Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Event Analysis - Katherine Mosher

In Father Linane’s speech, he discusses Loyola’s strategic plan, “Grounded in Tradition, Education for the Future,” and its objectives for the university. Although many of the goals are long-term, he believes the plan should be completed by 2015. Father Linane’s speech relates to the article “Serving Up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro, the story “A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee, and the two poems “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague and “First Practice” by Gary Gildner.
Father Linane explains that the plan makes an effort to “enhance and enrich” the school’s programs and facilities, which is evident in several new renovations around campus. The plan also works toward “strengthening professional development programs for faculty” and further engaging the community through the “Loyola is Listening” program. Loyola’s recent athletic successes are also mentioned. Father Linane explains that all of these initiatives are designed to help reach our overarching goal of becoming the nation’s leading Catholic university. He makes it clear that he is determined for Loyola to become not one of the leading universities, rather, the number one Catholic university in America.
Despite the many accomplishments, we must do more to reach our fundamental goal. It is the University’s mission to continue to attract “top-quality” students and prepare them for the upcoming challenges ahead. In order to reach these goals, it’s important not to lose sight of our principles, values and morals that have guided us thus far. After reading the past achievements and future goals for the University, I realized how happy I was to be a part of this Jesuit community. I hope to contribute to Loyola’s success in the future and continue to support our University in reaching their goals.   
In the article “Serving Up Hope” Galen and Bridget Samson provide a new opportunity for local drug addicts and convicts. With the help of the Baltimore Community Fellowship Program, Galen and Bridget Samson established the Dogwood Deli for the addicts and convicts to work. This establishment allowed these people to rebound from the low point in their lives and start creating a better future. This relates to Father Linane’s speech because the Jesuit tradition opens our eyes to helping the community. It’s important to aid others in need to ultimately create a stronger society.
The story “A Father” discusses the controversial issue of pregnancy out of wedlock.  In the story, the father, Mr. Bhowmick is very traditional. He does not necessarily agree with certain elements of Western culture, especially the commonality of pregnancy out of wedlock. Much to his dismay, his daughter is pregnant without a husband. He is clearly upset with how “Westernized” she has become which caused her to ultimately lose touch with her Indian roots. This story is relevant to Father Linane’s speech because sometimes change is proves to be beneficial to a society as demonstrated in Loyola’s plan for the future. In the story, the father sticks to tradition, which in some cases is not always the best choice.
The poem “Direction for Resisting the SAT” explains how you should make your own decisions and live life to the fullest extent. The poem tells the reader to live life the way you want to live it, even if it is not necessarily what everyone else is doing. The Loyola community is based upon trying new things and not letting one element, such as a test score define the rest of your life.
The other poem “First Practice” depicts boys at their first sports practice with their extremely forceful coach. The poem tells the reader that you should take advantage of the opportunities you are presented with. This relates to the speech because our University is devoted to service for the community as a whole. We take advantage of any opportunity to reach our goals for the future.

