Topic A. (required)
Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.
" I can't do this," he said, with his strong Caribbean accent. "You can't give up, it's important that you understand what you are reading," I said, trying to make him feel better. I was about fed-up with his none-caring attitude. His lack of effort was fathomable, such where I wondered why he was setting himself up to fail. I wondered if he understood the magnitude of his predicament. He was giving up before he even tried, and I wasn't going to let that happen.
He's name was Sebastian and he was from the Bahamas. Being over 6'4, and a unbelievable basketball prodigy, you would think that he would be an out-going, slightly brash type of guy, but that just wasn't the case. Sebastian came over from the Bahamas the fist day of my junior year. When I first saw his size, I could not believe that he was a freshman. Intrigued, I eagerly wanted to find out more about him, although, when I was engaged in the conversation, I noticed that he had not said one word. After weeks of saying "hi" every time I saw him in the hall, I finally had to ask him why he wouldn't talk. "I don't talk well," he said.
That's how our relationship started. Eventually, with more conversations, he realized that I didn't care how he spoke, but what he said. And what he said was not very good. He spoke of his pure hatred of school, how he would never be able to understand how to read A Painted House, and that he would never understand when triangles and circles where going to be useful in his life. Words like that gave me a bad premonition of his future. A kid who has it all, basketball talent and a better educational opportunity than he would have in the Bahamas, seemed to be ungrateful.
Confused, appalled, and flabbergasted are just some of the words I could use to describe my feelings toward Sebastian startling remarks. As soon as I heard his comments, I dedicated myself to helping him learn and enjoy school. Slightly forceful, I ordered him to meet me in the library during lunch."Bring all your homework and you better come with a good attitude." And there we were,sitting at the table, with his face in his hands, saying "I can't do this." "Yes you can," I said, and the work began.
Everyday, during lunch, we met in the library and went over english, biology, algebra, and physics (I had to teach him the subject I love!). As the weeks turned into months, Sebastian's grades increased, along with his understanding of the importance of school. Not to brag, but some of my dedication had clearly rubbed off on him, and when the final exams came, he was more than ready. "Success!" he shouted in the library the last time we met. Flashing his grades on a small sheet of paper, I saw the four A's and two B's he had achieved. "Thanks for helping me believe in myself."
To this day I am probably most thankful of Sebastian, not only because I knew he would be a long term friend, but because he changed my perspective. Before he met me, giving up was common to Sebastian, like a numb feeling in his mind. He believed that success was a only attainable for those who were "naturally smart," which got me thinking, what's stopping people from doing amazing things in life? There own perspective. I stand, head strong, to believe that school is vital to anyone's growth in life, and that anyone can be smart. Since the first day I met Sebastian, til now I will never waver in that belief.