By Nasheetah Hossain
Let’s take a moment to mourn all the hours that we committed to projects that went right into the recycling bin as soon as they had a red letter grade scribbled on the back.
The only thing that could possibly save us from the stress and eventual regret from projects like these is being assigned a project we actually care about.
Humanitas English teacher Maureen Grandchamp has given her students just that. She assigned her senior class a project which allows her students to have an impact outside of the four walls of a classroom.
“I had asked last semester how my students best wanted to showcase Humanitas’ qualities to the school, and someone suggested podcasts. Later, Ms.Vazquez came up with the idea of seniors making the podcasts for freshmen,” Grandchamp said.
In the Humanitas seniors’ first podcast, due this month, students will discuss their opinions on the topic of “Fate vs. Free will,” which the freshmen will then discuss.
“This is a special project because we get to give back to the freshman in our same program. We’ve been in the position they are in and didn’t get help from the seniors before us, so this should be really beneficial for them,” senior Dylan Bowman said.
At the end of March, the students are also competing in a podcast contest held by National Public Radio (NPR). Those podcasts will be uploaded onto SoundCloud. Students will have the freedom to choose their topics for these podcasts.
Humanitas students are very comfortable with new media and are also accustomed to public speaking as well as community service in their program; this is why they feel so confident in expressing their ideas on the podcast.
“I wanted to give them something that doesn’t just die within the class and the school. The NPR podcast contest especially discusses how it is important to put pressure on the students to have an audience outside of just their teacher or their peers,” Grandchamp said.
For that reason, Grandchamp stressed to her students the importance of creating professional podcasts.
“A number of things go into a good podcast. From what we’ve learned, things like ambiance, proper sound effects, and good tone of voice are important to a podcast being successful. But most importantly, a podcast has to have good information, not just random facts that aren’t backed up,” senior Leslie Velazquez said.
The Humanitas students are excited about the creativity this project allows them as well as the impact that they will have on their freshman counterparts in the Humanitas program.
“Take these podcasts seriously. I can definitely see the freshman saying that they’re not that important, but we are trying very hard, so they should pay attentions because education is important,” Bowman advises the Humanitas class of 2022.