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The Common Good - Bowdoin supplement

sawboe 1 / -  
Dec 22, 2012   #1
Bowdoin students and alumni often cite world-class faculty and opportunities for intellectual engagement, the College's commitment to the Common Good, and the special quality of life on the coast of Maine as important aspects of the Bowdoin experience. Reflecting on your own interests and experiences, please comment on one of the following:

During May I volunteered at Shepard Recreation Center, which is my local park. I attend the recreation center every Saturday, my job there was mainly to help the park manager, John, with anything around the Center. This included painting walls, rearranging books and flyers,organizing files in the office, moving a few things around in the park basement and other errands. At first I was only doing the community service to receive a bonus at work, I only had to complete two hours of service a month to be eligible for a bonus. but the park manager, John, gave me excellent advice and insight toward my post-secondary education, by engaging in conversation with me about his own college experience, and educational background. This caused me to continue far pass the two hour mark, and attend every Saturday from about noon to five or six o' clock. I had to learn more about the college process, because I would be apply to a lot schools soon. John's strong faith in me succeeding motivated me throughout the community service. One Saturday at Shepard, John was buried in paperwork and other tasks park-related, and needed me to watch over a few youth in the center's computer lab. As I entered the computer lab, I noticed them using the computers to socialize, and play mario like games. I hesitated; I did not want to disturb them, but I knew that John was depending on me to supervise them. I had to explain myself, because I was a new face at the center, so I interjected, "Hey, my name is Sawi and I'm a volunteer here, I was wondering if anyone need help with anything on the computer, but they acted as if they were a little hard of hearing and paid me no attention. I was shocked and appalled by the lack of attention they displayed, and asked again but this time with more bass in my voice, but there still wasn't a response. I had to be persistent with these young people and also continue asking in a pleasant and professional manner, I remained very patience but all my social tactics and effort seemed to be pointless at first. So I decided the join them in suffering the web, and even challenged a few of them to a game of computer chess. After that I looked for john to get some assistance, but he was still tied up with a large sum of paperwork in his office, and had no time to come over to the lab and help. But apparently John knew the kids from my brief and simple description, and told me about how attuned they get when using the computer, and how i needed to approach them with a tap on the shoulder to get there attention. I did exactly that and tapped a few youth on the shoulder to get their attention and commenced asking if anyone need help with anything. And of course they understood and thank me for being patient with, but no one really need my assistance.
katev 18 / 120 24  
Dec 22, 2012   #2
You begin with a solid topic: volunteer work and college mentoring. However, your essay takes a rough turn when you begin talking about how you lose control of the kids. I know you don't really "lose control," but to an admissions officer this might look like you can't assert yourself.

If you were to continue on that path, at least talk about how you learned how to be a good leader or something along those lines.

Also, you need to connect this back to "The Common Good." Try mentioning Bowdoin and how you want to work for "The Common Good" there, as well. As of know, this essay implies that you had a rough time serving the Common Good, and that's not quite the impression you want to give, as you spent a lot of time doing good volunteer work!

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