By: Denise Hensley
On April 17, 2013, a mass meeting of formally dressed juniors occurred in the cafeteria at 6 o’clock pm, which could only mean one thing: Junior Exhibition Night. After about two months of preparation and essay writing, the juniors presented their projects to teachers, students, alumni, and parents.
This is the second exhibition that the juniors have completed, with Sophomore Exhibition being the first. Junior Exhibition allows students to practice the skills and gain the knowledge that they need for Senior Exhibition. Junior Julian San Miguel commented that “Sophomore Ex explained international problems to us, but Junior Ex taught us about problems occurring within our own communities”.
The juniors presented with nothing more than two visuals from their PowerPoints as reference. Presentation success relied on their schema, the information they accumulated from two months worth of research, and practice. They had to be prepared for anything because teachers, parents, and students were bombarding them with questions relating to their topics.
In addition, sophomores who attended felt inspired by what they were learning from the upperclassmen. It also gave them a preview of what they would be expected to do when they become juniors. Sophomore Taylor Womack excitedly mentioned “It seems like the project would allow us to explore our own interests about our country thoroughly and more freely. It would also be extremely helpful practice for preparing for Senior Ex”.
However, Junior Ex is not merely Senior Ex practice but more like an extension. Many juniors take their Junior Ex topics and go more in depth by using them as a basis for their Senior Ex papers. “I was so interested in my Junior Ex topic that I might pursue it further as my Senior Ex topic,” admitted Junior Cheriza Infante.
Many proud parents, family members, friends, and alumni came to support the presenters. Freshman Angel Dayrit came to support her cousin, Junior Melanie Dayrit, and George Cartagena, who graduated from Oceana last year, returned to watch his brother, Chris Santos, present. Foreign exchange student Raghde Mohamed’s host father, Ron Andrabe, expressed that “It [Junior Exhibition] is a really neat exercise that makes students more comfortable with public speaking and critical thinking skills”. Students from other schools also visited such as Samantha Vigil from Mercy High School who thought Junior Exhibition Night was “really cool and interesting”.
Teachers and faculty also came to support their students. Ms. McEnany, Ms. Peters, and Ms. Sotomayor, the junior teachers, were with their students throughout the entire process and were finally seeing the outcome in action. When asked about his favorite aspect of Junior Ex, Mr. Cruickshank stated “I love student engagement. This is an opportunity for young people to exercise their intellectual muscles”.
Now that the juniors have successfully finished Sophomore and Junior Exhibition, they have one last task to complete: Senior Exhibition.