October 17, 2012
On Monday, October 15 I went to Acts4Youth for the fourth time this semester. I helped out with the boys after school with their homework, played with them at recess, and served them dinner. I could tell again that they really enjoyed the student volunteers, and we showed them we wanted to be there as well. This week’s readings of Frankenstein, “Formula,” and “Old Walt” all can relate Jesuit ideals which then relates to the service I have been doing because of curiosity, the knowledge of world pain, and the importance of seeking.
Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley starts off as a novel about a man named Victor Frankenstein who creates a monster. Throughout the first part of the book Victor is very curious, and starts to become very interested in life and the mysteries it encounters. He begins to go to a university and is very focused on his studies there. He enjoys life in general around him, and he wants to know more. This can be related to the Jesuit ideals because they seek to know more and desire to continue learning, and make it a never-ending process. These aspects can be then related to my service because I am curious to learn more about these children, and discover how they portray themselves at school and in life. So far I have noticed they do seem like they want to learn when they are busy doing their homework or gathered in a group for “huddle time” to discuss things with their leader. Of course they do get distracted sometimes, but this also comes with being a middle school boy. So, overall these boys want to know and learn more, and I do as well so I can further serve them and let them know I want to be there for them and be more curious to what I can do for them.
In Langston Hughes’ poem titled “Formula,” the speaker is bringing up aspects of poetry to be made fun of. The “Muse of Poetry,” being capitalized, represents the main topic of the poem and that whatever the muse of poetry is, it is important. Specifically it brings up that the Muse of Poetry should not worry that there is pain around the world. This definitely does show that the poem is somewhat of a joke because people’s pain should really be thought about. When I am at Acts4Youth I always think about how a lot of these boys are underprivileged and that they do need help and do want the help. So, I am glad that there are volunteers that are there for the boys so they know people are thinking about them and that people do care about them.
“Old Walt,” also by Langston Hughes, is about Walt Whitman and how he constantly wrote about “seeking” and “finding.” Hughes writes these words over and over in the poem emphasizing how much Whitman really did believe in these actions. Whether he is making fun of Whitman’s poetry or not, one of the main ideas of the poem can still be thought of as constant seeking and finding are good things, again, even if Hughes does or does not agree with him. The repeating of these words throughout the poem lets the reader know that this was important to Whitman, and this can be related to the Jesuit tradition of seeking knowledge. At the service at Acts4Youth I try to find ways to help and serve the children. I want them to do better, so by seeking ways to serve them continually is important to me so they can be better off in the future.
Frankenstein and the two poems by Hughes actually can all be connected with Jesuit traditions. They are all about reaching out to seek for more knowledge, and to learn more and be a better person. This is what my service is all about because I strive to do these things in order to serve the children. I know they want my help, and knowing that these Jesuit traditions are useful and really can help to serve, I am open to using them whenever I can.