All posts by C. Gonzalez

Career Center on the Brink of Extinction

Ms. Carreto is RHS Career Advisor and has been doing her job perfectly for 20 years.

Career Center is on the verge of leaving RHS forever and it will be replaced by individual small school career advisors. Which is very tragic considering the fact that the small school advisors have no experience like RHS career advisor Ms. Carreto who has been here for 20 years. I wonder how they plan to achieve this considering the fact that the counselors, teachers, or any other staff has a lot to do. Will they be hiring new career advisors for each small school? And if so what’s the point since they don’t want to spend money?

These questions remain unanswered, especially with students who have no idea what’s going on. Teachers, staff, principals are not aware that both the Career Center and College Corner helps students all the time. Are they blind? Or they just refuse to acknowledge the idea that WE NEED THESE RESOURCES! Not only for the upperclassmen but also for all the freshman and sophomores. This is completely utterly evil. I understand we have budget cuts but let’s not fall into that whole stuff again.

Yes, indeed we are going through another economic crisis and probably the worst that the nation has faced but just because of that doesn’t mean that kids have to lose resources that they need the most. The Career Center has helped a lot RHS students achieve many things like getting scholarships, programs, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc. These things are not easy to replace, its really so sad. I can’t even grasp the fact that they plan to take away our Career Center away.

This to me is completely a disaster. What is going on with our future? What will happen to all the students who don’t have a chance to go to college? Well they will become the working force and the Career Center is making sure that doesn’t happen. Both College Corner and Career Center help students prepare for college or for work but in better conditions.

Many students are very angry at the fact that our education is so bad. Sooner or later people will start to realize and take action . Not only for our Career Center or College Corner but also for other problems that we have in Boyle Heights. Rage is good for the soul in order to take action and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. People won’t give in to this type of treatment and they will rebel against any kind of oppression.

 

 

Earthquake Shakes Japan Which Causes New Warnings for California

Fires are common in earthquakes like this shot of the earthquake in Japan.

In the night my sister woke me up saying that there was an earthquake that hit Japan. I paid no attention since I was already sleeping but in the morning I turned on the news and I learned that it was no ordinary earthquake. Apparently the earthquake was 8.9 in the northeastern section of Japan. Soon after tsunamis followed causing a lot of damage to the already torn Japan.

This whole event is really sad which makes me think of many other natural disasters. For example we have what happened in Haiti, New Orleans, Malaysia and other places. These natural disasters cause so much harm for the human race. Not only because it destroys homes, businesses, but also cause it destroys the life of others. Japan’s earthquake is still fresh and people still feel the ripple of the effects that the tsunamis left behind.

One person who is really worried about this whole situation is my Japanese teacher Ms. Miya. We love our sensei and it’s sad to see the fact that this event is keeping her awake at night. The students from her 2nd period and other classes tried to comfort her but we couldn’t. She’s too worried since her family is still living in Japan. I started to wonder how many people are up at night worrying for their family. I wish we could all take action and help our fellow friends in Japan.

What happened with Japan makes me wonder if the same thing will happen here. California is still waiting for the “big one.” A lot of people are anxious since we expect a big earthquake here in California. I feel that California is not prepared for such an event if it was to occur. Especially a lot of the buildings here in Boyle Heights. These building are really old so imagine a big earthquake happening in a town that has no big security when it comes to a natural disaster.

I checked all around Roosevelt and it would be nice to have new buildings which have equipment to prevent major disasters. The only things I see are probably the straps underneath the table to keep them together but that’s mostly it. Correct me if there are more things available since I haven’t noticed it. Not only Roosevelt but California in general. We should be able to have these type of equipments  like helmets, better buildings, in order to prevent deaths in Cali. Especially in poor income communities who need these type of equipments.

People’s Poetry: Justice For Jeremy Marks

People's Poetry was very successful, especially for all the students that performed.

People’s Poetry occurred on February 26, 11 in North Hollywood. Students from all over Los Angeles performed in a small space area for the audiences and it was all for Jeremy Marks case. Students performed from Roosevelt, Cleveland, Manuel Arts and other high schools.

To me the pieces were completely amazing! I felt inspired at the end of the night from all the student’s pieces. I couldn’t be more happy because most of the kids spitting were my friends and it felt good to see them up there expressing their mind.

Spoken word is my life, I enjoy listening to it and spitting it. With spoken word you express your rage that you feel and you become your poem. It’s a long process to actually make a poem and to have the nerves to go up in front of a crowd to express your poem. Spoken word is hard for many people since they have to go in front of the audience and give them a piece of your soul.

