"The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth are all connected in a surprising ways to my experience working with Best Buddies. Best Buddies is an international organization and its purpose is to positively impact the lives of those people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. My High School was lucky enough to have this as a club that anyone could join. Being a part of this club, you were really able to see how amazing the kids that are that have these disabilities. They are able to love unconditionally and always seem to be able to brighten anyone’s day.
The obsession some people have with the imperfections of others can ruin any type of relationship. In "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Alymer became obsessive with his wife, Georgiana, birthmark. His obsession ruins their relationship and he isn't able to see why he loved is wife because all he can focus on is her only imperfection. In general people tend to fixate on flaws instead of everything else someone has to offer. Some students in my High School were very much like this. Instead of joining Best Buddies, they would only judge and fixate on the flaws that the disabled students of our High School had. They were never able to get pass their differences and continued to live with the skewed perception they formed of these students.
Every person needs the freedom to spread their wings and experience life from their own perspective. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a sad story about a woman who is prevented from full development. John, her husband, assumes he is wiser and smarter and uses his own knowledge to "help" his wife in whichever way he thinks best. His wife is unable to make any of her own decisions and cannot stand up for herself. She has absolutely no say in anything. The disabled students of my High School were able to think for themselves and make their own decisions. Though they needed assistance, they were still individuals who had their own thought process and could act like their own person. There were always a few people with the mindset that these students should be more restrained, almost the same way John kept his wife from reaching her full potential.
"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth is a poem about the joy the reader gets after finding a field of daffodils. He says, "A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company." This scene brings him so much joy and happiness that when he his feeling "vacant or in pensive mood" he flashes back to that place and it makes him happy. The same can be said for the meetings we had with the Best Buddies students. Being with them you could not help but feel happy because you were in such great company and when you feeling down you could always think back to a memory you had with them and you could always be sure it would brighten your mood.
All three readings can relate to the strength of the Best Buddies students. They really are amazing people and having the chance to be a part of their lives, even if it was only for a short time, was still something I will never forget and hopefully I will be able to continue working with Best Buddies through programs offered from Loyola.