Aaah…Time to exhale

Ah, exams are finally over and the holidays are here! Time to catch up with friends, eat food, binge on youtube…and start looking for jobs for next year (*shiver*). This short film took me back to my first year in the States. I was so excited to go to school, I didn’t even mind the 5 shots that left my arms very sore that morning. I had a new backpack, a sack lunch, a “new” wardrobe and I was ready. Nothing could I have gotten me ready for the first day in middle school, where everything was new, from the language to the lockers to the rules, which I quickly learned:

1. Raising your hand in class is not cool

2. Brown-bagged lunches were not cool

3. Doing well in class and being liked by the teacher was not cool

4. Christmas sweaters….definitely NOT cool

5. Getting shoved in the hallway, feeling lost, getting laughed at for your accent, getting asked stupid/ignorant questions…very normal.

I remember teachers introducing me to their class, trying to teach the class where Togo is, and trying to get me situated in the class, in a language I barely understood. Questions like, “do they wear shoes where you’re from?”, “I saw it on Animal Planet. Do you go to school with monkeys” and “If you’re from Africa, how come you speak French?” became quite ordinary.

Even though I’m past the grade school stage, first-day-of-school-as-the-new-kid scenes still send my stomach into a somersault.

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3 Responses to Aaah…Time to exhale

  1. Jess Miller says:

    Great post. I really found alot of value in what you shared. Keep it up!

  2. That African Girl says:

    Thank you, Jess!

  3. Paula says:

    Great post! You reminded me of when I moved to Haiti. I didn’t speak French, I was not used to the idea that children are empty vessels that need to be filled with knowledge and that teachers did not appreciate young children asking questions. I feel our experiences where similar in some ways, and the opposite in others. We should talk about this sometime. 🙂

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