Foreigner: A Childhood

Whenever I remember my elementary school years, it is winter. In the tiny town of Bogota, New Jersey, I sit in one of the thirteen classrooms of St. Joseph’s School, diagramming sentences under the supervision of used-to-be-nuns, the wind and sleet howling outside. The church — where I, my parents, and my Titas and Titos, my Aunts and Uncles, bow heads every Sunday under the smoke of incense and candles — connects to this classroom through a maze…