Week 3: How’s the Fishin’ Goin’


Evangelical tracks. That was all we were given when we were dropped off at the 75 foot long fishing pier packed with late night fishermen, only in town for the weekend. Our single instruction was to pass out these tracks to the fishermen as a conversation starter for the gospel. This was by the far the most cut-and-dry witnessing tactic I have ever done on a mission trip.

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Kaleb, Bryson, and I striking a ninja pose after completing our roller coaster made out of foam, duct tape, and some cereal boxes during Day Camp.

Of course, Pastor John gave us somewhat of a pep talk, but really, this cold witnessing is what the staff at First Baptist Church of Grand Isle does every Friday night. Splitting us up into two groups of three, the other summer missionaries and I stepped onto the pier, ready to talk to complete strangers about Jesus.

If talking about my faith is supposedly natural for me, why is this type of witnessing so terrifying? A few things ran through my head as I walked up to my first encounter. Let’s call them: #ThoughtsWhileWitnessingToStrangeFishermen

Thought #1: I don’t know him.

This is true. I don’t know any of the people whom I will walk up and ask a few small talk questions before diving straight into a questionnaire of the personal beliefs of the other person. But what better way than to practice intentional conversations on a person I don’t know (and who doesn’t know me) and a person I will most likely never meet again? This should relieve some pressure and apprehension.

Thought #2: What if I say the wrong thing and scare the fishermen?

Considering that I am a random girl coming up to talk to some guy I don’t know, I don’t think I can scare him any more than that. Also, if I make myself available to God, He will use me. But if I allow my fear of saying the wrong thing to keep me from ever attempting to share the gospel, then God will not be able to speak through my words.

Thought #3: Wow, I am super awkward right now.

Fake it until you make it. If I keep acknowledging my awkwardness, then obviously it will be apparent to everyone. But if I put on a calm, cool, and collected face, then maybe I can fool myself and the person I am talking to. Nonetheless, is not the IMG_7330salvation of Jesus worth a little awkwardness?

Thought #4: I don’t know what to say after he is done talking. Do I ask him if he knows Jesus? Should I invite him to church? Or should I just walk away now before anything really happens?

In conversations like these, I am always thinking several moves ahead. It’s like a chess game and I have to predict the next move so that I can stay ahead of the game. But life is not a predictable chess game. What needs to happen first and foremost is for us to be still and listen. God has already planned out how everything will go, we just need to follow it. But if our thoughts are going a hundred miles an hour, then how can we listen to God?

Witnessing on the pier is something I do not look forward to every week. It’s a sad but true fact. But, it is one of the most rewarding things we do on the island because it challenges me to continually listen for God’s voice and get out of my shell. To become fearless and bold, you have to challenge yourself in situations or else, you will never improve. Perfect practice makes perfect. How many times do we just put forth a sad attempt for the gospel and pat ourselves on the back for just trying? No, we need to put it all on the line and not be content until every ear hears the gospel.

Week 4 is well under way here in Grand Isle. Keep reading and I’ll keep posting.

Week 2: Head fakes, Lay ups, and 21 for the Soul


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The Bay at sunset

When I tell people that I am a summer missionary, most people begin to look at me differently. But when I start to tell jokes, laugh, and be silly, they are really taken aback. It is as if becoming a summer missionary has now made it illegal for me to have fun. In all honesty, being a summer missionary contains almost too much fun. I do not bring up a spiritual topic every time I have a conversation (although I do steer the conversation to be one that is filled with salt and light). Actually, where I spend most of my time is on the basketball court.

As it turns out, the small town atmosphere of Grand Isle is very enthusiastic about basketball.

And as God would have it, basketball is my favorite sport (I like the way they dribble up and down the court etc etc). Since coming to this island, I have played two to three games of one-on-one and 21 a day. I play with five year olds, teenagers, and even my fellow missionaries.

