Grace’s Newly Published Authors

Media provided by Gazette Media Editors, Senior Seminar hardcover publication, designed by Liz Pollack ’22.

After a year or more of hard work, seniors presented their research and writing in History, Literature, and, for the first time, in the Sciences, on Wednesday, April 27. Twenty-five students were selected from a highly-competitive pool at the end of their junior year by a board of Humanities teachers to take part in either Senior Seminar in Literature, or Senior Seminar in History. Through the Senior Seminar courses in the Humanities, seniors presented research that culminated in a final paper over 25-pages long each, which was then made into a hardcover book and distributed. The Gazette was able to get some insight into their process and takeaways.

Leo M. ‘22 was inspired by a 10th-grade paper and personal experience. His sophomore final paper focused on Jewish assimilation in New York City as compared to Jewish assimilation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Leo also offered advice to rising seniors, saying, “Don’t compare your work on a quality level to the work of others, but use the help of your peers. The beauty of Senior Seminar is that every one of your classmates is doing something completely different and so you can’t compare your process to someone else’s because each project requires a different research path.” Leo found videos an effective way to avoid burnout with such a huge project before him. By watching videos it was easier for him to stay engaged, and he believes that, “Going down rabbit-holes is an essential part of the research process.” Overall, Leo found the final colloquium to be the most fulfilling part of the process, as he enjoyed the community feel within the small group of his Senior Seminar class.

Brigitt M. ‘22 hoped to combat the many falsehoods regarding Latinx immigrants with her Senior Seminar project. By narrowing this broad topic down, Brigitt landed on the specific example of “anchor babies” (a term to describe children of immigrants who have citizenship where their parents do not). Brigitt chose this focus because she was “immediately drawn to the LatinX community … I identify as a Latina, and my community needs a voice.” Brigitt wanted to let future seniors know that choosing a passion project is the most integral part of the process. Once you start your research, many other branches of interest will present themselves to you. Lastly, for Brigitt, handing in her 25-page paper was the most fulfilling part of the journey as she could see all her work in the physical form.

Josie S. ‘22 had a more difficult time deciding on the focus of her project. In an interview with the Gazette, Josie said, “I started creating two booklists: one for fun and one for senior seminar. That was when I realized that all of the books on my ‘for fun’ list had something in common: LGBTQ+ representation.” Josie found motivation in her love for the topic, and wanted to stress the importance of having fun when dealing with big deadlines or tons of content. Josie’s advice for rising seniors would be to “go with your heart and what you want to write about because you’re going to spend a lot of time with your project.”

Aaron H. ‘22 combined his interest in economics and real estate in New York City for his paper. As expected, Aaron found writing a 25-page paper difficult, but, by writing in “manageable” chunks, he found the process a bit less daunting. Aaron wanted to stress to rising seniors that editing your paper a lot should not be something to be ashamed of and should be considered a “separate process. Like many others, Aaron found the final print of his paper to be the most fulfilling aspect of this experience.

While students are walking away from Grace as published authors, they are also walking away with a deep sense of fulfillment, self-assurance, and gratitude. Ava A. ‘22 commented, “Thank you very much to Mr. McDonald for constructing the entire book and for advising Senior Seminar in History, and to Ms. Iguh for advising Senior Seminar in Literature. Without you both, none of this would have been possible. You made us better students and people.”