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Senior Project 2023: Celebrating an End, Preparing for a Beginning

Scott Allenby

This week members of the Class of 2023 began Senior Project: a three week, immersive outside-the-classroom experience where they will have the opportunity to independently engage with a chosen passion or field of study. Senior Projects range from internships to volunteer work to accruing hours in the air towards a pilot’s license. 

Senior Project allows students to celebrate the end of their time at Proctor by working in a field that feeds the soul, as well as providing invaluable skills in self-direction and follow through. Projects are as unique as the students themselves. Check out what some of our seniors are up to! 

Read Proctor's Senior Project blogs posts HERE! 

Lillian – Celestial Stitches (VLOG)

Stuck in a Wes Anderson film and happily sewing: 
Today I finished my Chemise. I hemmed the bottom and lined it with bias tape I made with silk ribbon, and I added a drawstring around the neckline to accentuate and help fit the area.  In the afternoon, I began to cut out and tape together the pattern for the Petticoat. 

Proctor Academy Senior Project

Andrew – Flight Rockstar 

8:30 Today, I began my day at flight school and learned about gyroscopic instruments with Alan. We then moved on to simulator flying, which went much better this time as we practiced steep turns and turns while ascending and descending. During our session, we also focused on navigation using the VOR and compass. At 12:00, I took a break to eat lunch and was back at it by 12:30. My first actual flying experience followed, with George as my co-pilot. I took off and practiced turning using the compass heading, but relied more on visual cues. When actually flying, I could feel the pressure of the plane, which was absent in the simulator experience. After landing, I spent the rest of the afternoon studying for the written exam until 5:00.

Proctor Academy Senior Project

Nora – The Creature in my Room 

Tuesday began with another lovely breakfast accompanied by some worries; reference photos. Lighting, background, expression, basically any nature of the photo and how well it will transfer to 2D and black and white. First at a bit after 8:40, was taking some new reference photos and choosing from past ones, such as this likely candid photo from the other night. After having some preferred photos I'd briefly look them over in editing through cropping and exposures. Once I'm satisfied I head over to the Library to print them out! (An extra note is how common grid scaling is! This was a Pinterest search for detailed charcoal portraits and a little way down all of these can be found.) With all of that, leads to this beautiful temporary scaling of Logan's face... This has at least assured me that I will be using thinner lines in editing. After scaling out a separate piece of paper, I begin dusting off my charcoal and grid work. It's been a good year or so but for a quick draft, I now know how to continue for tomorrow. Having finished up at 3:00 today with a solid six hours. In wrap, the day was more productive than I was expecting and I am quite content with how it went. As for tomorrow, I know what I need to get done and check over before I start on the final paper. 

Proctor Academy Senior Project

Elliott – Ski Building

I started off the morning by finishing the designs for my top sheets. I created a top sheet for myself and one for my brother. I then went to one of my father’s ski building classes. He and his class were layering a ski and placing it into the press. A ski has multiple layers of fiberglass, a wood core, the base layer, and the top sheet. The top sheet is the fancy design that you see on every ski. all of these layers are held together by epoxy. After his class we came back to my house where we are currently running the CNC machine. The machine cuts the wood cores. It takes roughly an hour to cut each core. The machine takes an extremely large amount of programming and attention to run properly.

Proctor Academy Senior Project

Avery – Journalism of Cape Cod

Today was both a huge success and failure. I had a late start to my morning as I was swamped with doctors appointments and a long drive, but I finally arrived in Woods Hole. I'm glad my first handful of interview spots were places I'm very familiar with. It certainly made it a lot easier to comfortably walk around and find people to interview. Not only was Woods Hole 10 times quieter than usual but I was definitely hesitant to "bother" people at first. That all went away when I stopped an older couple. They were on their way to an appointment, but I was able to get a solid amount of time talking with them. Unfortunately, they didn't give me much figurative information that I was looking for, rather just complaints about the traffic in the area. It was still good to break the ice and my nerves and talk to them. 

After I talked to them, I walked down to where all the ferries dock and leave from. I figured there would be enough people down there, and I lucked out. I talked to Jeff for a long time, and he finally gave me some answers I was looking for. I spent so long engaged in conversation with him I didn't even realize how much time had passed. I was very happy with my interview with him though. And I was lucky both interviewees had let me voice record them, which will make writing later so much easier. I then drove 5 minutes to Main St, a large retail and restaurant street in downtown Falmouth. This is another area I'm very comfortable in, and it's usually swamped with people and you have to park a 10 minute walk away. Today though, this wasn't the case, which was somewhat unfortunate as I was still looking for people to talk to. I walked around outside for a while but struggled to find anyone who wasn't busy or on the phone. I decided to get a bit more creative and began to enter businesses. 

My first interviewee was a middle aged woman business owner, and I was very excited to talk to her. I was all prepared until all of a sudden she shut down and changed her mind. I was confused and a bit frustrated, but I made sure not to express it and thanked her for her time anyway. After that, I spent more time walking around, struggling to have productive time with anyone. I finally stopped to pet a friendly looking chocolate lab tied to a bench. I was just happy to be getting some puppy time when a small woman came outside and talked to the dog. She was the owner, and she worked in the store the dog was tied outside of. I figured I might as well ask, she seemed friendly enough. She said yes and we entered a small overcrowded store I'd actually never been in before. She was not a fan of my request to record her, which was okay because I just took more detailed written notes. I quickly found she was not a huge people person, which was part of her reasoning for the lack of recording. However, she was super easy to talk to and gave me great answers. Some of the customers in the store even chimed in sharing information which was really helpful for getting many different perspectives. My former frustrations disappeared following my conversation with Melanie and the customers. I was reminded of the kindness I came looking for. Although I had struggles today, I was able to successfully begin to identify some of the themes I was looking for, and got 3 interviews done. I planned to do some writing today, but my struggle to engage in actual conversations with people prevented me from having time to do so. I'll definitely be doing a lot of organizing and writing tomorrow, but I'm really excited for that!

Proctor Academy Senior Project

Emma – Houston Wildlife Rescue

During my first day alone, I have already gained valuable insights into the intricate workings of the wildlife rehabilitation process. First, I learned how the wildlife rehab department works and got to know the technicians and other volunteers. I was amazed by the dedication and compassion of the technicians and volunteers at the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, who work diligently to provide care and support for the animals in need. Their devotion and expertise made the volunteering experience even more inspiring. With their assistance and guidance, I got to feed some baby birds and the "bug farm," which sounds pretty gross, but it was actually really cool! After all, we need live and healthy bugs to feed our birds! Additionally, I also learned to make some enrichment toys for squirrels using twigs and leaves, and they went "nuts" over them! So, from feeding the baby birds to creating enrichment toys for the squirrels, the experience was both rewarding and educational. After lunch and a short nap, I spent a few hours, from 3 to 6 PM, researching scientific infographics and the processes of wildlife rehabilitation in Texas. Learning about the different approaches and techniques used in wildlife rehabilitation was interesting. Overall, it was a productive day, and I feel grateful for the opportunity to learn and give back. I'm excited to learn more skills tomorrow and gain new insights, especially with the abundant amount of opossums we have in the center!

Read Proctor's Senior Project blogs posts HERE! 

  • Experiential Learning
  • Senior Project