Arms Covered in Cheddar

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.



Grasping the knife, I made deliberate cuts. Mumbling, I couldn't focus on what I was doing. Looking outside at the bleak clouds and parched grass, I felt groggy. Gray cinderblock-like bags tugged on my haggard eyes. The leaky kitchen faucet's "ka plunk, ka plunk" pierced the room's bedlam. My shirt was disheveled and my shoelaces untied. My arms were covered in...cheddar?

Making cheese sandwiches is a seemingly simple task. Not so. Especially when there are hungry autistic children tugging on your jeans and smashing mayonnaise in your hair as you try to slice the bread. Try spreading cheddar on one sandwich in that situation, much less over thirty. My volunteering at Camp Summit, a retreat for mentally disabled individuals, has led to even more bizarre experiences. Early on, feeding hungry children and assisting them in messy bathroom situations (I won't elaborate) caused me to see special-needs children as a burden. My first day at camp, a kid cut off chunks of his hair. Another mushed chocolate between her toes. Another tried to call 911. Although I had some very well-behaved children, a few rowdy ones were enough to create my distaste for this volunteering.

After this inauspicious beginning, you'd think I would avoid anything...

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