Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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

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