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Feedback on "The New Kid"

By , Brooklyn, NY

        “The New Kid” by Sousan Rawwagah was a wonderfully-written piece. Bringing forth a perhaps painful memory, the author wrote about moving and the struggles that came along with it. At first, she gave the reader an idea of what she felt by describing the shift that occurred in her life. Sousan told about the move itself, as well as her father’s temporary departure that came with it. She went on to emphasize the challenge of her first day at school – what it felt like to receive unwanted attention and sympathies and to be overlooked when you wanted to be included. Sousan ends her memoir on a positive note, letting us know that her school days became enjoyable rather than dreadful.
        What Sousan wrote felt genuine. She described her feelings in a way that allowed me to understand her emotional transition that accompanied the physical one, not to mention the other problems she had to deal with. The way Sousan described it in her first paragraph, as a terse change in her life “from one of sidewalk chalk games and friendship bracelets to one of sitting alone on a short red bench watching never-ending games of hopscotch and dodging pitying stares” immediately caught my attention because it was so detailed, well-phrased and straight-forward. In general, I felt that Sousan’s choice of phrases and vocabulary especially helped me understand her emotions.
        Another part I enjoyed in Sousan’s writing was how relatable it was. No, I have never moved far away from my friends, and I never had to switch schools – only transition from school to school - and start from a new page, and my dad has never traveled to another country to work there for four years. Even so, certain aspects of her memoir I felt others could relate to. For example, Sousan wrote, “Flash forward to another moment I had been dreading all summer – the first day of school.” Most kids don’t look forward to school as much as they’d like to, just as Sousan didn’t, though probably for other reasons. It becomes a day-to-day task once you spend several weeks doing it, but when it’s still summer, it’s difficult to imagine waking up early and doing work all day over sleeping in and lazing around. The author dreaded going to school for other reasons, of course, but most people felt that way on what is hopefully a much smaller scale. 
        The best thing, though, about Sousan’s “The New Kid” was how she concluded it. She ended on a positive note, spilling out her feelings and thoughts together in one sentence. In my opinion, it is important for somebody to end their piece of writing on a positive, or optimistic, note because it gives their audience a sense of completion and hope. Sousan’s story radiated the negative emotions that seemed to surround her life at that point in time, but she made sure her readers knew her circumstances improved. She ended by saying, “I figured that maybe this new school wasn’t so bad after all.” Thank-you for sharing your memories, Sousan!

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