Last week on October 22nd, 2013 I was fortunate enough to find time to attend the Collin Powell lecture. He told us his stories and successes, what it was like to hold a very important leading position such as Secretary of State. In Thursday’s readings: Hughes’ “Thank you M’am,” Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” and Gildner’s “First Practice” all share a factor for success.
The little boy in Hughes’ “Thank you, M’am,” made an attempt to steal the purse of Mrs. Jones, but he ending up falling on his back because the weight of the purse was heavier than his. Mrs. Jones was upset and scolds the boy for his actions. She took him by a “half-nelson about his neck” and dragged him to her house where she fed him and made him wash his face. She told him stories of how she was once young and reckless. Because of her hospitality, the boy wanted Mrs. Jones to trust him so he offered to go to the store, but it wasn’t necessary. Mrs. Jones gave the boy the money to go to the store and get the blue suede shoes he wanted, and the boy never saw her again. Hughes wants his readers to know that being kind and honest leads to success.
“Directions for Resisting the SAT” is written so the readers realize that despite what one gets on the SAT, it does not measure who one is as a person and having the ability to excel in other interests in college and afterwards. Hague encourages his readers to “Make your mark on everything,” like we do on the SATs. This poem reminds me of the part of the Hanway lecture where Collin Powell was telling us how he received a low GPA in his undergrad years, but ended up where he is now. With determination, anything is possible.
In Gildner’s “First Practice,” the coach, Clifford Hill, “was a man who believed that dogs ate dogs.” He was determined to win the title, and in a way appeared intimidating to his players so that they can persevere and work for that title. Coach Hill was serious about winning this title and included that “if there were any girls present for them to leave now.” This adds to the intimidation and motivation that the Coach is bestowing on them. It takes certain perseverance in order to win a championship title. Like Collin Powell, who after during the military years and further on, learned that working hard and persevering to be successful in his endeavors got him to where he is now.
The readings for Thursday, and the Hanway Lecture last week correlate in a way that portrayed the “how to” to success. One can be successful in many ways, but through the readings and the lecture, I have learned that being kind to people, working hard, and being determined everyday will pay off in the long run despite the obstacles along the way.