Middle School & Cultural Dystopia

An example of a dystopia that I experienced was when I was in 6th grade. I had only been in the states for maybe 2 or 3 years now, and I was still trying to fit in around the neighborhood and in my school. It was the starting of middle school and I was finally going to a regular school. My mom took me to my new school so we could get the list of supplies I was going to have to get and get my class schedule. When I arrived people were whispering and looking at me, at the time I had an afro with 4 dreads in the back and they were dyed red, gold, and green. The problem wasn’t the people staring it was the fact that the school had me in remedial classes. At first, I thought this was a mistake so I waited in line to try to get my classes changed so I could take honor classes. But, the principal thought it would be better if I started off slow because he didn’t want the language barrier to affect my ability to learn.

I didn’t know at the time but this was the beginning of my very own dystopia, instead of being in the harder classes because I tested into those classes, I was in remedial classes because I was from another country originally. My first year of middle school was easy because I knew everything being learned. Just because English was not my first language it shouldn’t be assumed I can’t handle harder classes just because I spoke another language first. This type of prejudice reminded me of 1984 and how Big brother had control over what the citizens learned and how the citizens spoke. Since I came to the United States, I have been told what I should do, how I should learn and how I should speak. But my language is my heritage and just because its different doesn’t mean it is inferior.

My 6th grade Dystopia did not last long because I learned higher math, English, and science by going to an after school program called Kumon that not only taught me but helped me prosper. I then entered into a math competition through the school and did categories that were way higher than the remedial math my middle school had. When I won 1st place in two of the divisions and 3rd in another. The school stopped being biased towards me because of where I came from and only judged me off of my grades. I soon proved the school wrong and even my principal.

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