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Derek Minor and Propaganda concert in the House of Blues during our Sunday day trip to New Orleans

To the disappointment of my eager and fast-paced personality, I have not had one conversion for Christ amidst all this basketball. I spend most of my time sweating in spite of my out-of-shapeness. Why is it so hard for these kids that I spend so much time with getting to know and playing with to finally open up to me? My frustration springs not from rationality but from my pride. I want to bear the honor of bringing the masses to Christ.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 2.00.07 PMBut what did Paul say? Some of us water. Some of us plant the seed. But it is all God’s work.

Any time we tell the gospel, whether it is indirectly through our daily lives or directly through our words, we will not ever completely understand the immediate and/or long-term effect. Maybe the one receiving the gospel will understand it on the spot or maybe in years from now. The worst thing any of us can do is force the response we want because it may not be the one we want that is the actual one that is felt.

With each telling of the gospel, we are taking “steps” towards salvation. How many times did you have to hear the gospel until you understood it? One time? I highly doubt that. Did you have to hear four times? Maybe 7 times? So, perhaps this time you tell the gospel to a person, it will be just one of the many times they will need to hear it. But it is just as important that you tell it because they need it.

If God gets all the honor and glory, does it really matter who gets the honor to lead a person to Christ? No, it only matters that a soul is won regardless of who did it.

Andrew and I tag teamed to teach Children's Church on Sunday.  The kids of Grand Isle love to dress up and do skits.  Even if the costumes are irrelevant to the Bible story
Andrew and I tag teamed to teach Children’s Church on Sunday. The kids of Grand Isle love to dress up and do skits. Even if the costumes are irrelevant to the Bible story

That’s what I have to remember every time I play yet another game of 21. Sometimes it is with a kid that we were all sure that understood God’s love, yet maybe the kid needed to a physical reminder of what love looks like. So, I play even with the aching of knees. Maybe I need to play with a kid that is new to even the idea of church being fun. So, I play even with sleep clouding my mind. Maybe I need to play one more game of around-the-world with a youth helper who thought Christianity was only for kids. So, I play even with my face turning a deeper shade of red.

We never know where someone is in their faith walk. Maybe they need the encouragement or the laugh or just a friend. Dark days fall on us all, but most of us try to hide this fact that we still struggle even after being saved. So, I play just one more game for times such as these.

Opening Assembly for Day Camp
Opening Assembly for Day Camp

Week 2 is complete, and we are gearing up for another week of silly songs, prayers of no more island-wide power outages, and of course lots of basketball. Until next time, my friends 🙂

Week 1: When Using Prayer to Defuse Awkwardness


Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 7.19.20 PMOne of the most important things when pursuing a goal, is to start off right. Because if you start off right, your focus is fixed on whatever will get you through. But, if you begin with a skewed focus, motivation will deplete as obstacles and adversities pop up.

This is how prayer is suppose to be.

A prayer’s goal is to re-prioritize the one praying from being self-centered to God-centered. We tap into the Holy Spirit whenwe pray to the One Who gives us the guidance on how to seek first the kingdom and the mind of Christ. But most of the time, prayer is used as a time filler. If in the middle of a very awkward transition during a service, the #1 go-to strategy is to pray. When someone is taking his or her sweet time to get on stage—Pray! When the band is having technical difficulties—Pray! When the pastor does not know how to go from announcements into the message—you got it, you just pray.

Elizabeth and I lead a girls' night every Tuesday night to have fun with some of the youth girls
Elizabeth and I lead a girls’ night every Tuesday night to have fun with some of the youth girls

With this mind set, I began to look at prayer as a joke.

As if it was actually just a trade secret on how to avoid any awkwardness during a service. But, this is not the point of prayer. Prayer should be done in a constant manner because it’s our direct line to an all-knowing, all-powerful Source. Do we take advantage of this all-powerful Source that can fully equip us each day with wisdom and guidance? Nope. That’s because we dumb prayer down to a de-awkward-fyer.

Here in Grand Isle, it was absolutely vital for all of us to start off strong.

