My Family in a Drive-Through | Teen Ink

My Family in a Drive-Through

January 16, 2008
By Anonymous

My family must be an interesting sight whenever we go to a drive-through. The front of our car always ends up beyond the intercom so that, from my seat in the back of the vehicle, I can order "3 whoppers, a double cheeseburger, and an extra-large fry please". This sentence says a lot about my family besides pointing out that we are big time fast food connoisseurs. The true significance of this phrase lies in the fact that I do the ordering in my family.
My mom and dad used to place the orders but became frustrated upon not receiving our food the way it was requested. The problem lies in their accents. Having both immigrated to the United States in their early twenties, my father from Yemen and my mother from the Philippines, their English skills are less than perfect and they pronounce words differently from what is considered normal. Through the years, I have had to act as a spokesperson for my family in drive-throughs and in any other situation where there was a desire to minimize the impact of "accented" messages.
Although many would think that growing up with parents that have below par English skills would be a disadvantage, I believe that this has been of great benefit to me. Throughout my educational career, I took the imitative when ever I had a grammar related question instead of running to my parents. I often found myself relying on myself for answers and I figured that, if I could improve my own writing skills, I would be able to pass along this knowledge to my parents. Besides taking all the AP courses my school offers for English, I have challenged myself by participated in "Be Opinionated", Solano County's teen writing program, and winning grand prize. I am also a member of the LIP Board, a group of local high school journalists who write stories, opinion columns and reviews for the Contra Costa Times.
Being on the LIP Board helped confirm that my true passion is journalism. Acting as a representative for my family, however, has always given me the opportunity to rehearse what I desire to do in the future. Though the action seems small, I am actually doing much more than placing an order at a restaurant when I speak into McDonald's microphone. I am giving a voice to people that normally would not have a way to communicate their needs or requests.
Drive-throughs were created to make life more convenient and, in my case, they have done just that. Communicating with my family and reporting what we want to eat will make it easier for me to transition into reporting news in an eloquent manner.

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