The Prompt: Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.
I would like the setting for my essay to include my dad’s high school auto-tech class at a high school where he teaches auto-tech to students with entirely different demographics than the one I attend. My school is upper-middle class, working class area with familes mostly in-tact etc., His high school is considered in the south side of the city where many kids are not as well off financially, Many of his students have been in prison or arrested at some point, have mom, dads, grandparents either currently in jail or who have been in jail for drug related or theft crimes. Most are not college bound. Most have had dificult upbringings that have made them smarter in ways I’m not. The assumption I had that his students wouldn’t accept or relate to me because our lives and where we come from are so different
economically and ethnically. That being relatively shy and nervous, socially awkward type, I typically wouldn’t be the initiator of conversation in this situation because of my own preconceived ideas about my dad’s students all being gang bangers and druggies, and didn’t have a clue as to how to communicate on any level with them. That the conversations started by one of his students initiating with me and showing an interest in getting to know me regardless of our differences because I was “Mr. Padro’s” son – that “he is cool so I must be too”, and because we all shared a common interest in cars, how they work and how to make them work better. I learned that my perceptions were completely wrong, that I can be accepted and fit in to most any situation based on commonalities in interests. I learned not to be blinded by differences and not to assume there wouldn’t be any common ground. In many ways it felt more real to me than the world
I experience in my own high school where some of the major concerns seem so unimportant and insignificant by comparison. Opening myself to others and sharing thoughts and ideas can open doors to learning about
There’s a part of me that would like to steer clear from answering the prompt altogether, instead to address it and the idea that the readers are going through hundreds if not thousands of the same topic but fear in doing so I may disqualify myself. I know they are trying to get to know me in asking that we answer the prompt but thought it could be bold and different to go a different direction.
I’d definitely also like to include a quote in the beginning of the essay and tie it in at some point within the body of the essay. One that relates to the subject matter, something like:
“Get along with people, but you also have to recognize that the strength of a team is different people with different perspectives and different personalities.” Steve Case
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