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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who I am by Misael Galdámez


Last night my son finished this college essay. We discussed how to write it and in the end he did quite good. There's a lot I could say. But let him say it. Here it is:

I have always loved ribs. From the first day my mom took out her recipe book and oven baked ribs, I was fascinated. Fascinated to the point where I became an expert on ribs; I discovered the secret.

The secret to perfect ribs is the perfect dry rub. It must maintain an equilibrium of taste sensations; not too sweet, but not too spicy. The sugar acts as a foundation for the other spices, ensuring that they all blend to form the perfect taste sensation.

Like the rub for my special ribs, I am built on a solid foundation, a constant flavor – my family.

Yes, my parents were disadvantaged immigrants, but their status is not what has shaped who I am. What is distinguishable and influential about my parents is their contentment. No matter where we have been emotionally or economically, my parents have been content. When our family’s dine-outs were $1 whoppers and water, they were content. When four-star restaurants became affordable to our family, they were content.

However, complacency is not to be mistaken for contentment. My parents always strove to better themselves in every way possible; whether going to seminary to become a minister or working hard to receive that pay bonus, they drove forward.

Of course, every rub needs some heat to give it fire. Without spice, people lack passion. My spice? Plain and simple: my values.

I am old fashioned; I always will be. I believe in being a gentleman and in chivalry. I believe in the sanctity of life and responsibility. I believe that without a code of ethics, one is nothing.

But I didn’t develop a code of ethics on my own. My values came from observation, from discussions with my parents, from reason. I was taught what my parents believed from an early age, taught right from wrong. I was raised in a Christian home, taught the value of people; taught that there was one God. The decision was ultimately mine, whether to embrace or reject everything. I chose to embrace it.

Mix sweet and spicy and you have yourself the balance for your rub. A balance of tastes.

That’s what my goal is. To be a balanced individual. Someone who has values, passion and is content; someone who is always driving forward.

Like my ribs, I want to be a variety of flavors; Flavors so good, you can’t help but lick your fingers.
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