Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Twelfth Night and Care Packages

Today I went to the Ed Society meeting to help put together care packages for teens who are going to be spending the holidays in the hospital. They spend their holidays at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and most have chronic or serious illnesses. The Ed Society, along with Grateful Giving decided to donate to teens because most donations go to smaller children. We made packages with games, cards, art supplies and other miscellaneous toys. People donated things they believed teens would enjoy. We also included little messages in the packages and signed our names, just to add a personal touch. It was a little sad that we had to wipe down the containers with disinfecting spray because of the teens' weak immune systems. It made me feel grateful to have my health and spend the holidays with my family. I really hope that the kids enjoy these packages and that it brightens up their time in the hospital a little.

I was able to see a connection between making the care packages and Twelfth Night. In Act III, Scene IV, Sir Andrew wants to fight Cesario for Olivia. Sir Toby keeps egging Sir Andrew on, hoping for some entertainment. Cesario, really Viola, tries to get out of the fight but ends up drawing her sword. Antonio, thinking she is Sebastian, comes to her aid. This made me think of the members of the Ed Society who spent their time and money to create awesome care packages. While it may not be as extreme as risking your life for someone, as Antonio does for Viola and Sebastian numerous times, the Ed Society is still trying to do their best to help out those who are sick. We don't get to deliver the packages to the teens because of their immune systems, so we won't even get to see their reactions. But hoping that they feel a little bit happier because of what we made is, at least for me, enough reason to do it. Antonio doesn't have to protect Sebastian, but he is his loyal friend and Antonio does all he can to serve him. Their friendship is his reason for saving Sebastian's life during the wreck and accompanying him to Illyria.

The loyalty and dedication of Antonio's character to Sebastian is juxtaposed to many of the other characters in the play who use each other. Sir Toby uses his "friend" Sir Andrew to continue his drinking spree and as entertainment. He lies and puts Sir Andrew in harm's way to get what he wants. Maria plays a joke on Malvolio to entertain herself and Sir Toby, which causes Malvolio to be locked away and deemed a madman. These characters are the complete opposite of Antonio as they exploit those who are supposed to be their friends. It displays two ends of the spectrum; how malicious and mean people can be and also how giving and generous others are. I'm glad Loyola is filled with generous people, like the members of the Ed Society who donate to those who are less fortunate

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