Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Personal-College Essay

The right person at the right time.

Everything seemed so awkward to me. The new school system I had just entered did not make any sense. The way other kids behaved, and the freedom that they seemed to posses was amazing to me. Everyone just had something to do or some place to go; nobody had a moment to explain to me where I was supposed to go.
Being a fourteen year-old girl in a place where you know the traditions, the people around you, and most important a place where everyone speaks the same language is hard enough for many kids; but trying this in a different country is even harder. I started my freshman high school year not understanding what my classmates were talking about or what my history textbook had written on it.
On my first day of school, just as I was about to enter my history class, I saw this older man standing at the door greeting his students as they went inside the classroom. He looked so joyful and happy that my eyes stared at him in amusement. I looked at the sign on his door, his name was Dr. Cabral. Even though he was not a very healthy person, (I later learned he had been in the war some years before and that had caused him severe health problems), he had such lightness on his face that he just made me feel welcome.
I was very unsure about whether or not I was going to be able to come out victorious from this new journey that I had just started. My lack of being able to speak or write English and my not being able to understand this new culture made my first two years of high very hard. I would have never been able to go through those freshman and sophomore years if I had not had the help of my history teacher, who spoke Spanish to me.
He helped me understand a new way of life. He was there in his classroom every time I did not understand what my homework was, or when I needed someone to listen to me when I had problems and did not know how to face them.
When I lived in Venezuela, my native country, everything was so much easier. My classmates at school and everyone I knew over there spoke the same language and we were all part of the same culture.
Three years later, I can still remember that first day of school when everything seemed so out of place for me. I can still remember the face of that man who taught me so much, and who smiled at life even when life was not being kind to him.
He vanished from my life in the same way he came into it, in a silent and unnoticeable way. He left the school because of his health problems, but he still remains in my heart and mind. Now I put in practice everything he taught me. I try to smile at life even when things do not come out the way I expected. He might not be here anymore, but the memories of that man who taught me English and History, and how to feel grateful for the simple reason of being alive remain in my heart and soul. I will always be grateful to life for having put an angel in my life when I most needed him.

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