Beyond a Predicament

April 21, 2012
By Deborah BRONZE, Frederick, Maryland
Deborah BRONZE, Frederick, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Hello, Mr. Brian! This is a new student, and today is her first day of school in America.” My counselor introduced me to my bus driver. Even a day before, my heart didn’t beat this fast, and my hands weren’t slippery because of sweat, but once I was surrounded by people with blue eyes, my lips felt dry, and my heartbeat became so loud that it rang my ears. I couldn’t say a word. “Hello,” which I practiced whole last night. All I wanted to do was to pass through the walls invisibly like Harry Potter and stay hidden. After 10 minutes, my bus driver told me to get off. With hesitation, I started walking, but I couldn’t find the road that my counselor had drawn for me; all the houses were brown and made of bricks.
To get closer to my dream of working in the UN, I decided to come to America because this place considers me more than a test score and gives me an opportunity that Korean schools don’t provide – to study humanities and international affairs. However, on the first day of school, I got LOST. After a few hours of roaming with my heavy algebra and social study books, I saw a woman around my mother’s age. The image of my mother’s vibrant, thick black curly hair, two deep dimples, and wisdom in every wrinkle filled my thoughts. I tried to look at the sky, so the tears couldn’t fall from my blurry eyes, but when I breathed out, burning tears streamed down my cheeks. My hair was tangled, and I had a cold sore on my lips. With a hoarse voice, I called the woman, but she didn’t hear me and soon went back to her house. The frostbite on my hands started itching badly, and the sun went down quickly. At times, the memory of my parents’ swollen eyes accompanied with pouring tears came to me. As I walked, I clapped until my hands felt nothing, so I could scare away the aggressive animals. After a few more minutes of plodding my way, I finally found my boarding house number. It had been five hours since I got lost. I opened the door with my bloody, scratched, and tingling hands and was greeted by a worried policeman. I was so frozen that I couldn’t say anything. My guardians quickly gave me some hot tea and told me not to go to school the next day because my face was flushed with fever while my feet was swollen with blisters and blood crusts.
However, next day, I went to school because I wanted to remind myself that I was no longer a small, vulnerable girl. I felt invincible and became a different person; no matter whether people understood me or not, I began to speak out. I enthusiastically joined class discussions and no longer avoided the teacher’s glance for questioning. My nervous sweat and a throbbing heart soon became a sweat for my academic passion and energy for my dream, and I believe this experience has actually helped me find my self-reliance, tenacity, and bravery.

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