Senior culminating projects presented at MIHS
By LINDA BALL
Mercer Island Reporter Reporter
March 23, 2011 · 1:29 PM
To drop in at every senior’s presentation last week was impossible, because several are going on at the same time. Over three days, more than 200 seniors gave presentations on a project of their own choosing. Excited parents roamed the halls looking for the right room to listen as their offspring shared their newfound knowledge.
The imagination and creativity of these kids are all over the map, with topics ranging from pop music remix to coaching youth soccer.
Senior Ruthie Schorr presented her project on her experience traveling to the Deep South of the United States with 11 other MIHS students and a group from Franklin High School. Schorr’s goal was to focus on the South’s history, including the Civil War and the civil rights movement.
“It is so different in the South than it is in the Northwest,” Schorr said. She said she now realizes how sheltered from bigotry and hate we are in the Northwest.
They visited the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four little African-American girls were killed in a bomb blast in 1963, which contributed to support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
While in Birmingham, they also visited Kelly Ingram Park, which has a violent history from the civil rights movement, Schorr said. She said it has become a sort of haven for the homeless now.
In Memphis, Schorr was humbled by the visit to the Lorraine Hotel, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. The Lorraine is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum.
Schorr described the experience as “freaky and scary.”
She got to meet the Rev. Billy Kyles, who was one of Dr. King’s best friends. Schorr also met Jerry Mitchell, a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., who persuaded authorities to reopen seemingly cold murder cases from the civil rights era, many of which have been solved due to his perseverance.
A slavery simulation gave Schorr a hint of the reality of slavery. She said the woman who was acting out the part of slave owner was screaming at them and herding them into a cramped space. Schorr said it was a very frightening experience.
Schorr’s parents, Andrew and Esther Schorr, said their daughter is so enamored with the South now that she is considering going to college in Savannah, Ga., the result of just one of many eye-opening experiences shared last week.Contact Mercer Island Reporter Reporter Linda Ball at email@example.com.