would be challenging because it takes a lot of creative energy. But creative writing in Spanish brings the extra challenge of grammar and vocabulary. I had to decide whether to prioritize meaning, meter, or rhyme, and it was painful sacrificing one of the three.”

Isabel Vlahakis ’19 explored the influence fashion and politics had on each other during the French Revolution by writing a research paper and using her knowledge to “make what could have been a dress from that time period.” Vlahakis recalled that last year in AP European History she “watched a video about how fashions have changed and influenced each other, which really inspired [her] senior project.”

Raven Levine ’19 collaborated with Emma DeNaples ’19 to write, film, and edit an original movie that follows a high-school senior “through a week in her life, dealing with the academic stress of school, and the difficulties of prom as a gay teenager.” Levine was not only excited to “be able to tell a more in depth story with a longer run time” than was possible in the Hopkins film classes, but was also motivated by what her project represents. “The central character, Alice, is a character whose high school experience reflects my own in many ways.

Although seniors were given the option to substitute their project for a course, finding enough time to complete their project to their original expectations proved to be a common challenge. Theo Tellides ’19, whose goal was to digitize and index 70 years of Razor archives explained that “it took a lot longer to index articles than initially planned so I only digitized one year per decade.”

George Kosinski ’19 partnered with Eliot Carlson ’19 to recreate ten small-scale Renoir paintings. Kosinski also felt the pres- sure of limited time: “Renoir uses many layers and washes in each of his paintings, so it was hard to replicate that in the limited time we had.” Benjamin Washburne ’19, who worked with Alex Hughes ’19 to convert food waste from the Hopkins dining hall to methane and electric current via anaerobic and aerobic digestion faced a unique obstacle: “My nose faced the greatest challenge of the project, as it was incredibly stinky.”

Despite long hours at the computer screen, Levine was happy with the outcome of her project as well as the experience she had gained: “I learned a lot of technical things from this project. I also learned more about directing a larger group of actors, something which I had not done before.”

Tellides was excited to share his insights into Hopkins’ past: “I learned that Dr. Lovell narrowly avoided a boiler explosion while performing repairs. I also learned that The Razor was once a lot more inflammatory, with articles complaining about rising tuition, and a column called ‘The Mug’ that was devoted to roasting a particular senior each issue.”

With the school year nearly over, next year’s seniors are pondering their own projects. Olivia Wen ’20 said, “The senior projects this year seemed like such rewarding experiences. I am excited to have the opportunity to explore something I’m passionate about next spring.”
Editor in Chief 
Eleanor Doolittle

Managing Editor 
Sarah Roberts 

Zoe Kim 
Anushree Vashist
Juan Lopez
Orly Baum
Katherine Takoudes 
Julia Kosinski
Anjali Subramanian
Emmett Dowd
Lily Meyers 
Ella Zuse
Zach Williamson 

Saira Munshani
Sophie Sonnenfeld
Kallie Schmeisser

Veronica Yarovinsky
Teddy Glover
Abby Regan
Maeve Stauff
Izzy Lopez-Kalapir

Arthur Masiukiewicz 

Arushi Srivastava
Nick Hughes

Business Managers
Sophia Fitzsimonds
Sophia Cerroni 

Faculty Advisers
Jenny Nicolelli
Elizabeth Gleason
Sorrel Westbrook-Wilson 
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

Phone: 203.397.1001 x271