Rendevous à Paris

February 28th, 2018


“Why Paris? Paris needs no reason. Paris is its own reason.”—Maureen Johnson

Hi everyone! My name is Summer, a member of the Class of 2018. This is my fourth year at Westtown and I’ve been taking French courses since Freshman year. For my senior project, I chose to go to Paris to further my knowledge of French culture and language. I’ll be staying with a local host family and studying with Alliance Française for three weeks, March 4th to 24th. I chose to go to Paris for its many historical sites, museums, palaces and parks and for its unique lifestyle and gastronomy. I’m really excited about taking classes with Alliance Française because I will be studying in the Latin Quartier where the oldest university in France, Sorbonne, is located. Also, I want to step out of my comfort zone and test out my French skills I’ve been working on in class for the last four years.

Collège de Sorbonne

More specifically, I plan to do these things while I’m on my senior trip:

  1. Make an effort to talk to my host family and Parisians I meet in French to learn more about their daily lives
  2. Take classes with Alliance Française in the morning to further my knowledge of the French language
  3. Visit historical sites and museums in my free time in the afternoon
  4.  Try as many traditional (and good) French food and Parisian food as I can
  5. Go see a play in the Comedié Françaisecomédie-français.pngComedié Française
  6. Take weekend day trips to visit Versailles, Fontainbleau, Château de Chambord
  7. Make use of the TGV, metro, bus and other public transports in Paris as often as possible
  8. Do a cruise on the Seine
  9. Visit the markets, boutiques, bookstores in Paris (Shakespeare and Company)
  10. Spend an afternoon in a Parisian cafe.

I’ll add more to this list once I’m in Paris.  See you in a few days!


Beyond My Years: A Journey into the Lives of Others

“Comfort comes from knowing that people have made the same journey. And solace comes from understanding how others have learned to sing again.”

– H Steiner Rice

February 28th, 2018 | (Two days before my project begins!)

Hello! My name is Lilian Fernandez, but everyone calls me Lili. I have been at Westtown since Kindergarten and am very excited to graduate with the Class of 2018 this Spring! For my Senior Project, I am staying close to home but not to comfort. I wanted to incorporate my passion for photography with my interest in uncovering the stories and wisdom of those who are older than me. I will be planting myself at Sunrise Senior Living of Granite Run, a senior living community in Media, PA, to do just that.

As a member of the Delaware County area, I have not fully immersed myself in this community, one that I have been apart of for my entire life. I am interested and want to give back to a community that has been part of my home by establishing relationships with individuals in the community at Sunrise Senior Living. I also hope to create relationships that I can return to in the future as well as leave the community with a physical representation of the stories and some of the members of their community. I am planning on using to create a photo/story book to present to the community after my time there. Throughout my posts, I will share quotes, photographs, and the experiences I have throughout my two weeks at the Sunrise community and the process of constructing a book.

During these weeks I will work purely off of my passions and interests. I enjoy photography and conversing with others and this project involves both aspects of communication and media. I will need to keep myself accountable for deadlines, timeliness, and challenges that may occur. Ultimately I hope to learn how to account for and establish my own role within a set schedule and uphold the promise of completion of this project.

Being from a younger generation, one of the interests that influenced this project is the possibilities of learning from the lives, journeys, and struggles of those older than me. My passion for archiving the stories of older generations has also stemmed from my hesitancy and discomfort to reach out and ask about my grandparents’ and great-grandmothers’ lives.

What drove me to create a project like this is the relationship I had with my great grandmothers’ and the stories that have been shared with me, but also the stories and experiences I was too young to know to ask about. I feel that I did not reach out enough to ask about their experiences, memories, or stories they find most prominent in their lives. Senior Projects provided the perfect format to educate and open myself up to others stories and to share the lives and interests of the members of the senior living community.

From experience, I have come to understand how providing space within a community can allow for unity and I hope that my project can do just that. I want to be a person the residents can be comfortable with sharing their stories and interests. And most importantly, I want to provide a space for many of those who are forgotten by their family members or have no one left to hear them and what makes them the person they are today.

So if you are interested in hearing the stories of others or my artistic process of portrait photography I hope you join me and some of the members of Sunrise Senior Living of Granite Run in this journey!

Lilian Fernandez

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

February 25, 2018 (Five Days Before My Flight!)

Hello everyone,

My name is Tray, and for my Senior Project, I will be going to Seattle, WA, to both observe and practice acting in all forms: anything from Shakespearean theater to modern virtual reality (VR). I will be staying with my aunt, Gin Hammond, a professional voice and stage actress, and her family from March 2 to March 23.


Here are just a few things that I hope to accomplish with her guidance over the course of those three weeks:

  1. Intern under Jodi Rothfield, a prominent casting director in Seattle, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  2. Observe/Participate in the TPS Unified General Auditions from March 5-8
  3. Prep college audition monologues
  4. Work on singing
  5. Do a one-day, on-camera training class at Seattle Children’s Theatre
  6. Shadow a member of the production staff at Seattle Repertory Theatre
  7. Create an additional reel (my commercial reel is below) 
  8. See lots and lots of shows!!

I don’t want to reveal too much, but I plan on posting pretty frequently (I’ll figure out a schedule soon).

I look forward to bringing you all along for the ride!


Prologue​ to China: Classroom to Reality

Written and posted February 25th, 2018

你好, 我的名字是 Anna Harrison. For those of you who do not speak or read Mandarin, I said, “Hi, my name is Anna Harrison.” At least that is what I hope it reads. I (as well as the majority of the people reading my blog, I assume) do not know Mandarin either. I asked one of my good friends how to write that sentence and, hopefully, she is not making a fool out of me. I have tried to learn Mandarin, believe me. I have been using Duolingo every day, asking my friends how to say words, and going to the weekly cultural sessions my teacher, the trip leader, has been hosting since I decided to go on this trip to China back in October. However, learning a new language is not as easy as it seems. I should know. I have been taking Spanish since Kindergarten and, yes, I am in Spanish 5 at the moment. Yes, I can understand, read, write, and speak Spanish, although I am nowhere close to fluent.

You might be wondering, “Anna, you have been taking Spanish for most of your life and know very little Mandarin, why in the world are you going to China instead of a Spanish-speaking country?” Well, the answer to that question is, IT IS CHINA! I have been to Mexico a couple of times, for service and for vacation and, while I would love to go back or go to another Spanish-speaking country when I heard that China was an option for a Senior Project, I was incredibly excited! 14 days, 6 cities/provinces, mouth-watering food (Dim Sum), the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors, Tang Dynasty show and dinner, and so much more! I could actually visit the Forbidden City, the former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty, in person. Images from my five-pound, highlighter-filled history textbook would be brought to life. I also chose to go on this trip because it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of course, you are thinking that sounds cliché, “once-in-a-blah blah, everyone says it, okay, we get it,” but it truly is. Without this trip, the opportunity Westtown and my parents and family have given me, I believe that I would have never gone to China. While I wish that was not the case because I love to travel and want to go everywhere, most travel abroad programs default to western European countries instead of Asian ones, and I do not think China is a place I would travel to on my own. I am extremely grateful for all everyone has done to put this trip together and cannot wait to be watching at least six movies (it is about a sixteen-hour flight) and relaxing on the plane four days from now.

See you in China!

– Anna

P.S. I want to let you know that my other blog posts will (I hope) not be as long as this one. I really enjoy photography, so I plan to accompany each post with lots of photos. I also want to let you know that China limits access to sites, and I may not have WiFi for a majority of the trip. I may have to post my blog posts when I get back to the States. However, feel free to keep checking in case I do get WiFi and can post. Thank you for reading!