The Day I Go To America-Personal Narrative

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When I was eight years old, I left behind all that I knew and all whom I loved: the country where I was born, the language which I spoke, and the grandparents who had raised me for all of my life. In hindsight, the emotions didn’t hit me until later. My goodbyes were rushed through a whirlwind of rolling suitcases and disconcerting lights and airport announcements. I was guided by the iron grip of the woman known as my mother away from the smiling faces bearing deep wrinkles and teary eyes. It was only the morning after, when I woke up in an uncomfortably large bed without the soothing presence of my grandmother’s drowsy breaths that I realized—I was terrified. In this country of opportunities and freedom and the liberty, I was confined by …show more content…

I was in a school of unfamiliar hallways and unfamiliar classrooms, located in a city with unfamiliar streets and unfamiliar people, placed in a country of unfamiliar words and unfamiliar customs. My everyday life depended on one classmate who happened to also speak Mandarin Chinese. I’d ask him for the homework, the in-class assignment, to talk to the teacher for me, to guide me to the next class. As his responses became shorter I realized the faults of depending so heavily on a stranger. I didn’t have much of an option, really. I could hear but, in that classroom, I might as well as have been …show more content…

“Write down every word you don’t know,” she said as she handed me a simple picture book. At night, she read the English words out loud and wrote down the definition in Chinese. It became a daily occurence as my life started to revolve around obtaining fluency. It didn’t come easily. It came with lessons with a kind ESOL teacher, explanations from patient friends, lists of grammar rules, and pages covered with letters scribbled by a shaky hand getting used to the curvature of the alphabet. Yet eventually, as my pink notebook was filled to the brim with English vocabulary and Chinese definitions, fluency came. Conversations with my classmates morphed from hesitant phrases to long-winded rants about anything and everything. Story time in school changed from a dull hour of picking at the carpet into a fascinating bonding experience with the class. Tests became less of a trial of whether or not I could understand the problem and more of whether or not I could actually answer the problem. I remember when my teacher told me that I could move on from reading books marked with the lowest reading level. The books she deemed suitable for me were longer and filled with many more unknown words, but that didn’t matter. For the first time in a long while, I was proud of

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