ESOL students share their reflections
Teacher’s note: The following stories represent but a fraction of the mesmeric kaleidoscope that make up the diverse population here at Patterson High School. Take a moment to read these very touching personal narratives from students in Ms. K.’s class.
A Bittersweet American Dream
by Jessica Yupa
When I came to this country, everything was different: the people, the clothes, the food, everything! After two weeks in the United States, I said to my family that I wanted to go back to my country. I missed my grandmother, and wanted to be with her.
My father said I could not go back to my country. He said I had to stay. He said this is the country where I can do something with my life—something that would make my grandmother proud of me.
I guess he was right, but two months after I came to the United States, and I told my father I wanted to go back home, my grandmother passed away. That was the worst experience I’ve ever had. That was my first horrible experience in the United States.
I never should have left my grandmother.
A Determined Immigrant
by Cindy Rivera
When I came to the United States, I was happy to see my mother after twelve years. But when I started school, I felt sad because I did not know anyone. Also, I did not know English.
I started to learn English, when I came to Patterson High School. It was hard, but the ESOL teachers are very good. I know English now, but I need to learn more.
Knowing English is very important, if I want to have a good future. I have many friends who were born in different countries; it is good to know about the lives of other immigrants. The people who come to this country are very strong. We have to be; otherwise, we cannot succeed.
Working Toward Realizing My Dream
by Karolain E. Rivera Paz
When I came to the United States, I had many problems. I spoke a different language. I didn’t understand English. When I started school, I put my effort to learning English and getting good grades.
My first year here was hard because of the different customs. Sometimes I found myself being discriminated against me just for being Latina and speaking Spanish.
Now, every day at school, I work really hard to get great grades and also to speak English. I want to be better each day and realize my dream of becoming doctor someday.
Getting Used This
by Duka Dhungana
When I came to the United States, I was so scared to talk to the American people. The people were new to me. I did not know anything about them. Even though we did not know one another, they were all nice to me. I did not have any bad experiences.
Things were different at school. The students were mean to me, because I could not speak English well. They used to bully me all the time. They used to treat me badly. Some were nice and some were rude. Now, I’m just used to it.
It’s All Good!
by Rixi Y. Fuentes Avila
I live with my family. I am lucky to have them. They are so nice to me. I am thankful for that. I have good things in my life here. Some things are not so good, but that is fine.
I like this country, because I can achieve my dreams here. I want to study so much. I want to go to the university. I can achieve so much here. That is good!
by Veronica Arana
I have never felt discriminated against by anyone here at Patterson High School. I always meet good people who try to help me. I am thankful to the students and the teachers, because they are all really awesome! The majority of teachers help me a lot. When I do not understand a word, they explain until I do. For me, Patterson High is a good school.
Also, I am happy to be here with my schoolmates. Sometimes when they don’t understand homework or class assignments, I help them. Helping people makes me happy. They try to learn something from. I learn from them. That is wonderful.
I did not speak English, when I came to the United States. Now, I can speak better than before. I learn more and more English, and I try my best. My goal is to graduate high school and become a Computer Technician. I want to make my parents proud of me.