In my research paper, I focused on Hattiesburg’s inability to prioritize the right things. I proposed that in order for Hattiesburg to adopt a truly sustainable sewage system, the city priority should be switched from money to sustainability. I used Hattiesburg’s $15 million quick-fix solution to the lagoons in 2010 that were supposed to “begin pre-treatment of industrial wastewater, acquire a new aeration system, and dredge the lagoons to remove the sludge buildup” to show how Hattiesburg spent their money. Unfortunately even with these “fixes,” the lagoons continue to release pollution into recreational bodies of water in Mississippi. I described this decision by Hattiesburg as the need for “instant gratification.” Later in the paper, I used a section of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that showed America’s need for instant gratification. Stephen L. Hopp explains, “Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars. We’re consuming about 400 gallons of oil per year per citizen — about 17% of our nations energy use — for agriculture” (5). The need for everything quickly and cheaply is not just a trait of the City of Hattiesburg, but America.
I incorporated the abstract, underlying ideas in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle into my paper by connecting Hattiesburg’s and America’s priority of money driving the need for instant gratification. Through this incorporation, I demonstrated the ability to “engage texts more critically, and to more appropriately and accurately incorporate the ideas of others in writing.” Just as I incorporated Hopp’s ideas and writing into my research paper, the Avett Brothers incorporate ideas of every member of the group into their songs. They take each skill and the input of each member of the band and put them together to come up with beautiful music.