#3: Food Distribution, Drugs in High Schools, and Transgender Bathrooms

To being my third blog post, I had to decide upon a number of adults that I respected enough to interview. My choices were as follows, my mother, my father, and a family friend. The former two were easy picks because they were very convenient, knowledgeable, and I knew them very well. The latter I chose because she was more enthusiastic than many of my other choices. Next, I had to formulate a structure to my interviews. I finally decided upon a five question format because I felt that it would extract just enough information. I came to this conclusion because the amount of paragraphs in a typical essay was also five, consisting of an introduction, three body paragraphs (questions in this circumstance), and a conclusion. Ironically the same format I chose for this post.

The first question I asked to my mother was “What social issue in Vermont is most important to you and your family?” To this, she responded, “That’s an interesting question; I feel that food distribution, no, food economics is most important to my life.” This seemed like an interesting yet foreign response. I after learning what ‘food economics really was’ I continued our interview. Next, I asked why this is important and how can it be solved. She said that food is related to our physical, mental, and emotional health which is incredibly important to everyone. She ended our conversation with her closing thoughts, “It is imperative that all people patronize our local produce.”

My father’s ideas were mostly around the topic of drug addiction with teenagers. He related his interactions with police officers, sharing that one said we were, “losing the war” on drugs. This issue seemed to hit really close to home for him because of his explanation, “talented young minds are being lost to highly addictive drugs”, saying that we need to educate our youth on the making and distribution of those substances. The interview ended with him sharing his high hopes for our new generation and their struggles.

The final interviewee I talked with was a friend of my mother’s, Jeanne. She told me about how gender identity issues affect the bathroom situation in her community. Jeanne felt strongly about this because she lived in Europe for a time a is used to many multi-gender public bathrooms which she had a positive experience with. She wanted people to understand the perspective of transgender people and their struggle with confidence and going to the bathroom in which they feel the most comfortable.

To summarize, I interviewed three adults on social issues. I used a loosely-structured approach to interviewing, more like a conversation. My mother wanted people to know about the importance of food distribution a proper health. Her friend strongly wanted progressive policies on transgender bathrooms. And my father felt that teenagers need more education about the life cycle of drugs and how it negatively affects young minds.

Wilson, Pam J. “Food Distribution.” Personal interview. 25 Sept. 2016.
Wilson, Chris C. “Drugs in High Schools.” Personal interview. 25 Sept. 2016.
Gilles, Jeanne. “Transgender Bathrooms.” Telephone interview. 25 Sept. 2016.
Ben Wilson

2 Responses to “#3: Food Distribution, Drugs in High Schools, and Transgender Bathrooms

  • Hello again, Ben!

    I think that this piece really shows how diverse views on the social issues in our community are. It’s a wonderful representation of three different points of view. Bravo!


  • Bill Rich
    6 years ago


    Just read through all your blog posts. Before I dive right into your topic search / interviews, I want to let you know that I’ve never had anyone self-identify as a “card thrower.” I’m intrigued (and clueless). Do you throw them at targets? A cheating poker player? Something else?

    Enjoyed reading through your approach to interviewing your parents and your mom’s friend, Jeanne. One things for sure: there’s no shortage of topics out there. There are a lotta ways to make a difference in our world, though it’s key that you have some sort of fire / passion for what topic you choose. Otherwise, when the going gets tough, it will be hard to sustain your commitment to the work.

    You did a good job describing what your three interviewees had to offer, though I couldn’t tell from your post if you got any closer to choosing a topic. If you’re still undecided, I’d recommend doing some reading about the topics you’re considering. For example, in the current edition of Seven Days (Sept 21-28), there’s an article title Ethical Eating (p 44), which describes how philosophy professors approach thinking about food systems. Moreover, a simple Google Search will provide you lots of reads related to all three of the topics you heard about during your interviews.

    For most successful change agents, having a personal stake in the issue provides the passion I previously mentioned. Of the three issues your interviewees mentioned, which one hits closest to home to you? If none of them do, what is a topic that hits closer to home for you?

    Two more thoughts. First, good to see that you cited these interviews. Even though we’re early in the process, this is a good habit. Second, I’m glad that you’re so excited to use the media kit to document / tell the story you settle on. These tools weren’t available when I was your age, and I totally get the allure. What makes them a BLAST to use: finding a topic we care enough about so that we really learn a lot about it, before we begin using these powerful story telling tools. Gotta have a good story to tell, and gotta have a deep understanding of the story to leverage the power and fun of these tools.

    Eager to hear about your next steps.


    Bill Rich

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