Even though I have over 100 essays to grade, today is still one of my favorite teaching days of the quarter because I get to assign student’s last essay and it’s an essay I find so important.
The gist of the assignment is this:
Congratulations! You have just been given $10,000. That’s right: TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! How exciting! What are you going to do with this money? Take a dream vacation? Throw the biggest party imaginable for all your friends?
Nope. Sorry. You can’t do any of that. You’re going to take this money and make a difference. You’re going to fix something.
For this essay, you will have a (hypothetical) $10,000 to fix a problem you are passionate about (and if you’re not passionate about something, then you better find a cause). You will have to explain the problem, propose your solution using the money allocated to you, and then justify why the money should be spent the way you deem appropriate. You will then provide, in addition to your essay, a letter of transmittal—a one page business letter to your intended audience that proposes your idea.
This is only the third time I’ve assigned this essay, but in the past I’ve received some amazing essays where the students do figure out a small way to change the world for the better. And for the most part, they are excited about this writing prompt.
I’m thankful I have a small part in that.
I’m also happy because I get to show two great videos (that actually connect to what I’m teaching and the essay even though it might not seem like it from just watching the videos).