New Iowan: Mihnet

Time Frame: 2005

This is an interview with a young, New Iowan, as part of the documentary "Our Kids."
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Bosnia, High School Senior

I'm from Bosnia. I used to live there for four years, then I moved to Germany. Lived there for eight and a half years. I've been in the United States for five years. I was thirteen years old when I moved to the United States. I speak Bosnian, German, and English... as my third language right now. I took English classes in Germany, so it didn't take a whole lot to get to the point where I'm at right now. I did not go to school in Bosnia, because I was around, what, four or five, so I started school in Germany. The subjects were a bit harder, you know, and the teachers were a lot more strict than here, but... Back in Germany, I mean, I used to wake up at eight... at like seven o'clock, and then go to school. And at, like, two o'clock I used to just do my homework and go outside and play soccer, 'cause I used to be a soccer freak back then. That's all I did, was just went to school, did homework, and played soccer.

School in Iowa

I was kind of nervous to go to the school, 'cause I wasn't sure if I'm going to mess up, you know, like speak and stuff. I didn't know anyone, except my cousin, so we kind of went through it together. But, as time went on, got to know people, you know, they showed me around and introduced me to more friends.

At first I thought of being an interpreter, but now I think I want to open my own business or something like that. I like to help people out, and that's one of the things that probably a lot of teachers don't know - because a lot of them think I'm too serious, but I'm not. I just love helping people out, you know.

Advice to Teachers and Students

You have to be confident, you know, to kind of, do it. That's the biggest part that I messed up in. Don't be shy. Just ask questions, even if you're not sure you're going to seem right or wrong. I think it would help students to play games, like board games, to interact with other students, you know, and the students are going to have to think on their own while talking with them, so that's probably the main thing you know, games.

We're just kids, just like the Americans are. Just do the same thing that you do with them. Just kind of double-check on them, as they do like homework, or whatever. Just double-check on them, just make sure they're on track and know what they're doing.


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