Monday, October 19, 2009

Personal Essay for Transfer

Sasheen Pottinger – Francis
In high school by the age of ten, I was strategizing with my team for our upcoming soccer games. The ideal opponents in a soccer game are bad goal keepers who miss each ball kicked in their direction and defenders that lack speed. If this were the case, winning a match would be simple and strategy irrelevant. However, in reality, the player has to struggle to score a goal and the defender is faster than the rate of diffusion in gases. Over the years, I have come to understand myself and what is necessary to succeed through my love of soccer. To be persistent, resilient, and a team player, these are the things I have learned from soccer.

When my grandmother suffered a stroke, I applied the same mentality and spirit. At 14years-old, while my mother entered the hospital for high blood pressure, I became responsible for my three siblings, two cousins and my recovering grandmother. I disciplined myself to balance my responsibilities while pursuing my education. Raising my brothers was like trying to grip running water; I needed a plan to freeze the water in order for me to grasp it. But it wasn’t a game and a lot was at stake, so I had to teach my brothers the spirit of team work and the value of education to get a handle on raising them. I applied the discipline of soccer to balance my responsibilities while preventing myself from succumbing to pessimism, as the obstacles beckon my surrender. After a long day, they actually looked forward to doing homework because it was placed strategically right before dinner on my schedule, and the dinner I prepared would settle their stomachs. Doing homework together, they realized I was living by my words of taking one’s education seriously; they respected me as a sister, a mother, a teacher, and a captain encouraging them to be their own captains.

Growing up in Jamaica, I felt that many of the friends with whom I played had the perfect life; the chance to have internet, cable TV, electricity, and running tap water and no family responsibilities. When I was younger, I envied them for their luxury and comfort, but looking back today, I do not regret my experiences. Without these experiences, I would not be as focused as I am now. Coming to America when I turned 18-years-old…I am still struggling to find the words to describe it. I was left to fend for myself, so I immediately looked for work. My short experience of work at a Golden Krust restaurant reinforced my appreciation for education. “Greet the customer, take the order, deliver to the chef, take the next order, deliver to the chef, give the check, and remember to SMILE,” these were the first words I heard an American utter without a Jamaican accent. I was working for six dollars an hour for fifty hours per week, my feet aching, my back throbbing, I worked, and I worked, and I worked. From friendly customers to horribly agitated ones, I remembered to “SMILE” because I knew I would soon take the first steps to becoming the first college graduate in my family.

When I started attending LaGuardia Community College, I told myself nothing will be handed over simply because I declare that I need it, but the possibility of attaining what I want is not denied either. I enjoyed an overwhelming sense of freedom along with my deep understanding of my added responsibilities. I welcomed the atmosphere of intellectual growth, the classroom, the professors, and my peers. The privilege of college is something I wanted to continue sharing with my family, so I continued to call and assist my brothers with their home work and send money to keep them in school. My father never quite understood the need to pay so attention much to education. Trying to explain my goals to him was like pleading with my soccer opponents, telling them I NEED to win this game. It is never going to happen; they would laugh at me instead.

My brothers and I no longer take walks to school, but I manage to deliver my lecture each time we talk on the phone or through a text message. My second semester with only two classes has been another reminder of how desperately I crave education; two classes just aren’t enough. My friends are challenged with full course loads and I envy them, but of course they think I am crazy. Only by transferring to an institution that fosters intellectual curiosity and cultivates a spirit of exploration will I be able to not only achieve goal of getting one of the best educations in the world, but also experiencing the fruits of truly living for the sake of learning. That is, I want to immerse myself in the life of a student for the first time.

When I’m on the soccer field, I seize the ball in between my legs. My heart pumps from chest down to the length of my body into the ball, my team standing by, time suspended, my family cheering and the audience fading out until finally, I don’t see the obstacles in my path, just the goal.

1 comment:

  1. In formulating your strategies, you could probably get some tips from watching pro players in actual soccer games.


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