Math Madness

Authored by:
Grace J.

Grace J.

The second day of school had arrived, the clinginess had returned as Viv dropped me off at school, in fact, this time I had started to tear up as she walked away, luckily I concealed my sadness. I solemnly walked into the building, my excitement from yesterday had vanished, it was like I was a different person, more like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Unlike yesterday there was no line up, so we went right to class. Two girls called me over and we had a small conversation before the teacher arrived, they made me feel  a little bit better as I was finally included into something.

The morning finally turned into the afternoon, I looked down at the schedule, next was math. "Great my favorite." I thought to myself sarcastically as the teacher walked in, all the kids stood up to greet him and only when the teachers responds can you sit down. "Buenos dias." He said and that was the cue to finally take a seat.  The class started right away with a worksheet, I looked down at the piece of paper, "What is PSU math?" I questioned as I read through the questions, I had no idea how to do one question on this piece of paper. It wasn't anything I saw before in my life, there was not enough information in the question to solve, there was no definition of what they were, all the symboles were different, this wasn't Monday and Friday's math class which focused on Algebra, this was something from a whole different planet and everyone seemed to know what they were doing except me. I turned to ask my partner, the second person in the class who understood the most english. "How do you do this question?" I asked. She could tell I was confused, happily she explained it, but I still didn't understand I also couldn't have her explain all twenty questions on the sheet. 

Eeyore was returning, I could feel the sadness creeping back into my mind. "I can't have the teacher reteach something that these guys learned last semester." I thought not feeling up to having a complete explanaition in Spanish about math. I felt useless, just sitting there, I wanted to understand, but even when it was explained I was left confused. I could feel the tears trying to break through, I fought them back wanting to keep a strong demeanor as it was only the second day of school. My phone vibrated on my desk, it was a text from my sister, Callie. It was like opening Pandoras box, I clicked our conversation and a picture of her and all our dogs starred back at me. That's all it took for the dam to break and the next thing I knew tears were running down my face. I stood up abruptly and quickly made my way out of the room, trying not to be noticed, of course, being placed at the front didn't help the situation. I made it outside and to the bathroom where I splashed water on my face, but the tears wouldn't stop. After a good ten minutes I calmed down enough to return to class, but my presence didn't last long as yet another text came from my sister. I couldn't do it, I couldn't be in that class, I had to leave. So I did, I walked out quickly, this time was for sure seen by more students, I made my way down to the office, not knowing where to go. There was no sister, friend or familiar teacher to bring my problems too, I had nobody to talk to, to be honest I just wanted at that very moment Viv or Consuelo. 

I walked through the office doors, instantly the Inspectors aka the deans of the school saw my distress, they were probably like "Oh shit what happened to the American!' Because my face was covered in tears and they wouldn't stop falling. The female inspector walked up to me quickly, she was the one with the least English skills. "What happened?" She asked with worry. Somehow I responded with a shaky, "Matematicas." The best response that I have ever said in my life for being sad. The lady laughed a little at my response, "Math has you this stressed." I laughed with her for a second before more tears began to fall. "Take a seat honey." She said as she sat down at her desk with me in the chair across from it. We waited a good fifteen minutes for my tears to finally slow, then she pulled out a bag of candy and offered me a sweet treat along with a cup of tea."Better?" She asked as I nodded with a forced chuckle. "Can you tell me what happened?" She smiled as she offered me another candy. I began to explain that  I didn't understand the class, then the part of my sister's text. "It sounds like your mostly home sick." Right as she said the word home more tears began to cloud my vision. "Do you want to call your host mom?" The inspector asked. I nodded my head and pulled out my phone and dialed Viv's number. 

I was in that office for a full hour, my emotions were all thrown around in my head. The one thing I learned that day was that Chileans are extreamly caring, every inspector in that room tried to make me laugh or at least to stop crying, but it wasn't just the people who are paid to makesure students feel safe, the students took me by suprise. My two new friends were at the door with hands full of different treats that they had bought for me, also when I returned to class there were two notes from other students with even more food attached. That day I cried the most that I have ever cried in my life, but I also gained friendships and probably a good five pounds. 

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