Graduation Speech - Original Writing

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I remember vividly, getting off the airplane in the middle of January, and feeling the cold wind, which felt like needles, hitting against my face. We had finally reached New York. I had only heard of this city through phone conversations from my mother and father while my sisters and I awaited their return back home to our island. It was snowing that day and I remember being in awe of the white flakes that melted on my tongue as I stuck it out. It was so cold, yet still I played with the snow until my hands went numb, and even then I didn’t stop. Leaving the airport, I could hear all the different accents. They sounded nothing like mine. I guess to them hearing my family speak, we sounded just as eccentric as I thought they did. I was at the tender age of eight when my mom enrolled my sisters and I into elementary school that week. I was ecstatic to meet the other students, but mostly to hear them speak. I was infatuated with hearing the way the people around us formed their sentences and the words they used. I was even happier I would be encircled by these accents daily. The English was different than the way we spoke it back home in the islands. We used words when we spoke that my mother claimed were not “American”. I did not know which words were right from wrong, and I would have to learn the hard way. My mother and father spoke “Patois”, also known as a broken creole, and we also referred to our English as “broken”. I was teased terribly in school, and ridiculed for my lack of vocabulary and my accent. The students did not understand me most of the times when I spoke. I struggled with homework assignments, and speaking aloud in class due to my accent. I recall being criticized out loud by my teacher for a sentence which I... ... middle of paper ... ...rolled off my tongue with ease. By the end of the semester I was receiving “A’s” on my papers, and I finally felt like I had achieved what I longed for all these years in school. Reading and writing was a huge part of my life. If I hadn’t learned to do either, I probably wouldn’t be in college right now. I think I underestimated the power of reading and writing when I was younger. The emotional struggle I went through with writing helped me to appreciate it more as I got better in both subjects. It has helped in all aspects of my life, especially when applying for jobs. I think reading and writing helps us achieve the position we ultimately want to in life because it is the foundation of being able to communicate articulately and intelligently. I am happy I finally understand the concept of both, although not praised for my writing, I appreciate how far I have come.

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