Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Out of the Box

I wonder how it must feel to be closed in a box, seeing out without fully understanding what is going on. The people seem nice enough or at least indifferent, some of them, but what they are trying to tell you, is beyond your understanding. I wonder.

Coming into a new country, taking a seat in the classroom and finding out you don't understand A SINGLE WORD.

I guess it must be CONFUSING. No matter how you shake or nod your head, you can only hope you're doing the right thing. Hopefully, they don't expect your answers to be one hundred per cent sensible or even correct.

I guess it must be COMFORTABLE. They understand. If not from the beginning, they realize quite soon, that you cannot do so many things. You will fail, sure, but nobody is angry. So if you don't mind failing, that's just fine. Going to that same place every day, meeting the same people, saying "yes" or "no" from time to time, being quite good at P.E. Football is fine.

I guess it's INTERESTING. These people actually live in a different way. Not like on another planet, but still. How different? I'm really not sure.

I guess it must be DEPRESSING. In time you realize you're failing over and over again. Your parents cannot do much about it. Your teachers are at a loss of ideas and you are... well, you're just a kid. A dictionary is a good idea, but even then... Thank God for football!

I guess it must be BORING. Once you have learned about most of the things that are different, except for the language, you are not learning much. Sitting there in that current of words is like listening to the noise of the traffic in the streets. It could just as well be silence or lectures on quantum theory. Nothing much for you there.

I guess it must be FRUSTRATING. You are not one of those diligent students, but you do want to do a little schoolwork from time to time. The teacher would probably praise you. Numbers are alright, but when you come to words, well...

I guess it must be INSPIRING. It gives you hope, seeing all these kids around you, especially when they don't bother you. They call you by your name and they know, too. They know you might say something that does not make much sense. They are learning. And so are you. And sometimes when your answer is particularly out of place, you can have a good laugh together. Things are finally getting better.

I guess it must be a TOUGH LEARNING EXPERIENCE. But your brain finally has enough. It has gathered so many words by now, in so many different situations, that you can actually re-use them. And the people understand. And they are glad you can do it and they can help you now.

I guess it must be UNBELIEVABLE, once you grow up and look back.

But I'm really glad that I don't really know. I can only look at that box from the outside and do what I can. And wonder.

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