Service Analysis 11/1 Ariana Spagna

            Due to the happenings of Hurricane Sandy, my service learning for the week was cancelled, so I have nothing new to reflect on, but I can speak about a commonality between the service I do, A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, Serving Up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro, Directions for Registering the SAT, by Richard Hague, and First Practice, by Gary Gildner.  The common theme that I found these all possessed was the doings of things for the greater good of oneself or for everyone.
            It is pretty self explanatory to me that the reason why I do service learning is not only because it is required for my class, but it is also for me to do something I love, which is helping people out, no matter what age.  The boys who are a part of the Acts4Youth program at Guilford Elementary School are perfectly capable of being successful in the near future and that is the sole focus that this program works on.  Just because these boys are either underprivileged or are going through difficult times, the program teaches them that they can be well – rounded adult man in the future society.  The boys that I work with are in fifth and sixth grade and they are already learning/know of the characteristics that make up a successful human being in this world.  I think it is great that this program starts teaching them these qualities at a young age, so they are constantly in this mindset of working towards being a thriving individual.  My service and this program consist of creating better lives for these young boys for the good of themselves.
            A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, is about a serious man who sincerely battles with loving his daughter.  He is very unhappy that this child was born a girl and she is not what he wanted.  Growing up with a father who nearly despises your existence is something that can be very harmful to one’s childhood and future.  Although the theme of doing things to better the life of someone else is not present in this poem, it is a theme that it is striving for.  It is what the relationship between the characters are missing and needs, so the father can be appreciative and thankful for the life of his daughter.  By being appreciative, it will strengthen their relationship and will create an essence of the greater good on the life of his daughter.
            Serving Up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro, is about a couple in Baltimore who devotes nearly all of their time to create opportunities for people who would never have the chance to make their own living.  The Sampson's opened a deli and hired Jennifer Brock and Tyrone Lewis, who were once drug addicts, which soon led to the turning around of their lives.  They are now developing certain skills to help them obtain employment in the near future.  It is very easy to see the theme of doing things for the greater good in this poem.  People like the Sampson's are those who care for others, rather than just themselves.  By doing certain things for others, even if it is just the smallest thing, can drastically improve and change their lives for the good.
            Directions for Registering the SAT, by Richard Hague, dares us to do challenging things in our lives, which will be ultimately rewarding, because it is not something we normally consider ourselves to do.  This poem says brings about the theme as well, because it is encouraging us to do things for the goodness of our lives, not saying to put them in harms way.  Granted, all challenges are risks, but if you are willing to take that chance, something amazing can come out of it.
            First Practice, by Gary Gildner, is about a coach who wants nothing but pure perfection from his players.  He is always striving to do better, which can come across being somewhat intimidating.  He may not do this intentionally, because he is looking out for the good of the players, by pushing them to their utmost potential, but he may get a little to wrapped up in that mindset.
            All of these works, including my service learning, has to do with the common theme of helping others for their greater good.  Not only is this theme expressed in these poems and service, but I also feel that it is an important theme that we should all try to follow in our own lives.

Analysis- Nik Lelifanovski

My assignment this week was to consider the theme of “State of the University,” by Father Linnane, in relation to several other works.  Fr. Linnane contends that people ought to strive to improve themselves while also giving to the community.  His speech inspired me to relate his message to the common thematic elements of “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” by Richard Hague, “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner, “Serving up Hope,” by Stephanie Shapiro, and “A Father,” by Bharati Mukherjee.  Each of these readings explores a common theme: love and compassion bring meaning to the life of the individual.

In “Directions for resisting the SAT,” by Richard Hague, the speaker ironically suggests that the experience of preparing and sitting for the SAT might well inspire the reader to do great things with his life. The last line of the poem is a challenge to readers to “make your marks on everything.”  This reminded me of the portion of Father Linnanes’ speech when he said to strive to be successful.  (Although what is success really?)  The speaker and the poet each effectively convey a similar message to young people but by using a specific subject to which they can relate as an example of an opportunity for self-improvement.

The coach in “First Practice” by Gary Gildner craves that his team be the best on the field.  Similarly, Father Linnane discusses how Loyola strives to be the best Catholic University.  While the coach tells his team that he expects them to win with no exceptions, Father Linnane might rebut by saying that the coach is too strict, as it is important not to become overly invested in a particular outcome – such as triumphing over another. 

In his speech, Father Linnane discusses contributing to the health of the community.  This notion relates to “Serving up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro, because the main characters help two drug addicts to turn their lives around.  The protagonists offer the former addicts jobs, thereby helping to keep them out of trouble and to inculcate in them necessary life skills.  The couple provides opportunities for the former drug addicts that they would have never had without their help.  Their selflessness is indicative of Father Linnanes’ theme of helping others and doing good works for those around you.

 “A Father,” by Bharati Mukherjee, recounts the difficulties of a father’s distant relationship with his daughter, Balbi.  The father struggles to accept his daughter, who is not the perfect child he imagined.  Although he prays to God each day for wisdom and guidance, he is actually so focused on himself that when he finds out about his daughter’s pregnancy outside of marriage, he beats her instead of supporting her.  According to Father Linnane, the father in the story would actually improve himself and become more contented by expressing, as difficult as it might be under the circumstance, compassion toward his daughter and concern for her feelings, rather than dwelling principally on what he prefers.


