In addition to community service, every student, every year, ventures out to take on a project of his or her own design. For a week at the end of January, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders fan out across and beyond Boston for a wide range of internships and independent arts projects. They work in labs, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, theaters, newspapers, political offices, law firms, and any number of other corners of the working world.
"I have mentored three students from Commonwealth School over the past few years, and they have all been delightful gifts. They are inquisitive, bright, energetic, and enthusiastic, and introducing them to my field, developmental psychology, has been a joy and a challenge. The process requires me to take a step back and think about why I do what I do, and to plan activities for people whose only expertise is their love of learning. Nevertheless, the students soon get the hang of my work and make significant contributions to my own productivity. Last time, I actually notified the program director at Commonwealth, Larry Geffin ’69, that I would not be returning the students to the School, but somehow they decided that graduating was more important than working for me. Maybe next time…"
Tracy Gleason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Wellesley College
Senior projects last a full three weeks in March and involve a demanding job in a new setting, such as a congressional office, or the production of a major piece of work, which in many years includes a student-directed play. Students may come back reporting, “I'm proud to say, I still want to be a biologist!” or, of an eviction case in housing court, “It was like in the movies, but it took a lot longer and wasn't quite as sharp, clear-cut and accusatory.” In all cases, we hope they begin to envision themselves as productive adults.