Firsts and Lasts

The end of the school year is always a heady, bittersweet mix of emotions and a series of “lasts” for our seniors–last class, last game, last concert, last performance, last advisory meeting–each event a marker along the path towards graduation and end of high school. The process of acknowledging this series of “lasts” is integral to the necessary separation between school and senior, and if done well, indicates a healthy state of being ready for the next step of the journey. Nostalgia, tinged with anxiety and sadness about leaving a much loved place where everyone knows you, is coupled with anticipation and excitement about moving on. The possibilities are infinite, exhilarating and admittedly scary.

Senior Andrés Mondino, presenting his Global Thesis on policy towards Mexican narcotrafficking

In the midst of the lasts, however, GFA has had a big first: seven seniors elected to do a global thesis this year as part of our new World Perspectives Program.  Having chosen their topics at the end of junior year, the students researched, read widely on their topic, wrote several outlines and drafts, consulted outside experts and worked closely with faculty advisors, culminating in final presentations. Impressive in the depth of research and scope, each thesis dealt with a particular global theme or perspective, and the students showed extraordinary global awareness and sensitivity.

I was proud and pleased by the students’ sophisticated analyses and passion for their topics–it really doesn’t get much better than to have a group of seniors engaged and passionate about important world issues, maintaining their focus and work to the very end of the school year, while also themselves going through their own series of “lasts.”

The range of topics speaks to the intellectual energy, global sensitivities and deeply held convictions of our student body and of these seven seniors in particular:

Complexities of India’s Water Crisis and the Promising Solution of Social Entrepreneurship

Senior Hayley Brown, discussing her Global Thesis on the depletion of worldwide fish stock

The Depletion of Global Fish Stocks: An Assessment of Fishery Mismanagement and Sustainable Solutions

The Challenge of Governing Population: Observations from China and India

The Universal Impact of the Films of Federica Fellini and Ingmar Bergman

Relations between the U.S. and Iran: A Case Study of American Intervention in the Twentieth Century and its Implications

Los charros de la droga: An Examination of Policy toward the War against Mexican Narcotrafficking

Ethnomusicology: The Study of Global Music and Why it Matters

I’m sure it is not the last we will hear from these interesting and committed students as they are among the first to graduate into this global century.

You can follow the latest developments of the World Perspectives Program by reading GFA’s World Perspectives Program Blog.

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