Event Analysis 01NOV12 - Sandy Defense

     In this Event Analysis I decided to write about something amazing. Specifically doing something amazing... I was called upon by my unit (29th Infantry Division Company C) to assist with natural disaster defense within the Baltimore Area. This was a great excitement to me because this is more or less what I signed up for. I signed with the intentions to help and make a larger difference and be something that was bigger than myself.

     In the coming days of the storm, I was assigned to prepare and place the vehicles in a convoy formation so that if the need arises, we would be able to quickly deploy. The movement was quick and rapid, much quicker than I have ever seen people in my unit move. I knew this was a very serious affair because the NCO's were yelling a battle rhythm for things to get done quickly and efficiently. Nobody was messing around today. I was assigned to the fourth vehicle in the convoy. After we had aligned the HMMWV's to the 1SG's standard, we were brought into the classroom where we were briefed upon what our duties were to be. Our unit was assigned to crowd control and casualty evacuation. After these two hard and rainy workdays, we were released back to our homes and instructed to take care unless we are called for duty. Luckily, we did not get hit all too bad by the storm and we had to move the vehicles back into there positions in the motor pool but the work, motivation and determination shown by my unit in the time of need was amazing to me. We were in the rain, men and women, working on vehicles and not one person complained, everyone worked as a team, and we kept a very high tempo of work. I was proud of my unit for really stepping up.

     This story is very similar to the themes of the story  "Serving up Hope" by Stephanie Shapiro is about a Baltimore family that used their culinary prowess to assist there community. They were very selfless in there giving to the community and that is similar to what we were doing during our hurricane prevention. We gave up our safety and gave our time to make sure that people were safe during the storm and to minimize the loss of human life.

     The duty of protecting others in the military is also very consistent with the Jesuit Values because we are being selfless in our service and always looking to help others in their time of need, such is true with the Jesuits. We also value and see the use in teamwork and we try to utilize it at all times to complete any given task and to look after each other. The military is a community or a brotherhood as described in most all military movies and documentaries and the values that the military follows are very similar to the brotherhood and values that the Jesuits hold dear.

"Be the Change You Wish to See in the World"