That is why I was completely happy when I attended People’s Poetry because I know that people go up and express themselves with emotions that will stick with you forever. The pieces that were included in the event were mostly about educations and how it seems to effect the greater idea of racism, sexism or any kind of oppression. Many of the students knew how to shift education to a broader perspective which reminded me that we still live in a world that oppresses others.

Spoken word brings you back to reality and you get to hear the stories of what the students have to say. During the event we had the privilege to meet with Jeremy Marks and his family. The family seemed to have an incredible time listening to kids speak their minds about police brutality, lack of education, racism, sexism and all the subjects that the kids touched upon. I was glad to meet Jeremy Marks and his family who seemed so sweet and powerful at the same time. They’re going through a tough time but the community is here for them to protect Marks human rights as a student and as person.

From Softball to Individualism to Change in Society

Native Americans and many other tribes throughout the world practice group harmony in order to achieve peace and love.

Once again the same old thing about softball. Yes, indeed I truly miss softball and I wish I could play. The best thing about softball is the fact that you work as a team. Some of us softball players don’t know that until it’s too late. Most of the softball players work as individuals in order for them to shine during games. All of this is for the fact that everyone wants to be the best.

You can find this type of  individuality in other sports as well. You can find this in football, baseball, hockey, etc. Most players want to shine in order to praised and recognized. This helps individualism grow, but it’s more profound that that. This type of thinking goes back to the conquerors of Spain who conquered Mexico and beyond that because they conquered by individualism as well as greed and power.

What individualism creates is competition throughout society. It is true you see competition in the wild but you can also spot group harmony. Without group harmony you just create competition and all you have is a single survivor. That means that society can be gone if we always compete. Competition creates emotions like rage, sadness, rage and all these bad feelings that occur. Because in the end you always have a loser.

Society can change if we all work together but that can’t happen if we all think of just individualism. I’m not saying its completely and utterly bad but it causes bad things to occur in society. We can have individuality in society because we’re different but too much individuality causes people to work alone without the help of others. The whole entire human race has to learn to live in harmony with each other and to help each other in times of need. Native Americans thrived through their society with pure group harmony and I believe we can also reach such peace.

It will take a while for people to change their mind about individuality but it’s because through decades they have taught us that the best way to succeed in life is through individuality. But society is wrong, we can work together and succeed. All we need is to teach them that group harmony works and that we can achieve great things if we work together. We can achieve peace and harmony which in the end brings love for everyone.

Places to Travel: Massachusetts!

I had the opportunity to travel to Massachusetts last summer 09′ which was a complete life changing experience for me since I never traveled out of California. Sophomore class of 09′ got the chance to travel but only a few got selected since the one-weekend trip was expensive. We traveled to Boston, Peabody, Salem, Plymouth, Beverly, and Cambridge.
The flight from Los Angeles to Massachusetts was around 5 hours.

The flight was a wonderful experience since we had the opportunity to watch television, and eat food. A lot of kids were super excited to go since we’ve never traveled. When we arrived at the Logan International Airport we immediately traveled to Peabody to eat a really incredible dinner that consisted of cheese pizza, salads, and soda. After that we checked in hotel by Peabody. After that we traveled to Salem to watch a reenactment of the Salem Witch Trials.

The trip was educational since we were visiting colleges like Harvard, Endicott, M.I.T, Boston University, etc. I enjoyed Boston Universities campus, it was really beautiful and so was Endicott’s, since it was near the beach. We traveled through Massachusetts and we went to Bunker Hill, which was so much fun! We had a lot of time to eat at local restaurants, which consisted of a lot of restaurants in the Quincy Market.

Summer is the best time to go if you enjoy the humid weather. When we arrived to M.I.T, it was raining, but it was really hot outside. Throughout the whole entire trip it was either raining or it was so hot that we couldn’t wait to go home. Although the weather was a little tad weird, it really helped us appreciate California and it’s amazing weather. But Massachusetts was really incredible, its one of a kind weather that you won’t be able to find in the west coast.

We went to some really cool places like the New England Aquarium, Mayflower II, Quincy Market, the Founding Father’s Monument and other historical places in Massachusetts. I really recommend you to travel to Massachusetts. Not only does it have really historical places but it’s really fun overall. The atmosphere is really great, especially in the downtown areas. So next time when you’re thinking of where to travel in the U.S give Massachusetts a chance.