Although God can use anything, even my mistakes, it was important for my own confidence that I start off with a productive week. And praise be to God, it was. It really was one of the best weeks.

IMG_6625For this week, a typical day looked like this: we begin at 830 am with a missionary devotion and plunge right into planning for Day Camp that day. We create games for the kids along with a skit, bible study, and a time to memorize Scripture. After re-fueling at the Energy 21 cafeteria that serves some questionable meats but also the best soft serve ice cream this side of I-10, we send out a 15 passenger van which picks up the children for the 3 and half hour Day camp. After returning all the children at the conclusion of Day Camp which is a 6-week VBS, we grab dinner as we prepare for evening activities. Evening activities arrange from youth to girls bible study to game nights to adult bible studies. Every night is something different and is packed with some sort of activity. After evening activities, we missionaries chill at the pastor’s house across the street or head to our long a waited beds.

Not only is it important to have a good first week to jump start the rest of the summer. It is equally important to begin each day strong.

It will be impossible to look at this summer as a whole because each moment I am handling a different situation more unique and more individual than the last. That is because I am dealing with people and to generalize people would be to stereotype and dehumanize. I do not look at them like they are all from the same region and therefore require the same treatment. Instead, they all require, and should expect, individual treatment based upon their needs.

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Making sand castles on our off-day with Hannah (Pastor John’s daughter), Riley, and Noah.

And what made this week a perfect jump start? The kids in Day Camp are perfect angels. Okay, that’s a major exaggeration, but they do have a desire to memorize Scripture (for a free snowball, of course), actively participate in the Bible Study (the section I am in charge of), and eager to pray out loud in the opening ceremony. We also have plenty of youth helpers who either out of boredom or further pursuit of Jesus come each day to assist with the very rambunctious children. Already, all of the missionaries keep me on my toes with their many jokes and one-liners. I couldn’t imagine teaming up with anyone else than Riley, Elizabeth, Caleb, and Andrew. We are five different college students walking five very different walks of faith. All of us have one thing in common—I can school them all in basketball. Or, more importantly, we all want to see the truth of the gospel reach the ends of the earth. This is why the week was a perfect jump start.

Because I am refreshed every day with their enthusiasm and love for our mission.

To remind me to treat each day with a new energy, we, the missionaries, attend a devotion every morning that lasts up to an hour or longer led by Pastor John (the head pastor) and Noah (the teaching/youth pastor). We discuss Scripture and concepts, ask questions, and hear various stories from Pastor John. There is a great need of the gospel in Grand Isle. But, if I rush through the summer, through Day Camp, through a week, or even through a single day—the preciousness of these moments is lost and I skip over opportunities. I don’t want to waste a single moment. So, each morning I pray and let God take control from there.

Week 1 is complete! I hope you enjoyed reading and continue to pray for us here at the tip of the boot as we love God, love people, and I try to love seafood (not so much on the last one).
I’ll post each week!

To be continued….

This is How You Intern: From Small Town Anacoco to Even Smaller Town Grand Isle to Share the Gospel


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At one time or another, I was told that life did not start until after college. This assumption evolved into a natural theology as I assumed everyone’s reality was after high school came college and only after college can life start being lived.

But if the sayings “to travel is to arrive” and “the journey is the destination” are true, then life does not start after graduation—life is happening (-ing verb, not -ed verb) whether I want to acknowledge it or not. This is why I decided to spend 9 weeks in Grand Isle, Louisiana (not only because it’s a hopping place to be). On this tiny island at the tip of the boot, I am working under one of the best and most effective church planters in South Louisiana, Mr. John Boss, while putting on a Children’s Day Camp, assisting with youth, and doing all sorts of other activities here around the island with his team of 7 missionaries at First Baptist Church of Grand Isle. I do not want to wait until I get out of Ruston to finally learn how to witness, share my faith, and actually be a Christian.

I can’t possibly expect my restless spirit to hold off until then.

