Monthly Archives: May 2016

Second Prep – Grazer


Land of the Sleeping Things by Dan McPharlin

Now that the first (female) set of components have been milled, it’s time to move onto the male components. With that, comes the exact same prep process as last time. Makes for some riveting writing…

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Overview–Week 12 Asha

Unlike my other blog posts, this one will be a sort of summarizing, backtracking installment to my independent project journey series. Before I dive into what my project has done for me in the long run, I’d like to talk a bit about how I came to sign up for it. One of the main things that drew me to Westtown, other than the school’s overwhelming sense of community and closeness, was its independent academic options. Although there’s a CORE program here at Westtown to some extent, a student’s schedule can be extremely personalized, which was very different from the other schools I had looked at while searching for a high school in late freshman year. Continue reading

Closing Time- Brandon

This week I made a lot of good progress and found a few new articles to use. Right now I’m shooting to have around 3-5 sources that I directly cite in my paper. I’m also reading a few chapters from a book Teacher Deb gave me called When She Was White: The True story of a family divided by race, which looks at how traumas and hardships affect memory.  Since this is the last blog I will write at Westtown I want to do a short wrap-up and reflection. Continue reading

Week 12: Halfway There!

Looking back over these past twelve weeks, I am certainly in awe of how far I have come.  I started this project as a naive, optimistic, uneducated 16 year old, and have transformed myself into a still-optimistic slightly more educated 16 year old.  However, I am only halfway up my mountain. I plan to continue to work on my independent project over the summer and into the first semester of senior year.  In this new phase of my project, I plan to continue to keep up with Syria in the news as well as watching interviews of the refugees online.  I was also recently put in touch with a local Syrian refugee organization not far away from Westtown so I will be looking forward to hopefully being able to get some interviews there.  If all goes well, I hope to be finished interviewing and putting together my final product in time to present to the entire school next winter.

Speaking of interviews, I am happy to announce I have conducted my first official interview with a Syrian refugee! As I mentioned in previous posts, I have been hoping to get in touch with a Westtown alum named Jamal for a while, and as of last Tuesday it finally happened.  The questions I wrote up with Teacher Pat proved extremely useful, and I am very excited to see what other information my future interviews will bring in.  Jamal was able to give me a broad overview of the conflict from his perspective, as well as tell me the hardships of his own personal journey to the United States.  If you are interested in watching it, I have attached a link to a teaser of the interview at the bottom of this post.

To sum things up, I have learned a lot this semester.  From always double checking to ensure your video camera is on before conducting an interview to the value of persistence, the hands-on factor of this project has taught me so many things that cant be learned inside a classroom.  I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I was given to study Syrian refugees this semester, and am looking forward to seeing where it will take me in the coming months!

Watch my interview with Jamal here

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Last But Not Least… – Roger

In last week’s blog post we examined three of the five popular organizational structures proposed by Jacob Morgan, one of my favorite business writers on Forbes, and learned more about how to manage the personnel within a company. This week we are going to finish up our research in this area by learning about the last two organizational structures Morgan advocates. Also, since this is the last blog post of this year’s independent study, I am going to take y’all all the way to the very beginning of my project and share with you what I have learned, not only business-wise but also as a person from such a memorable experience. So without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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Sifting Through Articles-Brandon

After reading through a large number of articles this week, I have picked a subject and started writing an outline. I originally thought of writing about different memorization techniques and comparing them with one another to see which is best for the situation. This past week however, I came across an article titled How (And Why) Emotion Enhances the Subjective Sense of Recollection.   Continue reading