           I continued my service-learning experience with my second week at Northeast Middle School on Monday October 22nd.  I worked with young boys and girls on creating drawings, playing games, but most importantly working with them on their homework.  It was intriguing for me when I noticed how some children tried very hard with their work, while others did the bare minimum by looking at the answers that the children that worked through the problems got instead of thinking for themselves.  For me, this is an imperative issue that needs to be worked on because children need to be motivated to learn and not focus on getting the easy way out of things.  During the next weeks of my service I will work on getting each student to fully participate, encouraging him or her to become dedicated and persistent in his or her pursuit of positive outcomes in their future.  
            Bharati Mukherjee’s short story, “A Father”, Stephanie Shapiro’s article, “Serving Up Hope”, Richard Hague’s poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT, and Gary Gildner’s poem “First Practice”, all connect with my service learning experience regarding the values of faith and traditions and how they contribute with a person’s relationships with themselves as individuals as well as with others.  In “A Father” the themes of tradition and faith are very evident through the character Mr. Bhowmick, and they are a prominent part of the story.  This main character has a close, spiritual relationship with idols and shrines, and he recites prayers to the patron goddess of his family daily.  Mr. Bhowmick seems to let his faith preoccupy and dictate every part of his life.  Instead of allowing himself to live a happy life, he sees simple things that are folly superstitions and puts them into greater context because of his faith.  From the story we find out that this Indian father’s wife made him leave his successful, happy life to go to America.  He holds tight to his Indian values much to the chagrin of his wife and daughter who keep their lives deeply rooted in American values.  The theme of the relationships between men and women is also an important aspect of this story.  It is clear that Mr. Bhowmick is unhappy that his daughter chose to become pregnant through artificial insemination, which completely goes against his faith.  From reading the story we can see that he is jealous of how his own daughter has easily become successful when he compares it to his hardship and struggle of trying to find stability with his new life in Detroit.  He believes that males are very prominent in society and that they have every right to the most success.  When his daughter, Babli, reveals that there is no father to her baby, she is struck by her father and not her mother.  Babli tries to explain that the donor is a good genetic candidate, but the father focuses on how his daughter has broken tradition and social expectations.  This short story proves that tradition and faith can have a negative affect on families. 
            Stephanie Shapiro’s article, “Serving Up Hope”, was very uplifting and inspiring because it was about helping the less fortunate realize their own potential in the world and know that they are valued.  Bridget and Galen Sampson allowed people to develop their own strengths by letting previous drug users train with Galen who would teach them culinary skills to get them on a better path of life.  The couple has proven that giving back to your community and allowing people to develop their own strengths can contribute to developing your own strengths as well.  The article mentions how this couple from Baltimore grew in their business potential and individual strength through collaborating to open Dogwood Deli, which enables people to learn how to cook and serves as a comfortable transition period for people who are rehabilitating from drug use.  These people learn about work ethic, and are blessed to be surrounded by a good support system to keep them motivated.  Through their faith in social justice, this selfless couple was driven to give back to their community, give hope to its citizens, and change people’s lives for the better.  They showed that it is possible for people to create their own path to success and that they should recognize that they are important and valued. 
             Richard Hague’s poem, “Directions for Resisting the SAT”, mentions the common tradition that all high school students go through.  They are constantly pressured by teachers and other outside sources to do well on this testing in order to get into good colleges.  However this poem gives us advice on how we should not let the SAT define us as students and affect how we should live our lives.  We also should never follow the norm of what others may do because we need to demonstrate our individuality.  The speaker stresses that we should always make our own decisions by saying, “Make your marks on everything” and not focus on what others have to say about our choices.  The speaker is letting us know that we should not let the results of one test predict how our futures will turn out and not let the SAT tamper with our passions, dreams, and goals.
            Gary Gildner’s poem, “First Practice” takes a different approach by emphasizing how competition is a good thing and that it is necessary for success at least according to Coach Clifford Hill.  An athlete describes how his coach is pushing his team to fight and struggle for success in order for them to have faith in themselves.  He may be overbearing and overwhelming, but his technique proves to be effective because intimidation can lead to good results.  The initial experience of this first practice is very pressuring for this high school football team, but the coach is trying to open their eyes to the many opportunities and potential they have to be a great team.  This experience can also determine how willing you are to work hard now and for any future endeavors.  This coach is doing his best to motivate his team to work as hard as they can to achieve success.  He has faith in his team, and he wants his team to be strong and have faith that they can be legendary.
            During my service I noticed that there was one student with whom I worked that was extremely committed to her studies.  She has been at school every week, and I am enthralled at how motivated this young girl is to get a better education and improve her life.  Unlike some of the students in her class, this student tries hard to succeed, and it is amazing to see how well she is excelling.  Some of the students lack faith in themselves, resulting in their discouragement to attempt to do their work.  It is extremely important for the class as a whole to willingly learn, and they need to be constantly motivated in order to do so.  I will work closely with the students next week to ensure that all students will be excelling and realize that they have the potential to do anything to which they put their minds.  If lack of an education is an accepted trait or tradition in their families, these children need to break away from these hindrances by working hard in school as they pursue happy and healthy lives.             

