Hi! I tried to make this light...critiques please? Also, need to cut about 100 words!
You have already told us about yourself in the Common Application, with its list of activities, Short Answer, and Personal Essay. In this required second essay, tell us something that you would like us to know about you that we might not get from the rest of your application - or something that you would like a chance to say more about. Please limit your essay to fewer than 500 words.
"If at first you don't succeed..." I prompted Jamie. A small man of 9 with a head full of blond, he looked at his tennis racket then down at the floor. Dribbling the green ball with his malformed right arm, he suddenly looked up. "Get new batteries!" he exclaimed, preening with pride. "It works for everything!"
What I was attempting (and clearly failing) to do was teach Jamie a lesson in resilience. Missing his overheads for the past 5 feeds, Jamie refused to go on. And I, being his coach for the outreach tennis program, was coaxing him to try once more. However, my stab at wisdom evidently surrendered to Jamie's practical reasoning. "And so it does, and so it does...But since your racket doesn't have batteries in it, I guess we need to do it the old fashioned way! Come on, Jamie, one more try. You'll get it this time!" I cheerfully encouraged. After demonstrating the correct way to hit that pesky overhead, I fed him one last ball. And sure enough, he nailed it.
It's bizarre being a seventeen-year-old educator. On one hand, I'm very much a kid myself-hitting the snooze no less than 3 times, having almost late moments to class, dressing up for the midnight premier of Harry Potter 7... Yet on the other, I'm a tennis coach for disabled kids, a tutor for K-8th graders in math and reading, and a teacher for my piano students. I'm an average sleep-deprived high school-er to the world, but a role model and leader to my kids. I continually find myself feeling far younger and far older than I actually am, and strikingly, although I learn a great deal as a student, it's the times that I'm instructing that I gain the most knowledge.
Often times when I'm demonstrating how to divide correctly with candy pieces, my kids exclaim "Wow! How did you do that?" Often times when new piano students see the inside strings of my piano, they question, "Why are there wires there? Is it to pluck them like a rubber band-so they go doiiinnnggg?" I chuckle, amused that they notice such detail, and move on. But I've realized that these 'off the wall' comments mean far more than just the peculiar words of children. They represent ideas often forgotten or lost by 'adults'-ideas like simplicity and optimism, inquisitiveness and innocence. They provide the window to see children's unique societies, views of the world, the psychology of their minds. Observing them, I've noticed an amusing age hierarchy, where a six often sulks but defers a wanted toy to a seven. I've perceived the aloofness kids give toward 'scary adults', then discard it when with others their age. And the fact that many of these odd behaviors transcend into adulthood, just under the guise of politeness and formality? Truly fascinating.
When I had set out to teach, I expected to do just that, teach. Yet teaching became two-way as I learned as much from my kids as they did from me. With their odd anecdotes, petty fights, unusual observation, and spontaneous verbosity, my teach me how to understand the world the world better, remind me that I'm getting old, and enlighten me of the simpleness of life. Of the bright optimism of the future, of the inherent curiosity we have, of appreciating today--and most importantly-- of striving for the good in the world. For, when asked what you want to be when you're growing up, who doesn't reply, "I want to be a cake when I get older. Then people will enjoy me and smile when they eat me!"