<p>Here's an essay I wrote. I think some of it needs alittle help so comments and suggestions would be excellent. Thanks! Oh I think I'll use this for either the common app significant person or topic of choice</p>
<pre><code>There was Grete, Emily, Melinda, Sue, Katrin, Simona, Christina . . . Who are these people I speak of?
One by one, over several years, each of these was often the first person I saw in the morning, the one who gave me breakfast, the one who drove me to swim practice, the one who I sang with in the car. Deeper than that, these young women were the ones who cracked open my shell, letting the light of the rest of the world shine through. I was peering outside the realm of Kansas suburbia, across the seas, into cultures a million miles away. My transport was through these women (really girls not much older than I am now), who each lived with my family for one year. They were called Au Pairs, and they lived with us as family members, caring for me and my brother, getting the American experience, and giving us a little piece of Europe.
The first time I realized I was getting a disguised worldly education was when a strange, circular, fried food item was placed in front of me. It closely resembled a pancake but I had a feeling that this was different. Grete, from Norway, had cooked it and said they were potato pancakes. Being a picky eater, I questioned how closely they related to my favorite breakfast dish of regular, old flapjacks. I was told to try them and see. Needless to say, I was less than pleased with the turn out of this supposedly Norwegian delicacy. However, I felt pretty special to be the only girl in my area to be eating something that came from so far away. Additionally, I was probably the only girl to know about them.
The outcome of the pancake incident was not only that I had tried something new, but that the gates in my mind were opening to see the world. My preconceived notions that my ballet performances, soccer practices, and piano recitals were of concern to everyone on the planet were shattered. When Emily, from England, opened up a package of foil-wrapped chocolates one winter, I was thrilled. But instead of handing them out, she walked over to the Christmas tree and hung them up. I thought, Well arent we going to eat them? Turned out those chocolates were a tradition that she brought from home to share with us. Even little customs like that were interesting to me and broadened my perceptions. This insight has stayed with me and has helped shape the way I approach issues. My opinions are formed by knowing the facts instead of jumping to conclusions. The experience of having Au Pairs has also encouraged me to learn a foreign language. If they hadnt learned English, none of them would have had the opportunity to come to the United States, an experience that was probably incredible to them.
<p>I now walk with an open mind ready to listen to others opinions before forming my own. Wherever I go for college and in life, I will always bring this with me because I realize that the only way to learn about oneself is to find out how one feels about the world.</p>