Cold War

Describe an extracurricular activity that meant a lot to you.

Three young children scrambled into the room— Amy, Sam, and Kevin. They were orphans soon to be adopted by families in Europe, so my job was to teach them English. Easy, I thought, all I have to do is make a lesson plan and give them worksheets. It’s how I learned in kindergarten. As soon as the teacher left, all discipline vanished. Kevin and Sam did everything but sit in their chairs; Amy became more preoccupied with feeding carrots to her electronic horse than paying attention to me. I sighed as the children chased each other around the room, worksheets scattered everywhere.

They remind me of the undisciplined classmates I frowned at when I was in kindergarten. When I was their age, not only was I attentive in class, but I planned my time carefully outside of it—borrowing books from the library, practicing the piano everyday, keeping up with math, among many other things. I gave up. My plans were useless in this battle. The next class, instead of following my agenda, I brought a stuffed dog and asked the children to introduce themselves in English to Bob (the first name I thought of when they asked). This strategy tricked Amy and Kevin into speaking English. But Sam still remained stubbornly silent. Well, if Sam’s not...

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