Like I have said before, I am going to be working through service for CCSJ, specifically with the Refugee Youth Project. I really do consider myself fortunate enough to interact and help these kids because it will give me the chance to learn about a different lifestyle and customs other than my own and what I have been accustomed to seeing back in my hometown. Through this RYP service, I will be helping inner city Baltimore kids with their homework after school and providing them with a little bit of fun and entertainment at the same time. This weeks readings “Ode to American English” by Barbara Hamby, “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, and “Suburban” by John Ciardi can all relate to my future participation at RYP because they all have themes that revolve around positive and negative culture differences and surroundings.
The poem “Ode to American English” by Barbara Hamby is about an American woman in Paris who misses and longs for things back home in America. Some of these things are the simplest of things that many people may not even think of when they are homesick for their country. From the context of the poem, it is evident that the woman is both loyal and dedicated to her country because she speaks of America so fondly. This poem is relatable to my future service because the children will be refugees from foreign countries and part of my job along with homework help, is to make them feel at home and welcome in such a foreign and new environment.
In the poem “Suburban” by John Ciardi a woman makes her next door neighbor aware that his dog has gone the bathroom on her flowers and that she would like him to take full responsibility for it. There was an argument made by the neighbor that he knows it was not his dog that had done the duty. However, in the end, he removes the mess from the flower bed. Overall, this poem portrays a type of lifestyle, specifically a suburban American lifestyle and it shows hoe people act and react in certain situations. This connects with RYP because the children I will be working with may not be accustomed to American ways and may not know how to handle different situations. Especially, because there may be a language barrier.
Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” consists of a murderous plot line. The character Montresor murders his friend Fortunato just because he feels insulted by Fortunato. The insult was an argument that happened in the past, however, Monstresor is determined to get is revenge on Fortunato, and unfortunately handles it in a poor manner and ends up killing Fortunato. This story and plot line relates to the children at RYP. This is because the children are refugees from their home country. There could be many reasons as to why they are refugees and one of them may be that they were put in danger, perhaps something similar to a genocide. I think anyone can agree that the act of killing is awful and it is generally not socially accepted. The children at RYP may be victims of such a crime. Coming to America, they are not fully aware of the social injustices happening around them and especially living in Baltimore, they may become witnesses to crimes children should not be exposed to. Like I have mentioned before, part of my job will be to help the children in whatever way I can, and in some cases, I may have to explain that revenge is not a favorable option; therefore, neither the kids or anyone should resort to plotting revenge in a murderous circumstance.