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.