Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Suspending Judgments

Many times in life people are judged for simple actions or words that are said. It is these judgments that debilitate humankind. Judgments are also the cause for many arguments. Because people have this weakness to suddenly judge someone or something, it inhibits them from learning and becoming aware of different aspects of society. Judgment is evident in Dunbar’s poem “Theology”, Cullen’s poem “Tableau”, and Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.
            The word theology can be defined as the study of religion. In Dunbar’s poem “Theology”, the speaker is not talking about religion or spirituality, but races. The first three lines of the poem are a reflection of the way he see himself. He believes that because of his humane actions and prayers he is going to heaven. Heaven is symbolic of the good in society, while hell that is seen in the last three lines is symbolic of the weakness and wrong in society. One reason why the speaker judges his neighbors and associates them with hell could be from their actions or their race. The judgment of the speaker on his neighbors reveals how the speaker feels he is better then they are, which ultimately makes him equal or lesser. In Countee Cullen’s poem “Tableau” the racial issue is also present; however the emotions of this poem are the opposite. This poem is about two lovers that are walking down the street physically and metaphorically. As they physically walk down the street others are judging them with “stares” and “talk”. God is even watching (although he is never directly mentioned but represented through the weather). God is watching, along with everyone else, as the two metaphorically break the social norms of segregation. This poem reveals that judgments shouldn’t exist especially in terms of race because love is colorblind.
            Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein also has the themes of love and judgment. The doctor’s creation of this horrible monster led to a variety of different emotions. Because of the monsters unpleasant and possible offensive looks, he was judged to be harmful and dangerous. It is this type of rash judgment that still exists today.
            The event I attended this week was a panel of speakers about teachers in urban areas. The panelists were questioned if they believe teachers should be prepared before placed in an urban environment and what should schools teach new teachers about urban communities. The panelist that stood out the most to me was from Marquette University. She spoke about how teachers must become cultural anthropologists and suspend their judgment.  She also began with the statement teaching for social justice. This stood out to me because of my studies at Loyola, a Jesuit education where social justice is a valued belief. Teaching in an urban community is very difficult, but what I took away from the panelist is that by suspending judgments and taking the urban environment as a learning experience, teachers and students will both be more successful.  

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