At the end of your time at McDaniel, you will be required to do some sort of project that will culminate your experience here. For English majors, this means a 20-25 page research paper that analyzes some sort of literature. At the end, we also have to give a 20 minute presentation to our fellow classmates, some of the professors from the English department, and whoever else shows up!
I chose to write my Senior Seminar on two Holocaust Memoirs-Night and Survival in Auschwitz If This is a Man. While this has been a very depressing topic to study for the last five months, it was very interesting. I studied the stylistic differences in these two Holocaust Memoirs and compared the effects that they had on the reader’s interpretations of the text. I started my research over the summer, which was hard for me to make myself do, since I was really enjoying my time off from school. However, once I got to school and already had my research question and some of my sources, it made starting my paper a lot easier. My professor made us all write five pages a week so that we would not get too far behind. We met with her every week to go over what we had written, which was very helpful, since we knew whether or not we were on the right track. Throughout the entire semester, I spent many late nights reading sources, writing down my thoughts, and researching some more. Rhonda, a librarian at Hoover Library, was so helpful! I went in and told her my topic and she was able to give me a ton of information to start with!
While I’m glad that I have officially turned in my paper and that my presentation is over, my life feels a little empty without it. The last two weeks of school are going to be so much easier now that one of my classes is already over. I feel very proud of myself for getting through this task, since it was the longest paper I’ve ever written. It helped that I was able to write on a topic that I was interested in already, because then my topic did not get boring to me. Many people will tell you that Senior Seminar is something to dread, but the satisfaction of a job well-done when you turn it in is a fantastic feeling!