The Day I Met Keri

December 7, 2011
By CarolannK BRONZE, Commack, New York
CarolannK BRONZE, Commack, New York
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In her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee wrote, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This quote is a quote that can and should be applied to many situations in life.

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, this quote was by Atticus, the father of Scout and Jem Finch. This was directed to Scout because she was young and beginning to wonder why people do the things they do, and why you can’t judge people until you essentially become them and fully comprehend and experience what they are going through. This seemingly simple slice of advice helps lay the foundation for Scout’s experiences through the rest of the novel. We see this advice reflected in her personality and everyday life at a crucial point in the end of the novel. She finally understands Boo Radley’s perspective of everyone in Maycomb, and she begins to understand why he is the way he is.

I remember in eighth grade when a girl named Keri came into my English class. She had a crutch and always left class fifteen minutes early. My teacher always gave her a hard time about handing in assignments and taking tests on time, even though she wasn’t in class to learn the material. Sure, everyone in the class felt sorry for her, but nobody really understood what she was going through. One day, Keri got sicker and was on crutches full time and needed somebody to leave fifteen minutes with her and take her to her bus. I volunteered for the task, because my English grade was good and I had already read A Midsummer Night’s Dream prior to reading it in class, so I knew I wouldn’t miss much. As Keri and I became closer, I learned that she had Crones and a muscle disorder that made it hard to walk. I also learned that it was hard to keep up in English class because she found Shakespeare confusing and our teacher wouldn’t allow her to take a book home to study from. Becoming friends with Keri was the most amazing feeling in the world. She was super nice, funny, smart, and totally into graphic design. Plus, she always wore multiple watches on her wrists and always seemed to have a positive outlook on life. Not only was I able to help her with Shakespeare, but she got a ninety-seven average during the marking period we read plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare. Becoming friends with Keri showed me that you really do have to climb into someone’s skin and walk around in it before you could truly understand it. Keri is an amazingly strong person and will continue to remain that way for the rest of her life.

Until everybody follows Atticus’s advice, the world will still contain people who judge others because of their gender, race, religion, sexuality, or virtually anything else that they can find. However, if you make friends with a new student, refrain from being prejudice, and make an honest attempt to get to know and understand people, the world will be a better place.

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