Monument for the Founding Fathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

One of the many actresses who portrayed a British immigrant who was on a voyage inside the Mayflower II.

Justice For Jeremy Marks!

Jeremy Marks was also profiled as a "gang" member although, he has no affiliation with any gangs.

Justice is what should be done for Jeremy Marks who was mistreated by an Los Angeles School Police Department Officer. This incident happened in Verdugo Hills High where Marks was a former student. Apparently Marks was filming an incident involving Officer Erin Robles  who was harassing an un-named 15 year old. Robles said that Marks was attempting to cause a riot against the officer in order for her to release the suspect. After the incident the DA claimed that Marks was trying to reach Robles’ pepper spray although Robles is not sure who grabbed the pepper spray.

This whole incident is really unfair, especially for Marks since he is a special needs student. Now Marks was barely released from Pitchess Detention Center which is a bitter adult county jail. And this all happened because a cop was making false accusation about a student that was just filming police harassment happening in his community. To me this sounds like police brutality, racism, corruption and overall the mindset of the oppressors. How can the community be safe when you have cops making false assumptions about students?

This all connects to students here at RHS. I’ve heard cases in school about police brutality. Students demand they’re civil, and human rights. We just can’t see this type of police brutality and do nothing. We can’t be Dana from Kindred by Octavia E. Butler who had the power to change things for people but couldn’t because she was selfish. Incidents like these shouldn’t occur, especially in school, where kids have to feel safe. We need to put an end to these type of conditions.

In connection to Jeremy Marks case, the Labor/Community Strategy Center is organizing an event to raise money for Marks case. They want to fundraise money for Marks who needs a good lawyer. The Center is putting up an event named People’s Poetry where people can see the performance of many students throughout LA. They will have spoken word, dance performances, and later on an open mic. Everyone is welcome to come, the Center wants to help the conditions in LAUSD schools therefore they are organizing this event so people are aware of the conditions in schools throughout Los Angeles. The Center has been working hard to stop police brutalities in schools, therefore this whole event is a way to make people aware of these type of situations.

Book Review: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

For my AP English class we had to read an amazing book called Kindred. The book is about a modern black women named Dana who travels back in time during the slave era in the South. There she meets a young boy who’s name is Rufus. Somehow he has connection with her and he is the one who causes her to travel back in time. In the current modern world she is married to a white man by the name of Kevin. Throughout the book you find out that in order to save herself in the future she must save Rufus in the past.

This book seriously makes you think not like other books. It makes you feel like you’re really there with Dana during those harsh years in the antebellum South. Once you read this book it makes you think about racism, sexism, and slavery. If you thought that you could survive during slavery, you’re dead wrong after you finish reading book. When asked about the book, Jorge Torres said, “It’s pretty awesome, the twist and turns just have you wanting more”.

When you read this book it makes you feel that there is no hope, but in reality there is. A great companion to this book is the essay by bell hooks, “Killing Rage” because it makes you wonder how much you can take without giving in to slavery. Dana is a great character that you can relate to because in times of need she is much a coward, like some of us.

I thought that I could resist oppression, but when I read this book it completely changed my mind about resisting and giving in. So I recommend this book because it makes you wonder what would you do if you were in Dana’s position. Especially after all the things that she endures as a black women stuck in the the South during slavery. If you read both bell hooks’ essay and Kindred you’ll find yourself wondering what can you do against any type of oppression. So I give this book 5 stars for its wonderful plot, setting and because it makes you think about current issues.

Security? When Is It Too Much?

Protecting and security can either be good or bad, it all depends if you're willing to cause some damage in order to protect.

After the Gardena High School incident, security is in complete  regulation.  A question that has been on my mind now is, how much is too much?  What will we do in the name of safety in school?  All these questions and few answers.

My fellow school mates told me that they did random searches in school.  It’s not common to see random searches at this time in the year.  Especially after the Gardena High School incident.  School security is great but who are you protecting when the students feel harassed by the security, or police?  I’m not saying that all security or police harass students.  I’m just saying that security can cause hysteria.

In the name of security we have caused deaths, massacres, etc.  Just look at the war in Iraq, it all started for the name of security and protecting American people.  But Americans are dying and so are the innocent people in Iraq.  Security took a different turn when instead of protecting people, they started to kill them.  Security can be a risky business, that is why you have to be careful who you are protecting and how.  Abusing the power shouldn’t happen at all, especially if you are someone that people look up to in order to protect them.

