Living in a country like Cuba and getting the opportunity to come to a country of advancement and opportunities was everything anyone could ever ask for, especially a kid like me that had her entire life ahead of her. I will never forget the day that my mom came home bearing news of our departure to America the very next week. All I could think of were all the wonderful things I would be capable of achieving here and how far I was going to make it in life. Not for one second did I ever stop and think on how hard it was all going to be on us, being immigrants in a strange country hit me very hard. Obstacles such as not speaking the language and being the new kid in school, as well as not being able to communicate with barely anyone in this country, it all came at me hard and without a warning.
Starting school was one of my biggest dreams, yet my biggest nightmare, I knew I was going to excel at anything I put my mind to, but I drowned in fear at the thought of being an outsider. I remember the first day I stepped foot in Mrs. Fernandez’ class at James H. Bright Elementary School. I walked past 23 pairs of eyes that seemed to be glued on me without budging; I was the center of attention. The teacher welcomed me with open arms into her class trying to make me feel like I belonged, but the glaring eyes told me otherwise. I made nothing of this and went about my business. Before the bell rang, Mrs. Fernandez explained to me how everything worked: what it meant when the bell rang, where the bathroom was, etc. The bell rang and that meant that class was beginning. Once I sat in my assigned seat and the teacher began talking I noticed I wasn’t able to understand a word that came out of her mouth. I was perplexed by every sound that she made and at that point in time I knew I didn’t belong with the rest of the English-speaking people-gringos as my parents referred to them.
Then i realized that all the kids around me were speaking the same language as her and they spoke it quite well. There was no way I could keep up with anything that she was saying and she couldn’t stop her lesson to help me out; there was only so much she could do for me. Just as I thought there was no hope for me, Mrs. Rodriguez came into the classroom and saved me from it all. She took to me into another classroom and I was confused at first and a bit scared until she explained that she was going to help me learn English. She was my savior. I was quite glad that I was going to be with her and other kids that were in my same situation. I knew I belonged there.
Two months passed and both my teachers saw very little progress in me. I tried my hardest to learn the language but for some reason it wouldn’t stick to me. I began to hate going to school I remember John and his friend Hector would taunt me and laugh at me. Before I knew it, the entire class was cracking jokes about me, even the kid nicknamed “booger monster” made nasty jokes about me. I of course wasn’t able to understand any of their criticisms but all the pointing and laughing just gave away that they were referring to me. I felt like an outsider, unwanted, I reached a whole new level of insecurity. My cheeks were red like chilies from embarrassment, my eyes swelled with tears; it was too much for me to handle. It was hard to pay attention to the teacher while having the brat next to me pinch me and throw little tiny paper balls at me. I decided that if the kids in class wouldn’t let me learn during school, I was going to ask the teacher for help once class was over. As the bell rang dismissing us to go home, I walked up to Mrs. Fernandez with my beady little eyes and asked if she and Mrs. Rodriguez could help me after school hours with my English. They both agreed to help me since they knew the conditions my family was in, not allowing them to pay for the expensive tutoring I would need. I was fortunate to have both of them by my, helping me comprehend the…