tober 24 2010: the day I learned the biggest lesson of my life. It was a bright Tuesday morning; I was still pissed about my test results from Monday. I had never got such low results, especially at Computer Science which is my favorite subject. My school is a 30 minute walk away from my home. I had to travel the distance on foot because I couldn't afford public transportation. I had always been complaining to my father why we don't have a car and he never got tired of explaining to the 10-year-old me that we can't afford public transportation, let alone a car; it's a very difficult idea to understand for a naive kid, who had absolutely no know-how of money.
I was walking to school like any other morning. Mumbling my complains to myself, I overheard a conversation from two people positioned a bit left from the sidewalk I was walking on. They were exchanging the usual Ethiopian greeting. In Ethiopia, the usual reply to "How are you?" is "Thanks to God." This might be considered unusual or even weird by westerns, but this is what Ethiopians have been accustomed to. My eager neck could not resist the temptation to turn and so I did. But when I twirled by head in the direction of the voices, it was something I could have never expected. The man who uttered "How are you?" was relatively an average Joe. The other one who said, "Thanks to God," was somewhat out of the ordinary; he had no eyes and no legs. His body looked extremely weak, even when compared to Ethiopian standards. The moment I heard this massively disabled man thank God, I asked myself, "Why can't I do the same? I obviously have more to be thankful for."
That was the biggest lesson of my life: be grateful for what you have because there are many who have much less. But this takes nothing away from the fact that I strive for more. Just because I am grateful doesn't mean I don't work towards more success .I am not easily satisfied but I remain thankful for what I have achieved.
Analyzing what I had just observed, I proceeded onto my amble to school. I had never enjoyed school. I always thought it was a burden casted upon us, the students, by teachers. Every school day I woke up on, I asked God what I did wrong to deserve such a punishment. Then I would get off my bed while wondering if I will be strong enough to make it through the day. I walked slowly to school in the hope of never arriving there. The moment I arrived at school, I paused at the front door and gazed at the whole compound thinking that what a long day was ahead of me.
The feeling I had when I wake up on a weekend was pretty much the opposite. Filled with excitement, I use to run around for no reason at all. Honestly, I didn't know of what value education is- what it is capable of. The biggest mystery for me was why people went to school, why they were so devoted towards education. That was a question I asked myself many times but couldn't find an answer for.
"Give me money", went a voice behind me. Somebody got his hands on me and shoved me towards his own body. I was scared because I presumed it was a robbery. Besides, the neighborhood I was in was infamous for robbery. I calmed down a little bit when I analyzed the person, who didn't look like a robber at all. His ragged clothes and his dirty, unwashed dreadlocks gave me the impression that he was mentally sick. With his piercing blue eyes, he stared at my body from top to bottom. The instant I gathered the strength, I pushed his body away from me and started fleeing. In spite of my predictions, he didn't run after me. All he did was cry. "I am sorry baby," he muttered. First I thought it was just a typical talk from a crazy person. But from the look on his face I recognized that it was his true feelings speaking rather than his bad part of brain. All of the sudden he got emotional and began whining how ended up broke. He weepingly described how he has failed to feed his wife and daughter because he was unqualified for a decent paying job. "All this happened because I didn't go to college", he yelled.
"What's my use? My use! I am useless, I can't sustain my family, nor can I contribute to the society; I would rather die than live this way". I could see the desperation in his tear filled eyes. This man's highly sentimental speech drew me to realize how important education really is. Since then I have been highly devoted to my education so that I can positively influence the world.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 10,635 3478
Michael, I need you to do something for me. I know that this is a scholarship application essay. Usually, a scholarship application essay comes with instructions known as prompts. These prompts are questions or directions meant for the student to write about in the essay. I need you to provide that prompt to me so that I can better analyze your essay for prompt responsiveness, content, and information relevance. I can't accomplish that important assessment without it. Please get it to me as soon as you can ok?
What I can assess as of this moment are the general aspects of your essay. First of all, I must call your attention to the formatting concerns of your work. Please place a space in between the topic paragraphs so that it will be easier for the reader to keep track of what you have written. At this point, the screen looks so tight with all of the words on the page, sans spaces. You need to space out the paragraphs in order to make it easier to read. It also makes it easier to keep track of the thoughts you have placed on your paper.
I also need to tell you that you cannot use this topic for your essay. I do not even know what the prompt is yet but I am very sure that you cannot discuss something that happened when you were 10 years old. Reviewers tend to not believe any stories that occur at an age before your teenage years. This is common knowledge among scholarship and college applicants. That is because the reviewers do not view this age as one that can properly assess his surroundings yet or make sense of what is happening around him. The normally acceptable narratives are those that occur at the age of 15 and above.
At this point, I will wait for the prompt to come from you so that I can add to the advice that I can provide you. At this point, these are general observations that you need to pay attention to and address for the general improvement of your essay.
Holt,Thanks for the concern.The prompt is to describe any life experience or experiences that thought me a valuable lesson.
Now that you have the prompt I hope you can be of more help.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 10,635 3478
Hi Michael, let's get started on fixing your essay. I will suggest that you change the format of the narrative for your essay. Mostly because we need to avoid any references to age so that the reviewer will have a better chance of considering your reasons more seriously than it just being the complaints of a naive child. So, there are two things we have to do in this essay.
For the first presentation, I would like you to change the setting instead of being a complaining ten year old child, Make it so that the walk to school is being done by two persons, you and your father in the recent past. This time, you are not complaining but you are asking serious questions. I think it should sound something similar to this:
As my father and I walked to my high school on that cold and rainy day, I could not help but feel a sense of deprivation as the others on the street passed us in their private cars or public transport. "Dad, why can't we buy a car?" His response, "We can't afford it. Now hurry up you will be late to school and I will be late for work." A few blocks more down the road and I decided to ask him another question, since he seemed to be in the mood to talk to me that morning. Most likely because walking while talking kept us warmer. "Why don't we take the bus instead?" I know, it was a naive question to ask, but I figured it was worth a shot. I really wanted to get out of the foggy street and into a warmer place. "Michael, your education is expensive. We want you to be able to go to school so you can have a good life in the future. We walk so that we can have food on the table, clothes to wear, and simple joys in life while you study. Now stop asking silly questions." He explained to me. I wondered why schooling was so important when I felt like I was being punished everyday I went to school. It was not until later on that I learned the true value of an education in the manner that my father hoped I would understand.
After that, you just go immediately to the narrative about almost being robbed. To connect the two events you can some something along the lines of:
It was only a few months later when I had an epiphany about what my father had told me about education being important to my life. I was walking home from a late night group study when someone grabbed me from the back...
Use the rest of the paragraph from that point on. It'll work really well with the revised introduction and transition paragraph. Add a reference to you remembering what your father told you about having a good education to have a better life. Place that thought after the person tells you that his life was caused by him not going to college. That makes the personal realization and words of your father more marked in the essay.
You can use my suggested approach to the essay or, you can develop a new one for yourself that will better reflect the lesson you learned from the incidents in your life. Please remember that you should not refer to any age in the prompt so that the story will seem to be up to date and current. Try to make it seem like it happened to you not so long ago. That way the reviewer will be more receptive towards your presentation.