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  • If I'm not sure of a word, I avoid using it, as English is not my mother tongue and I may make a terrible mistake. The word 'Dwarf' is one of them.

    I believe it's a neutral word, but sometimes I worry about negative connotations.

    One day, I called a church office to book a room. The lady asked what I looked like, so that we could recognise each other on Sunday. I said, “I'm very small, the smallest person in the church. You'll recognise me. No one can be smaller than me. I'm just 5 foot tall.”

    The lady replied, with a chuckle, “No! No one can be smaller than me. I'm only 4 foot!”

    Ben has always been aware of being different too. He's got dark hair and his mum speaks Chinese to him in public, which could be quite annoying.

    Ben doesn't like the school dinner, and he doesn't enjoy packed lunch with sandwiches either. Ben loves properly cooked, hot meals.

    I suggested that I cooked him fried rice or noodles for his lunch. I can keep his food in a thermos to keep the food warm. This problem can be easily solved, and he will have a hot meal for lunch.

    No -- Ben said he doesn't like to be seen different. He can't be seen eating rice in school.

    Ben even thinks rice is banned in school. At the register time, children have to tell their teachers whether they are having School Dinner or Sandwich.

    Ben said, rice is not an option.

    Then I tried to explain that Sandwich is a lazy way of meaning 'your own food'. I don't think the school discriminates against rice.

    We must find a solution to this problem. Ben's going to a secondary school in September, and he's started to worry about his future lunch there.

    If only I could understand Ben's anxieties more.
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