Different Environment

Timothy Ingram

Different Environment 

“Hi guys how you been?”

The way I talk depends on the environment. Growing up in a hard neighborhood people expected me to say, 

“Wassup or ayo.” 

When I move to a new environment meeting diverse people. I started a new year in at a middle school called Upper Merion located in King Of Prussia. It was a big move from West Oak Lane to KOP. We are different in a lot of ways. The main thing that was different was the way we talk and the color of our skin. I walked up to people saying,

 “Wassup or ayo”, 

and they looked at me like I was crazy. In the first week of school I met a Caucasian boy who I walked up to saying “Ayo”.

He looked confused and said, “Sorry I don’t understand what your saying.”

In my head I was thinking I was in my original neighborhood but I thought about when I was walking around hearing everybody say “hey or hi”. It felt very different I walked around hearing things like,

“Dushbag, Cracker or Anis.”

As the school year continued I really started becoming known from my cousin that went to the high school. She was a very popular student who knew people from the high and middle school. I then joined the basketball team and first thing that people asked me was “Hey where are you from?”

“I am from a neighborhood called West Oak Lane.”

People either say “what is that or where is that”, shake their head or look at me with a confused face. I was at the point when I wanted to move back to West Oak Lane because thats where my real friends were but time and time my cousin just told me it a better environment so just try and change your language. In my head I was thinking thats a good idea and how about I let them know my language. As a new week started the same Caucasian boy walked up to me saying,

“ Hey you’re really quiet. Why don’t you talk to anyone?”

 I told him, “I don’t know anyone and it seems like I am so different from everyone.”

I started telling him how I use to talk in my old neighborhood and how people talk different. I told him people talk with slang in my old environment and people down here talk weird. I really felt uncomfortable telling him the differences. But he told they have slang to just like every environment have there own slang. Then he said,

“How about you teach us some of your slang and I’ll teach you some of our slang.”

 In my mind I started feeling comfortable but I didn’t know how people would react to some of the slang but I just decided to tell them the some slang or the short for things we say everyday. After telling him some known words that people in my old environment  the boy started laughing. At this moment I didn’t know how to react. I wanted to ask him, “what was funny?” After he stop laughing he begin telling me slang words that I heard when I walked around the school. He said,

“Dushbag, Cracker, or Anis.”

I asked, “what do the words means?”

He look, laugh and said, it has no meaning people just say it.”

 As he started walking away I was confused so I started walking around saying them words to people when we had funny conversations. Taking that advice from the Caucasian boy help me a lot. I started becoming friend with random people I didn’t know and I felt comfortable in this new environment.

My story connects to another story I read which is “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Glona Anzaldia. A quote that connects with my story is, “ We need a language with which we could communicate with ourselves, a secret language.” This quote connects with my story because the environment I move to is as a culture had their own language that they could only understand and not people from outside other environments.  After learning that moving to new environment I learn not to give up and try new things.

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