Fr. Linnane's State of the University address talks about aspects that affects anyone connected to the Loyola community in every way, especially students. I think that it is vital that we read, understand, and apply what he is addressing. “A Father “ by Bharati Mukherjee, “Serving up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro, and two poems, “First Practice by Gary Gildner and “ Directions for resisting the SAT” emphasize some of the ideas covered.
“Grounded in tradition, educating for the future” is the strategic plan that guides the initiatives of Loyola today. These are two very different bases that can either work together for the better or merely coexist. In “A Father,” we see a man living with his wife and daughter. Mr. Bhowmick truly does not love either of them. He is a man of tradition and values. He sticks to his religious beliefs ardently by allowing simple sneeze to control the outcome of the rest of his day. His wife, who urged him to move to the United States, is the model of modernization within a culture. Mrs. Bhowmick does not cook everyday like the traditional Indian woman, his mother, nor does she uphold the same importance of religion. Mr. Bhowmick realizes that his family has become “more American somehow” (p908). He continues to live with them until Babli commits the ultimate act of modernity, artificial insemination. Fr. Linnane stresses that Loyola has not compromised its vision and goals, but has adapted to the times. The economy has changed a lot causing organizations of all types to revise their plans for the future. As Loyola students we must stay grounded in these goals, as well as intelligently adapt.
“Find service in everything you do.” This is really one of my favorite aspects of Jesuit education. Loyola has taught me that this is possible. In doing so, I think that you are able to enjoy life more and thus given the ability to spread that joy to someone who needs it. You would think that the Sampson’s in “Serving up Hope” are products of the Jesuit Education. I hope to exhibit the same presence in the future. This couple used what they know and love to help the community. They give people chances that they would otherwise not have due to certain conditions. The Sampson’s are responsive to the times and struggles in society, to the needs of people. They adapted. The York Road Initiative is an engagement program addressed by Fr. Linnane. His support for this community effort, and efforts abroad, shows us that we can maintain our goals.
“First Practice” illustrates that an intense forceful push may not be the best kind. We witness a coach commanding young boys to the extreme. From our own experiences, we know that this is not exactly safe, nor is it intelligent. I feel like the coach is asking them to compromise everything immediately to fulfill his wishes. Fr. Linnane, not to draw any similarities to the malicious unpleasant coach, understands that yes, we must still reach our goals, but that to do so we must stretch our timeline. We will get it done, done right on our own watch. This brings me to “Directions for Resisting the SAT.” Hague presents instructions on how to not do well on the SAT. He indicates that we have a choice. We can follow the directions of others or do what we want, “Listen to no one.” From a personal perspective, I believe that in college this conflict presents itself. Do you merely do what you have to do to graduate? Or do you start defining yourself? I think that, in way, Loyola gives you the chance to do both. You have many opportunities. Fr. Linnane, the faculty, and the Loyola network make it their business to present them to us. Make use of them.