Tewodros Kassahun, our current Lead Education Organizer for Cardozo High School, authored the story. Check out his original version of the fictional main character's journal entry used to create the narrative of the film. Teddy masterfully strung together the actual experiences of SMART members and subliminally made mention of many of SMART's demands for quality education.
Right now I am feeling confused. My day was full of misunderstanding just like the other days. The American dream that I have always dreamed for and came a long way for is vanishing away. School days are getting more and more challenging every day. T Today’s struggle started from the school gate.
When I got to school and went through the metal detector it went off. The securities started saying things that I didn't understand. They stared talking to me like am crazy person, which always happen to you when you don't speak English proficiently. Then one of the security Guard came up to me and touched my belt and showed me to take it off in action. I always feel dumb when they do that and make me mad because you do that for people that lost their hearing aid. After I got through, I prayed for the rest of the day to be better. But my prayers didn't protect me for long, when i got to the cafeteria to eat my breakfast, all they had was dairy products and egg .This was one of the days that I dont eat dairy or meat according to my culture so I had to skip my breakfast and go to class.
My first period class went good because it was a mixture of ELL students and regular students. It was an ESL English period. It went well because there were student like me that were going through what I was going through and this gave me confidence to participate in class and be part of the learning and teaching process. When I finally thought that my day would be better, I got to
my second period class. It was project presentation day. I hate doing anything in front of my second period class, because I am the only one with the accent in class and I was afraid to show it because the students make fun of me. I refused to present the project and my teacher deducted some point off my grade. I lost points for the day and points for the project. This made me mad because I couldn't present it. The bell went off and I ran to the cafeteria to get my lunch. When I got to the lunch area I saw a buch of vegetables on the counter. I was happy to see vegetables finally. I got one of the packs and and went to the benches.When i opened it, their was chicken in it. I got mad and threw it in the trash and went to my counselors to figure out the status of my grades.
I am tired of being a 9th grader. I was in this class before 3 years ago in my country . I was suppose to graduate this year, but since they are not accepting my English credit , and since they made it my fault , I had to take it again.what a crazy thing. What ever I do in my English class, I am not proud of it because I am taking it for a second time. Anyways I went to my counselor to help me graduate on time before the school system kick me out because off my age. I went in to her room and knocked and went in.
Tensaye = Hey there
Counselor =hold on (to the person she was talking on the phone) "come back later I am doing something now and cant you see am on break too".
Tensaye's Thoughts: My god what kind of person is she? Has she forgotten how important her job is? Sometimes I think it is my fault that she avoids me because I don't understand her as fast as the other students do. I don’t know why I even go to her anymore- So I just went to the school’s bilingual counselor even though he is always busy, interpreting for everyone, making important phone calls. I am not one of the students he is supposed to help, but he somehow always finds the time
to help me. I wish we had more bilingual counselors at the school- enough for all ELL students to get the guidance they deserve.
Lunch time ended and I went to my 3rd period. It was u.s history. I hate going to this class because there is too much article reading, which means there is too much vocabulary you don't understand. We don't have dictionary in Amharic, for better understanding of the words.i use the English dictionary, but when I look for the word and find it, the definition has another word that I don't understand. I wish there was a dictionary in my own language, I would have been a lot easier.
The other thing that made the class more challenging for me and that made me different from other students in my class is that they have a cultural background of the subject. They have taken subjects like social studies before in different ways like civics and history. The lack of background information is holding me back from participating in class and getting extra points. Any way
I got done with that class and moved to my 4th period. I like my fourth period teacher, we are from the same country .He understands my English without making me repeat myself again and again like the other teachers. This gives me the confidence to ask him what ever questions I have. This class was the only class that I got an"A" in last semester.
After I got done with my fourth period class and when I was about to go home, I saw my Volleyball team in their uniform. I went to them and asked them what was going on and how come i didn't know about it. They told me that we have a game and it was announced in the morning. Something came up to my mind right away , I remembered I was listening to the announcement but the announcer was talking too fast and I couldn't hear to what he was saying. I blamed myself and my hunger was getting the best of me too, so I decided to go home. On my way out of the school I got my ESL English teacher and he told me that there was a credit recovery class going on. He told me it was announced in the morning news. What a coincidence,
I missed two important information due to the stupid announcement.
When I got home things did not get any better. The only think I wanted to do was eat food but my dad was waiting for me holding a school letter that he was trying to understand and he told me to translate for him but I couldn’t tell him the message fully because I couldn’t understand some of the words. I went to bed feeling lonely and helpless not knowing what I am supposed to do to get the right education I deserve.