“Tomorrow, we’re wearing just our slips to school. If you want to be in our secret club, you have to come to school wearing only your slip, no dress,” my new fifth-grade classmate said, her eyes shifting back to the other girls standing behind her.
I mean, really! Who would believe this, even for a moment? But, I was naïve, gullible, and in a totally foreign environment. Luckily, after some disastrous interactions earlier in the week, my first-ever full-time week in an American elementary school, I was already on alert. Some basic instinct kicked in, and it slowly dawned on me that they might be bullying me, so, even though I longed desperately to be in their secret club, I did wear a dress over my slip the next day. Just imagine!
Update: I had been dropped down unceremoniously by my sweet, but equally-clueless, parents into a brand-new culture, nominally…
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