Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog 8

For this week’s reading, I read an article, “Serving Up Hope”, a short story, “A Father” and two poems called “Directions for Resisting the SAT” and “First Practice”. All of these works has the common theme of taking control of your own life. In “Serving Up Hope”, journalist Stephanie Shapiro discusses an opportunity Galen and Bridget Samson created for those who are struggling financially by allowing them to work and become trained in the culinary field. By using a traditional Indian father and more Americanized mother and daughter, Bharati Mukherjee relays the message of being strong and not letting yourself get pushed around. “Directions for Resisting the SAT” written by Richard Hague urges students to not listen to anyone else and to make their own decisions. The other poem by Gary Gildner, “First Practice”, encourages readers to not let others force them into something they do not want to do and to seize any chance that comes by. At Care-A-Van, many of the people we serve have obstacles in their way of their dreams. It might be from the lack of money or maybe from a health issue. Either way, I believe anyone can overcome those obstacles if they give enough effort and try hard.

“Serving Up Hope” is an inspiring article about helping others less fortunate. Not only are Galen and Bridget creating jobs, but they are developing life skills, propelling them on a career path and taking the addicts’ minds off of drugs and their problems. I am glad this article was published in the Baltimore Sun because it raises awareness and shows the public that we need to work together to solve this ongoing issue. Also Galen and Bridget are perfect examples of people who make a difference in other people’s lives while still doing what they love. This article has inspired me to keep giving back to the community and to continue my involvement with Care-A-Van and CCSJ.

Bharati Mukherjee’s short story, “A Father”, is about a Indian father whose traditional values clash with those of a more Americanized wife and daughter. In the beginning of the story, it describes the father and mother’s morning rituals. The father introduces his daughter to readers as being intelligent saying, “she had been the only female student in most of her classes at Georgia Tech…” (Mukherjee 909). Immediately after his praise, he states that she is not the ideal child and criticizes her modern clothing and ideas. The father continues saying his biggest regret is moving to America. He let his wife persuade him to move away from his fulfilling job and life in Bombay to the stress of the process of immigration to a foreign country. The end of the story reveals all of the father’s feelings revealed when he injures or even kills his daughter’s unborn child. I believe the author is telling readers to take control of the situation before it gets out of hand. Some of the people have to use Care-A-Van or other meal programs as a last resort. If some people use their money more wisely, they would not be struggling as much and their situation would not be as bad. I am not just talking about those who we serve at Care-A-Van, but also addicts and gamblers.

I found Richard Hague’s poem, “Directions for Resisting the SAT”, quite relatable. As a college student, I know it is the norm to take the SAT or ACT in high school. Hague is telling students to not follow others and to make decisions on their own. The last lines, “Listen to no one. / Make your marks on everything.” (lines 15-16) directly state to readers not to be pressured or influenced by anything or anyone. Today, it is hard for young adults to make their own decisions because of the media and social pressures. They are pressured into going into continuing their education, whether they want to or not. A couple of weeks ago, we met a man on Care-A-Van whose parents forced him to go to college. After a year, he dropped out and found a job. Although he is tight with money now, he said he felt happy with his job and does not regret his decision.

Gary Gildner’s poem, “First Practice” describes an athlete’s first practice with a new coach. The coach is a typical one that pushes his or her athlete’s to be the best they can be so they can achieve the ultimate goal of winning. The coach can also represent a teacher or parent. Because the coach is so forceful, Gildner tells readers to seize any chance that passes by, otherwise they will be stuck with the coach and difficult practices. On Care-A-Van when we are packing up and have extra sandwiches, we offer seconds or allow people to take extras. If people do not grab that chance to receive more sandwiches, the sandwiches will be gone. Even those small chances can make a huge difference in one’s life.

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