Event Analysis Four

Gabriella Gizzo                                                                                                           10/31/12
Understanding Literature                                                                                           Dr. Ellis
Event Analysis Four: Attaining Success with Jesuit Values
            This event analysis is called keep working until you succeed because all of the stories for this week revolved around this main claim.  I think that it is important to always keep working until your goal is achieved.  These stories connected well with my event for this week which was President Linnanes’ speech on the State of the University 2012 because he revolved his whole essays on this idea of perseverance in a Jesuit school and community.  This message says a lot about our school and community.
            In the story A Father, by Bharati Mukheriee, I leaned about the relationship between the father and his daughter, Babli.  Babli and her father don’t have a good relationship because he never fully appreciated or understood his daughter.  However, the main claim of working until you succeed is shown here because she still got a good education and could financially support herself.  As a result of her independency, her father looked down upon her because this went against his beliefs. 
            The reason why this story has that title is because she becomes pregnant through in-vitro.  However, Babli’s father doesn’t know that it is through in-vitro until the end of the story.  The reason she has a child this way is because she wanted a baby and would stop at nothing to succeed in getting pregnant.
            In the story, Serving up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro I learned that the value of the Sampsons’ Dogwood Deli extended far beyond the kitchen.  The Sampson family always worked hard to achieve their culinary skills because they started off as basic taste testers or servers.  However, now they owned and operated a place and trained people.  However, even though their roles changed their message of success and giving back to the community didn’t.  The Sampsons’ used their culinary skills to help out the Baltimore community.  They believed that it was very important to impact their community in a positive way.  This connects to Father Linnanes’ message on success and Jesuit values.  I found it really interesting how these were regular people who used their passion for culinary skills and their deli to help out the Baltimore community.  It makes me believe that I can make a difference too by just locally doing more community service.
            In the poem, Directions for Resisting the SAT, by Richard Hague the speaker explains the whole process of the SATs.  I think it was really interesting how the speaker describes all the little, but important details such as registering in October, using pencils, relying on some level of luck and stop going to clubs.  All of these details are very important because these are the details that bring us to success on the SATs.  I believe that these details are connected to our Jesuit values because our Jesuit values tell us to care about education and all those little details are mastered through our level of care.  I saw the result of this type of care in the last line: “Make your marks on everything” which means make an impact on yourself and your community.
            In the poem, First Practice, by Gary Gildner, the speaker uses sports and education to encourage his children to succeed in school and in the game.  I think the last word “Now” is important because it impacted me.  It showed me that the value of success starts the moment you use your core values and choose to achieve something.  Once you decide to do something, you must go for your goal.
            Father Linnanes’ speech on the condition of Loyola was really interesting because it showed how the school has progressed and will continue to progress. I enjoyed how positive, yet realistic he was in attaining the goals for the school.  He knows that these are possible because of his faith and Jesuit values.  This was the important example of the main claim.
            In conclusion, I enjoyed this week’s reading because of the central claim.  Everyone can use this central claim in their daily lives.

3 Sentences

This Is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams- This is an apology written by the speaker. The form of the poem implies that the speaker probably is uncomfortable apologizing and isn't quite sure what exactly to say or how to say.

L(a by E. E. Cummings- It's particularly important to notice the form of this poem, which is supposed to allow the reader to visualize a leaf actually falling from a tree piece by piece.

In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound- This poem sets up a scene in the Metro, where people are constantly on the move and life goes on at the busy pace.

Service Analysis 11/1

This week I did not have service, but my service experiences can relate to the theme of the readings this week. Each piece whether this be a poem or a short story all deal with making a decision. Each piece deals with someone taking control or making a decision. While I’m at the Gilford School working with the kids, it can be hard to take control at times. Young boys have a low tolerance and usually are very hyper. When it is time to sit down and do homework I feel challenged to tell the kids to sit down and do their work. I don’t want to over step my boundaries and I only want to help them. Even at the end of service when we are eating dinner the boys are so hungry you have to be an adult and tell them to wait in line and everyone will get a fair share of the meal. At playtime outside I have also had to learn how to take control. For example one day we had to set out chairs in the gym where the boys usually play because there was going to be an assembly and the chairs were needed. Many of the boys were using the chairs as weapons and hitting each other with them while the volunteers did the work. I really do think that when I speak to the boys they listen to me. I said to one of the boys who I am close with, “Please help, and were almost done”. He did not even ask questions and noticed that what he was doing was wrong. I have to make decisions during service and take control of many situations.
            In the poem, “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague many ideas are listed of how to do poorly on the SAT’s but in reality the poem is expressing how one should make their own decisions and mark on the world. The poem begins by listing ways not to do well on the SAT. For example, “Do not observe the rules of gravity, commas, history”. In the end the poem says, “Listen to no one”. Here the speaker changes the mood of the poem. As he is listing so many subjects about the SAT’s he is now telling the reader to not listen to those things, to make you own decision. The speaker says one line after the first stanza, “Make your marks on everything”. The speaker is telling the reader to take control of their life and make their mark on the world.
            Next in the poem, “First Practice” by Gary Gildner an intense coach is giving his words of advice to a team where he lets them chose to take control of the game. In this poem the coach seems to be very strict and into the game. He gives demands such as, “I take that to mean you are hungry men who hate to lose as much as I do”. The coach is determined not to lose and wants to get his players in the mindset to win the game. At this time this is the players first practice and it is the players decision whether or not to listen to their coach and win the game. It is in the player’s hands to make or break their moment to shine.
“Serving Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro tells the story of the Simpson’s who have made a program to help individuals who have had drug problems or were convicts. Gale Simpson is a chef who started a free culinary program by getting a grant from the Baltimore Community Fellowship program. He wanted to switch roles and help others. The program was for people to start a better life for themselves, a fresh start. His wife Bridget brought a good personality to his business. In 2013 she started her “own society fellowship to bring a literacy program to incarcerated mothers and their children”. Brock and Lewis who are the main two individuals talked about in the story were found from a local recovery program. The two now worked at Simpson’s restaurant. It touches my heart to read their story. The Simpson’s have taken control or their lives and dedicated themselves to helping others.
            In the story, “A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee a culture clash between a father and his daughter causes a life threatening fight. Mr. Bhowmick had to get up very early every morning to pray before he went to work. His wife would get angry with him because he would always take so long to get ready. He would pray to Kali-Mata his god who he made and carved out of wood. He and his daughter are not close and their cultures clash. Mr. Bhowmick was realizing that his daughter had been throwing up multiple times a day and was not herself. He thought she was pregnant and didn’t say anything. In the end his daughter is talking to her mom about her pregnancy and Mr. Bhowmick joins in. She explains how the father is a donor and made twenty-five dollars from his donation for her to have her baby. The story ends by her father smacking her stomach with a rolling pin. Here their cultures clash and this causes her father to take control in a negative way. He was following his culture but living in a western world, which caused tension and misunderstandings between him and his family.
All the readings dealt with individuals taking control of their lives or situations they are faced with. Whether this is the SAT test or your daughter being pregnant everyone has a way of dealing with certain situations. Service also led me to make decisions and a path for myself as a leader. 

