Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blogpost 5

Put Me In Coach

In poems by Hague and Gildner and the short story by Hueges, we see the effects of authority on another person. Specifically, in "Directions for Resisting the SAT" we see a speaker trying to break free from authority by not following the guidelines for the SAT. In "First Practice" by Gildner, we see the dominant influence and powerful motivation a coach possesses over his team. "Thank You, Ma'am" by Hughes demonstrates the effectiveness that a good role model and authority figure can have on a troubled individual. 
Richard Hague's poem "Directions for Resisting the SAT" encourages the reader to break free from traditional methods and to think differently about the world. The speaker says, "Desire  to live whole, like an oyster or a snail, and follow no directions. Listen to no one." This is encouraging the readers to make their own decisions in life, and to not just follow the crowd or what is 'normal'. We have to make decisions and decipher what we truly want out of life and how to obtain that ourselves. A wise saying I once heard, "Only the weak and the dumb follow the rules". While I do believe that rules exist fundamentally to ensure safety and liberty, but at times rules entrap us and prevent persons to live outside the box which could help to further progress this country. This poem speaks to breaking free from traditional authority to gain control over the decisions in your life by suggesting we boycott the SAT. 
"First Practice" by Gary Gildner demonstrates the dominant influence and powerful motivation a sports coach can have over their team. This coach speaks with such intensity and imagery that it moves the reader and the team to get determined. No fear, no excuses, just results. This practice, the first practice, the coach is invoking perseverance and courage to continue down the journey, in this case is the sports season. A coach is the one responsible for the success of the team and a key aspect of most sports teams is to channel anger and your emotions to your performance. This coach in the poem is instilling fear in his team in order for the team to channel their emotions on the field and led the team to success. 
Langston Hughes' short story, "Thank You, Ma'am" we see the effect of authority in the behavioral change of Roger by the acts carried out by Mrs. Jones. Roger, a underprivileged child, unsuccessfully attempts to steal Mrs. Jones's purse. She originally thought to phone the police, but instead she takes him into her home to freshen him up. Mrs. Jones allowed Roger to wash up and she fed him whilst she talked to him, telling him more about her story. Mrs. Jones showed compassion even after he was caught for a wrongdoing. By this act of kindness and compassion, Roger learns from an authority figure values and by the end of their visit, he was asking her if she needed help with the groceries. Through this behavioral switch in a brief amount of time, Hughes' demonstrates that morally sound figures can have great effects on their 'students'.
I have witnessed the effects of authority figures at Tunbridge Public Charter School during my volunteer hours. I was working in my first-grade classroom when we started a unit on nutrition. We learned about the importance of eating your fruits and vegetables and how much better our bodies feel after eating a balanced meal versus a bag of chips for lunch. Unfortunately, some of the kids in my classroom are financially disadvantage so many of them can not afford proper nutrition. One of the children came up to me and told me that his mom can only afford buying bulk sized Cheetos bags to disperse amongst their large family and that his stipend lunch was his source for a meal of nutritional value. However, until this unit of nutrition, he did not know it was bad for him. He thought that it was awesome that he got to eat Cheetos for breakfast and dinner! Proper education and authority figures make a difference in the upbringing of the world's youth and can make profound impacts on their lives.

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