Grand Isle, LA
Grand Isle, LA

Even so, as a college student, I have the opportunity to do almost anything with my summer. And as a Louisiana Tech student, I have about three months to do whatever I can to get myself ahead in my already-budding career. Coming to this island that almost no one has ever heard of, in a secluded place that you only come to if you are purposefully looking for it (and sometimes not even then), this summer seems almost counterproductive for my future.

But I would beg to differ. Let me explain.

About four summers ago, I was a 14-year girl about to enter the very scary realm of Anacoco High School. During that particular summer, I went to New Orleans on a week-long mission trip at a center named the Carver Center. This center had become a place where children in the community would come to escape the gang-ridden and drug-infested home life which makes up the majority of inner-city New Orleans. The Carver Center hired a gaggle of excited summer missionaries each year with the purpose of loving the kids with the love of Christ. Each of the missionaries loved every child and teen instantly. The missionaries acted quite unlike any group of college students I had ever met—they seemed to be radiating with something that could not ever be extinguished, even in the sinful city of NOLA. I followed these strange missionaries around like a shadow during the duration of the week in hopes that whatever foreign happiness they had, whatever secret they knew, I would learn it and be just as happy.

They possessed no such secret.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.24.40 PMThere was not something in the water that made these summer missionaries love like no one else I have ever met. There is, nonetheless, something about living out one’s faith, even when it is hard and even when it is not popular, which that makes it addictive. I found that at first the thought of telling someone else about Jesus is terrifying, but I would have to allow myself to be uncomfortable in order to truly experience how great it is to witness.

That was the high that these summer missionaries were on: they could not get enough of this Jesus that spoke mercy, grace, and love into their lives.

I do not believe being a summer missionary in Grand Isle will grant me more grace than the next person or that God will love me more because of a summer dedicated to Him. I do believe, on the contrary, that a summer spent in Grand Isle will challenge me to depend solely on prayer and His Word because I have nothing else to give myself or the kids here.

First Baptist Church of Grand Isle is the church plant in Grand Isle that I serve at for the summer.
First Baptist Church of Grand Isle is the church plant in Grand Isle that I serve at for the summer.

I cannot give these kids anything else but Jesus because I know nothing else will work.

That was the not-so-secret secret that the summer missionaries from the Carver Center lived out. They had nothing but the love of Jesus to give those kids. Even if I could give everything I have—time, love, money (Ha! Like I have any of that)—it would all run out too quickly and be nothing. But if I reveal to these children that Jesus has something, His love and grace, that can never run out, how could I not share it with them? I must tell them.

Every Christian has this same desire to share, and the biggest heart break I have experienced so far is that not everyone actively participates in this rush—even, to my greatest disappointment, me.

I encourage you to share then in this addiction with me as I share my “week in review” with you (edition uno will be posted tomorrow). Stay tuned!

Living in the Inner-ring Suburbs: Go Big or Go Home


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David Brooks referred to a survey in On Paradise Drive which proved that those surveyed who were in their twenties would pick the inner-ring suburbs, also known as the Professional zone, over any other zone as described in the introduction. Agreeing with these surveyors, I, too, would want to live in the inner-ring suburbs because I admire the Professionals’ “commitment to lifelong learning” and their habits which are “wired for hard work” (32,31). Brooks mocked the Professionals for these traits because of how the Professionals used them.

When Brooks pointed out the shallowness of each of the zones, he did not relent when he came to the Professionals. He does not so much as look down on them as he does laugh at their lives which have potential to do good for others but halt at the outer confines of their homes. Brooks recognizes the Professionals’ desire to learn more, but he mocks at what the Professionals then do with this learning. Brooks equated the Professionals’ view on why they learn more to the illustration of Christopher Columbus returning from the New World with the air of defeat but declaring to the king and queen of Spain that although the trading route to India remained undiscovered, he did find himself while exploring. Regardless, I love to learn, and I love to be around people, similar to the described Professionals, who never want to stop learning either.

