The poems “Directions for Resisting SAT” by Richard Hague, “First Practice” by Gary Gildner, and short story “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes all have the theme of perseverance in common. This theme relates to the event "Diversity from a distance: can outsiders make a difference?" by Catherine Savell. This talk was about how the students of Loyola can get involved in helping the people of Haiti.
In the poem “Directions for Resisting SAT” by Richard Hague, the speaker encourages young teens to not stress so hard about the SAT’s. He explained how we should not base our success in life or live solely to do good on the SAT’s. The speaker wanted the readers to know that this test should not define who we are. We need to take charge of our own lives and not let life pass us by, live in this moment because we are only given this opportunity once.
In the poem “First Practice” by Gary Gildner, the speaker describes his experience at the first practice for a seemingly upcoming war. The speaker gave the reader a glance at what life was like training for battle. He mention Clifford Hill’s, who might have been his sergeant, opinion on how to get by during this process. Hill “was a man who believed dogs ate dogs”, he believed only the physically fit and strong-will individual could survive this war. Hill also hints at his male superiority way of thinking when he said girls should leave now. One can interpret this has Hill saying females are the dogs who get eaten (killed) by males in battle because they are not strong nor resilient enough to endure the hardships of war.
Short story “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, is about a young boy named Roger who tries and fails to steal from an older lady named Mrs. Jones. Roger does not have the family or support system to guide into making the right choices. Mrs. Jones stops Roger before he is able to take her purse. She brings him back to her house because he looks hungry and dirty. Mrs. Jones doesn’t report him to the police or even reprimands him for his behavior. She let him wash up, fed him, and even told him a little bit about herself.
The talk on diversity, the poems, and short story all have the theme of perseverance. During the talk Madame Savell said something that perfectly describes how this events relates to the readings. She said even if a project is extremely difficult, you will have to deal with it because success will come about if you don’t give up. The speaker in “Directions for Resisting the SAT” invites his readers to see pass what the standardize test does to our life and tells us that we can and will succeed in life. The “First Practice” and the diversity talk relate by only strong willed people can endure each event. In the poem, a weak person could not survive the hardships of war because it was a dog eat dog world. While the talk wasn’t as vicious as the poem, the project still called for individuals with a strong desire to give back and those in need. The project needed people who are able to easily adapt to a different environment and culture. To get out of their comfort zone. The short story relates to the talk because the non-judgmental views. In “Thank You Ma’am”, when one reads about a young boy trying to steal from an older woman, the reader would probably think the boy is an impolite deviant while the woman is a helpless person. However this is not the case when both Roger and Mrs. Jones are written in a different light. Roger is actually a polite boy, asking Mrs. Jones if she needs help while Mrs. Jones does not need any help to take care of her-self. The Haiti relief project at first may seem like a daunting task, but once get there and help the children who are desperately in need and create an unforgettable bond, the project becomes more fun.
The readings for this week combined with the talk on Diversity installed lessons one can keep in the back of their mind as a guide. With Determination and hope one can accomplish what they put their mind to. Even if it was just a short happenstance as in “Thank you, Ma’am”, a long encounter through basic training in “First Practice”, or brief words of encouragement in “Directions on Resisting the SAT”. One cannot simply give up and choose to succumb to the expectations of society.