Last week I was given the wonderful opportunity to hand out candy to young trick-or-treaters from the Refugee Youth Program. My RA signed up our whole floor to welcome the trick-or-treaters and provide a safe environment for them to have fun, dress up and get candy. The readings for this week, A Father by Bharati Mukherjee, Serving Up Hope by Stephanie Shapiro, Directions for Resisting the SAT by Richard Hague and First Practice by Gary Gildner, all share a common theme in which the narrators and speakers influence their future and the future of those around them. I found this to be relatable to my event topic in which I felt that I was making a difference in the lives of the children of the Refugee Youth Program. By participating in last Thursday’s trick-or-treating, I felt as though I made a positive impact on the lives of the children by welcoming them with open arms into our Loyola community.
In A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, an Indian family is met with the challenges of clashing Indian and American cultures. The father’s firm Indian beliefs has an affect on his wife and daughter’s cultural views, as they have adapted to be more welcoming of western cultures. There are a few controversies, in particular one issue is pregnancy out of wedlock, but in the end the father sticks to his old fashioned morals and abides by his native culture, and that’s what has the most influence on those around him.
The same theme runs in Serving Up Hope by Stephanie Shapiro. Galen and Bridget Samson act in a positive way to better improve the impoverished communities plagued by druggies, dealers and other convicts. Their efforts to provide employment opportunities, specifically through the Dogwood Deli, helped to transform a community that was once tormented by grief and poverty.
Directions for Resisting the SAT, by Richard Hague, helps to inspire the reader to reevaluate what your SAT scores really stand for and how they define you as a person, or more so how they don’t. Hague challenges our perception of how the SAT’s reflect our work ethic or our intelligence. He suggests that we don’t allow the SAT’s to define any part of who we are, and that we can determine our own fate and inspire others to do the same.
First Practice, by Gary Gildner, describes relationships between a team and their coach at their first practice. The coach influences the players on the team in ways that they should be prepared to take advantage of any and all opportunities that might lay ahead in any challenges that they face.
All of these tie back into the theme of influencing those around you in a positive way to make a difference. Whether one’s a determined coach who tries to better their team, or one who chooses to serve others to better improve a broken community, we can all make our own choices to create an impact on those who are close to us. Each one of these readings and poems challenges the reader to do the same to better their own communities. I felt that through volunteering for the Refugee Youth Program, I made a positive impact on the young children trick-or-treating and as a result I feel as though I bettered myself as a human being.