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'helping Grandpa Bernie' - event, experience, accomplishment in life - UF

jasonwiesenthal 4 / 8  
Aug 1, 2008   #1
Describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the UF campus community. You may want to reflect on your family, your school or community activities, or your involvement in areas outside of school.

A meaningful event that will affect my contribution to the UF campus community was the death of my grandpa, Bernie. Throughout my life, he had been a teacher to me and always encouraged me to do the best in school. He helped baby sit me during my times as a toddler and served as a role model in my early childhood. During the times he would visit me in South Florida, I would ask him about his life in the army at the time of WWII and after. He would spend almost an entire afternoon telling me about different sorties and major battles that he experienced as a Seabee and engineer. In addition to his duties in the army, he began a major leader in a construction company in Cleveland, Ohio and helped build many of the corporate buildings there.

During my middle school and my first year of high school, he helped me keep track on my schoolwork during a hard divorce with a lot of fighting within the family. However, Grandpa Bernie supported me and encouraged me to improve my attitude toward life and to live life as a hard worker. Even though he was retired he would go through his most trying and painful years of his life as he was diagnosed with Kidney cancer had to be treated with chemotherapy and surgery. However, even these attempts to cure him of his cancer failed as it returned after the medication wore off. This turned into the most trying years of both his and my life.

Each Friday at Temple services I would pray that G-d would answer my prayers and help Grandpa Bernie win against the cancer that sucked all the life out of him. I was almost reduced to tears when I saw him reliant upon a respirator with a hard time breathing. On my last visit to him, I went to my grandparent's apartment in Cleveland as the snow was falling and felt determined to help my grandpa overcome his sickness. I even sent him a touching poem that he admired and kept it pinned to the wall as something to keep him fighting for the small chance he had. He had just had chemotherapy done and the little hair that he had simply fell out. His health changed from being a healthy active person to being one who was sick and reduced to almost the same room in his apartment. Even walking between rooms presented difficulties and during the last months of his life almost was confined to one room. He had trouble feeding himself and had to have a feeding tube to get his daily nutrition. His body due to the quick progression of the disease was quickly reduced to skin and bones. He had a permanent paleness to his face and seemed almost like a ghost. I could not help but think how such a friendly person can be taken so fast from me.

I would bring my hard work and diligence to the University of Florida and seek to strive for my full potential. This tragic death broke the protective shell of childhood and threw me into the real world. After his death, I force myself to do the best that I can in all aspects of life. In swimming, I pushed myself harder by coming to every practice with the mindset of being the best swimmer I could be. I no longer wanted to hesitate myself and prevent myself from achieving greatness that had seemed far off before. Instead, I toppled the wall of uncertainty and inaction and instead strived for greatness and let myself free. I noticed how fragile life and can be and the sheer quickness fortune can change. During this time, I forced myself to try my hardest in school and to strive for my best potential. He served as beacon to me and helped me push through hard times both academically and socially and focus on a bright future. Most importantly, his kindness to other people and his wisdom served to inspire me to volunteer at places outside of school. As a result, I volunteered at a hospital for the three months of summer and sought to help others in the same circumstances as my grandfather. I spend over 250 service hours helping to cheer up sick people and making their lives more convenient and happier.. I would use my past experiences with the loss of a close family member to help others in similar situations. I would help them learn from their experiences and grow stronger as a person. Over the subsequent years of reflection, I have changed into a mature person and enjoy helping others that are experiencing pain in their life.

Could you just tell me whether i am on the right track and how i can elaborate.
don't go over the grammar yet!!!. i have not checked it yet. this is just an essay off the top of my head. Can you tell me whether this essay could be a good answer to the question asked?. Thank You so much. Today i seemed to have been touched by the writing angel or something. I have been getting a lot of ideas. Thank you a lot anyways.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Aug 1, 2008   #2
Good morning.

Your essay is very moving. You are very descriptive, but not overwhelmingly so. It is relevant and stays focused on the question at hand.
In the short time I have been familiar with you and your writing it is immediately obvious to me that it is partly (whether it is a large part or a small part is up to you) due to this man that you have chosen to pursue a career in engineering at UCF. Perhaps you can expand a pinch on this, as this is a way in which he had impacted you in the direction towards the field of study which you will be pursuing at their university.

I believe that expansion on this in addition to what you already have would be beneficial to your overall essay.

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