A New Start

April 11, 2008
By Lucy Hovanisyan, Brooklyn, NY

I was being transferred to a new classroom after I had finally learned to like the kids in my own class. My heart was pounding.

The woman taking me to this strange, new room smiled at me and said, “It’s okay, you’re gonna like it here, okay?” Her words didn’t mean a thing to me, though, for I only knew a few words in the strange language that she was speaking.

“But- but- is there Russian kids in class?” I asked while tears poured from my eyes. Surely, no one would be speaking Armenian to me. Russian was my best bet.

“Yes, yes!” the lady responded. She took me up the cold, metal staircase, where with each step, my heart did a backflip. She stopped me at the second floor and entered a room in which other kids were finger painting and playing.

“Mrs. Cordano?” the lady asked, looking at a woman with long, dark hair. She was talking to a small, brown haired boy.

“Yes? Oh! Well who do we have here?” she responded with a very warm smile. I tried to hold back my tears, but they kept coming. “Why are you crying?”

“Mrs. Cordano, this is Lucy. She’s new here, and doesn’t speak English very much.” Mrs. Cordano looked at me sympathetically.

“You don’t? Well I know that you’ll learn very fast here! Here, come sit next to Kseniya.” Mrs. Cordano gently took my hand and sat me next to a girl with short, blonde hair and a tiny smile.

“Kseniya, you know Russian, don’t you?” my teacher asked. Kseniya nodded. “Okay. Will you help Lucy and tell her what I am saying when I ask you to, please?” the tiny girl nodded again, and I had already stopped crying. Kseniya smiled at me funnily, her blond pigtails hanging high, looking almost as gleeful as she did.

“What’s your name?” Kseniya asked me in Russian.

“I’m Lucy,” I responded, my palms sweating. I looked around at the messy, colorful paintings hanging on the tan walls of my new class. Would my drawing ever be up there? I thought.

“I’m Kseniya,” she told me. “Do you want to be friends?” I nodded slowly, secretly giving a sigh of relief. Maybe kindergarten wouldn’t be so bad after all.

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