Nicholas Irvine - 02.08.2011
For today’s reading and for the event I witnessed last week there seemingly is no reoccurring theme except for, as I perceived to be finding happiness in the situations that had come upon them. The readings: John Milton “When I consider how my light is spent”, William Shakespeare “My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun”, and One Word written by Elizabeth Gilbert; all develop a sense of making what is best to them in their undesirable situations. My event, entitled, DPE A.C.T.O.R. conversation, dealt with black history month and the remembrance of their struggle with slavery and how far they have come, dealing with the abuse for years.
The first reading I did for today was One Word by Elizabeth Gilbert. This short story dealt with the narrators view on the city of Rome and of different cities she had come upon throughout her life. The narrator, I presumed was a woman, goes onto explain how now she is in Rome she loves it but does not know why she still feels like she does not fully fit in there. Her friends describe how its the word of the city that describes it, using sex to describe Rome, this the narrator proclaims is why she doesn’t fit in there because her word is not sex. But even though she realizes she does not fully fit in there she still manages to enjoy her life and manages to have fun in Rome making the best out of her situation she is in.
Next I read William Shakespeare’s sonnet entitled “My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun”, I got a completely different feel for it than I did with the other story. This sonnet seemingly is a satire, making fun of what a normal poem of that time would normally include as it describes his mistress and how devastating she looks with “black wires grow[ing] on her head”. Although, after saying all this the last two lines, I assumed change the whole mood of the sonnet. I believe at the end Shakespeare proclaims that even with all her flaws he feels like he has true love with her. This once again is the theme of finding happiness out of the worst situations.
The final reading of the week was the poem by John Milton – “When I consider how my light is spent”. This poem once again is much different than the other two readings for today as it details Milton’s life. He writes how the light from his life was unwelcomingly taken out of his life and how it changed the world for him. Once again I interpreted this poem as Milton makes the most out of his situation as he now cannot see the world but he can feel it and he seeks happiness in that he still feels like he needs to serve God with whatever challenges God puts forth for Milton, making him try and make the best out of this situation as he could.
The event I attended for this week was called DPE A.C.TOR conversation. This was a small event where people from the audience questioned a panel about their history, how things have changed and their education about their families and race past. Seeing as it is February it is Black history month so the event focused only on the African-American race. As audience members we were given detailed questions that really made the panel think deep and really engage the audience. Many of these questions related back to the life they live now, slavery and their opinions about if they still thought people looked down upon them as a terrible history has shown. The way these people answered the questions were very thoughtful and really hit upon the same theme I found in today’s readings, the fight for happiness no matter what situation your put in. Many of them said they still have friends that didn’t make it to college and probably wont be able to better themselves anymore because of the situation and places they were brought up but for them they see this, Loyola University, as an opportunity to lead and they look back on the past and try to learn from it, because of the major struggles that occurred and how now all they have to do is pass a class to better themselves. This event really took off on the idea of being happy no matter what like the readings due for today.
The readings for today and the event I attended all had the similar theme of trying to figure out what is best for you and make the most of it no matter what situation you were in. As I read them it gave me a new insight in that you should always look for the positives in what’s happening in your life and learn from negatives, moving forward stronger and as a better, happier more fulfilled person.