Brown and White Online

Emmanuel Arthur’s Senior Project:

On February 18, my senior project begins. This is what Carl Beehler, my sponsor, wrote to Steve Compton. Honestly, I am excited that I get to utilize some of the knowledge I have acquired in Computer Science class, and this will probably give me a sense of whether I want to work in the field of programming as my future career.  

Description: Implement online publishing platform for Brown and White
Sponsor: Carl Beehler/Tech Office
Phase 1 (Dec-Jan):
  • Take self-study course “An introduction to open source” (provided by Tech Office)
  • Read additional provided materials on Apache web server
  • Do quick write-up explaining interactions between components of the LAMP platform (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP)
Phase 2 (Jan-March):
  • Evaluate open source web publishing platforms on site
  • Try out demos for 5 platforms including Joomla and Drupal with news article publishing in mind.
  • Present short paper on which platform seems best for Brown and White use.
Phase 3 (Project/Break)
  • Install and configure Content Management System on web server
  • Set up templates, etc. for Brown and White publishing
  • Create basic ‘how-to’ guide for Brown and White staff
Much of the above is self-study and/or self guided. Assistance will be provided as needed by Carl or his staff if questions arise.
Some of the resources required to do such a project are relatively complicated and can’t be completely learned in the time available. This will lead to a slight disconnect between the conceptual and practical parts of this project.
Resources such as the web server will be preconfigured for use in the project with an eye towards having the project approved as a production service on campus.

My semi-failure

I’ve never really considered myself a last minute kind of person, but as far as Senior Projects go I think I may need to reevaluate that particular self image I’ve always supposedly adhered to. Up until a few days ago the plan was for me to organize and implement a 5k Run’Walk for charity. To my disappointment, I found that I was much less involved than I had originally intended. For as long as I could I stubbornly argued that I would be busy, definitely, for the 5 weeks total the seniors have off to go have an amazing life experience. But I knew, deep down (or maybe not so deep down at all) that this project was not turning out as I had originally planned.

My fix? Grow up, accept my semi-failure, and find another project.

Now I’m off to Washington, D.C. in just a few weeks. I supppose the blog name hannahrunning has become moot point, but honestly I’m excited to get out of West Chester for a couple of weeks. To be entirely honest I’m not 100% sure what I’m doing in D.C., but I know there is service involved, and a trip to the White House which I unfortunately will have to miss because of how late I signed up for the trip (I have yet to write a check or even tell T. Cindy where I’m going to be for the records).

All the same, I’m excited– it’s not every day when I get to visit the heart of America (or even leave West Chester for that matter).

It’s my hope that Washington D.C. will not only be the project that saves me from my previous project, but the real, substantial, exciting (and hopefully fun) Senior Project that I always wanted to have. I’m a clean slate. I’m a blank page. I’m all those lovely corny sayings people love to say when they’re about to start a new chapter.

Also, since I forgot to say earlier, my name is Hannah Trask.

3 Weeks Until Thailand!

Hello! I’m Natalie, and will be going to Thailand for my Senior Project with nine of my classmates. We leave for Thailand in about three weeks; the countdown is getting me through all my school work and stress. It seems so far away but I know I should be getting ready. My biggest concern right now is packing; I’m a little iffy about what/how much to bring considering I’m the world’s biggest over-packer and my summer wardrobe consists of sleeveless tanks and shorts. My renewed passport also hasn’t come in the mail yet, which gives me a minor anxiety attack every so often. Fingers crossed it will come in time.

I’m really looking forward to exploring Bangkok. I’ve never been to Asia and will admit I don’t quite know what to expect, but that is one of the aspects of this trip that excites me the most. I’m anxious to experience a culture so different from my own, and am fortunate to be doing it with some of my closest friends. I’m looking forward to working with the elephants as well; from what I’ve read in some of last year’s blogs it’s a really amazing experience. I know it will be pretty demanding work though, it’ll be interesting to see how well we all handle it.

I’ve always really loved traveling, especially to different countries because the cultural differences tend to be more extreme. I find it fascinating that so many people can live their lives in such a drastically different way than I do; believing in different things, eating different foods, and celebrating different traditions. I think traveling is a great way to expand your knowledge of the rest of the world because first hand experience is always better than something read in a travel magazine or text-book. I’m hoping this trip will open my eyes some to things I never knew before. Along with blogging, I’m hoping to document my trip with some pictures. Hopefully by some miracle I’ll pack light enough to have room for my cameras…yikes.

Stay posted!

Food and Film in Barcelona

 What is better than food? I’d have to say not many things. That is why I am so excited for my trip to Barcelona in March. Even though I’ll be on “spring break” when most of my friends are on their Senior Projects, and away in Spain when most of them are around, it is worth it. I’ll be spending a week in Madrid and two in Barcelona on the coast of Spain, exploring the cuisine and culture of Catalonia. I am happy to be in another counrty without my family because I feel like it will feel a lot less like a vacation and I will actually get to know a country, rather than just scratching the tourist attracting surfaces. What’s more, I have many friends in Spain already that I’ve met at summer programs, that I haven’t been able to see in two years. Now I finally have a perfect opportunity to meet up and catch up.

My Senior Project is revolving around food specifically, and interviews that I plan on conducting with my new Flip Cam. I hope to upload most, if not all, of the videos onto wordpress so that everyone can see the food, the people, and the places that I am getting to experience. This is the longest I’ve been overseas without my family (I spent two weeks in Australia two years ago, and a week in London with my aunt this past summer), and I am a little anxious about missing a week of school, but since it’ll be the spring term when things begin to calm down for seniors, I think I’ll be ok.

Honestly, Barcelona was not my first choice for my Senior Project; I wanted to do a non-school led trip, and I wanted it to be somewhere I won’t have a chance to go to again anytime soon (my family is taking a trip to Spain and Morocco this summer). However, I have always wanted to go to Spain, and I am in Spanish 6 at school, so I felt like this would be a great opportunity, and one with relatively low stress compared to planning an entire trip for myself and figuring out where to stay and what to do.

So in a few weeks (longer than for most people) I’ll be off to Spain to eat my heart out and let Spain really get underneath my skin in a way other countries have not. What will I do in the meantime? Visit my friends at college, and prepare myself for three weeks of exploring, experiencing, and enjoying Spain.

Hasta luego, Kendall

Stay Tuned!

Westtown students from the class of 2011 have nearly finished preparations for their Senior Projects. They will be in locations all over the globe, involved in diverse and challenging learning experiences. From language immersion to studying religious conflict to volunteering at a medical clinic, the projects represent the special interests and passions of our seniors. 

This year we will be following the experiences of  bloggers in Ghana, Thailand, Washington, DC, Germany, Israel/Palestine, New York, Florida, Spain and Pennsylvania, among other locations. 

What will they discover about themselves and the world? What lessons will they learn? What will we learn from them?  Stay tuned…!