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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Project Week Assignments Released; Student Reactions Varied


Bianca Stelian

Staff Writer

As November winds down, every year in the Latin community we go through a routine. We anticipate Thanksgiving break; we find ourselves entertained by a variably raunchy play preview, yet most exciting (in my opinion), we find out our Project Week assignments. This year, the anticipation and excitement was higher than ever, given the intense competition for spots in coveted P Weeks.

A major talking point with the release of the P Week options was the return of the ‘Survivor’ option. An in-town project that had been AWOL last year, this seemed to be on everyone’s minds as they signed up, as it promised a week filled with reality-tv inspired challenges, from Project Runway to Top Chef to Survivor. Just a few days ago, I sat in the sophomore lounge and overheard girls who had received this P Week scheming on how to win (if a team does win?), or at least not embarrass themselves in the fashion show part. Anyone who received this option as well, look out – the competition has already started.

No other in-town seemed to be garnering as much conversation as this one, yet some in-town newcomers did receive some scrutiny. “I can’t believe they’re actually doing a Zombie Apocalypse one,” an anonymous source said. “How can you fill five days with stuff that relates to that?” Another person commented on the YouTube Sensation option, saying “It’s interesting that this is an option now given how popular YouTube is – but I doubt that anyone will become famous if they do this one.” Only time will tell.

For the out-of-town options, there didn’t seem to be one P-Week that reigned supreme over the rest (as it seemed that perhaps Iceland or Tanzania did last year). After speaking with many people about their hopes, I realized there seemed to be generally two types of people who wanted to go out of town: those who were more mentally and culturally geared (who often said their first choice was Ireland) and those who were more physically geared (who often said their first choice was the Sahara). Of course, this does not encompass everyone, as a good amount of people with whom I spoke didn’t mention either of these trips, designating their first choices as Cambodia, Costa Rica, or Spain.

On November 22nd, at four in the afternoon, many students went online to find out what they had been assigned. Not long after that, Facebook and Twitter were wrought with announcements about people’s assignments – I saw posts ranging from “Anyone else going to Costa Rica?” to “Suck it, I’m going to Ireland” to “I’m so jealous of everyone going out of town this year.” While many people who had not been as pleased with their assignments were upset at these bold announcements, there were also many who were very pleased yet refrained from making their assignment known. “I got really lucky this year,” a source from the Sahara trip said. “But I know what it’s like to not get your first choice, and it’s even harder when everyone is shoving their luck in your face. So I didn’t want to make it known what I got.”

Soon after the assignments were released, I investigated the breakdowns of many Project Week option to see whether there was a bias towards any grade this year. It seemed this way initially, upon seeing that nearly 75% of the people on the Ireland trip were seniors, as well as nearly half of the people on the Sahara trip being seniors, but my suspicions were allayed when I saw lists for some other options with mostly sophomores (Survivor) or mostly juniors (Costa Rica) or a pretty even split (Spain, Cambodia, Himalayas). Whether one receives their first or their last choice (a rare occurrence), it seems like Project Week is fair after all.

Thus, I look forward to the upcoming week in March (so far away!) when students will leave school to immerse themselves in a new and unique topic. To those who aren’t so happy with their P-Weeks, I wouldn’t be so sad. Though I was jealous of all my friends who went out of town last year, I had an eye-opening and a wonderful experience on my ‘Turning A Blind Eye’ P Week last year that discussed the genocide in Rwanda. Any P-Week the school organizes is certain to be fun and interesting, and I can’t wait to see how this year’s crop will turn out. Happy Thanksgiving, and come March, happy P-Week!


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    ftemponeDec 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Good job, Bianca. Billy and I have a great group for Story Exchange.