Poke Him

Mrs. Wartenburg
Mrs. Tomaras
Mrs. DeHaven
Mrs. Biederman

Stagecoach Elementary School. Those were my teachers when we arrived in Longisland, New Yawk.

I can picture my first grade classroom, but I can't picture my teacher's face. Like the grown-ups on Charlie Brown. I didn't speak any English. I don't remember being scared. I should have been. I sat behind a curly-headed boy with a red shirt. It had a hole in the shoulder. I stuck my finger in it. He didn't poke me back and he didn't friend me. In fact, I think I was unfriended.

I vaguely remember going to another part of the room with a teacher and looking at a book about Jane and Spot. Pretty silly book, I remember.

My next memory, I see a child say to another, "CANIBORROWAPENCIL." Awhile later, I gave it a try. CANIBORROWAPENCIL. Ding! Someone hands me a pencil! Hey, I can do that!

And that, is how I learned to speak English.


Grace said...

Immersion. That's the best way for any of us to learn a language. But not the least scary.

AmyP said...

Your childhood stories make me reflect on how different our experiences were. I wonder how it makes you feel when you hear people telling their 1950's-Leave It To Beaver-Norman Rockwell stories.

mamawhelming said...

Caniborrowapencil? I like it. Was that the start of your architectural career?

astonied said...

Caniborrowamilliondollars? Love the post!