Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Learn to Speak Properly or Else....Part II

When my family first came to this country, my mother did not speak a word of English. However, she took it upon herself to learn the language as best she could. There was a church who was offering to teach refugees how speak English for free. My mother signed up and attended those classes everyday. She studied day and night to learn the language of the land so that she can help to make a difference for the lives of her children. Now, she has come a long way, but she still speaks with quite a bit of an accent. When she gets nervous, she'll mix up words that sound similar.

A few months before my 18th birthday, my mother was studying American History to pass her citizenship test. Since my sisters and I grew up here and have already been studying American history, we decided to help her. Every night, we would quiz my mother over various historical facts. When she missed something, we made her look up the right answer so that she would remember. Then, came the big day.

The test is an oral test. There is no multiple choice. You either knew it or you didn't. Mom was extremely nervous but was doing just fine until the question came:

"What is the highest law?"


The interviewer tried to hold back his laugh and looked at my mother, "What?"

My poor mom was so nervous because she knew she said something wrong. She thought and thought and then remembered, "Oh, I mean Constitution."


They both started laughing. Mom passed.