Spring 2017

Spring Term Narrative 2017

Classes: Chem, PreCalc, & Driver’s Ed with Geoffrey Bennett

project no. 1

Semester School Applications




  • What does it take to write a good application?
  • Will the admissions directors respond well to my request for extra time?
  • What schools am I applying for?
  • Will I get accepted?

GOAL(s): My goal is to create an exciting opportunity for myself next year as well as learn how to write a successful school application in preparation for future endeavours.


  • Excerpts from my application essay

I believe the traditional school system hinders curiosity. Out of all experiences I have had in my young life, the most valuable have been in the world rather than in a classroom. I am aware that a duality is important. To learn about the workings of the world, a classroom is often necessary. However, in order to learn about myself in relation to the world, I’ve had to step outside the norm and pursue different opportunities available.”

As a society, we often disregard the wisdom of children. However, children are the most inquisitive of us all. Their boundless curiosity is inspiring and I wish that every adult in the world would make an effort to channel some of it. We would become more aware as a whole.”

  • Request for extra time


My name is Gretel Dougherty and I am writing because I am interested in attending semester school next year but I know my application will be late and I am wondering if it would still be possible to review it. I first learned about your semester school when I was a rising freshman, so I was too young to apply. I was instantly sure that it was something I wanted to do but after learning that I was too young it slipped my mind for a while. I recently was reminded about the possibility of this semester school but unfortunately the day that I looked on the website to begin my application was the day it was due. By now I am almost finished with my own part but I know that it will take a few more days to get everything else in order, especially since my transcript from this year is slightly different than the typical school transcript. I am part of the Big Picture self directed learning program at my high school, which uses proficiency based graduation requirements. We achieve these through project based learning with a focus on internships and community interaction. However, I have taken a class based approach in the past so it is not foreign to me and I am taking 3 classes this year in addition to the program (Accelerated PreCalc, Chemistry, and Driver’s Ed). Please let me know if I can still submit an application. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing back.
  • Acceptance email


EVALUATION: Note from KC Ford (admissions director), acceptance email, card from Chris Percy (Spanish teacher)

PROCESS: Investigate the semester school network for schools that I am interested in, send requests to the admissions directors asking for an extension because the due date was past, fill out required info about place of residence, school, age, parents, etc., write application essay, submit, wait to hear back

RESOURCES: the internet, my mom, Alison James, Jim Shields, Kevin Downey

no. 2

Make Money!



  • What are some skills I can learn or use to make money?
  • How long does it take to make a piece of embroidery?
  • What is a good platform to use?
  • How can I make people want to buy my work?
  • How many products do I need to make?
  • What types of products can I make?

GOAL(s): My goals are to learn different ways of making money that I can use in the future, as well as learning a new skill (embroidery), fostering my creative spirit, marketing and managing a business.

EVIDENCE: Etsy shop, Depop shopGoFundMe account, embroidery pictures and pieces

EVALUATION: Did I reach my goal for amount of money needed? Did I learn useful skills for the future?

PROCESS: Acquire materials needed for embroidery (thread, needles, scissors, hoops, fabric), seek inspiration, draw out designs on paper, sketch designs in pencil on fabric, stitch! start etsy, paypal, and gofundme accounts, take pictures of work and put it up online, write a bio and create levels of gifts for gofundme, get the word out

RESOURCES: the internet, fabric store, embroidery artists, Kristin Humbargar, Tessa Perlow, goodwill


no. 3:

Edit a Novel


  • What does good character development look like?
  • How long does it take to edit a book?
  • How can I easily comment on content and share it with the author?
  • What makes writing interesting?
  • How can I provide useful, constructive feedback?

GOAL(s): My goals are to practice my editing skills, to read critically, to give useful and well thought out feedback to the author, and to gain knowledge about good writing.

EVIDENCE: book manuscript is confidential (Sleepwater Beat by Kathrin Hutson)

comment examples:

“Do more with this. She just watched a fellow beat spinner, friend, & lover go over the edge. its gotta hurt. put a squeeze in her solar plexus or an immediate tight feeling under her ribs, a head spin or a sick throat twinge”

“Pretty sure its spelled jaywalking. check in”

“Come on sounds too playful right here. I’d choose come along or something similar. more formal, more professional & a bit condescending which seems to fit the vibe”

“Not really sure if this would work with the format but maybe you could add something about how Alex feels in the situation, or more on Leo’s interpretation of Alex’s emotions? I think it would give Alex more depth and move above and beyond. The bare minimum in this situation is that weird area of a character that is just there to support the plot. Obviously that is not the case here. Alex has a personality but you can do more! And I think it would be extra cool if you could find a spot to fit something more about her as a person rather than just her in relation to Leo.”

EVALUATION: Did the author appreciate the feedback? Was the feedback useful? Did the book get published?


PROCESS: Read each chapter of the book to get the idea, then read it again and make a comment or edit in each instance of confusing language, incorrect spelling, and unrealistic dialogue/ plot as well as incorporating praise when something is especially good

RESOURCES: previous knowledge about writing, the internet, book author, good spelling skills, comprehension & analytical thinking, realistic viewpoint

no. 4: 

Do it for science!

In December of 2016 I went vegan. Initially I planned to do it for just a week but it ended up going on much longer than that. Here is my take on the experience

Veganism Experiment




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