Lessons learned | Teen Ink

Lessons learned

April 22, 2021
By Kenzielee SILVER, Farmers Branch, Texas
Kenzielee SILVER, Farmers Branch, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn't think we needed to know."- anonymous

One of the most important life lessons I have ever learned was in my first year in middle school. I was 12 years old at the time and life was going great. I had tons of friends and I felt like nothing could bring me down. That was until I met a boy named julian. Julian was the type of person who everyone knew but he didn't have a set group of friends. I sat next to Julian in my first period english class. He wasn't quiet by any means but for some reason he went out of his way not to talk to me. I never could understand what his problem was but I just ignored it and focused on school. I had plenty of friends so why did I need to worry about the one person who didn't seem to like me? As the school year went on I started to notice that Julian was always looking over my shoulder. When we were taking notes, he was looking. When we were watching a video, he was looking. Even when we were talking amongst ourselves, he was looking. After a few days it really started to weird me out. I remember talking to my friends about it during the passing period one day. “He probably just thinks you're cute,” said one of my friends. For some reason I didn't believe that it could be that simple. So the next day I decided to talk to him about it. As my mom was dropping me off the next morning I noticed Julian getting out of his car behind us. He seemed normal except that he was making a weird hand gesture to his mom who then did the same gesture back. I watched as he ran into school and I ran in after him feeling more confused than ever. I called out to him but he didnt turn around so I figured he was just ignoring me again. This time, however, I ran up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. He spun around and smiled at me. I was really confused. How could someone who so blatantly ignored me a few moments ago now act as if nothing was wrong? So of course like the incredibly blunt child that I was, I out right asked him. That is when I got the answer that made me feel like the biggest idiot in the world. Jullien explained to me that he is partially deaf. He wears hearing aids  that help improve his hearing a little bit, but not by much. He then explained to me that unless he sees my lips moving it's really hard for him to tell when people are talking to him. That explained the ignoring part but I was still curious about why he was always looking at me. I remember asking him, ``Why are you always looking at me though?”. He laughed when I asked him that. He then explained that when we are taking notes it's hard for him to hear what the teacher says and he noticed that I mouth the words that need to be written down. He was reading my lips so he could stay on top of his notes. He told me that without me he would probably be really lost in english. He later explained to me that while we were listening to music I would mouth the words and tap along with the tempo and that was how he listened to the music. He also explained that when we are talking in class he felt bad about asking people what we were talking about so he read my lips to stay in the conversation. I then realized that the hand gestures he was doing to his mom was sign language. I asked him what he was telling his mom and he showed me that the hand sign he was using means I love you. In 7th grade julien sadly moved away but before he did he taught me all about sign language. He taught me how to say please and thank you as well as the whole alphabet. I will always remember Julian as well as the big lessons that he taught me. He showed me that sometimes we can completely misjudge someone by assuming we know what they are like. Sometimes it only takes a simple question to form an irreplaceable friendship.

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