This past weekend for an event I volunteered to help out my coach, Mark Mettrick, and Farther Jack tutor and train inner city Baltimore students (between the ages of about 7 – 14) to play soccer. This seemingly a chore at first turned out to be much more fun then I first anticipated, the kids all welcoming and happy to be there to just have fun and play on the turf field we have here at Ridley. There were about four other soccer players there to help the kids learn some basic skills and another six or so students who I presumed to be their tutors and they knew them previously. We taught them how to dribble and with the ball by playing games with them on the field which at the beginning I found to be awkward but it turned out really fun during it as they were all competitive but still just wanted to have fun. After that we took them for a tour around Ridley stadium showing them locker rooms, a few others rooms and then ended up in the media room where they were allowed to ask us questions. Obviously with there age they just wanted to have fun so they were laughing and joking around with all of us including the coaches but one thing we all did as soccer players were to subtly pound into there heads if they ever want to play at somewhere like here or have these sort of facilities at there disposal they needed to stay in school and get good grades. As a parting gift we bought them pizza to finish it off. All of them were grateful and were really looking forward to coming back to play on the field again and watch the men’s soccer team play this year. This experience taught me a lot because it felt like we made what those kids only hear about come true by being college students and showing them what is out there if they just try and stay in school and I think it will have a long lasting impression on them.
For the readings this week we read two poems: “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague, and “First Practice” by Gary Gildner. The first poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT” was very impressionable on me because I felt I connected with it well as it both referenced the SATs and leaving a mark on everything you do. It claims that luck can affect your life but you should take all credit for what you’ve done and not explain it that way. This relates back to the event I did because I believe I left a mark on those kids lives for the better and hopefully more of them will go to college instead of drop out of high school.
The second poem for today was “First Practice” by Gildner also affected my life as it explained a coach who seemed to feel like winning was more important than anything else in life, as he tried to continue his legacy with the kids leaving an impression on them just as I did to the kids I trained and just as Hague believed you should do on everything.
The third reading for today was not a poem but a story written by Bharati Mukherjee entitled A Farther. This story described the interactions between a farther and his daughter, as she was pregnant at a young age. This troubled the father as he believed he left a ‘mark’ on her daughter as Hague described in the poems, that was impressionable enough to stop her from making these poor choices and be a perfect girl as her farther always wanted. Mr. Bhowmick only wanted to leave an impressionable mark on his daughter for the better by looking out for her best interests just like, I tried to do with the children and it seemed like the coach and Hague tried to both do as well.
The final reading “Serving up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro is also another instance of trying to make the world a better place by leaving your mark there. This article explains how they use their skills, cooking, in this case to help people rejoining society to find jobs and get back on there feet. This once again relates to Hague’s argument about doing what is right in order to leave a legacy in this world for people to look up to and admire.