What obstacles stand before us as we navigate through this world? How do we make the most of our precious few footsteps? Should we focus on individual growth and aspiration, or should we focus on the wellbeing and benefit of those around us? Maybe both? Maybe something else entirely?
As we still try to grapple with all of the impacts that the past few years have had, what is a significant issue that needs to be addressed? WHAT is the advice you would give to your fellow humans about overcoming an obstacle and making the “most of their lives?” WHY should they consider what you have to say? And HOW can it be accomplished?
While there are a number of ways to approach these questions, you will be tasked with reading and responding to the advice provided by a selection of authors. In addition to this, you will be asked to reflect back on your own life in order to identify a specific experience that will help persuade your audience to consider the advice you are giving.
Imagine you are tasked with writing a speech to help a group of SMC College students living in 2021 survive 2021.
Your goal for this assignment is to write an essay that informs your audience about a specific problem they will likely encounter in the current moment, provide advice to help them address the problem, and persuade your audience to consider your advice.
You will be reading a selection of speeches that have a similar audience and/or purpose to your own essay as a starting point. For the essay, you will respond to the ideas put forth by two of the assigned commencement speeches and utilize your own experiences as evidence to support, inform, and/or complicate your own argument.
- Have a clear, identifiable central argument (your advice) that addresses the importance of a particular action for your audience. This advice should be made logical (meaning, you explain the HOW and WHY), and you will need to relay the importance and meaning of the advice in regards to a larger community. In other words think beyond yourself to show your reader this is an issue that applies to them.
- Write a minimum of four (4) full pages (that means to the bottom of the fourth page), use MLA format (Double Spaced, 12pt Baskerville/Times New Roman font), and include a Works Cited Page. The Works Cited Page does not count towards the length requirement.
- David Foster Wallace – “This is Water”
- Zadie Smith – “Don’t Let Your Fellow Humans Be Alien to You”
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – “2015 Commencement Address at Wellesley College”
- There must be at least two quotes from two different speeches from the links provided above please direct the speech at Santa Monica college students and use my story as a reference (this is my story of the essay please use this story to write the essay but add more to it)
- I have always had trouble with anxiety. Other times have been worse than others and I believe this year was the worst it’s ever been. When I was in high school I thought work was so hard and annoying but as I went more It became easy to me everyday I would make it my goal to finish my assignments in class so I would not have homework and I usually complete that goal. When I was in junior year covid had hit and we had to do zoom. I figured it would be easy but I quickly realized how stressful it was because my teachers were not physically there to answer my questions and never had time on the zoom. I was one of those students who asked ten questions every time the teacher mentioned an assignment. The other problem that stressed me out was that my house is never a quiet house. There are always sounds of someone cleaning or vacuuming because my mom is a clean freak and a lot of the time she screams at either me or my sister for doing the smallest thing. My Mom and Dad grew up in Iran and aren’t the brightest when it comes to technology so they do not understand that when I am in a zoom sometimes people can hear when I unmute to ask a question and they can not be screaming all the time or vacuuming. This together gave me anxiety because the teachers would never have time for me and my family would always be loud. I felt stuck and did not know what to do and would always find myself hyperventilating. Soon at the next school year we were
able to do it in school again so I was able to balance it out and my anxiety dropped. After high school my anxiety reached its all time high. I did not know how to register or sign up for classes or what classes to take because I never did any of it before and my parents couldn’t help me. Once I was able to figure out what classes to pick I did not know what to expect and was scared. All my friends had gone to pierce college or to a university and I was the only one at SMC so I felt like I was in this alone. I remember the day the classes started and my first discussion came around and I was stressing out so much because I did not understand and just wanted to give up. At the time I was also studying for my real estate exam which would stress me out greatly. I remember I would just wake up with anxiety because I knew I had assignments and did not know how to do them and no one could help me. It had gotten to the point where I would stay up till three in the morning pulling hairs out of my head because I feared I was gonna fail everything. I felt like crap everyday thinking like this and I would never go out with my friends anymore, I would just stay home and be sad because I felt like I couldn’t do anything. After a month My friend realized how I always looked stressed and would never want to leave the house and had told me he would help me and that moping is not gonna make anything easier. I told myself I need to create a schedule for when I start my work everyday and when to stop so I do not over stress myself. I started to wake up super early and eat breakfast and do my work and I felt a lot better. My friend who pushed me did not even have my classes or go to the same school as me and still did his best to help me. He gave me tips and advice and websites and numbers for the tutors he uses and told me he would help shape my future semesters for my next classes so that I could create a schedule and losemy anxiety. My hero was my friend. They saved me from not eating everyday and pulling out hair over assignments and other problems in my life.