My New School

January 15, 2009
By Brooke Cieplik, Shelbyville, IL

As I timidly walk into Mrs. Orin’s second grade classroom, I was greeted by an aged, cheery face. I had just moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and I naturally didn’t have any friends.

“We’re going to have so much fun together! You’ll meet a myriad of new friends,” my new teacher encourages me. I just smile and hid behind my mom even more. She was my security blanket at this strange place called Main Street School.

Just when I started getting brave, the bell rang to start school.

“Oh, that’s the bell. Here’s your desk houn’.” Mrs. Orin says. I walk over to the cold, brown, hollowed out desk and put my things inside.

My mom leans down to my level and says, “Have fun today sweetie. I’ll be here to pick you up after school.”

“Okay,” I answer sullenly, hanging my Hello-Kitty backpack on the hooks on the wall. The day was already terrible.

I could hear my new classmates racing each other up the stairs, put their things into their lockers, and file into their classrooms.

“Who’s that?” a girl whispers to her friend.

“My mom told me there was a new girl. She didn’t know her name though,” the friend answers
After listening to all the wonderings of who I was, Mrs. Orin -my teacher- announces, “Class we have a new student today. “Brooke, come on up to the front of the class and introduce yourself.”
Staring at her warm face, I made my way to the front. My face glued to the floor, I said, “Hi, I’m Brooke,” then scurried back to my desk in the back.

As the day dragged on, recess came along. Everyone filed out of the building to go play. I stalled behind, not wanting to be shown in public as if I was hideous. What if nobody talks to me? What if I don’t make any friends?
I finally made my way to the playground and spotted a bench. I made a beeline for it. I could hear girls say, “Should I say hi?”
After hearing that, I went to the ultimatum. I’ll never make any friends!
I dropped my head and forced myself not to cry. It was hard enough being small as a thumbnail, I didn’t want to be known as a crybaby my first day at a new school.

Surviving through recess, the whistle was blown to go inside. Finally. I walked half-heartedly towards the back of the second grade line. No one seemed to notice my existence as if I were invisible.

While we hustled into the school, I could smell lunch being prepared down the hall. Yum, smelled good. I don’t remember faces because I was looking at the tiled floor but I could see feet passing my slow moving, little body.

“Oh, sorry,” I said to a girl I slammed into. Ouch, it hurt.

“It’s okay. I’ve never seen you before, are you new?” she wondered.

“Yeah,” I replied timidly.

“Oh…well I’m Claire, what’s your name?”

“Brooke,” I quickly replied with a rush of excitement, my smile growing from ear to ear. Maybe she could be my friend.

“You wanna be friends?” she asked.

“Okay,” I accept almost bursting with excitement. I did find a friend! We quickly exchanged smiles then hurried off to our class rooms.

Claire helped me through the remaining four hours of the school by sitting with me at lunch and helping me make new friends. I become content with my new home. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all, I thought.


“How did you like your new school?” Mrs. Orin asked after I had said goodbye to my new buddies.

“I liked it,” I replied grinning, then skipped out of the door.

From that moment on, I knew making friends wouldn’t be an issue in Illinois.

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