I have now begun to work one on one with the kids at Tunbridge and I hope to keep working with them so they can better understand the mataerial. The readings, “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague, “First Practice” by Gary Gildner, and “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, seem to all have a similar message that I have I also found while working with the kids. They all share a message that a single moment can but does not have to define you and that you alone make the choices that affect your life.
In the first poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT”, the speaker is saying to go against everything that the SAT stands for and to really not even take it at all. He says, “Lie about numbers.” and Speak nothing like English.” which is the main subjects that the SAT is about. Richard Hague does not think that SAT is not reliable source for people including colleges to judge how smart you are that you decide your own path. He ends his poem by saying “Listen to no one. Make your mark on everything.” Every single person that wants to go to at least a decent college has to take the SAT and I believe that every single person feels anxious before taking the test because they have to do well in order to get into a good college. In the last few moments of class Mr. Graeff sent a student over who I knew struggled regularly in that class because I filed their quiz scores and they usually are very low. They were learning about mixed fractions and the teacher did an example with in front of the whole class so basically knew what he was doing but needed more practice. I also knew that this student very much resisted doing homework like in resisting the SAT. I advised him that, like you need to do the SAT to get into college, he needed to do his homework in order get better grades on his quizzes and tests.
In the second poem, “First Practice”, the speaker is describing his very first day at practice including his physical and describes the demeanor of his new coach. I feel that the speaker is trying tell us that in this world you make your own decisions that shape your life. He says that he believes that dogs eat dogs and that he even killed for his country. He is showing how cruel the world can be and you have to be willing to fight for what you want. He then tells the players that if there are any “girls” present to leave now, which I believe was just his way to say if they were any weak players who thought they could not handle this team to leave. Gary Gildner wrote the words “No one, which were in “Directions for Resisting the SAT” too, in a single line and then finished the sentence with left which shows how they all made the decision to stay for better or worse at his practice. As I said earlier the student that I worked has to make the choice to do his homework because no one can really force him to do it but in the long run it will help him more than anyone.
The last reading is a short story “Thank You, Ma’am” where Hughes describes an event where a boy tries to steal the purse from an older lady. The boy is stopped by the old lady when the strap is broken but instead of calling the police she yells at the boy asking him where his morals are and why does his face looks dirty. She then brings him to her house and even invites him to dinner. She tells him she did some stuff in the past that she was not proud of and still she gave him the ten dollars he wanted to take from her in order to buy some suede shoes. The woman gave the boy a second chance to do well with his life and told the boy to behave himself and never steal again. The boy in the story now has a choice with how to live his life and it is all up to him. When the student was practicing multiplying mixed fractions he had to turn them into improper fractions first then multiply them and then turn the fractions back into mixed. There was one problem where I believe the fraction was 88 over 20 and he was having trouble solving it so I taught him the trick I use to divide and subtract. I asked him what was the closest number to 88 that goes into 20 evenly and he said 80. Then I told him to subtract 80 from 88 and there was the answer. I feel that this was something that he could now use and he didn't know before and was grateful for me helping better comprehend the material.