Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The true meaning of living by Jesuit values

The readings, “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, “Accident, Mass. Ave.,” by Jill McDonough, “Learning to Read” by Frances E. W. Harper and “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education” by Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, all have messages based upon what is learned through a Jesuit education. I have chosen to do service learning and I plan to do it in Tunbridge public charter school, which is a public school that operates privately and they also share some of the same values of a Jesuit education. I also believe that while volunteering at Tunbridge I shall see some of these messages that were in the poems. While I am volunteering at Tunbridge public charter school I expect to better understand what it means to be part of the Baltimore community because even though I have spent my whole life in Maryland, I still feel like a stranger in Baltimore because the only times I ever really went there was to see the Orioles games. I expect to gain some insight in a teachers mind as I will help a teacher with her schedule. I also hope that I am able to provide the kids with some my prior knowledge in school and life and hopefully they will help me have a better understanding of what it means to live in their community.

            In the poem, “Accident, Mass. Ave.,” by Jill McDonough, the speaker explains how one day a little woman backed her car into his truck and his first reaction was to get out of his car and begin yelling and swearing at her. He says that because they are from Boston they both know that they must start blaming each other and swearing but in the middle of their fight they realize that she only bumped into his tire and there was really no significant damage at all. After realizing that fact the speaker becomes conscious that he wrong and was only coming off as an aggressor since she was at fault and he was clearly bigger than her and looked like he was going to strike. So in the end he forgave her and consoles her by hugging her in the middle of the street. The speaker learns that this whole thing about being from Boston meaning that you have to immediately start screaming is just not real and that one must be forgiving and care about the other people around you and especially those in your community. Since I will be working with kids, I do believe that I will see some quarrels and hopefully I can mediate the problem before it gets out of hand. In a Jesuit education they teach you that in whatever field you choose to go into you will have interact with others and that is part of human life.

            In “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost there are two neighbors who decide to build a wall between their houses but later the speaker questions whether the wall is really necessary. Something keeps breaking the wall but the neighbor keeps insisting that they repair it and keeps saying that “Good fences make good neighbors”. In the end there seems to be something dark in the neighbor as he continues to repair the wall. The poem writes this poem to talk about the boundaries that are made in real life and how we must question whether some must really exist that separate us from one another. While working at Tunbridge I expect there to be no boundaries between me and the students and that we communicate and get along well. I want to work alongside these kids and help them with their school work in order to be better educated.

            The poem “Learning to Read” by Frances E. W. Harper especially relates to both my future work at Tunbridge at the Jesuit education I am receiving. The poem it set at the time when slavery was still around and describes how a sixty year old woman is still trying to get an education by learning how to read when the “Yankee teachers” came to teach the slaves. Some people told her that it was too late to learn, but she only saw that she needed to learn it quicker since her time was almost done. She said that the main reason was because she wanted to read the bible and once she did she felt as independent as a queen. I hope that the kids I will be working with will have the same mentality as the old lady and always keep trying on their work and know to never give up no matter what the odds are.

            In “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education” by Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, he depicts what it means to have a Jesuit education and what their values and goals are. He declares that Jesuit education has sought to educate the “whole person” which includes more than just physically and intellectually. He also states that the real measure of Jesuit universities is in the people in which the graduates become. On the Tunbridge website it states that their mission is to teach the habits of mind and body that will lead to their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional health. It seems to me that the goals of each school are both the same and only want the best for their well-being of the student.

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