Seniors seize opportunity to share passions, interests in yearly Dragon Talks

Lillian Li, Writer

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From topics like the panacea-like effects of music to the influence of implicit bias in the foster care system, the halls of Foothill Technology High School on Monday, June 3 were filled with the sound of anxious seniors presenting their eagerly-awaited Dragon Talks to the underclassmen.

The uniquely Foothill “Dragon Talks” is a senior class project in which each student crafts a speech based off of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks, a non-profit institution that promotes the sharing of ideas in the form of brief, succinct speeches. Students are encouraged to pick a topic they are truly passionate about.

According to teacher and Associated Student Body (ASB) Advisor Melanie “Captain” Lindsey, Dragon Talks “gives all the seniors an opportunity to share something they have a passion for.”

The day began with two rounds of presentations and a 20-minute break in between, with up to ten participants presenting in their assigned rooms in front of a teacher and students. Following the two initial rounds and a lunch break, the final round commenced. Teachers were asked to select the best participant in each round to move on to the final round, in which the top two presenters from each class were assigned a new classroom and gave their presentation once more in order to determine the winners and runners-up of the project.

Lillian Li
Winners of the 2019 Dragon Talk presentations.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WINNING DRAGON TALKS

Despite the general consensus that Dragon Talks imposed unwanted stress on the senior class’s final days at Foothill, seniors were appreciative of what the project contributed to the culture of Foothill at large.

“It’s the last big project we all do,” Morgan Stevenson ‘19 said. “We all get psyched about it.”

Most seniors enjoyed the project as well, valuing the opportunity to share what they care about with their peers.

“My dad and I bond over our love for old music,” Stevenson said regarding her topic—the counterculture of the 1960s and ‘70s—and its significance to her. Many other seniors shared a clear personal connection with their topics as well, such as Yoanna Soliman ‘19’s presentation on immigration in America and Ian Ingram ‘19’s presentation on “Star Wars” in American culture.

However, not everyone has a favorable opinion of the project, like Raine Hagerty ‘19, whose contention was it being too much stress at the end of the year for too little reward.

“I understand the significance for the underclassmen,” he concedes, elaborating that it’s important for underclassmen to experience seniors giving their Dragon Talks, “[but] it’s just not very fun for the seniors.”

That being said, Hagerty believes “it’s important for the school to continue it.”

When asked his advice for future seniors, Hagerty emphasized that future participants shouldn’t stress about the project. “It’s just a bit time consuming, so carve out a good period of time to work on it,” he said.

Stevenson recommended to “pick something you actually care about and have an interest in,” and avoid “the biggest, most complex thing to talk about” to make the experience enjoyable.

“I just had fun researching my favorite thing to talk about,” she said. “I think it’s a good project.”

Editor’s Note: Josiah Beharry ’19 and Patrick Bello ’19 are also accredited as winners, even though their videos are not available.

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