Letters to Judges


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Letters to Judges

  1. 1. 1550 Owens Store RoadCanton, GA 30115April 19, 2012Judges, Senior ProjectCreekview High School1550 Owens Store RoadCanton, GA 30115Dear Judges:Hello, first of all I would like to introduce myself, I am Brianna Ridings. I am a determinedyoung adult that has taken my desires and dreams and have worked to achieve my aspirations. Ihave become a partner within my local community and have taken part in helping to understandand explore my global community as well. I enjoy spending time volunteering in manyorganizations, attending trips internationally for extended periods of time, and studying culturesto gain a better understanding what the needs of the world are. I currently am a member of thevarsity track team and I am involved with a local youth group. With the unique experiences Ihave been able to participate in, I have come up with a few short-term and long-term goals that Iaim to achieve. These goalsinclude: Get a part-time job, learn the practice of kickboxing, expandmy knowledge in photography,travel to Africa, and attend college to eventually get my master’sdegree. I want to become a high school history teacher and propose to teach in different way,rather than just sitting in a desk and taking notes I want to show that different people learn indifferent ways. I would like the opportunity to enhance their learning experience; I want toempower those who struggle to learn that many different teaching methods are out there if youare allowed to teach outside of the box using unconventional teaching methods. However, formy senior project I chose to take on a task that I never really gave much thought to. I wanted tocreate a documentary on the fire department; it has been something that has always been a part ofmy life as my father and grandfather both have chosen the career of a professional firefighter. Inever explored deep into what it really was, and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to geta better understanding of what my grandfather loved doing for a living and what my dad can’timagine ever not being. It’s such an engrained part of who they are and what they stand for thatI felt I needed to take a better look.“Fighting the Fire” is the title of my documentary that is my final product. My goal was to learnmore about firefighting through interviews and I felt that the best way to present what I hadobtained was by putting it into a video. In the beginning, I researched on the history of the firedepartment and quickly I learned that the idea of firefighting has been around since 24 BC and isconstantly changing due to the inventions and availability of the newest technology. Ialsoresearched briefly, how physically and mentally demanding this job can be. I discussed itover with my father on multiple occasions who I should ask to be my project facilitator andthat’s when we agreed that Captain Matt Broderick would be the best choice. I wanted him to bemy facilitator because he has a vastknowledge base on the fire service and has been working inthe field for 22 years. In preparation of meeting with my facilitatorI was able to come up with thespecific questions I wanted to touch on in the interviewing process. After that I spent all the time
  2. 2. I could at Johns Creek Station 63, not only asking my questions, but also experiencing first-handwhat really goes on in a firehouse. Unfortunately, this is where I ran into problems. Planningwas difficult because most days I had limited time, and so did the firemen. They have to attendmeetings, promote safety, and educate the community. Patience was something I had to learnbecause right in the middle of an interview or a discussion and WHAM the buzzer would alarmand off they went to catch a call. Quickly, I had to reschedule my time so I was able to get thevideo footage that I really wanted. They could be gone a few minutes, or for a few hours! OnceI was able to get my video footage, I ran into many obstacles with modern technology. I had toovercome my video not saving and then my computer kept messing up. I really had to pushmyself to make the best possible video without becoming frustrated with all the unforeseenissues. I wanted to spend as much time as possible getting as many aspects of the job to try showwhat it really involves.My topic specifically was to learn what it is like to be a firefighter, and how being a firefighter isemotionally and physically demanding. However, after researching and talking to many firemenI learned that the job is more than putting out fire. Being a firefighter you have to know thescience behind it. And the science is intense and confusing, not to mention dangerous if you areunaware of what you are dealing with. All the way from the basic elements of fuel, heat andoxygen, which is what makes a fire to begin with, to being shown how they use equations tofigure fire flow for buildings and water pressure. But more importantly, I got to learn howimportant is to them to stand by their fellow fireman as a brother, and to be prepared for anythingto happen at any given moment. I believe that being a firefighter takes a lot of courage and Ithink they are special, even heroes. I have learned from this experience that firefighting is not anoccupation for me; I think I would be scared of going to work each and every day.Through the process of the senior project I learned a lot about myself. I’m organized but I don’thave a lot of self-motivation. I believe that the project was good for me, even though it took up alot of my free time; I have gained a better appreciation and an even greater respect for the menand women that choose this profession. I think of them every time I pass a firehouse now, and Ithink of all that they do for those they protect in their territories.Thank you for your time.Sincerely,Brianna Ridings