Every spring, seniors at Hopkins embark on Senior Projects in areas that interest them. Here is what some seniors have created this year.
Georgia Doolittle '18
“My Senior Project is using traditional British baking as a lens to examine industrialism, slavery and European colonialism. I’ve been doing this by baking desserts from different time periods, and then researching specifc ingredients. To be honest, I was initially inspired by binge-watching all of ‘The Great British Baking Show’ on Netfix, but the project has grown a lot since then. I’ve learned a lot of really interesting facts about food, like how the banana industry has been responsible for the overthrow of governments around the world, or how cacao beans used to be used as currency.”Jenn Horkovich '18
“My Senior Project is titled Filling in the Blanks: What Happened Other than the Trail of Tears. The main goal is to provide information to both students and history teachers regarding the past and present of Native American tribes that we frankly have never been taught but we need to learn. My initial thought was to make an entire history course with the information, but I found it more accessible and relevant to create a series of powerpoints and lesson plans that can ft into the required history courses.
For my AC3 term paper last year, I wrote about the Termination Era, a period of history where, under the guise of helping Natives, the US government destroyed the lives of thousands of people. It fascinated me because we talked about it briefly but I wanted to know why it happened and why we weren’t taught it in great detail. Right before I turned the paper in, I met with Mr. De- Naples, my AC3 teacher, and asked him, “Hey, want to do this with me as a history course for a Senior Project?” His immediate reaction was ‘Yes’ and that’s how it started.
Surprisingly enough, my biggest challenge was having too much information which was surprising. I had roughly 60 pages of notes on three tribes and I realized that a course wasn’t as benefcial as it should be. Also, in researching, especially modern Native people, I was struck by the horrors of it all and it was extremely difficult to read. The big thing was realizing that the Iroquois have the oldest democracy and constitution in existence and our Constitution and democracy are based off of theirs except minus women in power. In addition, sexual assault and traffcking are horrendous on reservations - there’s no database for trafficked Native women and their twice as likely to be sexually assaulted as any other race. Also the poverty rates and death rates by diseases people don’t really die from here such as 500% more likely to die from tuberculosis. It’s honestly crazy. I do recommend looking up Adam Ruins Everything Season 2 Episode 18 “The First Factsgiving.” It covers some very common societal misconceptions and American mythology. It’s online. I also plan to go to a Hopkins History Department meeting to try and add my project into the Hopkins curriculum.”
Zander Blitzer '18
“For my Senior Project, I am writing two episodes of a TV show I have entitled Taking Back the House. Taking Back the House is a reimagining of ‘The West Wing’, a political TV show from the early 2000s that I greatly admire, if the West Wing occurred in 2018. Blending characters from the original as well as characters of my own creation, I have taken on hot button issues such as gun control, abortion, and national security through the lens of TV drama. My goal was to expand what I learned last year in Writing for Stage and Screen (a class I would highly recommend!) and apply it to a genre that interests me personally.
I also wanted to fnd a space to advance political debate, and really listen to and understand arguments from different perspectives. The really challenging thing about a writing-based project is how much time you have to set aside for it. Writing can’t necessary fit into a neat block of time, so I always had to schedule myself hours and hours to just sit down and let the words fow. The hardest thing for me is allowing people to read my work, especially out loud. To me, hearing my work out loud is always weird and embarrassing, but it’s necessary for screenwriting because you have to test out the ease with which someone can read the lines. There’s something very personal about creative writing, so it does take a lot of courage to share it with an audience.”Libby Gardner '18
“Annie Banks and I did our Senior Project together and it was to create a tie-dye business ‘Tie Dye for Treatment’ to better understand how small businesses function. Annie and I both have a love for tie dye as well as an interest in business so deciding on the project was easy. Finding a payment method for our customers was probably the biggest challenge we had to overcome because we didn’t have a PayPal account and the website platform fined us for any transactions made on the website. When we dyed the shirts, we took extra precautions to ensure the dye wouldn’t get on our clothes or skin but Annie accidentally dipped her hand in the bucket too far and the dye flled up her rubber glove. Annie’s hand was dyed blue for a week.”