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Submitted By maria2201
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Confined In a Room Here, in this small room, on this giant table, is where I read. Read the same book I got as a gift over, and over, and over, until I was able to read it perfectly aloud. My mother always liked to emphasize the well known quote, “practice makes perfect.” What she seemed to not fully understand was that stuttering could not be fixed from one day to another. Every tutoring session broke my hope in taming this beast, because every tutoring session my stuttering got worse, or at least it seemed that way.
“You can erase the board today Cindy,” said my first grade teacher Mrs. Gonzalez. As the tall, skinny, tan teacher awkwardly walked back to her wooden desk in her white dress, I slowly stood up from my chair. After jumping over the sea of backpacks lying on the floor and saying the words “excuse me” to three of my peers, I finally reached the front of the small, packed classroom. I caught my breath to eventually say “thank you Mrs. Gonzalez!” with the biggest smile my face could manage. I picked up the big chalk board eraser, and a classmate of mine stood up from her seat. Ever since Kindergarten, Christina was my competition for every test, quiz, and most importantly, becoming “teacher’s pet.” She had short brown hair, a little taller than I was, and always had her white polo ironed and her white sneakers as clean as can be. She never let me live a day without telling me my shoes were dirty or my shirt was wrinkled. Christina believed she was better than me because of her clean uniform. Her mom always said that “being presentable is what gets you noticed,” and it constantly drove me crazy. So as I erased one of the two chalk boards and she walked to the second board, I saw by the corner of my eye, the other eraser get picked up by her big, white hand, and the tension in the room escalated. Suddenly, a loud shout echoed in the room with the words, “You can’t erase the board! The teacher told me, not you stupid!” The class coalesced like a chorus singing as they gasped with shock at what I had just said. The room then started to close in on me and went silent. As my hands started to cover my mouth in hope that the teacher hadn’t heard the “bad word” I had said, Christina replied to my harsh statement with “I’m not stupid, you’re stupid.” In a matter of thirty-two seconds, a forbidden word in the classroom was said three times. Mrs. Gonzalez was right over us, staring with disappointment in her eyes. She said “Cindy! Christina! You have detention tomorrow afterschool.” These words threatened me greatly as my face went pale and my eyes started watering. After getting the wagging finger of “you’re in deep trouble” from my dad, and writing one hundred lines as homework saying, “I will not call my classmate stupid,” my night wasn’t too bad. It continued as it normally would in the Martinez household. The small kitchen was always where everyone gathered in my family. My mom would cook dinner on our glass top stove and wash the dirty dishes left in the minuscule sink. My dad spoke about his day at the insurance office and how clients always asked obvious questions such as “Is it necessary for me to have car insurance?” I sat on a wooden chair by the kitchen’s island in the corner of the kitchen doing my homework for the day. And after a nice, long dinner, my mom would sit with me on her big wooden desk to read a couple pages off the Cinderella book my grandmother gave me for my birthday. I started to read “Once u-u-up-upon a-a t-t-time…” and the struggles began to occur again. Reading pages of a book was certainly no fun for me due to my stuttering problem. It had been a week since I had been practicing reading aloud in order to be able to get through this and begin reading like all the other children. Sitting in class and being asked to read a sentence was the least of my worries. Now Mrs. Gonzalez had us reading paragraphs! Being laughed at by Christina and her snobby posse during the thirty minute recess was no help and further influenced my dislike for her.
The next day passed by quickly as time for me in the outside world had run out. Confined in a room with ten desks, a small window on the door to show me the light I cannot reach, and the girl I disliked most on school grounds, was the worst punishment my teacher could’ve given me. The constant flickering of the yellow ceiling light, and the obnoxious “vroooo” noise coming from the air conditioning vent, did not help my situation one bit. To make the scenario worse, the tall, muscular vice principal known as Mr. Valdez, had told us to read three pages from a famous book known as “The Ugly Duckling” aloud! Not only did Christina stare at me with the intention of making another “joke”, but Mr. Valdez asked me to read first.
I then remembered, standing on this stage for the first time in front of my class was nerve wrecking. Mrs. Gonzalez had us read a sentence off the wall, each sentence containing a vocabulary word of the week. “Th-th-the house ha-had a b-blue d-d-door,” was the sentence that started concerning people. After the phone call home informing I have not improved during class, I didn’t play one game of kickball afterschool again and began tutoring sessions.
A loud shout yelling, “Well, are you coming over here to learn how to speak in front of others or are you just going to sit there? I would gladly give you a second detention,” brought me back to reality and on my feet. Refusing to repeat this awful experience, I stood up in front of the other prisoners in this jail cell, and began to read. After the first few words, I began to here chuckling from my audience. This noise grew louder and louder in my head, to the point where there was no escaping the laughter everyone had, or the tears that were about to drop out of my eyes and onto the pages. They seemed to be mocking me as well. Unexpectedly, the ridicule was interrupted by a girl.
“It’s not nice to make fun of her guys. Let her read. You’re hurting her feelings,” said Christina. I had heard her before, but never like this. The usual wrath this beast had seemed to stop, as if the beast finally got her stolen egg back in her nest and became a peaceful monster. These changes in her tone raised my head and lead me to have confused thoughts. I ignored these thoughts and continued to read as instructed. After three long pages of “The Ugly Duckling,” I sat down in the desk next to Christina and began to look forward to an interesting year.
The first grade went by quickly as I spent time in tutoring with my mom, and spent recess reading to my best friend Christina. My stuttering problem seemed to cease as I practiced every day. Christina and my mom encouraged me as I read with them daily, and it made me feel good about myself in this rough situation. I hoped to pass my struggles while reading and believed that one day I could, since I had them two by my side. In the end, my mom was right because, practice, did in fact, make perfect.…...

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