Ummm . . . .

Kenisha Hood

Language Essay

“Ugh, we got drama next. Kill me now.” I said.

“Why you don’t like drama class? Its actually fun.” said my friend.

“I mean like, I like the class, but it’s just, well I don’t know.”

“I think its cause you don’t talk much”

“What you mean? I always talk around ya’ll?

“Oh true, but well never mind.”

“Hmmm, ok.”

            That was the end of the conversation, but still my mind pondered about what my friends exactly meant by me not talking much. I know that I do act shy sometimes, but that’s only around people who I don’t know or don’t feel comfortable around. In class, I usually do not raise my hand because my language changes when I’m talking to my friend on the side, and when I am speaking in front of my class. When I speak in front of a lot of people, my voice seems to get lower and I begin to rush my words. My mother often tells me that whenever I have an exciting story to tell, I began to talk really fast, but I never notice it. Drama class just began, and I had to perform my monologue in front of the whole class. As soon as I got on stage, I could already feel my throat tightening up. I felt my mouth get dry as Introduced myself. “My name is Kenisha and I’m playing a girl named Buffy from Scary Movie 2.” As I looked down into the audience, many faces were staring right back at me, and I suddenly got nervous. I tried to speak, but nothing would come out. “Kenisha come on, go head and start your scene”, shouted voices from the audience. Even though the comments that were shouted from the audience should have encouraged me, it actually made me feel worst. I attempted to speak again, but my words came out dry and cracked. Overall, my monologue turned out to be terrible, which brought my grade down. As soon as I got in the car, I told my mother what was going on.

“Mom, can you take me out of drama class?” I asked.

“For what? I thought you liked it?” asked my mother.

“I do like it, but I just can’t handle it anymore. I always seem to mess up performances and that is hurting my grade.”

“Well, what’s exactly the problem?”

“Well, when I get in front of the class to perform, I get shy and then my voice changes which messes up my whole performance, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

“Ard, we will work on it. So you’re staying in drama.”

“Ughh, ard mom. Don’t get mad if I fail.”

All that week, my mom was pushing me to do better. That encouraged me to push myself as well. I practiced in front of friends, family members, and even in the hallways where random people walked by. It was the day to perform, and I felt more confident. I ended up doing my scene right and my teacher said he was proud of me.

According to James Baldwin, “ The price for this is the acceptance, and achievement, of one’s temporal identity.” He believes that the reason people usually change the way they talk around others is just for their acceptance at the time. I was looking for the acceptance of my mother, classmates, and my teacher. When I thought that I couldn’t receive acceptance from them, I wanted to quit. As I worked more on it, my confidence built up and I gained the ability to speak in front of others. I still get a little bit nervous but I still improved. People speak around others based on how confident they are. When I am around my friends, I am confident and I know that they will not judge me. If I try to speak in front of people I don’t know, I feel uncomfortable; I lose confidence and my voice changes. A person’s language or the way they speak changes based on the comfort level of the speaker.