Which brings me to another topic, police brutality and abuse.  Not a lot of people enjoy the topic of police brutality because they don’t want to know that police actually abuse the power that they have.  But it’s happened, for example the Oscar Grant case in which a cop abused his power and killed Oscar Grant in Oakland, California.

All of this is really sad since Grant was not armed or dangerous.  The cop was looking for suspicious people that were in a fight earlier.  it was all to protect the civilians that were on the subway.  So security and protection can come a long way, and can take both a wrong or a good turn.  Just as long as no one abuses the power.

Insufficient Funds for Sports and School

Who is willing to pay?

I’ve noticed that throughout the whole campus, we have teams sharing fields.  For example the football  team practices on the softball field during the summer.  It is really great that we’re sharing fields, but they mess up our field.  Their cleats really mess up our fields.  Especially because the softball field needs to be smooth.  It needs to be smooth in order for the ground balls to stay on the ground and not hit you in the face.  This is all caused by insufficient funds. It would be wonderful to have more fields for all those others sports that don’t have fields to practice.

Insufficient funds for sports can also make us think about insufficient funds on education.  Students want to attend a school where we have enough money to have textbooks, fields, sport equipments and school equipment.  But we also have to understand that the education system is not that well either.  The state is spending more money in prison rather than school.  Too many people are getting arrested for misdemeanors rather than actual big felonies.  Both sports and schools need more money in order to keep kids in school instead of the streets.

The root of the problem is in both the school system and the state.  It seems that now days, people are not interested in school at all.  They don’t bother with school or don’t even try to attend school.  The state is wasting more money in corporations, jails, etc.  The main priority of the state and the whole entire world should be kids, if that means wasting money then so be it.  Because students need education in order to survive.  We kids need knowledge and some of us can’t achieve it if we don’t have enough funds to have textbooks.  I’m not blaming anyone or anything.  I just want to everyone to take in consideration that schools and sports need more funds so we can have a better time in school.  Just keep in mind that school is like a second home to many students.  In that case the state and everyone else should treat us like family.

Oh College, How I Long For Thee… But You’re Too Expensive!

College gives you a lot of stress but so does life. The added stress can be economic, personal, job issues.

Around the world there is a demand of kids attending.  It is a great thing to go to college, don’t get me wrong.  But now the world is demanding for a working force that are going to keep this cycle of capitalism.  For many, capitalism is a great thing because everyone can make it and achieve their dream.  Some make it but at what cost?  They lose their dignity, their self love, their identity in this world.  College is a great thing because it helps you become responsible but also your mind begins to expand to many horizons.  Now college is a lot more than that, it means that you get more money but you also pay a lot to actually attend one.

Money is everywhere but what makes the money go around? Money is everything for humans, they can’t survive without it.  I can’t believe how much it is to attend a college.  Not only that but it’s worse for undocumented students which have to pay out of state tuition.  To me that is really unfair since students work hard to attend college.  So why do we have to pay for college, why can’t college be free?  If they really want us to succeed, why don’t they let us focus only on school instead of having to work  multiple jobs in order to pay for our education?  It’s really sad how they promise us that we can achieve anything we put our minds to.  But what happens when you have so many obstacles that it feels like you can’t go any longer?  What do you do then?  When no one is their to motivate you?  Does society then believe that we could make it?

So many questions that no one wants to answer.  I always wonder what will happen to the kids in this school who just lost hope in education, that they see it as nothing more than a burden.  What happened to those kids that made them loose hope?  Many of them will become the force that maintains this country by their hard labor.  They will be the ones who will remain ignorant but good for the corporations that make money out of their ignorance and hands.  Can we as humans of this world let them doom and die?  It’s really sad to see everyone become just individuals who just want to help themselves and no one else.  Oh education system, how you failed us.

For my parents and I, college is very expensive.  We can’t afford to pay for it and that can actually mean that I will probably have to work in order to pay for my college tuition.  It’s so hard for students to concentrate when they have to work.  I won’t deny that some students do actually break even with multiple jobs and hard classes.  But what about the rest of the students?  The students who do make it is actually a small percent, the rest just fall behind.  If this cycle of paying so much for college continues, they should just tell us at a young age that we should just give up.  In that case don’t give false promises to the little boys and girls about college if its too much to pay.  Of course there are resources out there but remember that financial aid doesn’t cover everything.  So education system, help us out because I am tired of listening aching to aching hearts longing for a better education in college.