Topic: Explore And Write About Humanitarian Issues In American Society

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Topic: Explore And Write About Humanitarian Issues In American Society


This project II includes another opportunity to explore and write about humanitarian issues as they emerge in contemporary American society.    There are three texts for you to read and to discuss as you draft and consider your stance and arguments on the social and political issues these patients, persons and characters present.  The first text is a Boston Globe article about a stretch of Albany street near Boston Medical Center where people often gather who are homeless and/or addicted.  The Globe, dismissively calls that stretch of street “Methadone Mile.”( https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/34231)

The second text I will present to you is a power point rendition of portraits of people who occupy Albany St. during the day.  I will give you some background on these portraits and the photographer and Public Health Professor who took them as part of a project on which they were working last year. I have permission to use this PP once, but we cannot copy or photograph the images. 

The third text is a short poem called “ Boarding” by Denis Johnson, a poet who has achieved traditional recognition but who also has authority to speak on this subject because he is self identified as once having been homeless and addicted.( https://apps.bostonglobe.com/graphics/2016/07/methadone-mile/)



The three texts we will be exploring and discussing in class are all very different in tone, genre and voice.  Each projects an aspect of its subject in a way that you can factually describe but you may interpret differently.  Each text presents human beings who, for a multitude of reasons have barriers up around them, both barriers erected by society and geography and barriers that are more personal and individual. Compose an essay where you articulate what you think both the globe article and the poem say about homelessness and addiction.  What are some of the underlying implications about each text’s attitude toward these individuals?  How are they similar and how are they different? This part is an analysis of your interpretation of both texts.  Then construct a one act play where the persona in the poem and two of the characters from the PP portrait gallery or from the Boston Globe article talk to each other about their lives, homelessness and/or addiction. You must use the persona in the poem, but your other two characters can come from the PP or from the Boston Globe article.  Obviously you must go beyond the pictures and the printed words to what you imagine about these human beings. When you begin the one act play part of your project, look on line for the format of a play.  I will find some on line myself to show you as we walk through the project.


First Name, Last Name


Supervisors Name


Scene Act:

In an open market store, Allyssa Bowman wakes up, swallows her 80 Milligrams of methadone, and rushes to work. Allyssa is a Dentist at a Boston clinic. She seems shaky and nervous as she passes people in the streets and hardly talks to anyone when she bumps to one of her client Tony:

Tony: Hello Doctor.

Allyssa: Hi

Tony: Hi, I was just on my way to see you. I realize the medicine you gave me yesterday were not working on me. It could be because of the other pills that I have been swallowing to deal with my depression. Do you have anything strong?

Alyssa: (Looking Down) Do you use other substances?

Tony: what do you mean?

Alyssa: (Feeling challenged) I am sorry, I am not in the right mood, (She then runs away)

--------- Scene --------

Just like in the above act, Homelessness and drug addiction is a common feature in the streets of Boston. According to the globe, there is an open-air drug market which is always in operation on the corners and outside various convenience stores. These store of


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