from ESL by Tom Smith

Genre: Drama

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A teenage Mexican immigrant explains how her life has changed since arriving in America.

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We moved here when I was in seventh grade. The language wasn't the worst part, believe it or not. There's a whole cultural thing that's different. That's what was so weird. When I first moved here I couldn't believe how many clothes people owned. I mean, everyone had a closet just crammed full of stuff. We had to wear uniforms to school, so we only needed clothes for the weekend. But in some ways it's cool because no one looks down on you because of what you're wearing. There's a bunch of things that are different in Mexico. Like, in the afternoons everyone is outside playing, or watering their lawns, or whatever so you say "hi" and catch up on things. Here, everyone goes home and stays inside all day. And when I say "family," I mean all my aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents; here, people just mean their immediate family. It's just all a little...different.