Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m going to Israel/Palestine for my Senior Project.
The start of any student’s enthusiasm for their Senior Project starts long before their Senior year begins. Mine began in the sixth grade when I first came to Westtown and heard of these high school seniors traveling all around the globe for two weeks in the middle of their senior year. Although Senior Projects were a long way away, I could tell that my Senior Project was going to be special.
Then, skipping ahead, eighth grade is when I took my first Middle Eastern Studies course for a trimester. T. John McKinstry spoke to our class about the conflicts and history of Middle Eastern culture, which seemed interesting but at only 13 years old I was more engrossed in my travels to the local rivers for canoe trips with my class than even considering traveling to the Middle East.
A few more years went by until I decided to take Hiroshima to 9/11 with T. Brit Suttell. This is when my interest in studying the conflict really took flight. I focused my Junior thesis on the effects of Social Media on Revolutions, specifically in that area of the world. This class dissected the conflict, taking it piece by piece, reading past the images we see on the television.
Finally, this year I am taking Religion and Social Change. This is the most life-changing course I have taken throughout my years at Westtown. Taught by T. Kevin Eppler, this class consists of about a dozen of my peers, and is taught mainly by introducing a controversial topic and letting us discuss it. One of the units from earlier this year concerned the apartheid in Palestine and how Israel/Palestine is the center of religious significance and a hub of political conflict. By this point, I knew I was going to Israel/Palestine in March and learned as much as possible during the unit to prepare me for my trip.
I am most excited for visiting religious sites, but am going to Israel/Palestine with an open mind and am eager to learn as much as I can about the opinions of residents and the culture.
SUNDAY February 24th 2013
DAILY COFFEE INTAKE: 1 cup of regular old Joe