I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

What’s a Lockdown?

By Jairo Pantoja  |   From : Honduras  |   School : Bloomfield High School

It was about a week after I first came to the United States of America. It was a monday, a regular monday.I woke up 7:10 am and was going to start school at 8:30am.I got my breakfast, brushed  my teeth and went  and took  a warm shower. I was wearing a big black jacket because I came in the winter, and that day was very cold for a kid from Honduras.When I got all ready, I walked down the street to get the school bus.When.  I was very very nervous because I didn’t speak English and I was very nervous to talk with the people.  I thought that they were going to laugh at me. When i got to the bus stop, there were about 10 kids waiting. I stayed  a short distance away from them.At that moment I felt very very weird because in  Honduras I never took a school bus. There was a boy named Afraz and he asked me,”Are you new in the school?” I understood  what he said and I told him, “Yes, I am new,” and he told  me, “Ok. If you need help just let me know and i will help you.” I didn’t understand some words that he said, but i knew what he meant and I told him, “Thank you!”

All the kids from my bus were talking, but they were looking at me.Finally I decided to talk to them. I didn’t care if I spoke English. I just wanted  to make new friends.We started to talk to each other.The bus arrived at  Bloomfield Middle school.


While I was walking to the office my mind started to compare my old school with Bloomfield Middle School.  I was comparing the green garden and the big soccer field that was in the back of BMS.They gave me my schedule and they explained me where  the classes were.They told me to go to my first class and not to worry that I was late.I  saw all those big hallways with  lockers and a lot of classrooms while I was walking to my class, I saw the cafeteria with a lot of tables in there, I saw the gym too, and it was a big gym with a basketball court. I was very surprised by how big the school was.I  got into  my math class, and even though  I was  8 minutes late, the teacher told me it was okay, not to worry and she told me sit with three kids who spoke spanish and I started to talk to them.

I got into my ESL class I saw all the students from different countries, from Puerto Rico,Ecuador,the Philippines etc… There were 12 kids and one teacher.The students were sitting in groups of 5 and 4   and Mr.Tseng, the teacher, was from Taiwan.He asked me where I was from, my birthday and my name. Everything was going normal until I heard an announcement.The principal said, “We are under lock down.” I didn’t know what to do. I was very scared because I saw all the students and the teacher going to the back of the classroom, I  thought that something bad was happening in the school. No one explained  anything. Mr.Tseng screamed at me because I stayed sitting in my chair when everyone had gone to the back of the room.I was very nervous, The lights were turned off ,the door was locked and I finally went to the back of the room and stayed there very quietly. The worst moment was when we heard  someone was trying to open the door, as if they were pushing to get in.But finally they stopped kicking the door.I didn’t expect this to happen in the US.Afterwards,  the principal made another  announcement .I saw that everybody went to sit and have a normal class. I wondered  why  we did this. I got a little angry because after a serious moment everyone started to laugh and have a regular school day.Finally  Mr.Tseng explained to me why this happens. He told me that  we were practicing, but it was not  real.

After the class, I said bye to everybody and left the room.The school day had  ended and I went to my locker, I got my stuff and walked to bus stop. I talked to my new friends and then  I started to think how crazy and confused my first day of school was.

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