" Failures are divided into two classes - those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought." -John Charles Salak

Friday, June 6, 2008

Graduating Class of 2008 =]

Well, since I didn't go to Alameda yesterday, I guess I'll talk about what I did instead. The reason why I was absent yesterday during the field trip was because Venus assigned Janneth and I to work on the slideshow that will play in graduation. To be honest, I'm kind of stressed out about that. Its really hard, not because of the program, but because of the timing. Yesterday after school I wasn't able to stay and work on it because I had to go get a Marcus A. Foster Scholarship, and today I have to go get the Aztec Scholarship. Plus, Janneth has the laptop so I can't really do anything. The hardest thing that we have to deal with is being "fair." Its very hard to please every single person at the same time. We are trying to make everything very fair by making sure that EFVERYONE comes out in the slideshow, but some people didn't attend certain field trips, and some didn't give us pictures. We are aware that the majority of the pictures that were take in Yosemite were by Mr. Thomas but he is actually in Yosemite the whole weekend, so we can't get those pictures. Also, we were suppoused to finish the video today so that we wouldn't be so stressed ou, but I feel like its a little bit too late for that. I also feel like we have to do this, because nobody else would have taken the time and effort to complete this. Its also complicated because we want it to be great, since it will be shown in graduation, which is very important and also very special. I want it to be a very memorable video, but because of the time i don't know if we will be able to achieve that. So in advance I say, we did all we could.
Besides that slideshow, I am very excited to be graduating, because I am getting closer and closer to when I have to start college. Although I know that the transition from high school to college will not be easy, I also see it as very exciting and another great experience. I really can't wait to have to be independent, meet new people, and start my path in higher education. I feel like I'm ready for college, because of everything that I've gone through. I know I'm going to be homesick though, because I won't be able to go back home as often as I would like. I will start school on Septermber 22 and the first major vacation is for thanksgiving, which is in November, so I feel like that is very far apart. I feel like I will be leaving everyone I care for in Oakland, and I worry about what would happen when I'm gone. I worry about the things that I will miss. After my parents divorced, for a long time I wasn't able to be there for my siblings, since they were living with my mom, and I feel like I'm leaving thm again. Still, I know that they know how to take care of each other, and I will make it a pririty to stay in contact with them. I always hear my dad tell me " when you go to college, you'll forget about me just like Lino did." He says this because my brother rearly called my dad to even say hello. I know that I won't dissapear like that, because I know how he feels about my brother not calling. My dad will probably get annoyed of how often I'll call home!!!! By gradutaing, I feel like time is really passing by fast. After all, it was four years ago that I came to Life Academy, and it doesn't really feel like that long. There are many memories and great experiences that I have of Life Academy that I will take with me wherever I go. I will never forget all of the great people that I met in this school, and my best friends. Graduation is a very sad time because everyone is creating their own path, and going their own seperate way. Its hard to think that after we graduate we won't see the people we normally see five times a week. Still, I don't feel too sad about it, but when June 10th comes along I know that I'll be sad then! Once we are on the stage at Holy Names University and we see our graduation slideshow, have a couple wise words from adults at Life Academy, and walk the stage, then we'll all be sad and why? Because things will never be like they used to be. The time has come to move on.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My thoughts

I remember that when post session hadn’t even started yet, I was already complaining. I don’t really like to complain, actually I get really annoyed with people that do, but I was mad that I didn’t get my first choice. There was one day that we had to check in with our post session class to get an overview about what it was going to be about. When I was sitting in class, I was more relaxed and calm. I must say that after hearing what the class was going to be about, I really thought it was going to be cool. I didn’t even want to complain anymore, because I did want to participate in WhysUp.
I feel like the reason why I was complaining about this class in the beginning, was because I am already a senior and I wanted to get my first choice. Also, I am not the most “social” person, and interviewing people that are complete strangers is not something that I would enjoy doing. However, during these weeks I feel like I have overcome my fears because sometimes I was put in a group where I had to step up and take the role of a of a leader. The way I overcame that fear was by just telling myself that I had to complete my work in order to get a passing grade so that m college acceptance would no be taken away.
Another thing that I feel showed how positive I was has to o with the Ice Breakers. Even in my senior presentation I say that I don’t enjoy games or activities like that. Throughout these weeks I’ve had to participate in Ice Breakers everyday, and I have not been negative about it. I have participated in those activities and actually enjoyed some of them, like the “red light green light” game. I feel like that is something that I wouldn’t normally have done, but in this class I felt more comfortable.
Because we went to many different places like Walnut Creek, Rockridge, Old Oakland, and much more I was given the opportunity to try different types of food. For example, when we went to Walnut Creek I tried Crepes for the first time. My favorite one was the fruit stuffed one with strawberries and chocolate. I had also tried a turkey one, but it wasn’t as good. Even though I had never heard of Crepes, I was still willing to try new things. When we went to Old Oakland, there was a Farmers Market there, which had many different types of food. A food that I tried was Indian food, which was very good. I don’t really know what it was but it looks like a type of tortilla with different types of food on top. I had never tried that type of food before, but I was willing to try new things, so that I would have a better understanding of their cultural food.
Overall, I feel like I was willing to try anything during this post session. In this class we did things that I have never done before. Even when we went to Lake Merritt for the pedal boats, I did that too even though I felt like I was going to collapse. It was actually very fun. I discovered that sometimes if you’re shy or scared of something, like interviewing people, but you still do it its even better. You are telling yourself in a way that you can do anything you set your mind to and that you really do feel like you accomplished something different. I feel like this has been a great experience even though there were moments that we were all too tired to walk, and what not. I feel like through his class I have become even more confident in talking and presenting to people. Well, it’s a combination of this class and all of the interviews that I had to go through to get scholarships and internships/programs. Finally, I want to add that I am so happy to graduate on Tuesday June 10th! I really can’t wait! Its time for everyone to create their own path =]

