by ANAYANZE RODRIGUEZ
Students roam the halls going on with their ordinary lives, and never realize that ordinary has a greater meaning on others. For instance 17 year old Anna Minasyan, also middle child of two brothers, has spent the last 5 years trying to make it to America. She also breathes in the life from the core of a book, meaning, so far she’s won the hearts of every English teacher that agrees “the book was better”. Despite that her first name reminds you of the movie Frozen, her last name and every other Armenians last name ends with -yan defining that they are Armenian.
As the seasons rush in, so do holidays and new experiences for Anna, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. Although for her lack of experience in those holidays, her country celebrates a tradition referred to as Vardavar, which is related to our ice bucket challenge, but without the ice. It is scheduled by the church on a Sunday of June; only difference is you will suddenly step out the door and have water poured over you from the second floor above. Traditions also call for recipes like Paxlava– similar to a cake, Tolma – a wrapped meat with grape leafs, and the most unexpected, Bar-b-Que ( not similar to ours).
In her words Armenia is formal and serious compared to the friendly and polite students she’s met so far. Her school lacked the freedom she describes that students at El Diamante have. They are stuck to one class with the same people for 12 years, imagine no electives like Dance. So far students have danced their way from freshmen year to senior year, and Anna has gone to join them. However, she has set her mind to learning to play tennis and even getting to learn how to swim for the first time. Other than her short term goals, Anna has imagined herself attending college in Armenia to study as a translator and PR manager.
The same way movies have us hooked on visiting France or London, Anna was hooked on Disneyland and New York City’s skyscrapers. She finds herself lucky and excited to later be making trips to L.A. hoping to see other Armenians. Speaking of the future, Anna has planned to dedicate in volunteering in an elderly home and public library and very soon participate in the clubs of El Diamante.
However, America has lots to offer and her blood lines run with glee for the future, but her heart and soul belongs back home.