The Impact of a “Once”

     Hunting hungrily for clues, cues, patterns, and pieces, there was complete madness in my head. My eyes were sore for hours and I had a throbbing headache. The fuzzy images of the living room went in and out of focus. It troubled my vision, and my conscience was taken over. Our marbled living room floor was also in a chaotic state. It was as if a bomb had fallen directly into my home. Was I trying to decipher a difficult code or maybe even to scheme an evil plan in my young preschool mind? No, it was my first day trying to conquer a peace-offering gift after a stormy, explosive tantrum. The gift was my first 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

  My first jigsaw puzzle was the “once” that gave me a change in life. For many people, these puzzles do not make an impact in their life, at least not as big as in mine. Ever since that one day I was newly introduced to jigsaw puzzles, I have loved them. Whenever I received a new one from my dad, I would run up to it and start assembling the complicated mess. My love for these problematic puzzles made me realize something. What I realized was that everything in this world fits somewhere.

 When I was younger, there were times that made me wonder curiously about my future career. There was even a time where I thought that I could be a singer! I loved singing and sang everywhere I went, even in the shower. I claimed that my singing was extraordinary, but of course, it was not. My family had to deal with my awful singing for years and years. Much later on, I found out that my singing was like a nightmare to my family and even to my neighbors. When I felt that I did not fit into this world, I was devastated. The thought of losing a talent, a self, and a place to belong, was like having one of my limbs amputated. It wounded me so deeply that I almost lost hope of ever finding a life career. I threw a tantrum, which was even worse than my singing. This shameful event led to the introduction of my important “once.” This “once,” was my dad presenting me with a box of jigsaw puzzles.  

  I was five, almost six, when I received my 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle. I opened the gift box and stared at the numerous pieces of shapes inside. I was marvelled, even confused. The puzzle was the weirdest looking item I have ever had in my life. My dad told me that I had to look for pieces that go together, and then I would have a picture! I did not believe him. I spent hours and hours in an effort to win this battle against the puzzle, and in the end I lost that battle. My dad came back to find a crying child on the floor. At that moment, he decided to teach me how to solve the jigsaw puzzle. By the end of this incident, I was addicted to jigsaw puzzles. I had found my interest in things that proved to be complicated, and I also found out what I wanted to be in the future. I decided that I want to be a molecularbiologist.  

  Sometimes, in our pre-teen or teenage years, it may be difficult to find out where one belongs, but we always fit in somewhere. As I have evolved from a lively preschooler scrambling around the floor, looking for the missing pieces of a puzzle, to a confident teen, puzzles have taught me more than one can imagine. I found out that it takes time for a person to find out where he or she fits in this world. It may also take much encouragement from people around him or her, but everyone has a place in which they belong, where they perfectly fit. An occurrence that happens once in every person’s life can change their future, just like my jigsaw puzzle. This  iscovery may come with a lot of hardship and pain, but as long as a person is able to find the place where he or she belong, it will completely change his or her future.  

  A “once” in one’s life will leave a deep imprint that leads his or her to their unique future.




Our students need your help! 讓學生好文出來!


Below are four essays written wholly by TAIS students. They are competing for a $30,000 TWD scholarship. Please read these short essays and vote for the one you believe is the best written. Think about:




  • Is the story told in a unique way? 說故事的方式是否獨特?
  • Is the delivery creative and with a clear "voice" of the writer? 是否具創造性並清楚的傳遞了撰文者的心聲?
  • Is it easy to read this essay? Is it enjoyable and memorable? 容易讀嗎?是有趣的、難忘的嗎?
  • Were the rules of writing followed? (Give leeway on grammar since their first language is Chinese.)有符合寫作原則嗎?(請容許文法使用的誤差畢竟這些學生的母語是中文)
  • Is there a clear introduction, body, and conclusion? 是否有清楚的起、承、轉、合?


Please "like" the essay you're voting for. 若認同此篇符合上述,請對文章按


Essay contest  



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南投縣復臨國際實驗教育機構(Taiwan Adventist International School)

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