Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family,
community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams
and aspirations.
I grew up in Miami before moving to Bangladesh at the age of 10. I go to an
international school in Dhaka, but I visit the US every summer. I have developed a
unique perspective of viewing my home country, Bangladesh, and am able to look at it
both as an insider and as an outsider. I am acutely sensitive to the tremendous
hardships faced by ordinary people in Bangladesh and also understand that these
hardships are a result of many centuries of unplanned growth, strong prejudices and
lack of education. I realize and understand that most problems have fairly complex
solutions and require concerted planning, widespread education, class action and
substantial funding. I understand the importance of embracing my nation for what it
is, and work in every way that I can to improve the quality of life of its people.
When I began high school in Bangladesh, I volunteered with various service
learning groups. Of these, I connected most with the Acid Survivors Foundation.
During my time as a volunteer, I met many victims of acid violence mostly from the rural
areas. In these villages women and children are attacked by men, and sometimes by
other women for petty reasons such as dowry, jealousy, or land disputes. There I met
Durjoy, an 8-year-old boy, who was fed acid when he was a baby because his aunt was
jealous of her sister for having a baby boy when she only had girls. The acid burned the
boy’s mouth and throat and he now needs to use a feeding pipe for the rest of his life.
As I became close to Durjoy, I wondered what kind of life he would lead, as he grew
older; if this pain and lifetime burden were not enough, society also treats acid victims
as outcasts.
I also met several women who did not let their physical disfigurement affect
their aspirations. They went to university and studied to become lawyers, doctors and
pursue other professions; by example, they have inspired other victims to undertake
similar goals. I used to believe that the victims would not take initiative and fight back
to live a normal life. These women, Durjoy, and the foundation itself have completely
changed my perspective. I feel inspired to continue to make a difference when I
witness their outstanding courage and independence.
By working with other NGOs, such as HOPE Foundation, which provides medical
attention to women and men, I work to combat acid violence, and provide education
about the harmful effects of acid on men and women in villages. As more people are
aware, the cause will attract domestic and international attention. I am inspired by
the strength of these people and know that more will become courageous and
independent in pursuing day-to-day life and soon will be socially accepted. They will be
able to work in any job they wish to pursue, and also become the voice for the
hundreds of women and children who suffer from acid violence. This will hopefully
broaden the minds of many and encourage others to get more involved with this

Abinta Kabir Freshmen Seminar September 30, 2014

Abinta Kabir
Freshmen Seminar
September 30, 2014

Reflection 1

Due to my mother, my incredible role model, I value trust, determination, gratitude, respect,
and open mindedness; therefore my purpose in life is to become successful,
hardworking, and accepting, but at the same time care for those around me and appreciate
the fortunate life I live. This is the case for me because growing up I always looked up to my
mother and the many things she went through and accomplished while raising me. Even
though while growing up I didn’t realize that her strict rules and lectures were going to help
me, I later on understood the importance of each life lesson she taught me. One of the
lessons she taught me was to always be grateful for what you have and to try your best to
help those who are less fortunate. This lesson was impressionable because growing up in
Bangladesh, which is a third world nation, meant that I would have to give back to my
community. At the same time, I admired my mother for being independent, hardworking
and always aiming high, which she hoped I would accomplish. These positive attributes
she possessed pushed me to become a better and more sincere person.
During one of the class activities regarding the time we spend on daily activities and the
goals we have relate to the values that I possess, which have been passed down by my
mother. To me gratitude is the most important value because it is important to appreciate
what you have in life. This value informs my purpose because I aim to help those around me
and give back to the people of my country who are suffering from poverty and hunger. Thus,
at the same time this coincides with the goals and time I spend on daily activities, which I
listed in class. For example, I spend a lot of my time over the summer participating in
service projects and try to do my part to help those around me. This relates to PCE/B,
when Manolo from the Book of Life fights for those he cares about and tries his best to
help his community. Determination is something one should always possess because it is
always important to aim high. This informs my purpose because I aspire to be a
successful businesswoman, which I hope to achieve because of the time, and effort I put
into my homework and my studies. Trust and respect are also important values to possess
because it is crucial to treat others correctly and to also be surrounded by those you trust
will be a good influence on you. Thus, these two values also inform my purpose because I
care for those around me, and do whatever it takes to help those in need. Lastly, open
mindedness informs my purpose because I try my best to accept those around me and
become more aware of the various cultures and traditions that is present in Oxford. That’s
why by being in a small multicultural community it is important to embrace those around
you and become knowledgeable about other cultures.
In the future these values may evolve when I will have a family of my own. My values may
become completely different and will revolve around my family and their well-being. For
example, instead of determination for achieving a goal for myself it would be determination
to do whatever is possible for my family. However, my values will not come into conflict
with my purpose because all of them will guide me towards the right direction and help me
achieve my goals and purpose in life. Therefore, I will hopefully be able to become who I
aspire to be and make a mark in certain people’s lives like how Seney left a mark on me.

