Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

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Ventanator
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Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Ventanator » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

I don't know about in any other high schools, but in mine, we have to do a project to graduate from a senior year. The project features a five page research paper, and a five to ten minute oral presentation that must include two visual aids. As the topic title says, I thinking of doing my paper on zombies...really, what is more awesome than that? The people that I have to present to are rather old, and rather white, and rather conservative southern. I love the thought of presenting them to corpses that eat humans to make more human eating corpses. The whole 'they may give me bad marks for scaring them' thing isn't a big problem, they won't fail me or give me bad marks.
This brings me to my point, I have probably the most awesome topic ever and am the only person at my school willing to do anything that isn't really generic. The only thing that I can think of holding me back is the visual aid part of the oral presentation. I'm obviously going to do a powerpoint, but what else? I'll have to check, but I'm 95% positive that it can't be a video...maybe dress someone up as a zombie and talk about their characteristics. I suck at makeup and I can't see a friend really wanting to help in that aspect...

Any ideas?
If not, I'll have to go with my other topics. Meh, some of those might even be better really...they're dinosaurs, time travel, and the possible use of water to help or even completely fuel an engine. Those, except my HHO generator thing, are all really broad but I'll narrow them when I start writing. The HHO (that's the water as fuel thing) would require a big chunk of money (for building a generator) and they might not let me actually bring the generator into the school because of the whole explosive thing. I could get around that though, and have a really really awesome project, but I would really want to do my own research and experimenting with that, and I can't cite myself sadly...It could be done however.

I dunno...I wish I could do a lot of stuff...any topics that you think are pretty awesome are welcome :)

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Kizyr » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:57 pm UTC

What's the project supposed to be? Are you supposed to present an argument, a theory, historical background to something, what?

That'll determine on whether or not you can do this one about zombies. The first question I asked myself when reading this topic was, "what about zombies?" KF
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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Ventanator » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Yeah, it's just supposed to present whatever you want. With the zombies, I what zombies actually are, to their role in media and how that has changed our view of them, to our view of them, to how the zombie is actually possible in the modern sense.

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby mikhail » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Ventanator wrote:Yeah, it's just supposed to present whatever you want. With the zombies, I what zombies actually are, to their role in media and how that has changed our view of them, to our view of them, to how the zombie is actually possible in the modern sense.

You can probably find some interesting material on how they have appeared in film, and particularly on how they've changed. For example, Simon Pegg wrote a polemic on it(!) here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/no ... g-dead-set

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

...

Ok, look: Just because they're old and white and conservative doesn't mean they've never heard of MOVIES. Zombies have been part of main stream horror films since Dawn of the Dead, which was HUGELY famous and successful. Don't think that you're going to be presenting your superiors with something new and different just because you've picked something that is suddenly thrust into the spotlight with the last 5 or so years of zombie addiction. What you said you'll be doing would be akin to getting in front of a professor and snickering as you tried to blithely inform him of (duhnduhn DUUUUUHN!!!) the propensity of movie actors to be rich and famous.

Furthermore, don't get up there and just talk about zombies eating flesh and mwahaha, I'm so edgy because I'm talking about ZOMBIES. There's an entire fucking history to the field, ranging from cinematic, ethnographic, and societal.

To be honest, I don't know how one could write only 5 pages on the topic of zombies, no matter what angle you want to analyze it from. Indeed, if you wanted to do something cool and edgy, I would get up there and give a very formal, very informative, and very accurate talk about either A) the fictional history of the zombie menace, citing from as many original sources as possible or, B) a very in depth analysis of the likelihood of the impending zombie menace, how to prepare ourselves, what must be undertaken, and projected outcomes.
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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Ventanator » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:36 pm UTC

Yeah, your second suggestion is kind of what I'm talking about, but how to prepare and survive zombies seems to informal and to speculative to me. Also, I know that zombies have been in movies, and I know that they've seen seen them before (well, I'd imagine anyway), but I really want to present a nice and semi-scientific view of them. The snickers will be hard to control, I admit...and the paper itself can go over five pages but not exceed ten...

I haven't got a chance to look at that link yet, but your description of it seems very promsing, thanks!

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Quenouille » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:07 pm UTC

As another example, this is what some grad students have come up with, related to the important and interesting subject of disease modeling and population dynamics.

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Ventanator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:33 pm UTC

That is probably the single greatest thing I've ever read.

