Tuesday, March 6, 2007

the dark side of the moon...the senior project experience

Hanna showed me her novel today. In the month of November she wrote nearly 40,000 words and has consistently worked on it since. This morning we printed 89 pages of it to bind for her Senior Project. We changed margins, numbered pages, and titled the book in the header, which is The Dark Side of the Mirror; however, as you can tell from my title, I CONSISTENTLY wrote Pink Floyd's album title "The Dark Side of The Moon." It became a joke we couldn't seem to get over, and a waste of my time that I couldn't seem to cure. Hanna's face beamed when she shared the plot and bound a special copy just for me to read.

Last night, Ryan showed me the engine he's restored for his 1966 Ford Galaxie bought last summer for $1100. "We finally got it painted Ford Blue, just like the original...and the best part...it finally starts!" The car is sweet (and has a sweet name in my opinion, especially in the days of the Explorer, The Pathfinder, the Highlander...who wouldn't want a car named the Galaxie during America's Space Race?) Ryan has gutted it and plans to restore the interior to its original. Right now, everything is missing. The the seats, the dash accessories, the door handles, the paint, the hood...but the Ford Blue engine stands out like a knight in shining armor. And who knew bands like Blind Melon and Reverend Horton Heat wrote tributes to their own Ford Galaxie getaway cars?

In the basement of Daniel's house, his homemade electric guitar blew my mind. It's not finished, but he's routed (not sure if that's the right woodworking terminology) and sanded and perfected the body. And now it's time to set the coil pick-ups, lay out the scratch guard, wire the interior, glue on the neck...and so many, many other terms I can't even remember now and don't even know about musical instruments. He showed me his current electric guitar, which was "made for Rock 'n Roll," an old Fender Strat "made for bluesy type stuff," and an acoustic, "made for anything." Daniel's guitar isn't quite finished, but the final product is in the works and looks great.

And who knew Mountain View had so many Hip Hop Dancers? Six-year-olds with attitude strutting their stuff at Reach Dance and Fine Arts Studio with Leah, owner and instructor, leading the way. A few minutes later, a change of music for Crystal and Jamie's solos, then onto Middle Eastern Belly Dancing, which they invited me to join..."not with this belly," I replied, and giggles were served around the room. From the office space to the 'parent's lounge', to the guitar lesson/coffee room, Leah's Senior Project has gone above and beyond the expectations of many.

But Leah isn't the only one. It seems the senior class of 2007 has set high expectations for themselves, and this week, while I've traveled over 70 miles around Willow Springs, I've witnessed their hard work and proud moments. I can't wait to see the final products on the big day in April.


Janet said...

See...it's not all bad, is it! ;-) Those projects sound amazing! What I love even more is that they allowed the kids meaningful application to real life...it allowed them to develop that talent...and it allows other adults to see and hear about the amazing things they are capable of doing (talents which are rarely addressed in the classroom). I know there are always going to be those who choose not to do the assignment...and those who maybe need a lot more help and guidance to believe in themselves enough to realize they have an amazing talent that they could showcase, but those three, in my mind, make all of your hard work worth it. Great job.

Would you mind sending me the criteria you give them for doing their senior project? It may help me design my own multicultural ed class! :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud... and Casey, you should be also. This is why you work your ass (okay... sorry, Dad... I'll rephrase)... tail off.

Janet said...

Ha!Ha! You gave yourself away Caron. You were anonymous until you apologized to your dad!...he would've never known it was you! :)

Anonymous said...

O' yes, Ms. Janet, I already knew who she was and no problem Ms. Anonymous, because she is working her a-- off.