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Student example uc essay 2
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Student example uc essay 2

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  • 1. UC Prompt 2 One late afternoon in Tacubaya, an area on the outskirts of Mexico City, my father and I packed up our marketplace merchandise after a long day. My father promised that we would celebrate our success at the Taqueria after we stored our wares. I sat by the sidewall, waiting for my father to return from the warehouse. The cold breeze brushed my nine-year-old limbs as night fell upon the city. Two hours later, cold and tired, I went to look for him. I pounded on the warehouse door, but there was no answer. I stood in front of the old building, frustrated and hungry and yelled “Papa!” Finally, I heard the sound of approaching footsteps. I smiled in relief when my father opened the door, but when I saw the cards in his hand, I knew that he was drinking and gambling with other vendors, and my smile faded. When the clock struck midnight, I still stood next to my father in the smoky den, watching and waiting. He was intoxicated; he was losing. My father won a few games because I nudged his shoulder and whispered to him so that he didn’t overlook his winning cards. One of the three players hissed at me “Deja de hablarle a tu papá porque estos juegos son de más de mil pesos. Entendiste?” I understood that he didn’t want me to help my father because there was a lot of money in the pot. My father only took a long sip from his Corona and looked at me; his left eye barely opened when he whispered “Erick, go to sleep now; I’ll wake you when I’m ready.” At 3:00 am, I lay on flattened cardboard boxes in a corner of the warehouse. My stomach growled, but I knew falling sleep would help me forget about its emptiness. When my father finally ended his night, still intoxicated, he carried me four blocks before he put me down on a stony wall. Tears filled his eyes. His gold necklace and bracelet were missing. I knew that he had lost badly; I had never seen my father so defeated. In an effort to cheer him up, I offered to buy tacos for breakfast with the money that I had saved from work. We walked to the street market, where we ate at a food stand and there my father said to me, “Erick I promise I’m going to
  • 2. UC Prompt 2 change.” It was a quarter after eight—fifteen hours after he had begun his binge. Unfortunately, my father has not kept his promise to conquer the adversity in his life, but I learned a lot about him, my life, and my future that night. After my mother left us to go to The United States, my father played the roles of a father and a mother for my brothers and me. I looked up to him the way sons do, and when I was young, I wanted to be like him, to be a street vendor. That particular night in my father’s world helped me to understand his behavior, his addictions, and his struggle to take care of my two brothers and me. At that moment, I realized that I had to find a way out of poverty; of course, I was not yet mature enough to see the way to my salvation, and I wouldn’t be until after I had moved to the US to live with my mother. It was when I read Francisco Jiménez’s The Circuit as a freshman in high school that I was struck with an epiphany. I understood that education is a way for me to better myself and improve my chances in life. Even though learning English was a formidable obstacle, The Circuit stirred me to confront and overcome challenges in my life. Both the experience of my father’s painful world and the words of Francisco Jimenez motivate me to move forward and pursue a better life through education. Now, there is nothing else that I want more than to earn a college diploma and become a teacher, to inspire other young people to find the best in themselves.  

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