Welcome to the United States

We have a new student at HHS. Nothing unusual about that, it happens a lot at the beginning of a new semester. I always feel sorry for these poor souls. Getting uprooted can be hard for anyone but especially hard when you're in the midst of teenage angst. This student, though, has found a very special place in my heart.

New Student has been in the United States for all of two weeks. New Student doesn't speak English. New Student is scared, nervous, and missing all that is comfortable and familiar to her. I know how she feels, I've been there. Even though it's been forty nine years since I was in her shoes, all the emotions of that first day in a foreign land with a foreign language and strange food came flooding back as I spoke to her on her first day of school. When I asked her if she was nervous she shook her head yes as tears welled up in her eyes. I had to look away because I had tears welling up in my eyes. Funny how time pushes back into the deepest recesses of our memories events that were traumatic only to have them come flooding back as we're faced with a similar situation.

New Student has a good support system in some of the other girls at HHS. Her birthday was Friday, she turned sixteen. Her new friends wanted to do something special for her. I offered my class room as a place to rendezvous, so glad I did.

I was so proud of these girls for extending their friendship to someone they could so very easily turn their back on, you know how some high school girls can be. I commended the in the plaid shirt after the bell rang on the kindness they had shown and asked her how she felt for having done so. Her reply, I feel so happy. 


  1. Ahh, it's me commenting again. But this post really touched me too. Three cheers for kindness.

  2. V. you are someone special. I know I kid you alot about things cause it's fun to do it to someone who comes right back at you, but you are such a sweet person. This reminded me of our 5 exchange students and how the first two weeks are full of tears and anxiety, but the overall experience was so good for us. (well most of the time!) I think it helped our kids adapt to their mission circumstances easier.