|Date published:||15 Sep 2018|
I grew up on the Caribbean island of St Lucia and attended school at Plain View Combined School when I was seven years old. My defective eyes and name made me an easy target at school. Both my classmates and other schoolmates bullied me by being given names such as “Zyé lolish” which in English had the meaning cross-eyed. The bullying slurs the children had towards made my school life horrible that I did not want to go back to the school. My mother came in handy when I shared with her the troubles I was encountering in school. She encouraged me by stating that I was a normal child and I should ignore the bullies since they leash out what they are encountering back at their homes. She asked me to focus on my studies and I would end up excelling in whatever I would be doing in school. To my great surprise, it really helped that I actually enrolled to track and field soccer by third grade and met Mr. Belasse who also ignited the positive spirit that was inside me. He referred to me as a strong individual who was full of potential most of the time which made me grow into one. By the fourth grade, I was the fastest athlete and became a member of the school’s soccer team.
On the other hand, Victor a character of the Indian Education by Sherman Alexie also faced bullying at school by his teachers and peers because he was Indian. Being a native American affected his school life and social acceptance. By his peers, Victor was given names such as “Cries-White-Boy”. He is also accused by a teacher for being under the influence of alcohol when he gets a diabetic seizure when he was playing at a basketball game. He is also left alone by his fellow Indians when he faints at the gym but is aided by his new friend, Randy. Betty Towle discriminates Victor even after passing a spelling test and goes to an extent of writing a letter to his parents wanting them to shave Victor’s braids or keep him home. She uses this as an excuse for calling him disrespectful. He faces the epitome of discrimination when he misses two shots in a game which the two shots would have made them winners against the best team in states; the team is then called “Indians” even though he was the only Indian in the team.
Victor and I were both bullied although Victor was bullied by both teachers and peers whereas I was bullied by only peers. In the state of being bullied, Victor tried to fit in he even kisses white girls whereas I accept who I was and used the positive energy that I got from Mr. Belasse and my mother to achieve my goals. Both Victor and I were involved in school sports. Victor was involved in basketball whereas I was involved in track and field soccer. We both faced racial discrimination. Being Indians in America was not easy. The Americans did not want us. On my sixth grade I got to know my name was Ahab which had a Hebrew, an English meaning as well had a numerological symbol. According to the Bible, Ahab was a king who did not please God but I choose not to let that define me. I had some aspects of religion in me which is not the case to Victor’s case.
Victor had encounters with Indian women; the society he was brought up in did not mind about that but he is condemned when he makes out with a white girl. He feels guilt and reasons that he might be saying goodbye to his culture and the Indian girls and women that he had ever loved. He has been brought up to know that food is not to go to waste that he even asks for the bulemie girl for her lunch back when he hears her vomiting. The case is not taken lightly by Betty Towle who sends him home with a letter. She blames his culture when she does not get what she wants and forces him to shave his braids. He also realizes that his culture was not socially accepted after the death of Wally Jim.
Our families both valued education and supported us in the various extracurricular activities that we wanted to be part of. They sent us to school so as we both make our lives better though; my parent was more concerned in my school life than Victor’s parents were. My mother was forehand in instilling positive energy that drove me through my school life. We both joined sports that our gender allowed. I joined track and field soccer whereas Victor joined basketball. Victor and I faced racial discrimination but we had a shoulder to lean on. I had my mother and my coach who gave me motivation and instilled positive energy in me whereas Victor had his friend Randy who picked him up when he fainted.