Growing up in an immigrant family was never easy. From education to real world problems, here I will talk about the one hardship and obstacle I still face to this day.
Both my parents came from Ecuador for a better life. Not only for themselves but for their kids: my siblings and I. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that determination and grit can pave the way for anything you want. As long as you have the hunger within you, you will accomplish your goal. So I was taught.
English was a nightmare at school from the very beginning. Every assignment given to student are all very open ended with either various responses being correct or responses that the teacher wanted to hear. It seems that I struggle with articulating my thoughts and ideas onto paper. When we had assignments given to us in school, I struggled with completing them at home. I was surrounded with the Spanish language getting thrown at me left and right. Nobody at home was help, something I needed. I remember always getting 3’s on my ELA state test and asking myself “how?” I was NEVER able to get above a 3, whereas math, I would never get below a 4. Boring assignments, boring teachers, boring books, vague questions had all killed the slight passion I had left for the English language, I just gave up.
English at home was never spoken. Coming from immigrants parents, this was the norm. Spanish here, Spanish there, Spanish everywhere. This made the English language even harder to perfect. I’ve always despised English class with their vague questions. “Think of a time when this happened causing this to happen.” I mean like seriously? This requires too much thinking and analyzing for me. It could also be the subjects of books assigned to the class. I still remember the various books given to read throughout high school like “Hamlet,” “Things Fall Apart,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Crucible,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Scarlet Letter,” etc. (I mean I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you). That’s all I could tell you about these books, the title and nothing else. To read most books you have to come to class already with some brief knowledge of history. Let me explain. For “To Kill a Mockingbird,” you had to know the history of racism and America at that time in order to understand some racist undertones in literature. Otherwise, it was hard to care. The same goes with “Things Fall Apart.” I mean you HAD to know some historical context regarding British colonialism and the likes of African empires around that time. No disrespect but sometimes I don’t want to learn these historical events/background because I just do not care and do not wish to care.
Throughout high school, I can say that I’ve read a total of 2 books out of the 30 or 40 books we were assigned to read. Personally, I did most of my readings through the likes of sparknotes and shmoop. I did not want to waste my time reading about things I simply do not care about. I remember entering my English class one day. It was a Friday afternoon and it was my second to last period before I could go home. Keep in mind that I had gym class before this and I was about dead. So I go to sit down and I’m given this book titled “The Giver.” I had noticed the black and white background but what had caught my attention was the single colored apple in the middle. “Great” I thought, “Another boring book with a plain ass black and white cover.” Boy was I wrong. I Usain Bolted that book while on my way home from school. I had a glimpse of hope that maybe there are some books out there that are as exciting as “The Giver.”I was able to read through it all because of the subject matter: Utopian vs Dystopian societies, totalitarianism, etc. Other books I have actually enjoyed are those of similar subject matter such as Ender’s Game and “1984.” Most of these books given to students are plain boring and most people can agree with me, I’m sure.
There were plenty of times in high school where we were given essay assignments to complete based on books we have read. Whenever I thought I had written a piece of art, it turns out it was complete shit and I would received a 65-70 on it. Weirdly enough, whenever I thought I bombed an essay, it did pretty good, receiving an 85+. These series of events baffle me and to this day it still occurs. English is complicated and I will never be able to perfect this craft or art (whatever you want to call it) no matter how much I try. Even if I do try it ends up flunking.
At the end of the day, English is the reason why I got myself into an English-less major. I didn’t want to put myself through all this pain again, but here I am writing to you about my experiences. Maybe one day I will pick up another book but for now we can leave it at that as I don’t want to deepen my hatred for English.
My marginal comments on your paper are HERE. Your grade and my endnote are in the comments.