In the readings Mending Wall by Robert Frost, Slam, Dunk, & Hook by Yusef Komunyakaa, Common Ground by Judith Ortiz Cofer, and The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education by Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach each are very unique in their own way. These readings made me sit down and think of my freshman year of high school up until my sophomore year at Loyola University. The reason why I sat down and thought about those years was because of the special message each of these readings had in common. It was to step out of your comfort zone to explore your inner self and to then become aware of what you do have but just never known before. These four readings all had that idea that transformed me into the person I am today.
First, in Mending Wall, Robert Frost has that line, "Good fences make good neighbors". When I first arrived at Loyola, the evergreens told our whole group "not to walk on York Road!" She must have said this over ten times. It made all of us afraid and made us not to go in the direction of that neighborhood. When I first walked into my Philosophy class, my teacher told all of us that this was a service learning optional coarse. This is where Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach steps in with his article, The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education. Fr. Kolvenbach brings up the whole idea of "Cura-Personalis"with helping and forming the inner self of all Jesuit school students. "They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose, and act for the rights of others", was stated by Fr. Kolvenbach and he is correct because it really is an amazing thing to help others as a whole but also realize that each person on this earth was meant to help and to realize everyone around them including their neighbors. Lastly, he just wants people to become aware of their surroundings and to step out of that comfort zone.
I immediately enrolled in the Govans Elementary program on York Road. I had that quote in my head from my evergreen and was a little nervous still. I talked to my teacher and she said to me, "This is an incredible opportunity for not just the kids at Govans, but for your inner self". I took that quote to heart and journeyed over to Govans. On my last day of service, I said to myself, "I never knew that I could do what I accomplished two minutes away from my school". It felt amazing inside and I then went back to Govans in the spring semester. We all became awesome friends and most importantly great neighbors. I learned to not judge a book by its cover and to accept people for who they are inside.
Second, in Slam, Dunk, & Hook, Yusef Komunyakaa says, "I have never known. I recognize". This also relates to my freshman year experience. With what I said about Govans, it is not easy doing service learning. At first it was tough just to step foot out on York Road and to overall meet new people. While I was helping my kindergarten class with math problems and other school topics, I was thinking a whole lot about when I last stood in front of a crowd and talked. Never. This was the first time I talked in front of a group of people. My great neighbors not only made me step out of my comfort zone, but they also found my confidence that I never knew I had. That one day actually changed my life so much. You will find out soon.
Third, in Common Ground, Judith Ortiz Cofer states, "We had moves we didn't know". With what was stated above in the three readings, I was really taken back when I accomplished all that I accomplished. I then told myself, "I have this confidence now, so what do I do"? When I was a freshman in high school I was in a play for five minutes. Those were the best five minutes of my freshman year. I was so involved in sports and I was actually afraid of what people would think of me if they saw me on the stage. Then comes sophomore year of college. I had to stop crew because of my shoulder surgery the summer before hand. This led me to a lot of thinking. I am no longer going to do sports, I have gained confidence from "Cura-Personalis", and I was just overall ready to step out of my comfort zone and experience what I never knew I had before. Acting.
All of these readings put together my high school and college experience so far. I have fully stepped out of my comfort zone, I have fully explored my inner self, and I have became aware of what I had inside but just never knew. I will never forget these dates, November 17, 18, 19, and 20 of last year, 2011. I acted in front of sixty people four nights in a row including family members, Jesuits, professors, and my friends. I bowed to the audience each night and said to myself, "I have done it, thank you God".