January 13, 2009
By Rachel Kautz, Hartland, WI

It is four o’clock in the afternoon. I walk over to see an elderly woman crying. I ask her what is wrong and patiently wait for her story to begin.

“I don’t know where my home is and my family doesn’t know where I am,” she said.

“This is your home,” I said as I look around the assisted living facility that I work at. “Your family knows you are here and come to visit you.” She asks about how she would pay for everything. I tell her it is all taken care of.

“I love you guys so much,” she said. “You are my family.” She wraps her arms around me in a hug that I will never forget.

I stay with her a little longer to make sure she is alright. I walk out to the main dining room and see all the familiar and happy faces looking back. It is here that I truly feel welcomed. No judgmental thoughts or comments, only greetings and the occasional humorous sarcastic remark. As I look around the familiar faces, I realize that working with people is what I have a true gift for.

This is the type of experience I expect to have in college. The one where I work with others and learn from them in order to grow as a person. Dealing with clients and patients will be the most time consuming and important part of my future career in physical therapy. College will not only teach me academics but the personal skills needed to work with others.

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