Jocie Spitz, GBP Student
Boston is a big, complex city. As a main hub for the east coast, where our local politics and sports are noted throughout the entire country, our city is experiencing challenges that are important locally and nationally. From the opioid epidemic to the Green Line expansion, there are many crucial issues happening daily in our backyard. In our Greater Boston Project class, we learned how to create Current Event Discussions (CED) that allowed us to look into the events happening in Massachusetts, give a short synopsis, and ask question about how the audience felt. We also gave a Current Event Presentation (CEP), which provided us with the opportunity to choose a major event within Massachusetts, pick a side of the issue to argue for, and present in front of a small group. With these types of assignments, our class learned and practiced how to research, write, and present to a group of people what we had learned.
Presenting current events allowed for detailed discussions, and learning how turn that information into a paper was important as it gave us the knowledge to take what we have learned in this paper and use it for essays in the future; that is where the Current Event Essay (CEE) we just finished comes in. The CEE takes what we have learned in the CED and the CEP, including how to research and find sources, and put them together into a presentation, as well as learning new things, such as adding statistics into a narrative structure for a new type of essay. This project also gave us an opportunity to learn about another topic more in detail, as the topics used had to be different then the topic picked for the CEP. Each student in the class was allowed to choose almost any topic for their essay, which gave meaning to what was written. If we weren’t interested in a specific topic, trying to find information and write an essay would have been difficult. I can relate to this as I look back on some of the essays I've written about books and historical topics that were not my favorite. This essay will not only help us now, but also in college and beyond in our future endeavors. Although we have written many essays throughout our high school careers, most of us have not written essays with statistics added in or with an event going on that hasn’t ended yet.
Although there are many events going on in Massachusetts, for me, choosing a topic to write about was a difficult choice. With a list of superficial events that the class is not allowed to write about, such as sports, weather, and the presidential election, picking a topic with the goal to explore more involved themes was a little easier, but not much. With many people writing about General Electric moving its headquarters and its likely effect on Boston, or about marijuana joining the ballot to become legalized, I wanted to use a topic that wasn’t on the minds of everyone in the class; so, I chose to write about the MBTA’s Green Line expansion, which is still a major issue in boston today. I began my research by reading many different articles and trying to understand how people who used the T for work and their social lives feel about it and why this change might be necessary. From my research, I learned that, like all issues, there are two distinct sides to the issue with valid arguments and agendas. With that, I had to pick a side of the debate, as this is a persuasive essay. I chose to argue that the Green Line expansion should continue. The opposing side of this debate is, although the extension had already started, that the extension should be stopped as there are many considerations and setbacks, such as cost. With this, I can’t wait to show what I have learned about the green line expansion and completing this essay.
A map of the proposed Green Line extension. (Image from StreetsBlog USA)
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