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Spring break lost to finishing projects

by Janine Stone

Spring break – a term that brings to mind sunshine and Easter brunches, jelly beans and sandy beaches. A week in which the only questions students answer are ones like, “How many chocolate rabbits can I eat without getting sick?” and “Where did I stash my swimsuit last August?”

For seniors at Carson High School, however, spring break has an entirely different definition: The senior project.

Like every other student in Carson City, I started my countdown for spring break about three months ago (on Jan. 5, the day winter break ended, to be exact). I’m always excited for break, and I looked forward to it even more this year since spring break means graduation is drawing near.

However, as the weeks leading up to break melted away and my excitement grew, so too did a sense of panic – senior project portfolios are due the day school starts again.

Four years ago, the thought of actually completing the senior project seemed right up there with winning the lottery or climbing Mount Everest.

We naive freshmen felt sure that the senior project would have disappeared by now, gone the way of nachos (seniors know what I’m talking about) and digital portfolios.

But the senior project stuck around and, in doing so, gave us opportunities we never imagined.

I am constantly amazed by the senior projects I hear about.

In my English class alone there are students who have learned to play musical instruments, communicate with sign language and make wedding cakes. There are students who have job-shadowed architects and ER doctors and forensic pathologists.

There are students who are teaching music and recording music, writing novels and re-writing Greek myths. The scope and nature of these projects is overwhelming, and it’s easy to see why it’s difficult to compile a portfolio and prepare a speech for the senior project boards.

It’s impossible to put a year’s worth of work into a binder. Nevertheless, this is the task seniors faced over Easter break.

Although the Senior Project seems overwhelming at times, I think it’s definitely a good thing. The project pushes students to try new things and make new goals.

It gives students the chance to devote time to pursue things important to them so that they end up using what they learn.

With all the negative press teenagers often receive, the Senior Projects are like breaths of fresh air, examples of the amazing things Carson City students are doing.

Senior project boards take place April 27-28 and, as far as I know, community members are still needed to judge. I encourage everyone to volunteer and find out the new meaning of spring break.

Janine Stone is a senior at Carson High School. As part of her senior project, she is writing several articles for the Whatever page, including a series on the projects of her peers. Call Mrs. Nevin at 283-1600 to volunteer as a member of a senior project board.