Abinta Kabir Freshmen Seminar October 21, 2015

Abinta Kabir
Freshmen Seminar
October 21, 2015

Reflective Analysis 2

Respond to these questions: How do I know what I know? How do I distinguish between when
something is right and when something is wrong? How can I be certain? Provide examples of the
ways these questions have played out in your own life thus far.

I know what I know through real life experiences, education, and life lessons taught by
my family members. I know what I know from everyday experiences. For example, I know that I
am not supposed to waste food because I have lived in a country where more than half the
population is below the poverty line. I have witnessed starving children tap at the window of my
car asking for money so that they can buy food. Experiences such as these help you gain
perspective about your life and others as well. Education is another huge factor that helped me
know what I know. Through the teachers’ lectures and assignments I am able to learn new
subjects such as math, political science, English, economics and etc. Their lectures have allowed
me to further my knowledge regarding a particular subject. For example in political science I
learned about John Locke and his definition of a natural man. Inow know this through the
extensive and rigorous reading process I must go through to understand the concepts of John
Locke. Education requires great motivation and drive and this allows me to know what I know.
Lastly, lessons dictated by my family members have enabled me to know what I know. For
example, my mother has taught me how to tie my shoelaces when I was little. Through her constant
guidance and motivation she taught me this skill. Guidance from family members allows you to
understand and learn new things that become a part of what you know.

While growing up I have been taught many lessons from my mom and she has greatly
influenced my perception between right and wrong. I am able to distinguish right from wrong
because of the values and morals she has taught me. In PCE/C I discussed that one of my values is
honesty. Honesty is a very important value to me because if I stay truthful to myself and those
around me I will be able to make correct decisions in life. Furthermore, in PCE/E when
discussing the Heinz Dilemma I stated that I wouldn’t steal the medicine because I would rather
find another method of acquiring money rather than committing a crime. This didn’t go with my
values that’s why I wouldn’t steal the drug for someone who is dying. There are multiple other
options than resorting to stealing. A real life example of when I had to make a decision between
right and wrong was when I was about to lie to my mom about where I was going. I decided
that it would be best for me to tell her the truth instead of lying because it would break her trust
and I would hurt her in the process. Therefore, my values greatly influence how I decide
between something that is right or wrong.

I believe that it is very difficult to be absolutely certain regarding things. However, in order to be
close to certainty it is best to evaluate the pros and cons of a situation or a problem. If you look at
the two sides of every situation then you are more likely to be certain about your decision or your
actions. For example, during a test you are trying to pick the correct answer and must cross out
the wrong choices. You try to remember what you studied and eliminate the wrong answers and pick
the best possible answer. Overall, the answers to these questions are based off of real life
experiences and what you have been taught throughout your childhood.

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you.

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or
experience that is important to you. What about this quality or
accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person
you are?

When I was a little girl I was first handed a basketball, and almost
immediately, I was captivated by it. Because I took to the sport naturally, in
the 9th grade, I was first placed into the high pressure and intense training
camp for the school team. Despite the intensity of the camp, I would reach
15 minutes earlier to practice my shooting and dribbling. My coach saw my
passion for the sport and put me in a different training group with senior
players. This had the reverse effect in that I was out of my depth. My lowest
point came when I wasn’t chosen for the SAISA (South Asian
Interscholastic Association) competition, a prestigious international
competition in South Asia.

That failure spurred me to fight for my place in the team. My sheer
determination to make the team and play the sport I loved allowed me to
push my boundaries. I made sure that even on the weekends I would
practice my shooting and was determined to be the fastest player on court.
When it was time for basketball practice I knew nothing else besides that
moment and I gave it my all. I persevered, and with the new energy of
confidence, I realized that I could dribble better, pass smoother and
maneuver quicker through the court.

When I emerged as the youngest player in the school’s history to score the
most points in a game, I truly understood what hard work could achieve.
From a forward player, I began to be looked up to as someone who would
lead on court. My teammates grew to rely on my judgment and my advice.
From somebody who was initially intimidated by the skills and talents of the
older players, I was now one of the core members. I had come the full circle,
and it was only on the basis of my love and undying perseverance to pursue
the sport.

At the SAISA basketball finals this year, with confetti streamed onto the court,
we won the title decisively. This victory was sweeter because I knew how hard
I had worked to get to that point. The hours of practice, the disciplined
regiment and the sheer doggedness to succeed had all paid off. I am most
proud of this achievement because it has given me the confidence that I
can put that same effort into any goal that I want to accomplish.

