After attending my usual Monday service at Guilford Elementary for about three hours, it seemed to be just a regular visit to me. Although this seemed to be a traditional visit to me, after I left, I pondered on what I got out of it. After reading the novel Shane, by Jack Shaefer, the main character, Shane, is greatly praised by the Starrett’s. In comparison to my service, they both share the common theme of having one figure that the boys and Starrett family specifically look up too.
Every Monday when I arrive at service, the young boys are always chasing each other, throwing the football, playing on the jungle gym, or just going plain old crazy. It is almost as if they are like little jumping beans being stored in a jar for hours that are finally set free, because they always have endless amounts of energy when we arrive, which always ceases to amaze me. Although they always have this abundance of energy, they are restrained by the main teacher who runs Acts4Youth. This teacher is Mr. Antwon, who has nothing but utmost respect for these boys. As soon as he yells “Huddle Time”, the boys gather round in a circular formation around him and listen to what he has to say. Because most of the boys have a passion for the game of football, Mr. Antwon tries to incorporate that into their athletic training and work ethic. When it is homework time, they assimilate in groups and take out their homework assigned for that day. Like any other typical fifth or sixth grader, they chat and fool around, because homework is not their favorite thing to do. Mr. Antwon then preaches to them what it means to be a good student and what it takes to be successful in life. He reiterates this constantly and makes them take quizzes and answer questions about it, so they forever have these concepts in their mind. These young boys look up to Mr. Antwon almost as a father figure, because a lot of these boys are missing that role in their homes and have much respect for him, even though they may not show it at all times. Mr. Antwon is a role model to these boys as to Shane is to Ben.
In Shane, one of the main characters, Shane, is a welcomed cowboy who once came across the Starrlett’s land and has been a part of the family ever since. After he becomes quickly accepted into the family, the father, Joe, and him work on things around the house by bonding every step of the way. Ben, the son, slowly becomes accustomed to Shane and tries to understand his story. Day after day, he watches his father and Shane work together on things that his father has spent months trying to accomplish. Bob’s admiration for Shane is so prevalent throughout this novel, because he is always amazed by the things he can do. Two of the main parts in the novel that highlights the idea of Bob’s admiration for Shane is when Shane shows him how to hold and aim a gun and when Shane fights. Shane shows Bob how to handle a gun in a way that is ever so perfect and effortless that truly captivates Bob’s attention. Also, when Shane fights Fletcher’s right hand man with Joe, Bob watches him and cannot get enough of what he has accomplished. Throughout the novel, Bob constantly states how much he wishes he could be like Shane and all of the things he has came to be.
My service learning with the young fifth and sixth grade boys and the novel Shane, relate to the fact that nearly everyone has someone they look up to in their younger years. Mr. Antwon and Shane play primitive roles in the boys and Bob’s lives by doing things that make them very admirable.