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I don’t really remember much about my first year at elementary shool. Besides I was always distracted looking around. While my schoolmates were trying to learn the basics of the alphabet I was fluent in reading and I was doing my first writings… So I was the worst nightmare a teacher can have.

By the end of my first year, I got expelled for misconduct, so my mother took me to another school. She explained my situation, and after some evaluation with two teachers, I stepped directly into the 3rd grade. That year, the school did a musical play, I loved the rehearsals and performing in a big auditorium.

I remember that as a great year at school. My conduct was always problematic, and my name was well known in school. I was a fast learner and I had the capability to understand what the teacher explained at once, so I got plenty of time to think of other things.

At home, things where rough because my father was having financial difficulties and my mother started getting sick from low blood pressure. She started helping out financially preparing sandwiches (200 every day) and selling them at the school. My father bought a machine and my mother started making school sweaters on it to sell to the school parents.

My father was out to work every day early in the morning and returned at noon to get his insulin shot. Then he would go back to work until late night, when he returned tired, and most of the time upset, complaining about how difficult was make money. Almost every night he screamed at my mother for different reasons; if the soup was cold or hot, or it was not the right food for his diabetes, or if the table was not just right. In the beginning my mother never answered him back, but then she started responding. This made him even agrier and we would for all of us to hide, until he walked to his room to rest. When he received some complaint about my behavior, he chased me with his belt and hit me really hard, several times yelling “Let’s see if you can learn”. After that my mother stopped telling him about my problems at school. When I was at home, I always felt miserable… On the weekends they took me to my Grandmother Martha’s and she would teach me how to cook, how to make my bed, to polish the furniture and of course I loved to go back in to the plate’s wall to have insights. Every Sunday at church my prayer was always, “please God, do my father stop fighting to my mom… please”.

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