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Word Count: 1,512
Silence came in seventh grade It was in seventh grade that I began the first of six years at a private school In those six years I realized that it was not only I who had lost their voice I was one among many who were denied the opportunity to speak I distinctly remember the first time they betrayed me and informed me that my voice was invalid A close friend of mine from elementary school wanted to attend and I was telling others about him- telling them how neat he was The three people whom I had felt I could trust- the headmaster academic dean and dean of students- cornered me and attacked me for things that I had supposedly said They did not believe me when I pleaded my case saying He is my friend Why would I say such horrible things They three looked at each other stuck their noses in the air and simply explained that it sounded like the kind of thing I would do They did not know me They had accepted a rumor as truth They attacked me and disregarded my testimony Unfortunately this moment was merely the beginning of the silencing It continued until the day I graduated They condemned me for being curious and outspoken and lively They shut me down for every brilliant idea I proposed telling me that it was against the rules I lived quite literally in this silence I could not win by being myself so I engulfed myself in obtaining their approval through silence and obedience And I remember exactly what he said to me when I left On June 4 1999 my headmaster said to me Saint James has really changed you Youve really calmed down a lot Youve become a real lady I finally gained his approval but at what cost Even then when I was leaving I could not find the voice to scream at him and tell
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