Capstone Reflection

Jonas Gerken - Brazil


May 28, 2018

  There are some moments in my life where I imagine that the moment I am living is something out of a movie. That moments are sequenced together and intense emotional music constantly plays in the background, as if to remind me about how I am supposed to feel. This typically happens when I’m saying goodbye to people, but it also happened when I was giving my capstone presentation.

  The presentation I made was far from comprehensive; it covered the general outline of my year and had some images from my home and my family and various places I visited. I left it so that I had more room to informally describe some things that a keynote couldn’t. But as I did this, I found it incredibly difficult to just talk about the things on the slide. Everytime I went to address something that I needed to, I found myself going on tangents and talking about every little thing that made a specific moment or event special. It was like I was having a movie flashback. I could hear the music in my head, telling me how to feel, showing me things that I lived but couldn’t possibly adequately convey to others. There were happy moments, sad moments, lonely moments, moments of good company, moments of family, moments of love, but I couldn’t show any of these things to a room full of high school juniors and seniors. While my mind raced through wonderful things, I was met by a room of blank, tired faces, probably thinking about their work for next period.

  But people were interested; they could see the emotion in my face and how much I cared about my experience. After I finished my presentation, one student exclaimed, “I wish the college office told me about this sooner.” Another two students came up to me afterwards asking for information about Global Citizen Year. But of course there were also those who didn’t care, those who listened but didn’t really listen. There were those who stayed on their phones even when I stared directly at them, or those who left for the bathroom only to return 20 minutes later, disappointed to see the presentation hadn’t ended yet.

  But the fact that some were interested was enough. The fact that I may have changed the opinions of 3 people is enough for me, and leaves me gratified that I did my job with my project.


Jonas Gerken