May 2013
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Senior sems are upon us

It’s that time of the semester: while all of us are frantically trying to get work done for this week and next week, which is finals week, many of our seniors on campus are finishing up and presenting their senior seminars and capstones.

All McDaniel seniors are required to do a culminating project in their major(s). Some departments call these projects senior seminars (commonly known as senior sem(s) or sem) and some call them capstones. Whatever they’re called, all of these projects require a tremendous amount of work, writing, and research.

I know a lot of seniors who presented their senior sems yesterday, and since they’re generally open for anyone on campus to attend, I had the chance to attend my friend Hanna’s presentation.

Hanna, who is an English major, talked about the rhetoric of Allies (McDaniel’s Gay-Straight Alliance) in her presentation. She discussed how Allies uses rhetorical strategies when communicating with their club members that are different from those they use to communicate with the campus community at large. Learning about this binary was fascinating, and Hanna did a fantastic job researching and presenting her project.

I’m very glad I got to attend Hanna’s sem presentation. Since she’s my friend, I was happy that I was able to go support her. And since I’m an English major who also has a strong interest in rhetoric, it was great for me to see what a senior sem presentation that focuses on rhetoric can be like. The thing that I love about rhetoric is that it can take practically any topic involving communication and analyze it in incredibly interesting ways. While senior sem is a long, daunting, and intense process, I’m finding myself looking forward to my own at the moment. My senior sem will give me the opportunity to research something I am (hopefully) fascinated by and share that fascination with others.

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