Updated: Mar 11, 2019
The halls were hushed, closing in on us. The clocks ticking grated on our ears as we counted down the hours, minutes, seconds. Friends and strangers softly pat each other on the back with hollow words of encouragement. No one could sit still. We had prepared for this day for our entire lives, and we were terrified.
Well, maybe not our entire lives.
I’m talking about my senior thesis, the culmination of my strenuous seven years as a Founders student, a fourteen page paper (that would determine whether I could graduate or not) about a lofty topic of my choosing on a book of my choosing. Doesn’t sound too bad, except “of my choosing” means out of a list of books and topics that the administration composed and if I wanted to do anything different I would have to write another paper defending my choice. Yikes.
I chose Justice, Providence, and Revenge in the Count of Monte Cristo. The Count of Monte Cristo was my favorite book from sixth grade english, and I really like things being right. The difficult thing was the length of my book of choice. It was over 5,000 pages long! Everyday for the entire semester we would have an hour dedicated to working on the project, but it was pretty unmonitored, and I knew of several classmates who studied memes instead of their books.
Every now and then, we were required to have a meeting with the teacher designated as our advisor. They would read our book and the progress we’d made on our paper, and make sure it made sense to anybody besides ourselves. This was really great for some students, their relationship with their advisor flourished, along with their grade. Others were not so lucky. That part wasn’t so bad. Six months, fourteen pages? No problem. We were accustomed to writing five page essays in a week, so why would the past seniors complain so much?
Of course, if that was really all there was to the assignment, we would’ve been fine. We turned in our papers, and asked for our grades. That’s when we heard about the presentation.
It would change everything, naturally.
- Emily N.