I had an interesting experience last Friday.
by, 24th February 2013 at 07:08 PM (283 Views)
I have a really good friend who lives near me. Her name is Anisha. She's pretty much my polar opposite: enthusiastic, hyper, cheerful, athletic... And she's really intelligent, too.
Anisha kinda has strange parents, though. Her parents don't trust her, and don't think she can do anything on her own. They think Anisha's not very smart because she doesn't look studious, and because she seems to really enjoy life and have fun. She has an older brother who's also pretty smart, but he gets more attention than she does because he has better work habits and because he's a stereotypical "smart kid". So while he gets all the attention (which isn't much to begin with), Anisha is neglected because her parents don't know her very well at all.
Okay, so there's this summer camp that I applied to this year. It's a camp for high school kids that like math and science, and it's really competitive. You have to write an essay and a resume and send transcripts and teacher recommendations and everything. My mom was the one that told me about it, and she helped me write the application. I finished it last Wednesday, the deadline to submit the application (it was an online one) was Friday the 22nd at 5pm.
So, Friday approaches. At around 10am in the morning, my mom gets an email that says the deadline for teacher recommendations has been extended to March 1st. And then, she asks me if Anisha applied for the camp. I wasn't so sure, and I told her that I didn't think so. She then asks me to call Anisha up and ask her to apply. Keep in mind the deadline was 5pm the same day.
I called her, and asked, and it turns out that she hadn't applied. [I]Her parents had told her not to because they thought she wouldn't get in.[/I] Of course, she wasn't too enthusiastic about doing it last minute. But I thought it would be cool if she could apply too, and after a 30-minute phone conversation (my mom talked to her too, we didn't ask her parents) she tentatively agreed to do it.
I was really, really excited. I felt that Anisha needed more opportunities, since she has good grades and is really interested in science, but she never gets the chance to apply for these things. So I managed to convince my parents to go over to her house at 2pm and help her with it, since it was a lot of work to do.
I told my parents I would be back in an hour, but I was there for 3 hours, up until the last minute. It was really strange helping Anisha write the paragraphs. When I had written them, my mom had been there with me and she helped by pointing out sentences that didn't make sense so I could fix them. I became that role for Anisha, and I pretty much wrote the entire thing for her - she had some amazing ideas, and I helped formulate them into sentences. I also helped her think of events to write about for her resume.
I thought her parents would help her out, but they didn't even seem to care. I mean, she was applying for a really competitive summer camp. If I was a parent, I would read everything over and be really involved in the whole process. But her parents just sat on the computer doing whatever, and they didn't even look at us - except they groaned when Anisha asked them for the last 4 digits of her social security number. It was really like they had given up on Anisha because they thought she was worthless, and I felt sad.
We were really pressed for time. The first paragraph took about an hour in itself, and we had to really work hard to get it done on time. Finally, at 4:58pm, Anisha clicked the "submit" button and we both sighed with relief. I felt amazing. I had helped one of my best friends do something she wouldn't even have thought about otherwise.
Anisha's not done yet, though. She still needs to ask the school for transcripts, and go talk to 2 teachers and ask for recommendations. I haven't talked to her since Friday, so hopefully her parents won't dissuade her from completing the application. I really think she's smart enough to get in, and I know her teachers will give her recommendation letters since she's always cheerful and attentive during class. Just in case, though, I'm bringing $5 with me to school tomorrow. That way, if she didn't bring money to pay for the transcripts, I can do it for her. ;)
So yeah, it was a strange day. But it was a completely new experience for me, to go and help someone out like that. I'm usually an indecisive person who stands around doing nothing. That day, I felt like I transformed into a persuasive, directed person, even if it was only for a little while. I was the one who did the convincing, not the one who was convinced. And I think I liked it that way.