Over the course of this school year, one of my main goals has been to learn more about my community and my place within it. Despite the fact that I have been a part of some of these communities for 18 years, I’ve never taken the time to truly think about how my community affects me until now. This year, I have been challenged to consider my community more and that newfound knowledge has impacted me in ways I never would have imagined. Now I am more aware of the people and situations around me and how I am playing a role within this community.
Consider how place influences a person
A community is interesting in the respect that it influences us while we influence it. This year has opened my eyes to the way a place can influence a person and I believe that this revelation is shown throughout my writing. One piece that shows this understanding is a draft I wrote titled, “Me in My Community“. Although this was only draft work, I was able to show how my community has personally influenced me. I explain the ways in which I have been affected when I write, “It’s easy to fit in here because Lincoln has provided me with countless opportunities and the people to make those experiences happen.” Once again I was able to show how I place influences a person within my Hamlet final project. In this piece, I connect Shakespeare’s piece to the way our community impacts people today. For example, in the section “Like it, Wear it, Share it.”, I highlight how our community influences the way teenagers act, dress, and promote themselves among others. Throughout this year, I have used literature and my own pieces writing to show how a place can work to influence people on a variety of levels.
Develop a celebratory and critical perspective of your community.
Not only are communities distinct, but so are the perspectives that develop regarding them. As this year progressed, I was able to form a perspective of my community that is both celebratory and critical. Of all of my pieces that focus on my community, I believe that my community response best represents this objective. Rather than explaining the surface level opinion of “midwestern Nebraska, I managed to find myself immersed in a culture whose home was on the other side of the world.” This piece allowed me to analyze how each culture has a place within a community. By realizing that there is more than meets the eye in my community, I was able to develop a perspective that celebrates the place I call home. Instead of writing about the presuppositions of Nebraska, I showed another side to our community that most people don’t see. This side is unique and should be celebrated as much as other traditions in our community.
Learn how to address issues as you learn about them in your community.
Each community is affected by a variety of issues and mine is no different. This year, I have become more aware of the problems that members of my community face on a daily basis. With this understanding comes the ability to address these issues. One way I was able to address an issue in my community was through my Senior Action Project. In my research paper, I focused on the issue of hunger in America. This piece helped me to realize how issues in a community are multifaceted and this leads to different ways of addressing the problem. For example, I wrote that “Battling food insecurity has proven difficult because, despite the fact that most agree on the necessity of aid, people remain split on how to administer help to those in need.” Throughout this piece, I mentioned a variety of methods to addressing the problem such as Food Stamps and food banks. When it came time to do my presentation, I was able to address the issue in my own community by volunteering with the Food Bank of Lincoln. Throughout my writing, I came to the understanding that many issues in my community are more complex than meets to eye and that we must assess the situation before acting to solve the issue.