For this week’s event, I attended the “What Would Romero Do” discussion. Oscar Romero was a Salvadorian Archbishop in El Salvador. He was known for speaking out against the government, talking directly to Salvadorian soldiers telling them not to obey the government. While celebrating mass on March 24th 1980, he was shot as he was offering the body and blood of Christ up on the altar. Many theories arose to who could have killed the archbishop and it was clear that it was the work of the government of El Salvador who wanted him to stop speaking out against human rights violations that they were committing. Tens of thousands of people came out to his funeral and soldiers opened fire on the civilian crowd. It is estimated that 30-50 people died at his funeral. To me it was clear this man was very influential. One of his most famous quotes that he said two weeks before he was eventually shot and killed was, “If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadorians.” It is almost like he knew that he was going to die for what he believed in and he showed no fear as he kept his mission alive in the hearts of the citizens of El Salvador.
For this week’s readings we had to read, “A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee, “Serving up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro, “Directions for Resisiting the SAT” by Richard Hague and “First Practice” by Gary Gildner. Of all the readings, my favorite was “First Practice” by Gary Gildner. I was able to relate to it the most having played sports my entire life. The type of coach that the main character was I have had time and time again.
“A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee was about a very religious and superstitious Indian man living in Detroit. For all his life he has worshiped the important God of his Hindu religion Kali-Mata. Also for his entire time being married, his mother and his daughter have pushed him around. He is a non-confrontational person and never gets angry and keeps his feelings to himself. One day after superstition arises because he neighbor sneezes and that is a bad omen, he decides to take the day off from work. As he walks back into the house he notices his daughter hasn’t left for work yet. He hears sounds of vomiting coming from the bathroom. It does not take him long to ascertain that she may be pregnant. He keeps this suspicion to himself until one day he hears his wife and his daughter fighting because the mother finds out she is pregnant. He snaps finally and yells at both of them for not knowing anything about anything. His daughter smirks and tells him that she purposely got pregnant from a donor and the story ends as he strikes her belly with a rolling pin to rid the baby from her.
The next reading was a news article published in the Baltimore Sun titled “Serving up Hope.” The article was about how an experienced culinary chef and his wife started up a restaurant to duel as a place to eat and a place to train former drug addicts how to cook and get their lives back together. To me I found this article very touching and admirable. The Sampson’s took their passion and used it to help others who are having a hard time with their lives. Through the program, Sampson hopes to get drug addicts off of the streets and teach them to live again through the joy of cooking. I believe that he and his wife are excelling at this and more people like them need to be present in our current world.
The first poem I read was “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague. I found this poem to be extremely humorous because the author made fun of books that try to tell you what to actually do on the SAT. Often debate arises because you can be rejected by a college based on this one single test. Your grades can only get you so far and then on one Saturday morning you take a 5-hour test to determine where you will go to college. In my opinion, the SAT isn’t the best way to judge a student. It doesn’t identify you as a person, you’re just a number and if your number is higher than everybody else, you are better.
The final reading and my favorite was “First Practice” by Gary Gildner. In the poem, the author describes the tension of a first practice and if the coach is obsessed with winning it can be a long season. I’ve played lacrosse all my life and I’ve run into some intense coaches but my high school coach took the cake. When I made the varsity squad sophomore year I felt the pressure by my coach to outperform everybody else and win everything. This continued to junior year where in the final round of the county tournament I was pressured to take one of the state’s top defenders 1 on 1 and score the game-tying goal. As I ran past him I shot wide and the game ended. I collapsed on the field in tears as my teammates reassured me that it was “okay dude you tried your best.” My coach kept the game film and showed it to us next year during tryouts. He replayed the part where I missed the shot at least 3 times. I walked out of the film room and quit the team the next day. As a captain this confused everybody but lacrosse wasn’t a game to me anymore. I had been so bred to win and used to winning that when I lost I couldn’t handle it. Quitting the game was the hardest decision of my life, but I realized through it that life isn’t about winning, as much as you want it to be.