Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Young Blood

I am too young. I am too immature. I am just not smart enough. I have heard all these phrases before. When my parents and I relocated to America as political refugees, my parents each found menial, physical labor jobs to support the family. They had no time to take care of a 4 year old, but daycare streched out of our financial range. The solution: send the boy to school early.

Arriving in 1st grade, I had only four years on my résumé. The only school willing to take me in for free at such a young age was a tiny Jewish elementary school. Specializing in mathematics, as well as religious studies, the school drilled into me countless equations as well as Hebrew prayers. By the end of fifth grade, I had survived the propaganda machine, and looked forward to stepping into a classroom of more than five children.

Then, the problems started. Issuing a dire warning, my middle school principal urged my parents to hold me back for a year, proclaiming that I would resist the adjustment to a large school, large classes, and a whole new education system. My mother, after reading about maturity issues and learning disorders in students younger than their age group, sided with the bureaucracy. My liberal father, however, convinced her to leave the choice up to me. Following extensive briefing, my parents asked of my decision. Even in sixth grade, I never backed down from adversity; send me to middle school, I exclaimed defiantly.

The principal, for a time, turned out to be correct. I struggled with maturity, battled with classmates, and bothered teachers. Smug, the principal consistently chained me back to reality after each of my frequent incidents. To level out their son’s behavioral problems, my parents often forced me to work extra at school and help out in our local Russian community. Perhaps as a result of my weekly redemption attempts, the gap between me and my classmates began to dwindle. By ninth grade, the divide had shrunk, shriveled, and died.

I wanted to catch up to the pack. I caught up. I wanted to gain on the leaders of the grade; I have. I want to excel after high school in anything I do; I know I shall. After all, how can I not. I never developed boundaries, I refuse to make limits for myself, I reject the concept of impossible.




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback