Thanks for everyone who reads my essay!!!
Any comments will be appreciated!!! Good luck!!!1. Gettysburg College students are engaged learners and "make a difference" both on and off campus through their academic and extracurricular activities. Describe a situation in which you have made a difference in your school or community and what you learned from that experience.
For most time of my lifetime, I thought delivering appealing speech for help in front of the audience under high-sounding slogan is the right way to support people in need.
In my freshman year of high school, I started to teach the Korean language to a Vietnamese woman named Leu Ti-en who was raising a 4-year old girl. Her family and she were living in poor surroundings; one should walk an unpaved road for twenty minutes from the station and there were only two small rooms in her house. On the day of our first meeting, I asked her the reason why she needs a Korean language certification. Her answer was concise but thought-provoking. "I am a cleaning woman. No one knows when I will be fired. The scope of job opportunities that I have now is very limited. I believe that certification will make my life less insecure." She could legitimately have full-time job in this country but her origin and lack of linguistic ability were confining her to an unstable life. I was eager to help her with learning Korean.
However, teaching someone like her was not easy. During the lesson, we occasionally stopped what we were doing and I waited her until she finished her work. She took her daughter, Hyun from the kindergarten, gave the child a snack and did the housework. Whenever the kindergarten took the day off, the lesson was over. Hyun constantly whined and fussed around, interrupting Leu as she tried to write something. Although Leu had outstanding passion and aspiration for her language achievement, she could not seem to make any progress because of her circumstances. There was nothing I could do about the problem. I felt like our venture might end with nothing achieved.
One day, only Hyun and I were left in the house while Leu went to the supermarket. Hyun seemed bored so I played a word game with her. I pointed to some words and told her to speak but it was as though a cat had got her tongue. I tried several times, but she kept saying nothing, shaking her head from side to side. When Leu came back home, I asked her why Hyun choose not to speak. She said Hyun is behind her peers in speaking Korean because Hyun hears her mother speaking Korean all the time. Her father, who is native Korean speaker, was so swamped with work that he could not help his child with learning the language. Since she was born and living in Korea, I naturally expected Hyun could speak Korean well like other 4-year old kids. What more upset me was that she could not even form close friendships because of her lack of language. I realized how serious and urgent the situation was and considered how to resolve the problem.
I made a curriculum for Hyun and collected used story books from my classmates. I also looked out for a volunteer who could teach Hyun Korean with me. I called a senior in my school, Seul Ki who was interested in child education and told her the matter. Fortunately, she was willing to help Leu and Hyun. While I was having lessons with Leu, Seul Ki taught basic Korean words to Hyun. Without her daughter's disturbance, Leu could proceed with her learning smoothly and Hyun improved with her pronunciation and reading. At the end of the year, Leu passed the exam and found her new job at support center for multicultural families with the help of our acquaintanceship.
A year with Leu's family taught me a lesson that I would never have learned if I kept myself as a bystander. I realized that buzzing loudly to seek the help does not actually change a critical situation that the minorities are struggling with. Making a difference of others' lives in a better way, whether it is big or small, requires sincere dedication and involvement. Now, when I watch TV or read newspapers, I try to focus more on people who are far from the spotlight, who see, listen and empathize with difficulties of disadvantaged people at first hand, and who I want to be in the future.