3 Sentences - Nik Lelifanovski

This Is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams- The speaker expresses his apology for taking the plums. As you read every line, it is short and sharp which means he wants to get to the conclusion that he is sorry that he took her plums that were in the icebox.

L(a by E. E. Cummings- A leaf falls loneliness is the what the speaker wrote. The pattern of the poem is symbolic of the falling of a leaf. Because there is only a single leaf falling it describes loneliness.

In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound- This poem compares faces passing in a crowd in the metro to leaves on a tree. 

event analysis

Christie Fitzgerald
October 31, 2012
Professor Ellis
Event Analysis

            Because of the hurricane and class cancellations this week, I was unable to physically attend an event for this class. Therefore, I read the attached statement of one of the events we were informed to attend. I read about the “State of the University 2012” spoken by Reverend Brian Linnane last week on October 24th. In the statement, Reverend Linnane discussed not only Loyola’s progress and how respectable all the student and faculty are, but how Loyola can look into the future and do even better. Reverend Linnane discussed how when he first joined Loyola in 2005, the school was beginning their 2008 campaign “Grounded in Tradition, Educating for the Future”. While that is coming to an end in 2013, Revered Linnane encouraged us to not look at it as an ending, but a way to plan our future at Loyola.
            Reverend Linnane continued to address the positive impacts each and every one of the students here have done. He explored how around 75% of Loyola’s graduated students are now working either full or part time, and 25% are enrolled in graduate school. He awarded many of the athletes on making progress as a team. He also mentioned many statistics of how well Loyola has done, including how five Loyola students in four years have received prestigious Fulbright Fellowships. Reverend Linnane’s speech made me realize how honored I am to be a part of the Loyola and Jesuit community.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jacqui Vetrano Event Analysis 11-1

