After reading “Two Tramps in the Mud” the two main words that strike me quickly are individualism and selflessness. At first, the author focuses on his work and on himself. To me it sounded like he was very good at wood chopping, moreover, he knows he is good at wood chopping and is very posh about it. When the two tramps appear and start to comment, he becomes frustrated and even said that the tramps “put me off my aim”. Being an experienced woodsman, I’m guessing he does not want to be bothered and wants to get the work done with ease. Furthermore, he starts to think the other tramp wants his job, which is why he commented on his woodsman work. My reflection of the beginning of the poem focuses a lot on the self and the individualistic self-interest we all have. We want to protect our work and we want the work to be done the way we see fit. When we are good at something, we have the tendency to become arrogant and judge others who do not pursue the same ends as we do. The poem transitions a lot even though it is a small poem in length.
In the middle of the poem, nature starts to set in; both time and the weather. He speaks about how time is going by so fast when you are working very hard. The author describes how he will be chopping wood in the month of April, then rapidly, it is already May. Time is constantly in flux with seasons passing by and you are constantly doing your work, unnoticed by the changing of the environment around you. In the poem, once the author reflects on the time passing, he starts to notice the nature around him and the right of the other woodsmen to cut the trees just like him. I sense a transformation in his being once he becomes mindful of the present moment. Once he realized what was going on around him, he felt a sort of compassion towards the others who were trying to cut wood for their community, just like him. At the end, they all chop wood together and he states that his goal in life is “to unite” both in his craft and in his intentions. He exclaims that he chops would for his love of being a woodsman as well as stating the benefit of his work in helping others. At the end of the day, we both have to be useful and we have to be compassionate. From the beneficial traits of compassion and hard work, we can achieve a lot in life.
The poem reflects upon my time in Washington D.C very well. Before Capital Scholars started, I would look around in the first meetings and see like-minded individuals who are both ambitious and intelligent. Intimidated at first, I knew that we were all self-interested, vying for a prestigious spot in both the Capital Scholars programs and in a great internship. To get in the program, we have to be good students, best of the best. We all had ambitions and I am sure each and every one of us have exceeded the expectations of students at Arizona State University both academically and professionally. Just like the woodsman, we love our craft and we are good at it. We did not see each other as instant friends at first and more like ambitious classmates heading towards the same goals.
As our time in Washington D.C went on, we saw time go by and I became friends with everyone fairly quickly. I saw everyone personally and less like a student in competition. Each person in this amazing program has a story. Each person was raised differently and has their specific personality and their specific worldviews. Knowing that, I learned interpersonal skills and I learned how even though we are all so different, we could become close friends in a span of 8 weeks. Now that this program is coming to an end, I learned that we are and we were always in this together no matter what happened. Just like how the Woodsman figured out that all the woodman work together in order to better the community, we Sun Devils from Arizona State University in the Capital Scholars program are doing this to better our country. Some day we will have high positions in either the business world or the public service world and we will be changing the landscape for a better future. From the very beginning we had to work together and
I loved every moment we had all together and I would not want to change this experience for anything else. As the Woodsman realized how amazing experiences are made when time goes on, this part maybe me realized how fast this program went. Happily, I have 3 weeks left in D.C due to my extension with the American Enterprise Institute. However, knowing my friends will be leaving back to Arizona this week made me realized how fast this all went. I did not see it go by, like the seasons described in the poem. We started in May, and with a few pieces of chopped wood later, it is the end of July and it is also my birthday. Luckily, I took advantage of all the moments and was present with every experience that went my way. The amount of people I have met in D.C both young and old will never fade in my memory. Like the Woodsman, the work I do here was always meant to unite with others and to connect with like-minded individuals. Better yet, I will be returning to Arizona with a good handful of friends that I cannot wait to see again. As a final note, in correlation to the poem, if you are compassionate, and if you are useful, you will go very far in D.C, in Arizona, and everywhere you go. Hard-work and kindness will always go very well together regardless who you work with. I have learned this at my internship, I have learned this within the Capital Scholars, and I will use what I have learned for the rest of my life. Like the Woodsman, be prudent, work hard, and always do work with good intentions. With kindness and a strong work ethic, I hope I can return to Washington D.C one day for both graduate school and for my future professional endeavors.