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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Expanding My Knowledge

By Valentina P.  |   From : Peru   |   School : International High School at LArgo

My name is Valentina, and I am from Peru. My story happens when I arrive to the US. The people in my story are: my mom, my siblings, and me .The main problem in my story is when I entered my high school and there is no one to speak Spanish, they only spoke English. Overall in general, my life changed completely because I had to learn a new language, and I had to learn to be less shy.

Months after arriving to the US, my mom put me in a middle school called Kettering, everyone knew how to speak english, but I don’t.I Know that that was going to happen so I was prepared for the first day of school. On my first day I was lost, like I didn’t know were I needed to go, or what I had to do. Everyone in the school was speaking english except me. All of my high school were Americans that’s why they all spoke english, but nobody spoke spanish. I had to learn to speak with more people in English, and know what to do on the school. I also started doing other types of activities that I wasn’t used to in my country.

I thought that I didn’t have friends, but that was because I didn’t talk so much like the others, I was so shy with them.On my first day of school I met a girl that she know spanish and over time we became friends. She helped me with everything, I never remembered where my classes were, so she helped me find my classes. The bad thing was that I didn’t have any class with her, so my only hope of not getting lost was finding her in the hall or at lunchtime. WAnd when I didn’t find her I had to go to the school office to tell me where my classes were because the school was so big. As time went by I had to remember my schedule for only 2 months since I arrived at the school about 2 months before the summer holidays began.

After I noticed that, I tried to talk a little more. When I spoke more, people were asking me more questions. I didn’t know how to answer them. So, I decided to stay quiet until the day was over. As time goes by it makes me less nervous, but I was still shy. When I got home, I just started talking to my brothers. They always asked me how the school is where I was. I always told them that it was beautiful but I didn’t have so many friends and I was mostly alone in the school. When I finished talking with my brothers, I talked with my friends in Peru, and we made video calls, and they also asked me when I would visit them. 
They also told me to send them photos of my school. When I arrived at school I wanted to take pictures to send to my friends and my brothers, but I was ashamed to take out my cell phone and take pictures in front of everyone. At the end of the day when my bus was slow to get to school, I took advantage of taking a photo at the bus stop., I sent them to my friends and they were surprised because in my country there is no bus stop outside the school, especially buses private for schools.

After that, the biggest thing that happened was that when I finished my middle school. They moved me to the school where I am now, and I know many more people who help me a lot with my English practice. Finally, I  started to let go when I speak English since I had more confidence with the friends I have and the teachers I have. This made me learn that when I am with people of trust I can achieve great things and the most important thing is that when I was in the previous school I must have been more talkative to be able to learn more, but my shyness impedes me.

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