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Walnut Creek

May 20th, 2008

Yesterday we went to Walnut Creek, and although I had always hear Mr. Dao talk about the “kids at Walnut Creek” I had never visited. I actually didn’t even know where it was located. When we got off Bart, I was very surprised due to the fact that everything looked
so clean and to some extend “perfect.” A perception I had before going to Walnut Creek was that the majority of the population there would be Caucasian. I thought that we would get weird stares from people there, because we are a very diverse group. Walking down the streets there, I felt like I didn’t belong. Several eyes kept looking at us, almost like they were thinking, “Where did they come from? What are they doing here?” I began to think of their perspective and maybe they were simply not used to seeing minorities
in their own community. When Mr. Lee assigned us to do 5 interviews, I honestly didn’t think it was going to be possible. Everyone there seemed to not like us, or feel awkward
just by our presence. I came to realize after going store to store that there was a lot of Caucasians in Walnut Creek. There were some that were friendly and some that were not. Many of them described their community as being very diverse and of course to me it
was the opposite of diverse. The majority of the Latinos that my group and I saw were the ones that were on a construction site. Once in a while we will see different ethnicities, but that was rarely the case. After my visiting at Walnut Creek I feel like it is not a diverse city or at least in comparison to Oakland. The other Latino we saw was the chef at a
restaurant called “Crepes restaurant.”
When we were at that restaurant, several of my group members were talking to the Chef. While that was happening a woman, dropped her baby’s shoes and exaggerating it, she looked at them several times very angry and said “Excuse me!” I thought she was just annoyed by us being there. Since I have lived in Oakland my entire life, I am completely aware of how my community looks and what
not. I can say that there are a lot of differences between Oakland and Walnut Creek. First of all, Walnut Creek was very clean, there was very few garbage in the streets. Another big difference that I saw was that the streets were very nice, they were not destroyed, and worn out like Oakland’s. When we were given time to eat lunch, I realized that there were no liquor stores, therefore there were no people just hanging out in front of stores. The bus at Walnut Creek was FREE and it had good air conditioning, did I mention it was free? The buses in Oakland are definitely not like that. I really can’t think of any
similarities because everything was different in my opinion. The food there was very different. We couldn’t even find a Taco Truck, like the thousand that we have in Oakland. The environment was different, the people, the air, even we acted
different. That was the day that nobody jay walked.

Old Oakland

May 30th

Well, with this class we also visited Old Oakland, but I hadn't written the reflection because I was absent on the day that they did this in class. Anyways, I hadn't even heard of Old Oakland before but I had been there. It is close to downtown Oakland and Broadway. When we got there there was a Farmers Market, which I didn't even know we had in Oakland. My mom lives at Castro Valley, and they had those too. Well they have a Farmers Market there every Friday and I was shocked by that. The buildings in Old Oakland where of course Old, but very cool. They told us that those buildings can't be renovated because they are classics. Anyways, at the Farmers Market they were selling homemade ice cream to necklaces. A lady that we interviewed told us that everything they sold there had to be made my them or homemade as they say. People there were friendly, but of course there were some that just didn't want to get interviewed. When we were walking in Old Oakland, I did feel safe, and probably because of this environment that we were in. Besides that there is also a police station on Broadway which is close by that area.

