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“The freshman 15” results from, starchy, processed, high calorie, bland, unhealthy and artificial food—typical college cuisine. Unfortunately, many colleges operate their classrooms with similar attitudes—artificial, pre-packaged experiences with excessively large, bland classes. Deviating from this, Macalester fosters a rich academic experience supported by an accessible, personal staff and a diverse atmosphere. Reflected in the healthy cafeteria, this Macalester experience would enable me to continue growing physically and intellectually.
Along with the wraps and pasta in the cafeteria, there was also a fruit wall. Throughout high school, I learned to appreciate my body and treat it with respect. Tofu fills the meat container in my refrigerator and to wash down any snacks—soy nuts, unsalted peanuts or some fruit and vegetable—I always have the option of a tall glass of soymilk. Outside of the kitchen, I respect my body through track, cross-country and swimming. My first year of cross-country, senior year, I qualified for the state meet and we placed 12th as a team. Despite running four years of track and one year of cross-country, I have only run the 400-meter dash and the 5,000-meter run. While filled with success, my athletic career contains a vast amount of potential; through attending Macalester I can continue to respect and enhance my body, and to develop this potential: to enjoy the fruits of my successes while nurturing new buds of opportunity.
North, South, West, East--these are not just the different areas of the Macalester Cafeteria, but also the areas of the globe Macalester opens to its students, both in the classroom and through study abroad. Throughout high school, I studied two years of French and four years of Spanish; now, I eagerly anticipate the first day of the Mandarin course I am taking over the spring. As I took more foreign languages, I realized that they encompass more than just how to order a meal, they convey distinct and unique cultures, ways of life and ways of thinking that reveal the people behind the meal. Macalester would send me in the right direction, both in my travels and in life.
Besides a menu, the main entrance to the cafeteria displays signs and posters illustrating the student body’s interest in and devotion to politics, social issues and the world. My interest and raw exposure to the world began in 1995 with the adoption of my Chinese sister. By forcing me to look at the poverty and challenging conditions many people face around the world, my sister’s adoption showed me that the world is not America, the world is not democratic, the world is not white, the world is not equal. Then, the summer before my freshman year in high school, and for three subsequent summers, I attended Catholic Heart Work Camp. At this camp, I refurbished the houses of the less fortunate in Milwaukee, South Bend and St. Louis, yet I also refurbished my view of the world. The heartfelt look of gratitude and the simple glass of ice water my group’s elderly host gave me on a hot afternoon in South Bend showed me the true meaning of “thank you” and the impact I could—I need—to make on the world. Academically, classes, such as Women and Society, Business and Personal Law, American Government, and a myriad of other English and History classes, spurred a thirst for understanding and knowledge of the world. In addition to school, books, such as The Power of One, Mountains Beyond Mountains and The Pillars of the Earth, added a hunger to this thirst. Driven by an appetite to see, understand and change the world, I hope to attend Macalester College next fall.
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