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby mypsychoticself » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:52 am UTC

I don't suppose you live in North Carolina, by any chance? Because the requirements for your senior project sound extremely similar to what I had to do (although your idea is way more awesome).

Some pointers (from personal experience):
  • A short powerpoint will help you stay on track, especially if you have a time limit.
  • Clearly state what your topic has to do with education. Studying zombies, for instance, can be related to pathology, pandemic/epidemics, emergency response and preparedness, etc.
  • Write as if your readers are stupid; talk as if your audience is intelligent. I don't know about your school, but at my school the people who wrote at a tenth grade level recieved higher grades than the people who wrote at a college level. Yes, I'm still slightly bitter about this; how could you tell?
  • Relax about the presentation. If your senior project is as similar to mine as I think it is, there will be parents helping to grade your presentation. They will be aware of how long, boring, and pointless the entire process is, and will start out biased in your favor. They also tend to grade more on perceived effort than on actual quality. Also, rednecks love zombies. Just saying.
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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Omegaton » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:28 am UTC

Five page research paper? Five to ten minute oral presentation? I'll echo that this could EASILY be a much bigger project. If you are going to focus on how to defend against a zombie attack, consider this: Use the scholarly paper (the actual paper that the news article above talk about) and compare its results and tactics talked about the discussion in the light of books such as the "Zombie Survival Guide", movies, and Resident Evil. I'd expect that there's going to be a pretty heavy bias in your bibliography towards references that are works of fiction, though, haha.

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Internetmeme » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:56 pm UTC

That's a very original idea! I like it. Something that I haven't seen anyone here mentioning is the different types of modern zombies.
There's the Resident Evil G-Virus
There's the standard zombie virus
There's headcrabs
etc... etc...

If you really want to scare them, use Silent Hill. End of story.

Suggestion:
Buy and wear a headcrab hat during the presentation.

Again, cool project.
Spoiler:

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby CrazyIvan » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:57 pm UTC

If you want a critique of the zombie modeling paper, one can be found here: http://confoundingblog.wordpress.com/20 ... ing-model/

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Ventanator » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

Whoa, that hat thing is awesome! I think that they might even allow it to get past the dress code (which states no hats) for sheer awesome...

And I'm starting in earnest on the paper now. I'm debating on whether or not to do it as a survival type thing, or a scientific look into why they could be real...either way, yes, we rednecks (I'm from Mississippi) to love our zombies :).

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

If you want my advice, do it about the idea of zombies, rather than zombies themselves. I realize the internet enjoys playing around with a set of rules about zombies and playing along with Max Brooks, and I do too, but the fact is that you're proposing such a serious what-if that your audience may be a bit lost. Talking about how zombies were in original folktales/cultures, the basis of that myth, how Hollywood has changed it, and maybe about the recent popularity of the idea. There was an article in Newsweek (Time?) last year or this spring about the psychology of zombie horror in modern life or somethng, so, get to looking for if you'd like a reference.

That way, you have your awesome topic (zombies) while still being academic.
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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby CombustibleLemons » Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:19 am UTC

you could show them a picture of a very detailed zombie plan.
You, sir, name? wrote:Just make sure to consistently whack it in the ass, as that's one end it does not shoot fire out of. Be careless with the flame-magic and it may just shoot fire out both ends.

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Internetmeme » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

Amishdemon wrote:you could show them a picture of a very detailed zombie plan.

I think we had a thread in forum games about that...
Spoiler:

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby CombustibleLemons » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:
Amishdemon wrote:you could show them a picture of a very detailed zombie plan.

I think we had a thread in forum games about that...

we did but it died. kinda makes me want to start another one. only make it real.
You, sir, name? wrote:Just make sure to consistently whack it in the ass, as that's one end it does not shoot fire out of. Be careless with the flame-magic and it may just shoot fire out both ends.

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Re: Zombies, Research, and My Senior Project

Postby Jahoclave » Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:52 am UTC

Omegaton wrote:Five page research paper? Five to ten minute oral presentation? I'll echo that this could EASILY be a much bigger project.

It can, a grad student at my university recently did his thesis on zombies, albeit it was an actual in depth analysis of culture and the rise of zombie flicks, which actually corresponds rather well to the fall in alien invasion flicks.

And wouldn't that just impress the bloody hell out of them? It also kind of goes to show just how mild and surface level high school English courses are to what actually gets done at the collegiate level.


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