Choosing a Topic

Capstone is something that all the fifth graders at Heathcote School complete. In this, a student chooses a topic he/she is interested in and then researches a question relating to the topic. Capstone involves interviews, sight visits and 6-8 weeks of continuous toil and research.

For me, choosing the topic was fairly simple. Ever since third grade, when I read the Percy Jackson series, I have been interested in Ancient Greece. I pride myself on knowing many of their gods which I learned from different books. But I didn’t know too much about life as a Greek citizen. So I wanted to learn about that. Yet when I talked to my teacher about this, she said it was a bit broad so I decided to research Sparta, an ancient Greek state known for its strength and army, which was said to never question orders.

Mrs. Cooper, my teacher had us answer a question sheet which could help us find our topic, such as what field trips we would like to go on or what books we liked to read. For me, this was a bit pointless as I already knew what I wanted to do. But the questions asked about certain areas of expertise and what we enjoyed studying about. What was interesting though, was that I changed my second choice after answering the questions from horses to the Ancient Incas. I realized that the Ancient Incas were an interesting civilization and it might be fun to research how scientists recovered their remnants and crafted together hypotheses from those.

The only thing I am worried about with my topic, Greece, is that I might get a bit bored if I read the really long novels about every little detail in Greece. Also, there are tons of different sights in which different information is displayed. I might get confused if every source says something different.

Other than that, I am excited for Capstone. I really think that Ancient Greece will be an interesting topic to study.

Social Issues

I think that a social issue that kids these days face is peer pressure. I feel like this is a really important issue when it comes to problems because it’s a lot like bullying, except you’re bullied by your friends. Peer pressure and bullying are very similar. Just like bullying, it’s hard to stand up to your friends, to say ‘no.’ And also, peer pressure makes it harder to stand up too, because you’re scared that your friends won’t like you if you stand up to them. In bullying, victims don’t necessarily care about how the bully thinks about them. Sure, it’s still hard to stand up too, but that’s the same in peer pressure. They’re very similar, except people don’t think peer pressure to be as big an issue as bullying. It often gets overlooked, though it’s just as important a matter.

In addition, as similar to bullying, when pressured by peers you are forced to do things against your will. Kids who give in to peer pressure probably heer a nagging voice in the back of their heads saying this isn’t right. I shouldn’t do it. But they ignore it. So they go against their wills. They might start thinking thoughts that aren’t their own, such as should I drink more wine or should I stay up past 2. Kids don’t realize how their friends are giving them bad advice, so they simply follow it. T After all, that is easier. Their own thoughts get jumbled, which definitely isn’t good.

Finally, if experiencing peer pressure, you are pressured to do something that isn’t right, like drink wine at 16 or wear inappropriate clothing.Usually, for giving in, you experience trouble from parents and teachers, maybe even the police if you do something as bad as steal. Sometimes, the friend who was pressuring you escapes while you take the blame. You can almost always expect trouble from giving in to peer pressure,  even if it isn’t your fault.

I think that peer pressure is more of an issue today than it used to be because now, kids are getting more rebellious and new inappropriate fads are coming in. Such as the fact that a while ago, wine was outlawed for everybody and making out in public was considered really bad. Also, children are more likely to experience peer pressure as they got older because that’s when kids discover their rebellious nature. For example, kids in kindergarten don’t worry too much about peer pressure, while kids in high school do.

This is why I think that peer pressure is an important issue to be addressed. Because when people are bullied by those whom they call friends, things won’t be good for them.