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Word Count: 618
Describe A Person who has significantly Influenced You I shudder at the sight of it Id rather see them steal that salad than throw it away my father bellows in consternation after witnessing the closing rituals at Wendys Pa they do it so they can serve fresh food tomorrow I defend the fast food employees actions Despite our past four and a half years in the Land of Plenty my father clings to his frugality and tremendous respect for food acquired by necessity throughout his life in the Soviet Union The sharp contrast between my Americanized perspective and old views and habits retained by my father makes such debates a common occurrence Besides performing all the prescribed functions of a parental unit my father helps me attain objectivity in my judgments by demonstrating how cultural background affects our view of situations Coming to the United States at the age of thirteen felt like falling into a roaring stream without any swimming skills Dog paddling panting and swallowing gallons of water on the way I learned to keep myself afloat and gradually gained experience Cultural adaptation was not a choice--it was a survival need Along with comic strips and smiles at supermarkets my mind absorbed such elements of American culture as equal opportunity and self-confidence The existence of programs such as English as a Second Language at my junior high school persuaded me that these concepts were implemented in daily life I was thrilled that someone had toiled to ensure that foreigners like myself had the same access to education as the other students Thus convinced of the tangibility of American beliefs I began to deem them universal On the other hand my father a 45-year old when we arrived still perceives reality in Soviet terms with American customs being an exception to the rule His comments on the news radically differ from what my American friends
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