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The Place I Call Home

By , Franklin Lakes, NJ

March 6, 2010
I wrap my tiny fingers around my mom’s, not wanting to lose her in the large crowd. I look around, and everyone and everything seems unfamiliar. I hold onto my mom’s hand even tighter. From the language to people’s appearances, everything is unfamiliar to me. My mom tells me that she sees my dad, and I put away my thoughts. The opaque glass doors slide open, and in the distance, I spot my dad waving at me with a smile. His smile assures me that everything is going to be alright. I run into his arms. I missed him so much for the two months I haven’t seen him. I hold his hand, and the three of us walk to our new car. As I walk, my heart flutters in excitement for my new life here, in America.

March 18, 2010
I walk into the assigned classroom. Everyone’s eyes focus on me, and they stare at me like I’m weird and different. I sit at the chair the teacher points to, and the kids around me stare. The teacher tells them to be nice and to help me adjust to this new school. They nod their heads, but I’m pretty sure they don’t want to, I can tell. Maybe they don’t like me, I think to myself. All of a sudden, a bell rings, and everyone stands. I stand along, too. When they all put their right hand on their chests, I do the same. Everyone recites something that I can’t make out. Throughout the whole pledge, I just stand awkwardly with my right hand on my chest, mouth closed. I make a mental note to myself to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance as soon as I can. Maybe it will help me fit in. Later on in the day, when it is time to read, I am given a level A or B book. My face flushes red in embarrassment. I look to my sides, and I see that everyone else is at least in level J. I hate how different they are making me feel, like I don’t belong here. I know that they don’t mean to make me feel this way, but I can’t help but feel down. They’re not helping me adjust to my new life, at all. I slowly open the book and flip a page over. The sky is blue, it reads. I sigh. I already know how to read, speak, and write in English, I want to tell her. But I decide against it. She will figure it out soon.

April 18, 2010
It’s been a month since I have come to this school. I guess I’m a little bit more used to this school now. I’ve made some friends, and now, I fit in better with the other kids. I actually enjoy going to school. Although I do enjoy going to school here, I still miss Korea, my family, and my friends. Maybe after a couple of years, I will come to like America more. But as for right now, I love Korea more than any other country and wish I can go back soon.

March 6, 2017
I check my phone and realize that it is March sixth. It has been exactly seven years since I have come to the United States. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I still remember my first couple of days in an American school, like it was yesterday. When I first came to this country, I didn’t quite like living here, but now, I don’t know where I could possibly live other than here. I love America, and I am proud to call it my home.






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