This week we read a short story by Langston Hughes called “Thank You Ma’am” and two poems. The short story was about a boy who tried to steal a woman’s purse. She catches him, and brings him back to her house. Instead of yelling at him or calling the police, she makes him wash himself and feeds him dinner. He could have run away at any point, but he stayed in her house. The boy realized that this woman was different than other people in the world. If he had tried to steal anyone else’s purse, they would have called the police and he would have been in trouble. Because the woman took a different approach, the boy’s perspective was changed.
The first poem we read was called “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague. It is about taking the SAT. The SAT is an important test that can determine what college you go to. It has a huge impact on your life. The second poem we read was called “First Practice” by Gary Gildner. It was about a war veteran who is now a football coach. The poem describes the team’s first practice and how the coach is very hard on the players.
I think these three reading all have a common theme of how one thing in your life can change you forever. In the story, the woman changes the boy by treating him the way she does. Even though the author does not tell the reader, you can tell that the boy is never going to try to steal a purse again. In the first poem, the SAT can change the entire course of your life. It determines what college you go to, which then determines what job you get, which determines how the rest of your life will go. In the second poem, I think being a soldier changed the man, which affects his coaching techniques. In Zen Meditation, I always feel like I go in as one person, and after thinking and reflecting in peace, I come out a different person. I think my experience at Zen Meditation shares the theme that the readings for this week have.