Nothing drives me more crazy than to be around lazy people. And although Brooks called the Professionals hard working, he also revealed that the Professionals unleash their hard working spirit through renovations of their homes and installation of the next greatest home improvement devise. Brooks made the Professionals look absolutely absurd with their heated bathroom tile floors and offices in every room of the house, but I can tolerate people who have the budget from working so hard in their executive jobs to go big or go home.

Amid all the foolishness about the Professionals’ actions told by Brooks, he does not disprove them but has a slight fondness of the “educated, lively, tolerant” Professionals (33). Brooks more likely than not would also live in this zone and recognized that he would fit in here also. And I feel the same.

The Dehumanization of Stereotyping College Majors


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Margaret Atwood warned in her dystopian contemporary fiction novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, that if people begin to categorize others only according to on what they can do, dehumanization will take place, and the human connection will be lost. Once the human connection is lost, people do not see others as people and do not treat them as if they harbor the same emotions and aspirations as they do. Even among these warnings, dehumanization occurs today, specifically on college campuses.

-Tyler-Ally-Remember-me-Wallpapers-remember-me-11212826-1280-800Dehumanizing according to college majors is a way that individualism is throttled in today’s world and how this generation is already beginning to lose its human connection. Just like Emilie de Raven refused to “date sociology majors” in the 2010 movie, Remember Me, stereotypes are projected onto the students within a major, which most likely are not true for these students. Atwood warned against these dehumanizing projections because when a person loses the human connection, the result is the forfeit of personal thoughts for an identity given by those who created the stereotypes.

In terms of The Handmaid’s Tale, when Offred, the heroine of the novel, stopped seeing herself as a person who had a past as a mother and a wife before the rise of the Republic of Gilead and only saw herself as someone whose purpose was to get pregnant, Offred gave the government the reins to her thoughts and began to shed her human connection. The government dehumanized all the citizens so that they were only seen and called by what they did to contribute to the society. One example of this dehumanization is the way the Marthas treated Offred and Ofglen when the Marthas were passing on the street. Offred rationalized the reason why the Marthas scowled at the two handmaids was simply because Mathas do not like handmaids. The Marthas had no actual reason to dislike Offred and Ofglen—they never met the two girls! When such stereotypes, such as Marthas not liking handmaids, begin to rise, the first sign of dehumanization has appeared and the loss of human connection has begun.Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.26.44 PM

Stereotypes are oppressive actions enacted by those who want to suppress individualism, dehumanize others until gradually they are only seen as objects, and numb the human connection between people. Stereotypes projected specifically onto students within a particular major may ring true for the majority, but as Atwood warned, there is power in these stereotypes. When those under the stereotypes allow themselves to be dehumanized, those enforcing the stereotypes now have a power over others that is neither good nor right. The power only lasts as long as those under the stereotypes allow themselves to be. Power can be regained if belief in the stereotypes is disproven by those who allow themselves to be under it.

Honesty is Only Suite When It is Well-Suited


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Together, Executive Suite, a 1954 drama of a Cameron Hawley novel about the big-business machination of a furniture company after the death of its president, and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, a 1955 novel by Sloan Wilson centering around a young family debating whether to accept a larger scale business job, showed how difficult it was to be successful in the business world while remaining honest with one’s colleagues within the workplace and with one’s self. Hawley and Wilson take seemingly opposite views on how to be honest when actually both stand points are needed consecutively.

Hawley implored that a businessman is dishonest if he refuses to recognize the company’s social responsibility to its employees and the town. Don Walling, the hero of Executive Suite, was encouraged by his wScreen Shot 2015-05-11 at 8.23.54 PMife to leave the company that he was an executive designer for, supporting Walling’s individualism that made him distinctively unique. But Walling’s close ties with the company trumped any sense of individualism he had. Hawley identified any businessman who cherished individualism over the recognition of the social responsibility as one that is cheating everyone else within the company. Thus, when Walling pounced upon the opportunity to continue this social responsibility as president, he succeeded just as Hawley believed every businessman could.

