Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blog Post #5

Tommy Ireland

Dr. Ellis

Understanding Literature

21 March 2013

Event 5 Analysis

            My event that I attended was March 19th Zen Meditation in Hammerman House on February 26th 2013 and in this paper I am comparing individual opinion in Bharati Mukherjee’s “A Father,” Stephanie Shapiro’s “Serving up Hope,” Richard Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” and Gary Gildner’s “First Practice.”  Individual opinion is a very important characteristic to have and to voice.  It gives everyone a sense of identity and can greatly affect the mindset and opinions.
            Individual opinion plays a very important role in Zen Meditation.  I have noticed this ever since I have had my first Zen meditation experience in senior year of high school.  Since Zen Meditation involves so much of inner thought and centering of the mind, personal opinion appears in these thoughts.  Your opinions on the world and everything in your life are amplified since your thoughts are centered so greatly.  A great example is one of my personal experiences in this session.  My opinions on religion were amplified greatly during this session.  I came to realize that I sometimes lean on religion usually when the times are going good.  The past few weeks have been some of the best weeks of my life and I realized that I have been praying more often because of it.  I had no idea that this was the way I viewed religion.  It is very important to realize that individual opinions are amplified in Zen Meditation because people who want to figure out really what is important in their life can use this exercise in their favor.  Letting people know about the usefulness of Zen Meditation has become a minor goal to me now.
            Bharati Mukherjee’s “A Father” also involves individual opinion.  In this case, it involves personal opinion about a daughter getting pregnant.  An example of this found earlier on in the work.  “Babli would abort, of course.  He knew his Babli.  It was the only possible option if she didn’t want to bring shame to the Bhowmick family.”  Mr. Bhowmick states his individual opinion very casually and bluntly.  Without even confronting his daughter about his suspicions, he automatically created his own opinion about what his daughter would do.  He assumed that she would abort the baby in order to prevent shame being brought to the family.  Nowadays, teenagers want freedom at younger and younger ages.  This is important here because teens now want responsibility for things such as this.  Mr. Bhowmick’s daughter, if just reading this segment, might want to keep the baby and raise it. It is important for everyone to have a individual opinion such as the sensitive topic of abortion.
Stephanie Shapiro’s “Serving up Hope” has a small section of individual opinion.  “Several years ago, neither Brock nor Lewis could have progressed beyond dead-end jobs in the restaurant business. Now, they practically run the bustling café.”  The narrator expresses her opinion strongly here.  She talks about how they couldn’t have gotten a job because of their job problem.  Just because of their drug problem, does not mean they cannot be successful.  An important lesson can be learned from this.  Having an opinion about someone does not mean it is a right one.  Just because someone may have a problem or seem to have a problem, does not mean they are unable to achieve goals.  Another way of saying this is never judge a book by its cover!
Richard Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT” has an example of individual opinion as well.  Besides the title, the first two lines of the poem says, “Do not believe in October or May or in any Saturday morning with pencils.”  In these lines, the main idea of the whole poem is expressed.  He wants to tell you about how the SATs are not important.  Even the title gets his point across.  The first two lines is a great example because he tells his opinion in a form of a command.  This is one of the many ways to express individual opinions.  The important thing to take away from this is that everyone in the world has opinions.  Since there are so many opinions out there, there are also so many ways to voice opinions.  Learning how to voice different opinions in different ways is a very effective way of communicating.  If you feel strong enough about your opinion, then telling it is a command can be a very effective method.
            Gary Gildner’s “First Practice” is the last work that has an example of individual opinion.  An example of this is found in the second stanza.  “OK, he said, he said I take that to mean you hungry men who hate to lose as much as I do.”  Here, one of the characters takes a bold assumption and thinks that the all of the players look like they are just as motivated as the coach.  This also is another case of judging a book by a cover.  He looked at all the players and assumed they were ready to play.  Even if they looked ready, they still could not be mentally prepared.  The lesson is that you really cannot truly know how someone feels just by external appearance. 
            Overall, these works including individual opinions.  Individual opinion can be found everywhere, not just in these works.  It is important to find your opinions and find the appropriate way to voice them throughout the world. 

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