Monday, February 7, 2011

Week 3 Event and Poems

Upon reading the 3 pieces of literature that were assigned this week I found many similarities in all of them. All three authors write about their struggles and their ability to find who they are and overcome their disabilities, personal doubts or questions about their love life. All push forward and make a personal discovery about their attitudes and feelings toward themselves.

The first poem I read was “When I consider how my light is spent” by John Milton. This title struck me as interesting. At first I thought it read, “When I consider how my life is spent but I quickly found my error and found out it was light. As I read the poem it became evident very quickly in the second line that the light John Milton was referring to was his blindness. He wonders how his days could be spent if he could see. His doubts in the first half the poem are evident, “Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent.” He is distraught at his blindness and desperately wishes to be able to see the world through his own two eyes. His doubts turn worse as he begins to think God has denied him sight. In a turn of events he realizes that the disabled are God’s people too. It does not matter whether he is blind or not because the greatest gift you can give to God is serving and worshipping him, no matter your physical state. In the end Milton realizes his struggle will not be in vain as one day he will await paradise.

The next poem I read was “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare. In this poem Shakespeare describes his lover in the most brutal way possible. He starts even with his title, saying that his mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun. He goes on comparing the beauties of nature with her and every time she falls up short in comparison. As I was reading the poem I questioned why Shakespeare would refer to his mistress as pretty much uglier than everything that he compared her to. I found my answer in the last line. Shakespeare is trying to prove a point through this poem by not lying about his mistress’ appearance or beauty. He realizes beauty is only a physical thing that won’t last forever. He loves his mistress for who she is a person and to him lying about your significant other’s appearance means nothing if you don’t truly love them as much as you say you do.

The last piece of literature I read was “One Word” by Elizabeth Gilbert. In this piece she is in Rome, Italy on a trip. She was originally in Venice and now she is almost glad to be in Rome where things are a little less conservative and seemingly more fun. As she is in Rome she meets up with her friend’s husband Giulo. He begins to ask her how she likes Rome. She tells him that it is nice but it is definitely not for her. She sees the prototypical Roman woman, short skirt, wearing 4-inch heels and fancy sunglasses. Giulo then tells her something she never knew. He tells her that every city has one word to define it. “For Rome it is SEX.” According to Giulo it is the only thing that every citizen of Rome is ever thinking about. When Giulo asks her what her word is she can’t answer him because she has no idea. The story than moves forward to what she did today. She went out and bought tons of lingerie. After she was done she had no idea why she went out and bought it. She questions herself and asks one very important question, “Per chi?” or for whom in English. Since she has tried to identify herself she has done something maybe she didn’t want to do, but at least she isn’t sitting in mystery. She is going out and experimenting with the world for herself.

The event I attended was Dr. Andrea Leary’s “Art of the Argument.” In this presentation Dr. Leary talked about a major issue that is affecting the State of Maryland today. Every day 19,000 students in Maryland wait. They don’t wait for class to end, they don’t wait for their bus and they don’t wait for the weekend. They are waiting to be appreciated by the state of Maryland for their disabilities. 19,000 students are waiting for various community services they need. Over 94% of this population needs at least one service to be performed for them.

To me this isn’t right. Everybody should be treated equal and fair with the same opportunities as any other resident of this state. The emotion that Dr. Leary spoke with was moving. The hardships that the disabled students in Maryland experience are mind boggling and left me wondering what I could do to help this situation.

Dr. Leary referred the audience to many websites such as the End the Wait now Campaign ( Adults who work can check off line 38 on their Maryland Tax return form. By checking this off, “Marylanders can contribute a portion of their tax return to fund community supports & services for people with developmental disabilities.” The site has various tabs, which shows their mission statement, facts and figures about disabilities in Maryland and the United States and FAQ’s for people who are interested in joining their cause. I personally have liked their page on Facebook and over the semester I intend to try to get more involved in their cause.

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