What is your intended major? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field – such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities – and what you have gained from your involvement.
(EDIT: I kinda answered the Freshman Prompt by mistake, besuretocheck.)
School is where my love for English started. Although English was not my first language, I quickly learned the basics from the ESL program at Lum Elementary. My own development of English started when I asked my parents to buy a set of DVDs called “Hooked on Phonics” and I’ve been “hooked” ever since. If I were to try and pinpoint the exact moment when I thought about English as a career, it would have to be in the 8th grade. One of my favorite teachers back then was my English teacher, Ms. Bradfield. I still remember the final words that she spoke to our class before we went on to high school. Although I didn’t know it at the time, those words would end up holding special meaning in my life. She said that when we choose a job, we should just do what we love and everything else will fall into place.
Although I knew English to be what I loved, and my young heart wished to adhere to her advice, I did not do so due to the practical priorities of my parents. You see, it was around this time that the recession occured, causing both my parents to lose their jobs. Although they eventually found new jobs, their scare influenced their decisions for my life. They concluded that a career in English would not be as lucrative than one in Mathematics and they decided that my goal in life should simply be to get a high-paying job so as to lead a comfortable life. I listened to my parents and ignored Ms. Bradfield’s advice, because if I were to be realistic, I would say that doing what you love is not necessarily going to give you an easy life. However, I realize now that when she said life would be easy, she did not mean that life would be easy in the sense that there would be no difficulties; what she meant was that doing what you love makes life meaningful enough to make living easy and enjoyable, regardless of difficulties.
During my time at BCC, I was finally able to do what I loved. I not only grew in my love for English, but I also began to foster a desire to go into the field of education. This desire came into fruition when I took a class in Education. Taught by Loretta Kane, a previous professor at UC Berkeley, the class helped me see how socioeconomic factors can prevent students from showing the true extent of their intellect and instead force them to abandon their dreams for a job that pays the bills. I saw how my own socioeconomic upbringing, though not entirely fortunate, was still fortunate enough to provide me with the opportunity and chance to do what I loved. It was truly an enlightening class and an unforgettable experience that led me to choose teaching English as a profession.
When I look back, I do not consider my family’s situation to be one of hardship, because I knew there were people in far more difficult situations. The circumstances of my past allowed me to create a semblance of sense for the situations facing students today and provided me with insight into how to teach them in the future. A teacher who believed in dreams, parents who lost their jobs, and an education class that gave me perspective are all things that influenced my major and future career in education.
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
One of my accomplishments this year was my participation in Impact. Impact stands for “Impacting Communities of Tomorrow and in the Summer of 2011, that is exactly what I did. The organization provides for children from Oakland and we show the kids that they shouldn’t be disillusioned into thinking that school is a useless endeavor, because we show them that learning can also be fun. Some of these fun activities were classes in Art, Biology, and bridge-building.
My role was to go where I was needed. I made some posters, moved some tables, and made some signs. All of this seemed excessive to me at first, but if the goal is to give children the idea that learning can be fun, then excessive is good. It was finally time for the kids to arrive. Sincere smiles lit up the face of every child as they interacted with me and their new environment. However, the most memorable moment for me was after the event, when I went to drop off the kids in their own environment.
After all the kids were picked up, I was terrified to realize that a child was missing and no one signed her out. We went to her address and knocked on the door. Nalita was safe. I asked her why she left without being signed out and she said she didn’t want to tell us her parents were at work and couldn’t pick her up. This broke my heart to see a young girl of 7 years old have to be so brave.
Not only did she walk home by herself, but she did not want us judging her parents for forcing her to do so. I realized that she didn’t have bad parents, just practical parents that had bills to pay. My parents were the same way when they wanted me to be practical in choosing a profession. This event gave me insight into seeing how even though Nalita and I are from different environments, we’re not so different after all because we share similar stories of universal parental tendencies to want the best for their children. I’m now a tutor for Impact where I teach reading to 2nd graders. I hope to maintain this insight and connection to my students as a teacher.