“Going to school while immigrant” By, Steven Polanco

          It was no until I came to this country that I had to struggle that much with reading and writing. I remember being a freshman in my English class, I remember the vivid movement when my teacher asked me to write an essay I didn’t even know what she was talking about, at that moment I had never written or knew how to write an essay in the “American” format. What made the situation even worse of what it was is that I did not know a single word of English. I remember the frustration and struggle I past through like if it was yesterday, almost everyone in the room had an idea of what we were doing but me. Also, the cause of that frustration was more because I was under the great pressure of showing everyone especially my mother that I could do it. I was supposed to feel safe and secure because the High School I went to was mostly for Latinos and obviously I expected to feel that way but the truth is that I just did not feel like I was part of it, I just didn’t fit in at that particular time, me sentia perdido.

          When I started the essay I was so frustrated and uncomfortable because it was my first time writing and reading that much and adding to that it was on a complete new language. I tried my best but, I had a ton of grammar mistakes even using a translator word by word, somethings just didn’t make any sense for me. Also, it was boring because I felt like a robot following a format that is always the same and reading the same information over and over again trying to get through the main information of every text or document. It was the same format given to everyone, one which we did not vote for or say that we like it. I tried my best even though I knew I was not going to get a good grade on that essay just by the facts that it was my first one and my situation with writing and reading in english. The frustration I past through wasn’t because it was hard, I can say that it was because I did not know how to read and write at all at that moment I realize that I never did. To add, it was more difficult for me because my teacher try to explain as best and simple as she could but the true is that at that moment I wasn’t going to understand it. I didn’t even understand what she was saying to me. At the end I came up with my essay and I failed that assessment.

          After that day, the day I felt like if I was going to let everyone who believe in me down. I started to give more importance to reading and writing because in a country full of high expectations if I don’t know how to read and write I won’t be able to meet the “Standards” society has set for me. Furthermore, with the past of the time following the same format even though it was boring, I started to get used to it and getting better grades and expanding my vocabulary. To add, the feeling of letting my mother down if I did not learn how to survive in a system where if you don’t do something as expected you’re not smart. It gave me a different point of view about the importance of reading and writing now day. It makes you feel vivo and the ayuda a salir adelante.


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