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Stanford Significant Exp: Elderly Center + Church

cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 23, 2011   #1
Please offer your comments on this everyone! Thanks in advance...

Also, it is about 560 wds right now. Just to be concise, I hope to make it 500 if possible. It would be great if you guys tell me which parts seem superfluous:) Thanks a bunch!

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

I was at church when I heard my parents share their dream of starting an elderly center. My mom said it was "an opportunity and desire from God," but I just groaned at the prospect of being sucked into helping them with this undertaking. Within a few months, they rented a commercial complex and renamed it "Enoch Center". The room's drab appearance seemed fitting for its purpose: to serve elderly. What a unique, divine provision, I thought smugly. Such humble beginnings: a table, cheap plastic chairs, free shelves discarded by others, and a divider to split this big box of a room into two.

I felt even bigger unbelief when my church urgently needed a new building to move into, and decided to move into the tiny Enoch Center. I expected this setup to be temporary and felt rather embarrassed for my church in the meantime. But it surprised me when I saw my church members, both young and old, eagerly help each other lift furniture all around the place. This teamwork of made me rather proud of my church. But though the place now looked decent, I would not have expected that I would come to treasure this building as my second home.

The complex was so small that it was possible for a person to be able to see everyone else in the same room, at any given time. Sometimes there was such a crowd, and hardly space to move about. But instead of anger, there was only laughter, joking, and friendship surrounding me. We all became so close, figuratively and literally, for there was no room not to be; the kitchen was also the office for two pastors, as well as the kids' classroom for Bible study. It was a similar situation throughout the complex. Thus, parents, kids, elderly, and college students all mingled together frequently. We overcame any shyness that could exist. I do not think a picture of a happy family on Christmas could have made me envious when I had this family every Sunday, and it made me grateful to realize that.

Over the five years that my church stayed at Enoch Center, I learned to be a more selfless server of others. Since my parents also managed the senior center, I would be frequently called to help them. On Sundays, I and my friends learned to vacuum the carpet, clean the toilets, and tidy the rooms after church ended. Eventually we simply enjoyed serving our church family in any way we could. I and the other girls helped teach Sunday school to younger kids, and the boys performed "men's work" for the church. Especially as a high school student in the prime of teenage years, when one could either choose to mature or rebel, growing in this church community helped develop my character permanently. Seeing how far my parents' dream has come, I no longer "despise the day of small beginnings" (Zech 4:10) because they can belie the positive turn situations may soon take. After this experience, my trust in God is stronger and my care for man is deeper, and out of a struggle has come great reward. I am glad my parents did not fear humble beginnings or share in my initial mockery. They showed me that conditions on the surface should not scare me away from pursuing a dream that feels right.
ZhoeK 5 / 173  
Dec 23, 2011   #2
I think you should work on your expression.
DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 23, 2011   #3
I know it's a quote but desire FROM God isn't correct idiomatic usage...I'd say God's desire instead. Otherwise, the corrections above are pretty much it. :)
Balanchine 4 / 20  
Dec 24, 2011   #4
Hi Sarah. Great essay! A few things though...

"Always whenever I told people outside who were not Christian that I was a Christian, it always evoked the image a young girl, extreme, uptight and lacking interesting hobbies."

Re-read that. Now re-read it again. "Always..."whenever"..."always"..."

You are a little repetitive with your writing. It diminishes the overall effect and clouds your meaning. Try re-writing the above sentence to something like...

"Whenever I told people that I was a Christian, I felt they saw me as overly prudish."

Your essay flows very nicely and it is quite interesting. Good luck!

Read my character essay please?

OP cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 24, 2011   #5
Oh you really think so? cool :) this main essay has been beating me up...or i've been beating it up with poor writing...idk :P

but thanks :) And sure I'd be glad to look at your essays too :)

if you have time, do you mind looking over my new essay for Carnegie Mellon too? thanks!
gaurangus 2 / 8  
Dec 24, 2011   #6
Needs a lil improvement .. I`m guessing this to be the first draft ..

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