Wilson took the opposite stand and believed that some businessmen are not cut out to do what is required at such higher level jobs. Some men, like the hero of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Tom Rath, are just nine-to-five employees. According to Wilson, any man who forces himself to be the kind of businessman he is not, is dishonest with himself and cheats other men out of the opportunity of becoming who they are meant to be. By the end of his novel, Wilson satisfied the question of honesty by stating that if a man wanted to be honest, he must recognize that not everyone was not cut out to do “the big jobs” (252).

tumblr_l1iyx0r7rD1qzlum5o1_500But these arguments made by Hawley and Wilson are not pitted against each other. Instead, they are personal decisions that should be made together by any person in any occupation. In order to reach honesty for the goals of one’s company, or more generically, the goals made by any collective group of people, a single individual must come to the realization on how to be honest with one’s self. If a family man takes the job of a business executive, the family man jeopardizes the one thing that he values over the time spent in the office—the time spent with his family. Only after coming to individual honesty can a person then move onto collective honesty so that progression and efficiency is maximized as individuals and as a group. It is only once a person who is best suited for a job can this individual then go on to find out how to best suit the community and, in broader spectrums, the world.

Always, Always, Always a Black Man: The War on Skin Color in 1940s L.A.


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Chester Himes vocalized in his novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go, the amount of resentment he carried toward the color of his skin. Being black created a social block between Himes and the white society of World War II Los Angeles area, which kept him from succeeding in a world controlled by the white men. According to Himes, acceptance from whites could only come about if, as stated in the thoughts of his character Robert Jones,

Unknown“[Y]ou…accept being black as a condition over which you had no control, then go on from there. Glorify your black heritage, revere your black heroes, laud your black leaders, cheat your black brothers, worship your white fathers…” (151)

But the black heritage, heroes, leaders, and brothers are to be, or rather should be, included with the heritage, heroes, leaders, and brothers of the overall nation and history of America.  Himes revealed the unfortunate reality of black men in Los Angeles. A reality so different from the one the white men of the time were living.  It was almost as if Himes was describing a second America, one that is complete with the blacks own history, leaders, and heritage, all of which are separate from the whites.  Blacks are driven by the white men to this second America where they are encouraged to advance but only among their own people.

Himes continued to reveal in his novel how blacks and whites were part of two different Americas even as they were within California. At the head of the whites were Patrick Henry, Charles Lindbergh, George Washington. The whites also were the ones who learned about liberty and justice and equality. The leaders or principles of the blacks were not those of the whites. Himes, as reported by Hilton Als in his foreword of Himes’ novel, was raised in the same manner of a white child, taught the same principles as white children, and began to aspire to the same dreams as those of white society. Yet, it was the whites that shunned the blacks. The whites demanded the blacks to glorify their black heritage, revere their black heroes, and etc. in order to be accepted in the white community which only held the opportunity for power and success.

1940s Los Angeles during Christmastime
1940s Los Angeles during Christmastime

Himes expressed through the thought process of Jones that blacks had the chance of success. Jones could marry Alice, go back to college, and become a “big and important Negro.” But that is what Jones will always be: a black graciously accepted by the white community, the very whites that mercifully gave him the recognition of importance. Jones would only be recognized as a black when he truly wanted the recognition as a man. Himes forcefully implored in this novel that as long as a man was black, he was not a man at all.

Capitalists are Cast as the Villains in Films Mean Things Happening and The Devil and Miss Jones


Disney-Villains-cruella-devil-2508592-1280-1024Mean Things Happening, an episode from a PBS documentary, allowed both the capitalists and workers narrate their point of view throughout the episode. The son of John L. Lewis, owner of J.L. Steel, spoke on behalf of his father and put in perspective what it was like to see the friction between the capitalists and workers from an executive stand point. This stand point patronized John L. Lewis and gave him humanistic qualities that searched for a way to meet the needs of his workers while maintaining a successful company. In The Devil and Miss Jones, early forties screwball comedy, the capitalists were undeniably undesirable, temperamental, and stuck up. No sympathy was given to the capitalists until Merrick, owner of the department store, descended to the level of his workers, assimilated among them, and saw the mistreatment of his workers first-hand. Merrick’s character transformed from easily angered and quick to fire any worker that disagreed with him to calm, collected, and ready to hear out the workers in conferences debating wages and hours.