Jacqui Vetrano
Following Your Destiny
My fourth time attending the Heart of Zen meditation group connected a lot to this week’s readings and underlying themes.  Lately I have been thinking a lot of the future, and as an undecided major, I have been thinking hard about things that I would really enjoy doing as a career.  At times I get frustrated with the feeling of being clueless, so I knew meditation would be a good chance to escape from it. During my fourth time attending meditation I felt extremely relaxed once clearing my mind of all my nagging thoughts. Every time I attend it is like experiencing an escape from the world and from myself.  I knew meditation would be perfect because instead of thinking and thinking about the million things that go through my mind, I could focus on the right here, right now, steady sounds of the air flowing in and out of my lungs.  With the pressure I have been putting on myself it was a relief to sit down, focus on my breathing, and practice the art of the Zen meditation.
The readings and poems “Serving up Hope,” by Stephanie Shapiro, “A Father,” by Bharati Mukherjee, “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” by Richard Hague, and “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner all convey an underlying message and theme of being in charge of yourself and your own life, and making your own destiny.  Connecting to my fourth experience at meditation where my destiny and life we’re on my mind, after these readings and my time spent at meditation, it helped me realize that everyone has dreams , but it’s up to us to decided where they will go.
In the reading by Stephanie Shapiro, “Serving up Hope” the couple Galen and Bridget Sampson open an institute to train new chefs giving former drug users and convicts a fresh start to life.  Galen Sampson speaks of how he had been searching for a way to apply his skills, give back, and make the biggest difference that he could.  Galen Sampson followed his dream and opened up the Dogwood Deli with a grant from the Baltimore Community Fellowship program. He now helps people who have struggled in the past master skills that are in demand in the food industry getting them back on their feet and a second chance in life.  Although Galen Sampsons dream might seem very risky to some, he followed his dream and has offered amazing opportunities to the Baltimore community.  The message of the reading  is that Sampson took charge and followed his destiny and dream, and helped so many people that have dealt with problems in their past.  Because of this, in many senses, the Sampson’s have saved the lives of many giving them this opportunity at a new life.
The reading “A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee, tells the story of a father and his relationship with his wife and daughter.  Mr. Bhowmick is very in touch with his Indian culture, unlike his wife and daughter who are more American and do not follow the traditions that he does.  When Mr. Bhowmick finds out that his daughter, Babli, is pregnant he doesn’t know what to think, having question upon question race through his mind.  As the weeks go by he says nothing to his daughter watching her every move and her belly grow.  When Mr. Bhowmicks wife find out of Bablis pregnancy, it is revealed that not only is she unmarried and pregnant, but she induced the pregnancy from a donor.  As the three scream at each other Mr. Bhowmick becomes enraged hearing this and smacks his daughters belly with a rolling pin.  Although Babli knows of her father’s traditions and strong Indian culture she goes through with the pregnancy anyways because that is what she wants out of her life.  Although the story ends badly Bablis bold move to induce her pregnancy despite of her parents opinions shows that Babli making her own destiny.  She didn’t feel that she needed a husband or her parents, she made her own decisions and decided her destiny and life for herself.
                In the poem by Richard Hague, “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” the speaker explains to make your own destiny without following the everything we’re always told to do.  The speaker says to not follow the everyday rules of life, to be yourself and do what you believe, to “Listen to no one”.  The speaker relates this to the SAT by expressing to the reader to not let the test define who you are, but to follow your destiny despite of the test.  This poem relays a strong message of following one’s destiny, although in a slightly rebellious tone, the speaker tells the reader to make your own path, and to not let a test do it for you.
In the poem “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner, the speaker tells about his first practice at what seems to be a school sports team.  He tells of his coach and how hard he is, aiming to win and to never lose.  The speaker expresses how the coach pushes them, which reflect s the opportunities and potential the team has at their first ever practice.  The underlying message of the poem is also about destiny, and following ones dreams, to give everything your all and to decided your destiny for yourself.
                The four readings and my fourth experience at the Heart of Zen meditation have all expressed a sense of being in charge of yourself,  your life, and making your own destiny.  Everyone should take charge of their future and decide their destiny and passions in life, instead of letting life take control.  Following your dreams and your destiny although may be challenging at time, is extremely rewarding.  Although I have been feeling a bit clueless with where my life and destiny should go, after having time to breathe at Heart of Zen meditation and reflecting on the readings I realize that although I may not exactly know where everything is headed at this particular moment, if I follow my dreams, my destiny, and my heart, I am bound to get there.

