October 31, 2012
This Monday, because of the storm, service at Acts4Youth was canceled. However, past weeks have really stuck out to me still, and I am constantly thinking about my time helping out underprivileged boys. I look very forward to seeing the faces I have grown close to over the past few weeks every Monday. Two poems we read this week titled, “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” written by Richard Hague, and “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner, and a short story called “A Father,” by Bharati Mukherjee, all can be related to the service I have done. This is because of the idea of breaking away from what people tell you to do and follow what you believe in, the idea of continuing something that may be difficult, and the idea of having respect for everyone.
The poem about taking the SAT’s stresses the lack of purpose of them for students. The author says things like “Do not believe in October or May,” and “Do not observe the rules of commas and history.” When first reading, the theme of the poem seems pretty straight forward; do not take the SAT’s because they are pointless for life. However, a deeper meaning than this can be conveyed because the author really is saying that just a test will not define a person, and not following the norm of these days is what is important. At the end he says to “Desire to live whole, and follow no directions.” These words are strong because the author wants the reader to know he or she can do what she wants to do in life. Service is somewhat like this since it allows us to be who we want to be, to serve and help others in need. It lets us be free to help others; not because we have to but because we want to.
The poem “First Practice” represents the situations of people beginning their first of “something.” A first time at anything can be a little nerve-racking and scary. It also may be difficult to accomplish because nerves kick in as well as the fear of losing. In the poem I believe the speaker is talking about either a first practice of a sport, and is relating it to the military. These two things can be similar since there is both a coach and a general telling the men what to do. However, the poem also represents endurance and strength to continue what is important. “And if we are to win that title I want to see how,” is a line in the poem that really shows the coaches hopes for the team. In service, there is neither a coach nor a general telling us what to do, but there are the boys that I am helping that subconsciously desires for us to “win” in serving them. When I see them and how well they can do in life I really strive to serve because I want to and know it will be best for them.
The short story “A Father” is about a man and his wife who have a daughter as well. The story ends up telling us that the daughter is pregnant from a father who is “a bottle and a syringe.” This is totally against Mr. and Mrs. Bhowmick’s practices, and the pregnant daughter’s father ends up hitting her stomach with a rolling pin as hard as he can. This story teaches us that respect for everyone is critical. The father of the daughter should be excited for her new baby, no matter where the baby is from. He has to learn how to be a proud grandfather, and this even connects to how Kahu’s great-grandfather, Koro, needs to respect her. Service can be related to this because even though we may not connect to every boy at Acts4Youth right away, we need to learn how to respect every single one of them. This is important in life as well because that is what makes the world function.
These important aspects of following what you want to do, never giving up, and having respect for everyone all can relate to service. These are important to follow through with because in order to succeed in serving, never giving up can definitely help. Also, following what you believe in and helping how you think will help is very important. Finally, respecting everyone no matter who they are will let the people being served know what is important to you, which is to serve.