Trouble starting a paperHi, I have a paper due in a couple days about "My Endowment" at birth.  I also have to weave a newspaper or magazine article from the day I was born into the paper.  This...

Trouble starting a paper


I have a paper due in a couple days about "My Endowment" at birth.  I also have to weave a newspaper or magazine article from the day I was born into the paper.  This is my first year of doing online classes so I just need a little help understanding how to write this paper.    Not sure if I'm liking this online stuff.  I'm not in the classroom to  ask questions if I need help.  First page need to be my outline with at least three headings and 2 sub-headings.  My first heading I have family listed with parents and Extended family as the subheadings.  In the actual paper he says "Contrary to what the guidelines say, the word "I" is allowed, but do not give me your life history.  If you remember somthing, that's a memory, not endowment."  I guess what I mostly need help with is the endowment part and how to connect it all?  I found a newspaper article too, my birthday is Feb. 2, 1976 so I found an article about groundhog's day.



Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With the idea that an endowment (as often seen with large universities) is money that is set aside to be saved and grow for future generations, I would think of the endowment at your birth as the things you were born with that are "gifts." And since you have been told that memories don't count as endowments, the main idea you present can, I would think, at least be supported by a memory.

For example, if you were given a warm and caring personality, and demonstrated this throughout your childhood by doing things for others, making people feel wanted, and/or even refusing to step on a bug, I would see this as an endowment: a gift given to you that will show a profit as you get older and offer this side of your personality to others.

Post #7 speaks of your heritage: I think that could be part of your endowment as well. I also like post #2 & $6's definitions of endowment: what abilities you have and/or what you "came into life with"—but I think I would lean away from what you have, for that does not accurately show who you are!

It might be cute to include something as a sideline regarding whether the groundhog saw his shadow that day: if so, perhaps it was prophetic and that you were a sunny child or an early bloomer. If it was sunny, perhaps you were a quiet and thoughtful child, or deeply interested in something specific that kept you engaged rather than running around. I agree with post #2 that something about the U.S.'s Bicentennial would be interesting if you can put the right spin on it.

Good advice, given by most, is double-check with your advisor.

Sounds like fun. Give yourself some time to deal with the learning curve. Good luck!!

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Remember also that "endowments" are not "entitlements." An endowment is something inherited from your biological lineage, whether it be skills, hair color, or money. An entitlement is something you believe yourself to deserve because of your biological lineage: respect, money (again).

One thing you could do for your birthdate is to find little-known events that happened on Febuary 2. Everyone knows about Groundhog Day; not everyone knows that James Joyce was born that day in 1882, or that Pedro de Mendoza founded Buenos Aires on that day in 1536, or that Boris Karloff died that day in 1969. Take time to relate events to the things you believe you were born with/into, even if it's little things that you think no one will be interested in.

Think about the meaning of lineage: you are born to certain people and that affects your life in every moment. You can't go home again, but you can decide why your home made you unique from others, and how you act/react with others based on your life and upbringing.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's always best to contact your teacher and do the assignment as the teacher wants you to do it.

Having said that, I am wondering whether, by the word "endowment," the teacher means assets you were born with, such as the following:

1. Being a citizen of the U. S., and thus being endowed with all the rights and freedoms that go with such citizenship (including those in the Bill of Rights to the Constitution).

2. Being born to your particular parents, who may have endowed you with a certain social rank or economic status that may have been advantageous to you, at least in comparison with someone from a lower economic status or social rank.

3. Being born into a particular race, ethnic group, religious group, or gender, which may (or may not) have come with certain advantages.

I wonder if this is the kind of thing meant by "endowment."  The only way to know for sure what your teacher means by that word is to ask your teacher.

Good luck!

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An endowment could be anything that was passed down to you from financial gains to far less tangible gains.  An endowment could be a particular gift or talent that you got from a parent or ancestor.  It could also be the state of the world at the time you were born.  Since you article is about Ground Hogs day, you might want to go with something about the environment you were born into.  An article on finances, talents, or other endowments of the period might be a little easier to work into an article.  You could also look at the attitudes of the people during the time period.  An event like Ground Hogs Day might allow you to give some insights into the mind set and attitudes of the general populous in the year you were born.  You might go on to explain how these ideas shaped the person you became and the way you saw the world.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The word "endowment" can have many meanings. It is often used in a financial sense, referring to money that has been given to institutions to be invested, with the interest used as an income source. I'm guessing this is not the meaning of the word your instructor has in mind.

"Endowment" can also mean "abilities, such as intelligence or strength, given at birth," which I'm guessing is the type of endowment you need to be considering. Connecting this with Groundhog's Day could be tricky, but let's try. Do you like nature? Are you interested in weather patterns? Do you have particularly good feelings about sunny days (or winter days)?

Since your birthdate was in 1976, you could consider finding something related to the 200th birthday of the United States in your endowment.

Interesting assignment! Good luck!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You need to find the link between the article and your own birth and life. Is there a link that you can draw between the year you were born and how that impacted your parents and your life? Is there anything political that you can think of. For example, I was born in 1979 in the UK, which was the year in which Thatcher came to power as Prime Minister. Those of us who were born in this year are known as "Thatcher children" because we were born into a very different political environment from what came before.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, even online instructors are (or at least really should be) available for you to ask them questions.  You are (presumably) paying for this class.  Make the teacher earn his pay!

If he says it's okay to say I but that he doesn't want a life story, I think you should talk about who you are as a person.  You should talk about what aspects of your personality you think you were born with or, perhaps, what aspects of your personality came from the family you were endowed with.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps you could organize your essay around three qualities about yourself that you feel you were endowed with at birth.  Your outline would then explain those endowments and your sub-headings would be you examples of where those endowments have shown themselves as important in your life.  If you feel endowed with patience, then have two sub-headings of specific "show, not tell" examples to prove that you are a patient person.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I have taught online for several years. You can contact your teacher by email or phone. Check the syllabus, but your instructor has probably sent you e-mails or messages. For the endowment question, think about what you came into life with. It might be a large extended family, a family business or rich culture.
sunwers | Student

Thanks so much for your help.  I have started on my paper and I decided to use my family and extended family for the first paragraph.  For the rest I'm using my community and my creative mind.

At the beginning I wasn't so sure about the online classes.  I did email my professor and he replied back within a few hours so that made me feel a lot better.  I honestly would rather take the in-class classes but right now it's just not possible.  But I do feel better about them.

Thanks Again,