Changing My School, with a Single Essay

Sixth grade was a year of inspiration for me and my classmates. Out of any subject that our teacher taught us, the one with the most focus throughout the entire year was writing. Being part of a double-jump classroom, me and the other students thought hard about what we were going to write about, especially when it came to our final papers. The assignment: an argumentative essay.

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For a long time, most of my classmates never thought that our sixth grade writing would make a difference, but this time we had to make a difference, in one way or another. Our goal was to write a piece that’s persuasive and interesting enough to convince another person to agree with our idea. Pretty simple in concept, but certain sets of people can be pretty tough to establish your idea to.

From second to fourth grade, our favorite game to play in gym was “Space Invaders”. No, not the Atari version. Space Invaders was a game where members of two teams go between hiding behind small barriers, throwing balls to the other side of the gym, and dodging incoming balls. Each player would throw balls at the other team’s players’ bottom torsos to get them out with soft, “gator-skin” balls. The majority of our class always looked forward to this game, until one day in fourth grade when all of it would change…

One of the first days of gym and me and my classmates were all excited to come in and play Space Invaders. However, our eagerness to play soon died down, as our P.E. teacher informed the class that the school district had recently placed a ban on dodgeball, which had included Space Invaders. My classmates and I were devastated. We knew that Space Invaders had barely any relation to dodgeball, but what were we going to do about it?
We were only fourth graders, right?!

That last line was what inspired me to make my argumentative paper about bringing back Space Invaders. I could finally do something about our long-lost game, and in the name of our entire class. But would my essay be able to convince the gym teachers?

I spent a little more than a month preparing, writing, and revising my paper (with some help from the rest of the class). Not only did I want a good grade, but every classmate wanted this essay to make it through the challenge of bringing the game back to our gym class.

The day the essay was due, and I was completely prepared. I gave the paper to our teacher, and then ran down to the gym. Even though I was keeping quiet, a huge number of my classmates told our teachers about my essay. I wasn’t sure how they’d take the idea, but at the end of class one of our teachers actually came to me and asked for a link to the document. I thought it was awesome that they were willing to take a look at my proposal, but that still didn’t confirm that we’d have Space Invaders back in the curriculum. All my and my friends could do is wait.

Around 3 days had passed, and I got an email from the gym teachers. Thankfully, they kept an open mind while reading my essay and it persuaded them to add the game back to the listings. It really showed me that no matter how young you are, you can always make a difference for years to come, even if it’s right in your hometown, no matter how sappy that may sound. This was my inspiration for The ESSAYER.

A link to the referenced essay here.

Nicholas Lucchetto, The ESSAYER

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