This piece has so much passion, truth, and tears! However, the tears are mostly mine because I am Ana. His words took me back to second grade…
Second grade was rough, second grade was confusing, and it was in second grade when I was made to feel shame for the first time.
Second grade was the first class I had that was no longer bilingual.
In second grade I was told bilingual classes no longer existed, instead I would be meeting with a speech therapist once a week to help me.
Spanish is my first language. I learned to speak, read, and write in Spanish first.
I was born in California.
In second grade the school board made me the “special” kid having to leave class once a week with my big bright yellow pass.
In second grade I ditched for the first time. I didn’t walk out of school, I just hung out at the restroom for a while longer than I should. I didn’t want to, but when I would try to “forget” my “special” class, the teacher would stop what she was doing and yell “Monica time for you to go to your class.”
The kids would turn and look at me as I grabbed my big bright yellow pass.
We all knew that the yellow passes were for “special” kids.
The school board turned me into a “special kid”
I am no longer in the second grade. I am a college graduate. I am a writer.
I am no longer in second grade, but I still have moments of shame when I can’t pronounce certain words.
I act tough, but it does hurt a little when people make fun of my accent.
Sometimes a lot. Depends.
I am Ana.
I’m no longer in second grade, but yet I can’t seem to brush off the “special.”
The bright yellow pass haunts me at times, in conversations, when speaking in front of an audience or a to a new person. Will they hear the “special?”
Can YOU read the “special?”
I am Ana.
But I was in second grade first.