Question marks

            According to the Independent Seminar, one of the things I need for a successful final project is an authentic audience. To be honest, I have not given much thought to who my audience will be. The topic that I am researching is rather specialized and tailored to my own interested, which presents the challenge of finding a sizeable audience. I doubt very many people at Westtown would be especially enthusiastic about listening to me speak about an obscure group of fairytale authors from the 1600’s. However, I would consider doing an oral/visual presentation for the French 4 and 5 classes here at Westtown. French students’ linguistic knowledge grants them access to a wide variety of literature, film, music, and theatre, and my hope is that presenting my research to other French students will give them an example of the vast cultural resources that are available to them.

I was discussing this issue with my parents, and my father suggested that I collaborate with other French students to make video versions of a few fairytales. For example, I could adapt, “The Bee and the Orange Tree” into a 5 minute mini-film by writing a script in French and acting it out with some French students. I could make arrangements with their teachers to have the project be extra-credit for any students who participate.

Carrying out this idea would obviously entail a good deal of extra work and planning, and I would have to start planning right away. I would have to communicate with T. Dennis and T. Gary before break. I would have to find a camera and students willing to participate. These students would be mostly juniors and seniors and are bound to have a lot on their plate already. I would also have to balance all of this extra work on top of the paper that I am writing. For these reasons, I am afraid that any plans to make video adaptations of the fairytales could easily fall apart.

Video or no video, I want to present my research in way that will get the students interested and engaged. ‘After all,’ I asked myself, ‘Why should they care?’ The minute I asked my self this question I knew that not only will l have to answer it in order to create an interesting presentation, but to come up with a strong thesis for my paper. The real questions at stake are ‘Why should we care? What is it exactly about this topic that has been so exciting and fulfilling to me? What should my audience and I take away from all of this new information?’ If I can answer these questions, I can find a topic for my paper and develop a solid thesis.

 

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