1.Think carefully about the following passage and the assignment below.
The passion for change almost always leads to tension between those who want change and those who don’t. Most advocates of change equate change with progress, an improvement of some kind. Those supporting the status quo perceive change as a threat—a threat to their well being, a threat to their traditions and values, even a threat to their basic rights. As of yet, no one has devised a way to bring about change without conflict.
Plan and write an essay that comments on the validity of this description of change. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your studies, experience, observation, or reading.
2.Think carefully about the following passage and the assignment below.
We thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place
These words from Edwin Arlington Robinson’s famous poem “Richard Cory” describe what people often feel when they see others who apparently lead happier, richer, more content lives than they do.
The kind of envy to which Robinson refers may serve as a strong motivating force for some people to improve their condition and place in life. On the other hand, envy may be a self-defeating and ultimately frustrating emotion because it may lead people to strive in vain for unattainable goals. In your view, is envy generally a positive or a negative force in people’s lives? To support your position, use reasoning and examples taken from your studies, reading, or personal observation and experience.
3.Think carefully about the following passage and the assignment below.
Educators recognize that academic growth is the highest priority of a school. To assure that academic growth is not impeded by participation in athletics and other activities, certain restrictions must be placed on student participation. These restrictions are intended for the students’ guidance and assistance and are meant to contribute to the achievement of the goals set by schools in carrying out their mission.
• There are nearly 1 million high school football players and about 550,000 basketball players. Of that number, about 250 make it to the NFL and about 50 make an NBA
• Less than 3% of college seniors will play one year in professional basketball.
• The odds of a high-school football player making it to the pros at all—let alone having a career—are about 6,000 to 1; the odds for a high school basketball player
—10,000 to 1.
Adapted from a letter to students written by Cedric W. Dempsey,
President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association
In many high schools, students who fail a certain number of academic courses are ineligible to participate in varsity athletics and other time-consuming extracurricular activities. Do you believe it is proper to link participation in school sports and activities to classroom performance? Plan and write an essay that explains your point of view. Support your opinion with evidence and examples drawn from your studies, reading, observation, or experience.
4.Think carefully about the following passage and the assignment below.
Describing his vision for the world’s future, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told Congress in 1941 that “ . . .we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression. . . . The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. . . . The third is freedom from want. . . . The fourth is freedom from fear.”
All four freedoms are crucial in a free society. Yet, Roosevelt may be faulted for not adding a fifth, a sixth, or even more freedoms to the list. Given the opportunity to add another freedom, what would you choose? Feel free to invent a new freedom or simply pick one that already exists in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your observations, experience,studies, or reading.