Heidi Dietrich
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Heidi Dietrich
Memo on one-month anniversary: how have things changed?

To examine how life today is different than life one month ago, I would first approach the local Muslim community. I would contact mosques in the area and speak with Muslim students from Stanford. I’d want to know, how is your life different? Do you fear being targeted because of your faith? Have you demonstrated your patriotism in some overt manner to avoid being targeted? Do you fear wearing traditional clothing? What does wearing traditional clothing mean to you? How do you feel about passengers being removed from airplanes based on their ethnicity? Do you dread traveling for this reason?

Next, I would focus on a renewed interest in patriotism amongst the American public. I would look for American flags on campus and around the neighborhood, and ask the owners if they feel differently now about being an American. I would visit area stores and find out if patriotic products have seen increased sales, and if stores are doing special orders for certain American-theme products. These could be flags, bandannas, Halloween masks, or clothing.

I would also investigate if Americans are more interested in world events than they were a month ago. Though this would be hard to determine concretely, I would speak to students and community members about whether they’ve begun to follow world events more closely. If they have, I would ask them if they plan to continue an increased interest in world events. I would want to know what their sources are for world news. I would contact local papers and television stations and find out if their circulation or ratings have increased due to the terrorism.

Finally, I would examine how air travel has changed in the last month. I would speak to multiple students who recently flew to the Bay Area, and ask what changes they noticed. I’d contact local airports and find out about new security measures. I would ask community members if they feel safe flying, or if they’d consider alternate methods of transportation instead.

This memo obviously addresses a wide range of topics within the question: how have things changed? Any one of these sub-topics could be developed further and stand alone as a story.

Or, the piece could address all and be longer, with perhaps a focus on how each item ties into the Stanford community.