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From Darkness to Light

By , Miami, FL

Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I walked into my new school.My parents were by my side as i walked inot my classroom to meet my teacher.At first sight shelooked okay. she had semi long curly hair and a very chubby face. She greeted my parents with respect and when they left she had us introduce ourselves. I remember hearing whispers from the other students sitting around me. At the time, I was only in the second grade. Over the next couple of days the classroom became a living hell and my desire to attend school weakened. Multiple times i was called weird, ugly and even fat. According to my parents at home I was none of the above. i tolerated it for several months as multiple people had told me to just ignore the teasing. But to me it felt like the longer i tolerated it the worse it became. After the second grade, I took a trip to Switzerland. It was the first and only time i had ever been to Europe. My parents were attending a spiritual retirement and they decided to take me along considering that i was in a terrible position at school.

 

After, Switzerland i switched schools. I attended  a charter school near my home. Throughout my time being bullied in second grade, I tried to comfort myself by watching fantasy films. One of these was The Chronicles Of Narnia The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This movie taught me many things, most of which are the lessons I still live by today. After Switzerand, I felt quite okay with myself. Evn though I knew I would never forget the pain I'd felt through the bullying years, I felt okay. I was happy with my life once again. A while later, in the fifthe grade I attended a charter school. And it was an absolute nightmare. I ended up in a class filled with children who didn't seem to care about anything or anyone and who formed little groups to help themselves fit in. I specifically remember a girl named Carla. She was the shortest one in our class, but she was also the meanest. Also, in fifth grade I met my best friend to this day, Timothy. Timothy was a child who was in dialysis and was in need of a kidney transplant. My mom went through the same exact thing, so we were always supporting him as a family. He was my best friend and I hoped that everything would be okay for us at school. But sadly the bullying didn't stop there. The girls started to see that Timothy and I were hanging out together. they would make fun of us separetly and when we were together. This was in the years when if you hung out with a boy he automatically categorized as your boyfriend. The girls would call out things like, "Ooh, is he your boyfriend?" To which neither of us would respond. I remember some of these girls specifically by names and personalities. One of them was named Arianna. She was quite a chubby girl with straight but messy hair. On one of these bullying occasions, my friend Timothy was given a walkie talkie by one of the teachers at our school. His hands usually trembled while he held it if he gripped it too hard, which he tended to do. Arianna would make fun of that. The other girl, Carla would say things like, "Look, it's the one who thinks he's the teacher." And they would sit back and laugh at him. They weren't very good at being mean because a teacher was always around. One of the teacher's name was Mrs. Solerno. She was the one who would help us most during these situations. She would scream at them to go away. On other occasions the girls would follow us around during recess and a boy named Jorge would come with them. Timothy would try his best to avoid them and we would often get away to some place near the picnic benches on the left side of the play areas where we were near the teachers. Sometimes the girls would practice their cheerleading there and Jorge would hang around to "stalk" them. He would also occasionally start conversations with us for no apparent reason.

"Oh look, it' stupid one and his friend stupid number two.", he would say laughing.

"Go away Jorge.", we would say quite annoyed.

"Aww. You guys are such a cute couple.", it continued.

"Can you leave us alone?", i would say quite annoyed at this point. Jorge would laugh and start shooting hoops as if this didn't make his want to leave us alone. We tried our hardest to not be mean back to them, but sometimes this was really hard. Especially for Timothy. Sometimes he would say something he shouldn't have said and a disscussion would start. Thankfully this wouldn't happen often. After 5th grade was over Timothy and I still kept in touch and we called each others house phone numbers almost everyday. In the end, Timothy and I decided to ignore them for the rest of the school year. This worked, surprisingly and the following year, we both left the school for Middle School. I went to a private school and he went to PPMH. The school I went to was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I  know that sounds extremely cheesy but it's the entire truth. I was blessed to have a different education than the standard. This type of education formulates in Germany and is called Waldorf Education. Throughout the fifth grade and all of middle school I attended the only Waldorf School in Florida with a  middle school. At the Waldorf School i was taught knitting, sewing and woodworking among other things but above all I was taught that you can't change people. You must accept them as they are. You can recieve them with an open heart and do what you can for them, but never force someone into making a change they don't truly want themselves. That was the philosofy of Kindness, and respect for those around you. I learned many things by attending this school everyday for 4 years. I learned things not only academically and physically but also emotionally and intellectually. When i graduated from the 8th grade we searched for a highschool. In the end, i felt happy with my life. Even though sometimes i still remember the pain i felt back then, i know how to keep mysef happy. Now i know that you past doesnt define you.






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