Live and Let Live
As a foreigner coming to England, I was very curious as to the reception I would receive from English students. My English was not brilliant and when I did speak, I had a strong accent. I thought I was going to be the butt of all jokes the whole year round. It was my first day at school and I had just woken up from terrible nightmares about what was just a few hours away. It was time to go, the moment I had been dreading for the past twelve weeks. I had been dreading this day ever since I left my old school because I had always been at the centre of all aughter back in the Bahamas.
Here it was, right in front of me. “Wow, the facilities are great,” was my first impression. I had never seen football pitches are in such good condition, and coming from the Bahamas I had never seen so much grass. This was very pleasing and my attitude to English culture changed dramatically. I walked through the front gates and I was greeted pleasantly by a tall man with broad shoulders and distinct jet black hair. “Hello, you must the new boy from the Caribbean. ” “Yo man, that’s right. Catch you later,” I replied.
His facial expression changed immediately and I wondered what I had done wrong. He said that I should never address a member of staff in that way, and he sarcastically added: “Especially not on your first day! ” This was a peculiar start to my school career. I picked up my pace and walked straight through the main door situated right at the front of the school building. Accidentally, I bumped into a short boy, knocking him off his feet. I said how sorry I was, but he did not accept my apology.
He was still standing opposite me, staring at me. A group of eight muscular boys walked round the corner, barging whoever crossed their path. They were walking in my direction, and I began to worry. This small boy ordered his friends to beat me up, just because I could not speak English very well. After that day my whole school life was spent being picked on and being beaten up. Easter break had just ended. During Easter I was thinking, I should not let these boys make my life a misery.
It was the first day back and as soon as I saw the little bully I stuck up for myself. I told Andy, “Short stuff , do not mess with me again, ever! ” Andy was amazed by what I had said to him. He did not have his group of bullies to help him, so he turned around sharply and walked away at a fast pace down the long main corridor. As he walked everyone glared at him. Since then I have not had one bad word come out of Andy’s mouth to me. Nor has anyone else. The following day Andy came up to me and said to me discreetly, “You’ve passed.
I was very puzzled and questioned him further. “You’ve passed the initiation test. You’re one of us now. ” ” No way! I’ll never be friends with you. ” The whole playground looked round at me. A few brave souls began to applaud, then so did everyone else. From then on I have had no worries and no problems. At the end of the day it was ironic how Andy’s whole role with me had been reversed. Andy’s life of bullying was over. Nobody was ever going to go through the torment that I went through.