Abinta Kabir Freshmen Seminar October 28, 2015

Abinta Kabir
Freshmen Seminar
October 28, 2015


Reflection 3


Respond to these questions: Do I have a responsibility to the greater community as a
whole? To every individual in the greater community? Why/ why not? Must I strive to use
some of my time in life to make the world a better place? Why/ why not? Provide examples
(you may draw from in-class texts/activities and/or out-of-class texts, experiences, etc) to
defend your responses.
I believe that I do have a responsibility to the greater community as a whole
because I am apart of a community where more than half of the people are suffering from
poverty and hunger. Coming from Bangladesh, which is a developing nation, I believe that
it is my responsibility as a Bangladeshi to help those in need. Furthermore, I think that if
I want my country to become developed and prosperous then I definitely need to take
action in order to succeed. My mentality and opinion also come from my values, which I
discussed in PCE/C. In this activity I stated that one of the most important values for me is
loyalty. In this case, I am demonstrating loyalty towards my community and thus, I need to
actively participate in it in order to create positive changes. Also, I discussed how my
nation is a very important part of who I am in PCE/D. Since it is a large part of who I am I
feel as though it is my responsibility to do as much as possible for my community. That is why
the people should tackle the problems in Bangladesh mentioned in the article in PCE/F in
order to make our community a better and safer place for everyone to live in. Since I lived
there fore 8 years and I’m the generation that is supposed to help the nation grow I have
to try my best to do what I can for my community.
In regards to being responsible for every individual in the greater community, I
believe that this depends on the individual. I think that I have a responsibility towards
those who are less fortunate and don’t have the same luxuries as I am grateful to have.
Those who are fortunate enough in life should help those in need in order to make their
lives a better. During high school I was a part of many service groups that helped street
children. This to me is having responsibility to individuals in my community and trying to
make a difference in their lives. I don’t think it is my responsibility to help those who are
already well off and live fortunate lives.
Lastly, in my opinion, one must strive to use some of his or her time in life to make the world
a better place. This is because we all live in the same world and it is our duty to help
preserve it for not just ourselves but for future generations. Also, in the class activity with
the prompts I believe that people are inherently good and thus humans are at times naturally
inclined to help others. However, due to outside influences and material possessions some
individuals are corrupted and think for themselves. That is why I think it is our duty to take
some time from our lives to help those who are less fortunate. Besides being a part of
service groups in high school I used to also volunteer at an orphanage to teach kids how to
read and write in English. I believe that it is our duty to help others because these kids are
the future and we need to make the world a better place for everyone.



Abinta Kabir Freshmen Seminar November 18, 2015

Abinta Kabir
Freshmen Seminar
November 18, 2015

Reflection Analysis 4

Who am I? Why am I here? Who is/are the author(s) of my story? What does it matter?
Looking back at all the activities, reflections, and PCEs that we have done, they have
helped me organize my thoughts about the world, others, and myself. These activities and
assignments helped me reflect about my goals and my values. That is why, they have
enabled me to somewhat answer the question, who am I. This is actually a very difficult
question to answer especially because I am trying to figure out who I am as a person. I
believe that the experiences during college and etc will help me fully unders tand the
person that I will become. However, momentarily, I believe that I am a person who has
strong values that I try to live by. For example, in PCE/C I discussed the five most
important values to me and I believe that those are a central part of who I am. I try to be
honest and respectful to those I care about and even those who I don’t know. Furthermore,
I care about people and one of my goals that I mentioned in the blueprint is to open a NGO in
Bangladesh. That is also why I really liked the service project at Stone Mountain because I
was able to help children and volunteer. Also, I believe that my culture and nationality are a
huge part of who I am. Coming from Bangladesh, which is a developing nation, I feel as
though it is my duty to help my country even if it is through a small contribution. That is
why in PCE/D I illustrated that I strive to achieve my goals so that at the end I can help my
country and others.

The reason as to why I am here in this world is maybe because I am set out to help
those who are less fortunate than I am. Like I said before I feel passionately about helping
others and I believe that is what I am set out to do ultimately. Also, I am here in Oxford
College because it is a perfect stepping stone for me in order to achieve my goals. However,
in order to achieve them those around me will play a major role in my life. I think there are
multiple authors to my story because everyone, no matter how big their role is in my life,
have affected me in some way or another. My parents are the main authors to my story.
Without them I don’t think I would be the person I am today. My friends are also authors
to my story because they bring me happiness, entertainment, and support no matter what
the circumstance is. I know without them I wouldn’t have learnt to do so many things and
also I wouldn’t have learnt how to be true to who I am. That is why in the beginning of my
letter, I wrote it is important to meet people that will support you and bring you happiness.
Furthermore, it is important to meet people that will stand beside you no matter how hard
life gets. Thus, I believe that I have an incredible friend who will last forever and that’s why
they are such a huge part of my story.

Ultimately, all of this matters because it helps me to fully understand what I want to do in
life and what I need to work on. All the activities and assignments that we did helped
understand what I need to and what I don’t need to do in order to be the best possible me.
Overall, I am one step closer into finding who I am fully and what I want to achieve in life.