Getting out is hard to do

With the excitement, eagerness and envy of being a senior, also comes the seemingly everlasting senior seminar projects brought on by the different majors here at Baker University.

As the three years seem to fly by for the majority of this year’s seniors, the one thing stopping them from continuing with their flight is the variety of long-term projects.

Spanish major Tristyn Cooper, said having four graduating women in her class put a little twist on things.

“Usually, you get to pick anything that relates to the topic of Spanish for your senior project, whether it be through a paper or a presentation,” Cooper said. “With only four girls in our seminar class, we all decided we wanted to do something different that is outside of class.”

Along with a 15-page paper and a 15-minute presentation, Cooper said the class chose to read two Spanish novels during class and write an abstract outline discussing the content.

“Even though it seems like there’s not a lot to this major, I think the discussions themselves were one of the main highlights from this area,” she said. “With this being the first time a Spanish class has done an independent study, I think it has been an awesome experience and I’ve definitely learned a lot from the material alone.”

Elementary education major Janine Henry is graduating in the spring, but continuing with her education as she plans on student teaching this coming fall semester.

“Not everyone who is majoring in education goes an extra semester; it was my choice to prolong the student teaching because I am also minoring in music, which takes up some time,” Henry said. “I have already turned in my application to teach at a school but will not find out if I got it until May.”

With a long semester of student teaching and turning in a work portfolio to Baker’s Department of Education, Henry said she thinks all of the majors are fairly comparable in their workloads.

“I know some of the majors require a lot of research papers and presentations which would be rough, but I also think student teaching for a semester is up there in the difficulty factor,” she said.

Senior Tyler McLenon said he knew going into the major of Business that one day he would encounter the class of Business Policy, taught by Professor of International Business Lowell Jacobsen.

“I think every business student knows what Business Policy is and what it will require of them,” McLenon said. “I honestly did not dread it too bad just because I knew about it going in, and I tried to accept the fact that I was going to have to do this huge research presentation.”

While getting into pre-assigned groups at the beginning of the semester, McLenon said it is up to the group how they want to go about the project.

“Basically, we choose a case study about a particular company – we have to break it down and analyze it, write a paper under 50 pages, followed by a presentation to the class at the end of the semester,” he said. “I think by doing this particular project, I will have a little more insight on the basics of running a company.”

On the other hand, junior Kaci Benjamin dreads taking Business Policy as a business major.

“Not only am I taking some of the hardest courses I have yet to take the same time as Business Policy, I personally do not think the senior seminar project is very relevant to what we will need in the future,” Benjamin said. “So far, I haven’t heard anything positive come out of that class and I think they should try and find something that relates to what we will be doing in the future.”

Mass Communication major Emily Grabner said her senior seminar project is different than the other majors.

“We study communications theory all semester long in our senior seminar class, and we choose an independent theory to write a research paper over,” Grabner said. “We have to pick a study that interests us, choose the methods that will support our opinion and defend it at the end of the semester in front of our entire class, teachers and any other students in that department.”

Comparing the mass communication major to other majors, Grabner said she does not really know what all is required for the projects.

“I have heard a little bit here and there of what some of the other majors have to do,” she said. “And from that, I think I can say that my major is a little harder just because we have to get up and defend this unknown study in front of a huge ­crowd.”