Coming to a New Land

March 23, 2011
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The teacher dragged me by the arm to the front of the classroom, and struck me with a perfectly shaped, peeled wooden stick until my hands turned crimson red. My brother, a candid person, had just had told his teacher I had done his homework for him. My eyes shed tears and my hand was swollen. I soon realized that I was receiving a severe punishment for a minuscule mistake. After this incident, my attitude toward school changed. My parents decided school wasn’t a safe place for me. I stopped going and didn’t return until a couple days later.
My parents gave up everything they had to move my family to the United States of America. They hoped for a better life in the land of opportunities. Coming to United States gave me a safe place to grow and learn. In America, teachers give you non-physical punishments for misbehavior like detentions and time-outs. Last year, my English teacher told me, “Step out on the porch,” since I was talking during her lecture. There is no porch; she was being sarcastic. I left the class for a few minutes, and then the teacher called me back inside the room. In India the teacher would have disciplined me by smacking me for misbehaving. By using humor, she let me know I had to fix my behavior.

Some of the challenges I had to face by coming to the United State were learning a new language and making friends. But after attending school for couple of years, I started speaking English properly. After learning the language, making friends wasn’t very difficult. The third language I am now learning is Spanish, which is challenging but easy to learn. Spanish has been easy for me because I have a lot of Spanish speaking friends, who help me out with projects and homework.

Reading and writing were a difficult struggle until my family moved from New York to Connecticut. Testing in middle school revealed that I had a reading disorder, which was dyslexia. The excessive amount of therapy classes increased my reading and writing skills. If I were still living in India I would have been illiterate. I have true appreciation for the sacrifices my parents made and the American school system.





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