[A] "We know that diversity makes us a better university ï better for learning, for teaching, and for conducting research." (U-M President Mary Sue Coleman)
Share an experience through which you have gained respect for intellectual, social, or cultural differences. Comment on how your personal experiences and achievements would contribute to the diversity of the University of Michigan.
An international school is diversity served on a silver platter. By default, we have students of eclectic religion, ethnicity, culture and background: a quality in which the U-M Diversity Blueprints would commend.
A few months after entering the International School of Singapore, I met Joe. Joe was fun; we shared many interests and an appreciation for satirical and dark humor. However, one day he revealed to me in a matter-of-fact tone that he was a Communist: I immediately took this as a joke. Communism, to me, connoted images of hungry North Koreans eating grass, as that was what my patriotic South Korean mother told me of our Communist brethren. Yet between my nervous fits of laughter I could see that Joe was completely serious. He showed me his copy of, "The Little Red Book," and shared some of the principles in the Communist Manifesto. Confused by what I had been told of Communists, and what Joe was like, I realized that being a Communist didn't make one evil or savage: just very idealistic. Also, I was able to learn more about what Communism's original ideals were before its corrupt implementation on countries such as North Korea or the Soviet Union. To be honest, it was actually quite genius.
I was enlightened by Joe's ideas and became more open minded towards the liberal and leftist alternative to our current, dominant social structure, and I feel that the ability to find respect for, or change your opinion on a matter is important. I know that U-M places utmost importance on diversity; but the ability to accept the diversity, and to learn from it, is something I can offer. After all, diversity is meaningless if people are not willing to embrace it.