End of Term Reflection

by. Cristina Norland
edited by. Jessica Schrader

Compass AmeriCorps members are nearing the end of their term of service. The last few months will fly by, but they also tend to be some of the most challenging because members have to plan for what comes next. They have to juggle their AmeriCorps duties with job hunting, school applications, apartment searching, or even interviews for a second year of service! With all that going on, it’s important to reflect back on the commitment we made and why we made it. Let’s start with the AmeriCorps member pledge:

I will get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.

Image created at http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/

Members committed to uphold the duties of the pledge last September during orientation. During orientation members also discussed a fascinating poem titled A Bed for the Night by Bertolt Brecht:

I hear that in New York
At the corner of 26th street and Broadway
A man stands every evening during the winter months
And gets beds for the homeless there
By appealing to passers-by.
It won’t change the world
It won’t improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of exploitation
But a few men have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway.

Don’t put down the book on reading this, man.
A few people have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway
But it won’t change the world

What do you think Brecht is trying to say in this poem? For some discussion questions on the poem visit http://civicreflection.org/resources/library/browse/a-bed-for-the-night.

Image by Kurt Halsey


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