Ordinarily, I am not a particularly creative individual. My focus has always been on the more traditional academic pursuits of science, English and math. Most high schools, Bexley included, tend to focus primarily on the core subjects that colleges expect students to have taken.

Ordinarily, I am not a particularly creative individual. My focus has always been on the more traditional academic pursuits of science, English and math. Most high schools, Bexley included, tend to focus primarily on the core subjects that colleges expect students to have taken.

As an alternative to this traditional learning environment, working on a senior project at Bexley High School is a unique opportunity. Senior projects, undertaken by seniors meeting grade and attendance criteria and conducted during the last month of school, can encompass a wide variety of learning experiences. Some students choose to shadow a person in the work force, from doctors and lawyers to politicians. Others work on a particular task that interests them; one of my fellow Bexley students focused on increasing recycling awareness in the district. Still others -- I'm in this category -- work on creative projects, paintings, videos or music.

I chose to use my project to branch out from the familiar and experience a form of learning that is rarely found at a typical high school. Since I have always been interested in film creation and have filmed and edited a few short pieces with my video camera and home computer, I used my last month to create a video that details the workings of Bexley High School from a student's perspective, incorporating my own musical composition in the piece. With the assistance of Mr. Valentine, the Bexley High technology guru, I shaped my video so that it might be shown to freshmen entering Bexley for the first time, while preserving my initial creative ambitions in the film's production.

I had tremendous success with my senior project. I realized my goal of completing a film that creatively details a day in the life of a BHS student. Further, I was able to answer all of the research questions that I had at the beginning of my project. I learned how to make a movie, from pre-production, to storyboarding, to filming, to editing and finally to music recording.

In addition to achieving my project goals, I derived great benefits from working on the project. I had a distinct sense of pride after completing my movie: to have something come together that I worked diligently on for a month really made me see what I am capable of.

Additionally, I learned that I can stay energized about what I am doing, even when I am presented with hard work, or when problems arise. I learned that I have the ability to focus on my goal and work my hardest to attain it, even if distractions attempt to thwart my efforts. I learned how to budget my time well, so that all aspects of the project could come together to make a polished piece.

If I had continued my typical school schedule for the last four weeks of senior year, I likely would have missed out on these experiences. Instead of coasting my way to graduation, I was able to grow as a filmmaker and independent thinker.

I truly enjoyed working on my senior project, and I am extremely happy that I chose to put in the time toward this creative endeavor. I learned a great deal about myself and completed my senior project with a movie that I can keep, reminding myself of the work that I put into the last few weeks of high school. If I could do this project again, I would in a heartbeat.

Sam

Brock