__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 18

WILLA CUTHRELL-TUTTLEMAN

W

hen I was around four or five years old, Mom signed me up for a Chinese language and cultural immersion course. I’m adopted and she wanted me to stay in touch with my roots. I remember copying down countless Chinese characters, focused more on their shape than what they actually meant, and I remember in Traditional Dance flopping around like I was injured, unable to hold up the long red silk ribbons with my thin arms, and I remember the teacher, Miss Fei, a woman of about sixty, who sounded angry even though she was just telling me that I wasn’t lifting my leg high enough or that I was on the wrong side of the stage. She colored her lipstick outside the lines. When I started coming home in tears, Mom picked me up for the final time on a Tuesday and stayed after the other parents left. I don’t know what she said to Miss Fei; I just hid behind Mom’s legs the entire time and I never had to go back. I was better at drawing class, with Lucia and her husband Diego, a couple that held classes in their small apartment on the lower west side. They helped me with wobbly lines, with wrong proportions. They said I 13

Profile for Echoes, the Barnard Literary Magazine

Echoes Fall 2018  

Echoes Literary Magazine published Fall 2018 at Barnard College, NYC.

Echoes Fall 2018  

Echoes Literary Magazine published Fall 2018 at Barnard College, NYC.

Advertisement