Live Your Life to the Fullest- Matt Sandelands

Life Your Life to the Fullest

This week, I attended the State of the University address given by Loyola’s president, Father Linnane. This analysis will relate that event to “First Practice”, by Gary Gildner, “Directions for Resisting the SAT”, by Richard Hague, “A Father”, by Bharati Mukherjee, and “Serving Up Hope”, by Stephanie Shapiro. After reading these stories, I felt a connecting theme between the stories and poems mentioned above, and the address given by Father Linnane.  The central themes were about taking control of your own life and providing a path for your own destiny.
In “First Practice”, by Gary Gildner, the poem is about a hard-pressing coach that will do whatever it takes to win. He is forceful, and obsessed with winning. This coach is not inspiring, and he is not effective. He shouldn’t stress the importance of winning, but instead he should stress the importance of having fun because it is just a game. In relation to the State of the University address, the University should not be so obsessed with becoming number one, but instead be effective enough to rise in the rankings, and at the same time doing everything in its power to make the experience at Loyola enjoyable. I am not saying that Father Linnane is obsessed with becoming the number one Catholic University in America, but I feel at times that Loyola has lost sight about its purpose and its goals. This is a Jesuit University dedicated to service and the community at large. The importance of the ‘yield rate’ for example, is not a top priority when it comes to other important aspects of the University. Loyola, and the coach in the poem, needs to take control of the situation, and not lose sight of what is truly important.
In “Directions for Resisting the SAT”, by Richard Hague, the poem is about living life to the fullest. Living life to the fullest is one of the more important aspects of living. The poem states, “Make your marks on everything”, which means to me that you should see and do everything. Let people know you were there and enjoying life. Live life to the fullest. This correlates greatly to the Jesuit education. Live life to the fullest and help others. Build community and enjoy the life you have and enjoy what is given to you. In relation to the State of the University address, the poem and the address both were inspiring. The address was in fact inspiring, even though I felt we lost sight of some goals in between. The science center is starting to receive major grants and accolades, the Loyola clinical center is expanding and increasing awareness, and the service at Loyola is growing at a rapid pace. Loyola is living life to the fullest, by trying to provide a top-notch education, and in the poem, the author is speaking out to people to get them to life their lives to the fullest.  Don’t let one bad test score ruin your life, especially where at Loyola, one does not need to submit test scores!
In “A Father”, by Bharati Mukherjee, the story is about a father and a daughter and their feuding relationship. The father is stuck in the past. His wife, and his daughter, is in the modern world. The father is a very traditional man and thinks that women should not be advanced. He expects his wife to serve him at all times. This story is all about taking control of your own life. The daughter, doing exactly that, takes control of her life and stands up to what she believes is right. She is in the present and her father is in the past. The father needs to change in order to survive in the modern world, but I feel as if that is almost impossible in his case. In relation to the address, taking control of your life is the most important aspect. The University is moving towards a living-learning community for all incoming first year students starting in 2015. The incoming students will have to choose between several different programs. These programs will place students together for housing and classes. This will give them the opportunity to live and learn together. Loyola is changing for the modern times. It is not the same as it used to be. Loyola is taking control, and becoming a leader, by providing a new type of freshmen year for incoming students. Whether or not I necessarily agree with this change, I do think that it is important to change for the modern times. Sticking to the traditional ways is not always the best way, as shown in “A Father”.
In “Serving Up Hope”, by Stephanie Shapiro, the story is about deli/restaurant owners, Gale and Bridget Sampson. They take in two drug addicts under their wings to give them a better shot at life. They also provide them jobs. This story is extremely inspiring. Gale and Bridget are taking in people that made bad choice, and are giving them futures. If someone made bad choices in the past, it should not control their future, which is a central aspect of the story. Bad choices should not dictate the rest of one’s life. Take control and move forward. In relation to the address, Loyola performs these tasks all the time. The Center for Community Service and Justice helps out the community of Baltimore all the time. Whether or not the people we help did something bad in the past or not, they still need our help for a brighter future. We are helping them take control of their lives by giving them an opportunity they may not have had before. Father Linnane talked about our service. He said our service is growing. Loyola is becoming one of the top-tier universities in service, thanks to the Center for Community Service and Justice. The stories, and the address, were both inspiring.
I actually went to the address in person last Wednesday. I did not read it online. I definitely enjoyed going and thought it was an experience that was important. Loyola is moving in the right direction, but at times I do feel as if becoming number one is more important than our true goals and motives. The stories and poems this week related perfectly to the themes of living your life, taking control of your life and perfection.

Matt Sandelands
Event Analysis