In every history book, the capitalists are written as the villains during this time. And it is the workers that are depicted as the overworked, underpaid underdogs while the capitalists are the power hungry, greedy Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 3.27.24 PMdictators. In both films, Mean Things
Happening
and The Devil and Miss Jones, the problems of the workers are of no concern to the capitalists who only give their ear to the workers when they are tired of being pestered. The requests of the workers are categorized as “minor complaints” in Mean Things Happening.

The solution at the end of The Devil and Miss Jones was reached when Merrick was willing to hold conferences with his workers. For Mean Things Happening, a solution was reached when Steel Workers Organized Committee took over little steel and the workers began electing their friends to hold public office. In both films, the workers gained the control that they desired and felt that was rightfully theirs. This control did not create a utopia in the work place. But it was another step towards improvement and progress for the American market because the workers were able to get back to work.

Bell Upholds the Old Saying, “Good Girls Never Make History”


Within Out of This Furnace, Thomas Bell created two characters who contrasted in both their lives and deaths. Bell made sweetOutofThisFurnaceCover  Mary Dobrejcak bring out all the pitiful characteristics of her father, George Krach. But when Bell had the relatives think back on the life of Mary, nothing could compare to the vivid memories of those they had of Krach. Based upon these reactions of the relatives, Bell made it clear that it is those with the bad reputations that are remembered the most.

Bell wrote in the voice of Mary during Part Three, describing Mary’s life as a widow taking care of her four children while also contracting consumption. Unlike her father who practically forfeited his children after he was released from jail, Bell created a selfless mother who sold the diamond of her wedding ring as a last resort to provide for her children. Bell ended Part Three with Mary dying alone in her sanitarium room day-dreaming about what her life might have been in the years to come if she was healthy. The conclusion given by Bell is voiced in Mary’s thoughts as he wrote,

“All those years, all that living and working, taking the good with the bad and always doing one’s best, never giving up hope,—had been destined for no better end than a pointless death among strangers” (255).

And so, Bell made Mary’s memory easily forgotten by her relatives because her life had amounted to nothing, and she left nothing behind, not even a memory.

Up-Official-Movie-Poster Sequencing one drunken mistake after another in Krach’s life, Bell made Krach pathetic as he mooched off of his relatives and never stopped talking about that one time he owned his own butcher shop. Bell riddled the life of Krach with discontentment and failure, resulting in Krach’s personality to gradually matching that of the old man in Up, a stereotypical grumpy old man with a loyal dog. The ones that remembered him, Bell had resent Krach for his inexcusable lack of consideration Krach had for others. Bell did not spare hardship on any of his characters throughout the novel so that no one character had it worse than the rest. But he does reveal through Krach’s death that it is the good that are forgotten. Only those who leave a bitter taste in the mouths those they leave behind are remembered, and the Marys in the world are forgotten, upholding the old saying “good girls never make history.”

Bell did not include the funeral of Mary because there was no reason for it to be written. Mary’s funeral would have been like her death, quiet and passing. No relative would linger after her funeral and recount stories of her life because there were no memorable stories to tell if they sat around the table and reminiscence. Bell made it so that Krach left plenty of memories that stuck to the forefront of his relatives’ minds. He even included some of these memories when Dobie saw his intoxicated cousins fighting in the yard. Bell did not have Krach bring any more good into the world than Mary, but Bell had Krach’s bitterness and mistreatment toward his family members remembered far more than the quiet doings of Mary Dobrejcak.