Four Hurrahs for Finals

By Oluyemisi Bolonduro ’23

Salutations, I am finishing my sophomore year at Pomona! I still have four more semesters to go, but I’m marking this Spring 2021 semester as the best finals season so far (and maybe overall). My four core classes in photography, philosophy, French and research methods are the reason why. Without further ado, I shall describe each final… hurrah, hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!!!!

collection of photos of flowers in a vertical gridDigital Photography w/ Professor Auerbach @ Pomona College

I love taking macro photos of nature, so I did my final project on flowers around my block. As you’ll learn from Letters of L♡ve, I enjoy writing letters! During quarantine, I’ve restocked on stamps a few times, and my last purchase had flower stamps. So, I thought it would be fitting to do my final project on stamps! One morning, I walked around my block and took pictures of whatever caught my eye. My favorite is the rose (I think it’s a rose?) in the top left. My photography final wasn’t easy because I take a lot of time to think of what I want to photograph and how. Then, I have to decide on the spot if I’m satisfied with my unedited photos. Next, I decide which photos I’m the most satisfied with, and narrowing my photos down to 3-10 pictures can be exhausting. Finally, I have to decide how much, if at all, I want to edit the photos in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Despite all the steps and details, I wasn’t rushing to put something together that felt unnatural. We had plenty of time to decide what to submit for our final projects. Also, 10/10 excitement because this was the best assignment to crouch over like a toddler and take pichurz of flowerz… hurrah!

Africana Philosophy w/ Professor Mubirumusoke @ Claremont McKenna College

sunset with trees in foreground and crane in backgroundI’ve never taken a philosophy course and truly thought the content would be too dense for my brain. Now, I would not claim to be a philosopher of any type, but I can at least hold a conversation. For the final, my professor gave students the option of an 8–10-page paper related to our class readings or an alternative assignment of our choice. I proposed “Seven Spaces” (alliteration!). For this assignment, I’d photograph seven spaces of my childhood where I was constantly interacting with people from various backgrounds mainly in terms of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion. There were two quotes that inspired the assignment:

  • “I admit that it is a good thing to place different civilizations in contact with each other; that it is an excellent thing to blend different worlds.” – Aimé Césaire
  • “The fiction is that the life of the races is separate, and increasingly so. The fact is that they have touched too closely at the unfavorable and too lightly at the favorable levels.” – Alain Locke

I took pictures of my block, two elementary schools, middle school, high school, church and library. With each photo came a short essay about my childhood experiences at that place. The project made me nostalgic, but it was fun to execute… hurrah! 

Introductory French w/ Professor Dahi @ Pomona College

I’ve taken French with Professor Dahi since last semester, so it was quite comforting to know she had grown to know my learning style throughout this year. Both this semester and last, she administered the only final exam I had. Last semester, I felt a bit pressed for time. Perhaps it’s because I missed a few things to study for or maybe it was my slow testing speed. Either way, that wasn’t the case this semester. For starters, Prof. Dahi held an extra office hours session and hosted a review session before the exam. She designed the final to be shorter than the allotted window stated online. So, we had more time to go through all the questions. I thought I’d finish early because there were less questions, but I was one of the final ten (of ~30?) people to finish the exam. And you know what? That is completely okay! I know I missed a few things on grammar, but I felt comfortable with the overall final… hurrah!

Introduction to Africana Studies: Research Methods w/ Professor Soliman @ Scripps College

I was part of the group who believed a “research methods” course would be boring. FALSE! I took the A/B intro series for the Africana studies major with Soliman this year. So, I’ve seen her (virtually) quite often. We worked on our 8–10-page final paper throughout the second half of the semester. So, I felt like I could take my time going through each step because I wasn’t rushing to complete everything in one week. I titled my final project, “Nigerian Names and Narratives” (you know I had to work in the alliteration). In short, I explored the naming processes of Yoruba names. I didn’t have enough time to do interviews, so the paper read more like a literature review. But, in the future, I may use this final as a starting point for my senior project (Africana studies majors aren’t required to do a thesis). The conclusion of my paper explored how the series of interviews could come together and resemble a digital lifestyle magazine. This final made me excited for my senior project… hurrah!

hot pink flower bloomsFin

Okie dokes, that’s all I have for today (did you notice the French in this section title?). Also, I forgot to mention I decided the topic of my final research project for Africana studies. So, three of four finals were inspired by me and my vision. I’d say it’s a good deal to end a virtual semester on an exciting note, wouldn’t you agree? Well, there you have it: these were my last four hurrahs of the semester. Thanks for cheering with me! 🙂