March 21, 2013
Mukherjee’s short story “A Father,” Shapiro’s article “Serving up Hope,” Hague’s Poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” and Gildner’s poem “First Practice” all expresses themes of acceptance and perseverance. The short story and articles paint a picture of receiving a second chance through the descriptions of the main characters and the chefs starting over.
In the short story “A Father,” the protagonist, Mr. Bhowmick comes to realize what he has sacrificed for his family in moving to America. Growing up in Ranchi, India he learned the customs and traditions of the Hindu faith. With his strong belief in Hindu and his beliefs, transitioning to a new life in America is difficult. He wants to stay true to his beliefs while still supporting his beliefs and practicing his faith. Mr. Bhowmick’s second chance came after he moved from Ranchi to Bombay. While working in Bombay, trying to support his wife and daughter, He is granted his visa. Him and his family move to America to start a new life. Mr. Bhowmick respected the wishes of his wife and her yearning to fulfill her “American dreams.” In America they could start over and raise their daughter, Babli. Although moving to America was not his first choice, Mr. Bhowmick chooses to accept the challenge presented to him. He wants to make his wife happy and give new opportunities to his daughter. In accepting the move to America, he also had to start accepting the Western way of life. Watching his daughter grow up was difficult, he didn’t want her to throw away the Hindu culture, but making friends and through school, his traditions and beliefs were not her main priority. This causes him to struggle with his happiness and his own strength. As Babli conformed to western ways she grew further apart and began to become harder to love. When Mr. Bhowmick finds out that she is pregnant he is disturbed that it brings him happiness but at the same time shame to his beliefs. He again chooses acceptance and thinks of his grandchild crawling towards him and the happiness it will bring him. When he finds out the true way of her conception, he acts out of wrath, hitting his daughter in the stomach. He expresses his anger and shame that she has brought up on his family. His acceptance only goes so far, and he lashes out to make his point of his strong beliefs and the traditions he continues to uphold.
In the article “Serving up Hope” the Sampson’s give second chances to those who are in need. They work closely with people who have been in jail and have had difficulty in their lives. They give these people second chances by teaching them how to cook. In teaching them how to cook, they are providing these people with life skills that put them on track to starting over and setting their lives on a good path. This is important because the Sampson’s are accepting people’s pasts and providing them with a chance to start clean and make a living for themselves. In providing people with a second chance, they are “Serving up Hope” and bringing happiness to the former drug addicts and convicts, who may not find it if they were in a different rehab situation. Their rehabilitation program allows the people to start over in a healthy way, and keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.
Last night I attended the lecture on how to be an Ally. The lecture was extremely insightful and gave lots of great information on how to be supportive of friends, family, and peers that are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered. Being an ally is extremely hard because you are standing up for people that have struggle to find their true sexuality and people may not be accepting. By not accepting, the prejudiced people are causing pain for those struggling to find their sexuality. The lecture was given by two faculty members, a professor who works closely with the Spectrum club, who is straight, and a faculty member who has come out and is openly gay. The lecture gave insights on a different generations perspective, and the struggles that he went through when he was coming out. Being an ally is one of the most important things, because it provides comfort, and stability to those who need it. By standing up to prejudices, we are providing the gay community with strength and support and showing that we love, care, and accept them.
Another lecture I attended with week was Juliana Baggot’s talk about her new trilogy. I found this lecture very interesting also. She talked about her time at Loyola and her struggles with her major and the difficulties of having a very overprotective mother. She accepted her mother’s extreme overprotectiveness and tried to accept the embarrassment that came along with it. She gave a great talk full of advice for finishing freshman year and advice for the future. She also read the prologue of the second book of the trilogy. After listening to the story and to her lecture I really want to read her work. She is a cross genre author and reaches out to many different groups of people. Her trilogy is set in a post apocalyptic work and describes destruction, corruption, and adventure. I am very interested in reading her trilogy because she talked about her inspirations. She said, “My inspirations comes from 17 million moments in my life.” She combines her memories and moments and conforms them into fantastical characters and plot that immerse the readers into the characters lives. She definitely left me wanting more, and me great new books to add to my reading list!