StoryCorps / Jessi Silva and Maggie Marquez

Jessi Silva and Maggie Marquez #

All the teachers, they had a little cigar box, and put the kids’ little papers in there. And we all marched out to where the flagpole was.

  • cigar (noun. C) - a tube made from dried and rolled tobacco leavesthat people smoke
  • march (verb.) - to forcefully make someone gosomewhere by taking hold of that person andpulling them there or going there together
  • flagpole (noun. C) - a long pole that a flag is fastened to

And we were not supposed to speak Spanish.

  • be supposed to - to have to; to have a duty or aresponsibility to

And the teacher took me to the principal.

  • principal (noun. C) - the person incharge of a school

He swung that paddle. And I got three licks.

  • swing
  • paddle (verb. US) - to hit a child on the bottom with a short,wide piece of wood as a punishment
  • lick (noun. C old-fashioned, informal) - the act of hittingsomeone with something such as a whip

I had big bruises.

  • bruise (noun. C) - an injury or mark where the skin has not beenbroken but is darker in colour, often as a result of being hit by something

But he told me I needed to go back to school and I needed to follow the instructions.

  • instruction (noun. C usually plural) - something that someone tells you to do

If you’re in school, you just be obedient. Don’t stir the waters.

  • obedient (adj.) - doing, or willing to do, what you have been told to do by someone in authority
  • stir (verb.) - to mix a liquid or other substance bymoving an object such as a spoon in a circularpattern

But I felt…a loss. I felt like something was being ripped away from me.

  • loss (noun. C/U) - the fact that you no longer have something or have less of something
  • rip sth away from sth - to tear or strip something away.