Saturday, December 15, 2007

My "Social Work"

The deadlines for my college essays are in a month, and I still have about six essays left. There are least four for which I have absolutely no idea what to write, and I don't like the one I am writing now. It is an essay which asks me to "elaborate on one of my activities". The 'activity' I chose to write about is the little bit of social work that I have done. But while the tiny bit I have done is very important to me, how can I possibly write about it when I know for a fact that what I have done amounts to nothing? I mean, I had a friend who was so socially responsible, she wanted to take up a career in social work. I don't know exactly what she's done as a schoolgirl, but I do know that along with her mother, she has been involved in a lot of community activities, such as teaching. And I had another very socially conscious friend who used to teach Maths and English in a rural school. Both of them really cared for what they did. And... this is hard to express properly... it's making me feel as if whatever I write about what I've done is just so fake.

I have done some "social work". I ran a library for the kids of the domestic workers in my community for a year. Last summer, I taught the girl who works in my house to write, and to do some basic Maths questions. But does it matter? I didn't really make a difference in anyone's life the way Gonu and Anirudh must have. My so-called "social work" had little or no effect on anyone. The essay is supposed to help colleges understand me. Isn't writing an essay that feels so wrong similar to cheating?

Maybe I should just choose another topic for my essay and save all this introspection for a day when I don't have exams in four days and six applications to send out in a month.