Faisal Rahman

ENG 1121- E106

                                                                        My Journey

I have always had to adapt to new surroundings. When I was only five years old, my family moved from our hometown to the capital, Dhaka, of Bangladesh. Until then I have never been out of my hometown of Patuakhali. The capital was nothing like I had ever experienced before. The roads bustling with people, dazzling with night lights and polluted with dust particles were very new to me. I was partially scared but also a little excited.

Before long I found myself sitting for an admission test to get admitted in kindergarten. I was completely mortified during the test. The questions looked alien to what my mom had taught me, and the examiners were rude and ignored when I called for their help. I was a victim of discrimination because of my dialect and not “city-like attitude”. I took the test again next year and passed. But in the classroom, things got bad for me again. I would find people giving me looks and avoiding me.I wanted to make friends and play with them. When I managed to accumulate some courage and approached some kids, I realized the extent of their loathe for me; I was pushed around, and one kid strangled me on top of a bench. Mind you this was happening in presence of a teacher who was sitting in her desk acting like she noticed nothing. I became obsessed with blending in and not be frowned upon. Within a relatively short period of time I got rid of my dialect and regional accent. Fast forward quite a few years, I was a student in the same school studying in grade 10. But now I had friends. Within a year I would get a call from the US embassy, and only a month after that I would find myself in a drastically new setting in New York City. It was like moving to Dhaka all over again. People were different- some very rude but some extremely nice-  infrastructure were different, and so was the climate; It was way too cold for my liking. That was three years from now. I went through the process of acclimation again and am still working on my speaking skills to sound like the people around me. I want to be able to speak fluently and coherently to get my thoughts and opinions across. It has not been easy. But neither was getting the respect of the bullies.

Destiny keeps bringing me to new challenges again and again. New Challenges are not always very pleasant, but my curiosity pushes me to explore and overcome them. Such has been a challenge this year when I walked into the English-1121 class on the first day of spring semester. I was not expecting what the professor uttered- “this is a pilot class where we will be testing a new curriculum”. A part of me wanted to walk out of the class, the curious part wanted to see through the new program. And I’m glad I stayed.

This class has to be one of the most challenging classes I took in college so far. English has never been my strongest subject. All the English classes I have had till I took this class were the same. We would have to write three essays following the same format year after year. Only the length of the essays got bigger as we progressed through our school years. But in this class we were given freedom, no I’m not talking about the first essay. The freedom essay was like the symbolism for the new curriculum. Since, it allowed us to think beyond any limits and write from our heart. Because of the unrestricted requirements, we could do our internal revision and be our own audience. Initially we did not have to write for Prof. Schmerler. We wrote what WE wanted to say to our audience and edited keeping Professor in mind during our external revision. My views on English, as a subject, have changed in this class and I feel like I am not so bad in English like the previous courses made me think. I just needed some wiggle room and let my brain free to do what it is supposed to do- which is to think.