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University of Chicago ESSAY: Where is Waldo
THE LIFE AND (POSSIBLE) DEATH OF WALDO
It is my pleasure to confirm the death of Madam Waldo. Don't be vexed by my happiness in the death of Waldo. If you knew the effect Waldo had in the world in past five to six years, you would also be happy. You asked where Waldo is and I can tell you nobody as seen her. However, I can tell where she has been by the effect she has had.
Waldo's presence was first noticed in 2007 when the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) announced bankruptcy. Of course, I didn't understand until our house was foreclosed and my family had to move to an apartment. Waldo didn't stop there; he went on from Wall Street, where millions of jobs were lost, to the bail out of banks and finally to the overall economy, causing millions of jobs to be lost. Waldo's impact on the country was not only financially, but also in the lives of the average American family, like mine.
Before my family experienced Waldo, I lived a comfortable life, but it all changed drastically when I actually felt Waldo's impact on my house. First, my dad lost his job. Not long after, my father started working two jobs. We eventually moved to small apartment to minimize the cost. For me, I stopped buying bookings online and became an assassin of cheap books where ever I saw one. At some point, I stopped buying books all together and started borrowing book from different city library close to Chicago. I went from Chicago library to Evanston library to Skokie library borrowing books I would not have bought if I was not forced to.
Although I was more street smart and sensible about my spending, the financial hardship took its tow on my father and eventually took his life. It almost looked like Waldo could not be stopped from the rise in unemployment rate to the increase in US debt, everything looked doomed and gloom, but I was wrong.
After my father's death, I moved in with my uncle, who also felt the effect of Waldo and was also unemployed like my father. In summer of 2011, he found a job and at the same time I got admitted to a community college and also won a scholarship that paid for my expenses for the year. Things were finally looking up. I did not want to jinx it, but it felt as if Waldo was finally done with us, but I needed confirmation from other people. Although the effect my family was going through was not wide spread, the lives of some neighbors and close relative where faring better, even the government monthly jobs report was indicating positive growth. This was when I knew Waldo was no more.
Waldo was the mother of depression, oppression, pain, struggle and the unhappiness Americans and the world faced during this period. Unfortunately, some of Waldo's children still survive and pop up in our daily life. An example is oppression, who is hanging to his dear life in the Middle East. So you ask where Waldo is? Sorry, she is gone. May her troublesome soul rest in peace
2ND ESSAY FOR UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Susan Sontag, AB'51, wrote that "Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech." Write about an issue or a situation in
which you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend. e Aesthetics of Silence, 1967
My eyes were closed but I could smell disinfectant in the air, the quiet shuffling of constantly moving feet. I was not sure where I was. I gradually opened my eyes then realized I was at cook county hospital. My mum was asleep on the chair, rested her head at the foot of my bed. I didn't know how i got there, but I knew that I was responsible.
Ever since I was a child, I have had difficulty breathing. Two things deterred my parents from singing off to a procedure that might have helped me: the risky and the cost of the operation. However, there were preventive measures I could take if I was every vigilant about the symptoms.
Over the years, I have always told my parents about if I was experiencing the major symptoms like headaches, chest pain, or loss of appetite. But, over the years, every time I tell my parents about any symptoms, I notice mother's eyes dilate but no tears, her face swells, her hands sweats, as she begins to calmly but urgently order my father on the routine. My mother is strong and she does her best to hide it, but I know when I see a glowing smiling with no restriction on her face when she is happy and the smile that brings wrinkle on her face. I felt like a bad wind that continues to prevent the rose f lower from blossoming again and again, so i decided to take care of myself and show my independence next time I notice the symptoms.
I noticed minor symptoms at home, but I remained silence. At school, during one of my class breaks, I noticed a major symptom, chest pain, and kept it to myself. During class, Mr. Feng, my calculus professor asked jokingly if everything was okay because I haven't questioned any of the proofs on the board. I nodded, signaling that nothing was wrong. I knew the procedure, but I had the get home first. Suddenly, I grabbed my chest, trying to stop the pain, I could feel hear and feel my heart pounding faster. I felt dizzy, tire, and running short of breath. I knew I was too late. All I could think about was my mom's feeling; her voice ringing in my head saying why? Why? Why? I blacked out.
Now fully awake in the hospital, the foot of my bed was soaked. I looked up and saw my mother raining tears from her eyes. My mother appeared scared, angry, and at the same time relieved." why did you keep silent or am I doing a bad job at taking care of you? Or are you depressed?" my mother asked, crying.
Surprised and in tears, I replied that she misread my intention. "All I wanted was to see the same smile I saw in wedding pictures or the smile I saw picture I saw when I was a baby", I said. My mother was shocked and started to cry and said she won't have to be worried anymore. Why? , I replied. She responded saying that the doctor had to perform the operation to save me. I cried. I could not believe how my tears of sadness turned to joy. Surprising, Mr. Feng enter and smiled. He said he would to pay half the bill. My mother and I thanked him. Mr. Feng later said he understands why I remained silent about my health, but can't understand why I didn't ask for help and other people might misunderstand it has being proud.
And misunderstand, they did. My intention, to me, was good because I wanted to learn to be independent and give my mother life outside mine, but she misread it. I obviously did not intend to make my mother sad and I didn't intend to ask for help from my teacher, but somehow I did. If there was one thing i took away from this, it is that silence is not only a form of speech. Silence is like a behavior that can be interpreted in various ways. Aristotle said man is a social animal? Silence was not responsible for the evolution of men, nor was it responsible for ending both world wars. So what was responsible? Definitely not silence. To me, Silence is a mystery we should only endeavor in if we are sure of the outcome.