“Patience is a virtue,” Sandra’s mother had repeatedly told her, “a virtue that administers great rewards if acknowledged.” Sandra Johnson, a teenage girl of fourteen years of age, had not come to realize the meaning of her mother’s seemingly trivial epigram until the Johnson’s train to Miami pulled into its station on that brisk September afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had unfortunately revealed to Sandra a few weeks earlier that the family’s current hometown of Chicago was to be no more and the new spot on the map was the sunshine state’s version of the city that never sleeps. Miami, Florida, home to a diverse population of numerous ethnicities and nationalities all with their own unique culture and form of communication. Nevertheless, Sandra was infatuated with the Windy City and strongly protested her family’s stay; however, her attempt was fruitless and the Johnson’s were south bound on next morning’s train in Chicago Terminal. The long and monotonous train ride filled with palpable uncertainty and fear of the unknown culminated after a few hours and suddenly halted at South Miami Station. Stepping off the train, Sandra was overwhelmed with the smell of a thousand different ethnic meals, the sound of a thousand distinct languages, and the sight of a thousand diverse nationalities all trying to make themselves at home. Sandra’s parents let her to their new home and revealed to Sandra she would be starting 10th grade at Miami High School next week. Despair filled Sandra’s mind, as the once beautifully unique and bubbly brown haired girl she once was, suddenly was replaced with an intimidated youngster unsure about what the future may hold. After a week in the new city, Sandra had still met no one and the first day of school had arrived. Horror filled her eyes as she looked around at the unfamiliar faces on the abnormally yellow school bus and she finally realized the magnitude of the mistake her parents had made. The industrial life of the city did not bother Sandra at all, for she was used to a noisy environment being from Chicago, but the welcoming her new peers gave her as she walked through the doors of Miami High put a shock of disbelief into her. Intimidating and hostile faces filled the halls of Miami High and not one “Hello” or “How are ya” flew past Sandra’s way the whole day. In fact, not one greeting flew past Sandra the whole week. As she walked home from the bus stop after a disappointing week, the sun beamed down on her face and she listened to the incessant sound of the various automobiles making their way through the streets of her new hometown. Looking around her Sandra saw a little stream with water and stared into her own reflection against the rays of the gleaming sun. She saw a beautiful brown haired teenager with pearly white teeth that glared as bright as the sun. She saw a kind, caring individual who had an impeccable reputation in America’s Windy City. And, at last, she saw a young girl eager to become acquainted with her new surroundings. Her mom’s words rung in her head again and again, “Patience is a virtue, a virtue that administers great rewards if acknowledged.” At that moment Sandra realized the rewards her mother was talking about. The next day at school Sandra was sitting a lunch table with all her new girlfriends and had finally begun her ascent to becoming the Sandra Johnson of the Windy City in Miami High.
Moving to Miami
February 9, 2012