Was It My Fault or Were They Just Bystanders?

When I first came from Dominican Republic, I had to go to school without knowing any English.  So, I never got graded on any school work to make things fair.  I liked the school, but the majority of the students were bystanders who spoke English to me and never tried to help me understand them, making it harder for me to socialize with them.

Over time, I met different types of people who tried to cooperate with me.  For instance, there were a few girls and boys who didn’t know Spanish, but they still attempted to talk to me and be my friend.  Then, I met this girl who I’m going to call ‘Jenny’.

Unlike the rest of the students at the school, Jenny actually spoke Spanish.  It made me happy that I had two classes and lunch with her; however, she started to change.  She started to push things off my table and take all the chairs while I was getting my lunch so that I couldn’t sit.  There were times where I had to eat lunch alone, which made me feel unwanted.

Later, she started telling her friends to question me in English so they could test my English level.  They would ask me questions like the following:  “How are you?”, “What are you doing?”, “How are you doing?”, and other questions similar those. Those were the only things that I understood and knew how to respond to, so they assumed that I knew English. They even told the teacher that I understood English, and I was scared that he would believe them because that meant that he would start grading my work; however, thank God that he didn’t believe them.

After that I found a paper in my locker that said, “nobody wants you in here,” which really got me sad.  I used to cry every single day and ask myself “why? why is this happening?”, I was frustrated and felt like I was alone.  To make matters worse, I couldn’t talk to anyone because no one understood me and I didn’t understand them.  I dealt with this for three months because I ended up moving and changed schools. I was so happy because I didn’t have to suffer anymore. The last day of school for me there, I walked out like “bye! see you never!”


Vivian Peralta



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