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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger!

By Alisson Ventura Serpas  |   From : Upper Marlboro, MD  |   School : International High School at LArgo

My name is  Alisson, and I’m from El Salvador. My story happened in Maryland, U.S.A. This happened in middle school in August 2016.

Have you felt alone?

There are so many teenagers that have depression because they  have been bullied or because they felt like they are nobody, and all of this is because in the society that we all live now. When I came to this country I was 13 years old. I just started middle school, 7th grade. I was excited to go to school but at some point I struggled with my life. It is no that easy to dream about something you want and get in real life.

I had to repeat seventh grade because I didn’t finish seventh grade in El Salvador. I did not know any english, but I never thought that it was going to be  harder for me to be in a school  without knowing english. When it was my first day at school, I was excited to know people and have my classes because I remember when I watch movies in hollywood, I always dream to come see a school like in the movies. But i just came to the reality it was no school like in the movies . The school that I went to, it was the worst. I remember when my mom was trying to  enroll me in school.

I had to wait one week to go to school, because  everytime that me and my mom went to the school, they make us wait like one hour just to tell us, ¨come back tomorrow .¨

My mom was so pissed about it, because my other two siblings were already in school and she enrolled us at the same time and I was the only one not going to school.

When I finally started school, the first week was good, but I had this girl in my class that she was supposed to help me, because she was the only one that knew spanish in my class. She was always complaining why she had to help me.

Every time I asked ¨me puedes ayudar por favor, no entiendo¨(can you help me, I do not understand), she answered in English ¨OMG, Whaaat!!!???¨.

I never knew that because she was always speaking English, but I realized it when I asked her for help, her face says it all. It was hard for me understand everything I always try to, but I always get a headache.

I remember the week before Thanksgiving. We always had to wait in the gym sitting in the  benches in the mornings until our teacher got there. 

One day I was sitting in the benches and a boy tell -“scoot over”.

I did understand it  but he did not say please, so i did not move. The girl next to him started being rude to me, and I did not say a word about but inside of me I want to say a lot of things. I really felt sad about it.

Since that happened the group of friends of the girl started bullying me.

One morning I sat in front of them, and this boys started pulling my hair. The only thing I could do was cry. I started crying.

I was in the classroom and I was crying and my math teacher asked me-”are you okay? why are you crying?”

I asked this girl to help me because I could not explain it in english.

Not longer after he was with the boy who pull my hair and asked me-”it was him?”

I answer-”i do not know”, because i did not know who was pulling my hair.

After thanksgiving my mom already knew about what happened in school, so she  decided to go and talk to the principal principle. She went to the school ,and she talked with the principal. Afterwards, this guys still bothering me and the girls always look at me in a bad way.

One morning a teacher came to me I was in my locker, she said something that, I did not understand what she was saying.  So, I did not answer, but she was saying the same thing over and over again. She got to the point that she started yelling at me, everybody was staring at us, and I did not know what to do.

My math teacher came and told her “she doesn’t speak english”.

She did not say anything she left. I was feeling embarrassed.

Previously some boy’s started hitting me on my butt for no reason I could not do anything about it, but in the third time ,the other boy did it i get mad and i hit him in his mouth. I got home and I feel sad and stressed about everything that was going on in that school. As a result of, I got to the point that I want it to suicide. Because I thought I did not have a way out.

In conclusion, I came to this country without knowing english. I learned English by my own , and I tell myself that never ever again I’ll cry for a stupid thing. The popular kids always bullying me because i could not defend myself.  I will not let people embarrassed me ever again because when i was 13 years old, I let people ruin my life in too many ways (emotionally and physically). I also learned that it doesn´t matter how different you look between people, what language you speak, or  where did you come from because bad or good looking everyone deserve respect. Finally I truly believe, what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.

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