Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Year of the City

One can argue that Loyola has instituted "The Year of the City" in an attempt to show students how lucky they are, and to try and push them to want to help fix the problems that can be found in our community. Granted, all of Baltimore does not need to be fixed. However, there is a large portion that does need help, and it seems that Loyola is finally ready to stop ignoring that fact. Many students either have a very stereotypical view of Baltimore or simply have no idea about anything; and niether particularly cares to know. However, it is part of the Jesuit education to inform their students of what the real world is like. It is their duty to help them come out of their naive shells and see that even in an area that has great injustice, beauty can still be found. One way they have tried doing this is by encouraging students to the stories of the people from Baltimore. It is through people's stories, both the good and the bad, that others begin to understand what they and their community stand for.

Danticat understood this fact. She tells the stories of Haitians, these stories give insight into the strength of the people and the hardships their society has faced. Without stories the people and places that are distant from us are just images, but with the stories they become personal, they become part of us. Stories about a persons past give us insight into where they come from, they unite people through the similarities, and educate through the differences. Danticat is trying to educate her readers on what it means to be Haitian, through the stories she is bringing the reader into a personal story, it is extremely intimate. Therefore, the readers look at the society alittle differently. They see their strength in character and start to root for them to succeed.

Without the stories we would probably not feel a connection towards these people, and therefore wouldn't feel anything. The help open us up to the foreign in th comfort of our homes. That is why the year of the city and our class discussions are important. They open us up to the foreign. They make us aware of different walks of life. Lucas' essay shows how the Jesuits are trying to reach different societies, they want to make people aware of what is going on in the world. I feel that Loyola is taking this very idea and re-applying it to Loyola. We got alittle distracted for awhile, but now our ears and hearts are open, and its time for us to become aware again.