Dido

by Natasha
(Augusta, GA)

Original Text: Dido


I was sitting in class one day, recently, listening to some of my classmates do their introduction speech. This was a way that everyone could get to know each other better, including the professor. Everyone was doing great so far, better than I would do, I thought. I had not yet gone, and so I was watching everyone and taking tips on how they presented, what they had on their power point, and the order in which they had information on their slides. I didn’t know if that would help me when my turn came, but I knew it wouldn’t hurt to take notes. “At this point in time,” I said to myself, “anything will help me out.”
We had been going through presentations for a couple of days. My teacher split it up where three students presented each day and each presentation had to be at least four or five minutes long, but of course everyone went over the limit. I remember one of my classmates being up presenting for forty minutes; he was answering questions and going more in to depth about his personal life. Usually, students being students, we would have been mad and grumping but we all tuned in; I think everyone actually enjoyed it. It finally came time for another one of my classmates to present. When she got up to do her presentation, all I could think was, “what is she going to get up there and say to make a fool out of herself, now.”
Before I continue on with how her presentation went or what was said, I have to tell you why that last statement came to mind. I have one other class with her and in both classes she talks, and talks, and then talks some more. She does all this talking and laughing while the teacher is up, and personally, it irritates me and a few other students. Not that any student has said, but you can see it on their faces when all of this is going on. And a lot of times I think she talks without thinking first, but that’s just my opinion. Basically when I first met her, I thought she was loud and obnoxious. But now I regret ever having those feelings toward her and thinking that way after hearing her story. That day I realized I had been doing it too, judging people before I had a chance to get to know them or hear their story. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
So that Wednesday morning I heard her story. She told from the day she was born, until now. She had been through so many things that no one should have to encounter in their life and especially not at the age she had to go through them. She had been sexually abused by someone in her own family; she had been in foster care for over half of her life and seemed to have lived almost in every part of Georgia. She also has had a baby boy and she described how if he hadn’t been born, she doesn’t know where she would be today. After all she had endeavored she still had the biggest smile ever on her face. All I wanted to do is run and give her a hug and tell her how sorry I was, of course she or no one else would know what I was talking about. But I didn’t want to look weird or crazy, so I just sat there and let a million of thoughts run through my head.
There is always someone that has been or is going through a worse situation than the next person. I have been through nothing compared to my classmate, and I admired her for standing in front of the class and telling her life story and not being ashamed. So every time I see her she puts a smile on my face and it lets me know I can make it through whatever little petty situation I am in right now. Speaking for myself and my classmates, I think we all left that Wednesday morning with a different perception on life and a better appreciation of our own individual lives. And speaking for myself I know I left that classroom a better person.

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Revised Text:

I was sitting in class one day recently, listening to some of my classmates do their introduction speeches. This was a way that everyone could get to know each other better, including the professor. Everyone was doing great so far, better than I would do, I thought. I had not yet gone, and so I was watching everyone and taking tips on how they presented, what they had on their power point, and the order in which they had information on their slides.

I didn’t know if that would help me when my turn came, but I knew it wouldn’t hurt to take notes. “At this point in time,” I said to myself, “anything will help me out.”

We had been going through presentations for a couple of days. My teacher split it up where three students presented each day and each presentation had to be at least four or five minutes long, but of course everyone went over the limit.

I remember one of my classmates being up presenting for forty minutes; he was answering questions and going more into depth about his personal life. Usually, students being students, we would have been mad and grumping, but we all tuned in. I think everyone actually enjoyed it.

It finally came time for another one of my classmates to present. When she got up to do her presentation, all I could think was, “What is she going to get up there and say to make a fool out of herself now?”

Before I continue on with how her presentation went or what was said, I have to tell you why that last statement came to mind. I have one other class with her and in both classes she talks, and talks, and then talks some more. She does all this talking and laughing while the teacher is up, and personally, it irritates me and a few other students also.

Not that any student has said so, but you can see it on their faces when all of this is going on. A lot of times I think she talks without thinking first, but that’s just my opinion. Basically, when I first met her I thought she was loud and obnoxious but now I regret ever having those feelings toward her and thinking that way after hearing her story.

That day I realized that I had been doing it too, judging people before I had a chance to get to know them or hear their story.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

So that Wednesday morning, I heard her story. She told it from the day she was born, until now. She had been through many things that no one should have to encounter in their life, and especially not at the age that she had to go through them.

She had been sexually abused by someone in her own family; she had been in foster care for over half of her life; and seemed to have lived almost in every part of Georgia. She also has had a baby boy and she described how, if he hadn’t been born, she doesn’t know where she would be today. After all she had experienced, she still had the biggest smile ever on her face.

All I wanted to do was to run and give her a hug and tell her how sorry I was. Of course she, and no one else, would know what I was talking about. I didn’t want to look weird or crazy, so I just sat there and let a million thoughts run through my head.

There is always someone that has been, or is going through, a worse situation than the next person. I have been through nothing compared to my classmate, and I admired her for standing in front of the class and telling her life story and not being ashamed. So every time I see her she puts a smile on my face and it lets me know I can make it through whatever petty little situation I am in right now.

Speaking for myself and my classmates, I think we all left that Wednesday morning with a different perception on life and a better appreciation of our own individual lives. Speaking for myself, I know I left that classroom a better person.

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