Another cool thing about the Farmers Market was that they had a huge variety of food. Can you believe that people there were actually giving out crepes? Well, now I know what those are. We also had a lot of other food samples, like indian food, granola, and other good food. Now that I know about the Farmers Market I might go some time! After we were done with out interviews we walked, yes we walked to Lake Merrit to get in the peddle boats. It was fun, but we were very tired and the peddle boats definetly took more energy out of us! Overall it was a great experience, I now know that there is a part in Oakland, called Old Oakland =]

The Castro

Hello People!
Well, yesterday we went to the Castro in San Francisco, which I have never visited before. I didn’t even know that it was close from Mission Street. It is very obvious when you enter the castro area because you get the feel of a different and united community. One thing that stood out for me where the colorful flags that were around that area representing homosexuality in the community. The streets in San Francisco are very different from the ones we have here in Oakland. Some of those differences include the steepness of those streets, which is one of the many reasons why we were exhausted yesterday. There was something different in this area than the other places we have visited, and I feel like maybe it had to do with the fact that most of the stores that are located in that area have been there for many years, so it is like a united community.
One thing that really surprised me was how everywhere you would go you could find those flags, even at a Walgreen’s. For some reason I feel like I assumed that it would be easier to interview people in this area, but I must say that it was the same as all of the other places that we have visited so far. It is not that they were not nice, actually everyone was very polite, but some just didn’t want to get recorder or were too busy. If that was the case, they still wished us good luck with the project and apologies. We did not come across a person that was rude or mean about it. The only case that was kind of close to that was when we went into an adult store without realizing it, of course we had to get out. The guy from the store didn’t kick us out, we knew and wanted to get out. The thing is that once we got out of the store, we tried to see if there was a sign “ 18 or older only” but no sign was visible. It was also hard to tell that it was an adult store because they had a lot of messenger bangs, bracelets, and etc. Well, overall I really enjoyed my visit to the Castro!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Yesterday I did not come to school, so I was not with my WhysUp people. I heard that they went to Lakeshore, somewhere in Oakland. Well while they were busy taking pictures and probably interviewing people, I was at the hospital. I have a long history of stomach problems, and well lately I had this weird thing. Whenever I eat, I can't do exercise after that. If I do, I get bumps all over my face, like an allergic reaction.
Well my doctor felt that I was allergic to food, which is nonsense in my opinion. I've been eating food for like my whole life, and out of nowhere I can get allergic to it? Well my doctor sent me to the allergies department, and since they didn't have a clue to what I was allergic to, they decided to test me for every time of food. Of course since I only have two arms, like everyone else, they tested 44 types of things, and then I have to do back on the 17th to get tested more stuff. After they tested for food, we found out that I was not allergic to it, and when they tested me for environmental things like animals, grass etc they found that I was allergic to cats, this type of grass and some weird tree.
I didn't know that in order to test for allergies they actually had to provote one, its kind of not that "advance" if you think about it. Everyone mentions how the U.S. has advanced technology and great health care. In my opinion, its a game of guess and check. If you're feeling sick, they first tell you to drink lots of liquids and rest. Then they give you something you could have bought at stores like Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Safeway...etc. But anyways at least I'm not allergic to the foods that I was tested for which were things like almonds and things of that sort.
I still can't believe that I have to carry this injection thing where ever I go, just in case I get a reaction so bad that I can't even breathe. Although that has happened before, I doubt that it would happen again. But yeah, I was laughing when they told me I had to stab myself with the needle. The pharmasits said, " Yeah if you can't read you better start stabbing!" I was cracking up! I wasn't right though, its a hospital, people are sick and what not, but I thought it was funny the way she said it. What did kill my laugh was when she said, " And after you have to call 9-1-1" When she said that, I wasn't laughing, I realized that it was serious and dangerous. It still kind of made my day though.
So yeah, that's about all that happened yesterday. I can't believe how many hours can be spent in that place. I don't really like hospitals and doctors, which is weird because I want to become one!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Yesterday, our class went down to Rockridge, which is surprisingly very close from our school. After all, Rockbridge is IN Oakland. I have never actually heard of this area, so I don’t think that I had a perspective on how it will be. For some reason, the name made me think that it would be somewhat similar to what we experienced at Walnut Creek, but because it is in Oakland, I thought that it wouldn’t necessarily fit into that criteria. When we got off Bart to my surprise Rockridge was very nice. As we walked through College Blvd. we saw many cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. The area seemed pretty calm, everyone that was there seemed to be shopping of dining at one of the many restaurants. The feel of this area, to me, seemed very chill and relaxed, kind of like Berkeley. There were many people riding bikes, and others just talking outside Cole CafĂ©.

After visiting Rockridge I realized that there are a lot of differences when I compare it to Fruitvale. Some of the major differences are that Rockridge is cleaner, and a lot of people are riding bikes. At Fruitvale you do see some people riding their bikes around the neighborhood and what not, but not like in Rockridge. Another thing is that the Fruitvale area is closer to more fast food restaurants and liquor stores, and at Rockbridge the only mainstream stores were Trader Joes and Safeway. The priced between both of these places were also very different, which shows how much money people are able and willing to spend on things. When my group and I went inside a boutique to interview a worker there, she was busy talking on the phone, so we were looking at the clothing prices. Can you believe that a women’s plain and simple white t-shirt, can cost up to $133? A store like that would die at Fruitvale because almost no one would buy a shirt that expensive. At Rockbridge I also went into a jewelry store that had very expensive prices. I saw a pearl necklace for $9,800, which is another store that probably wouldn’t survive in the Fruitvale area. At Fruitvale they do have jewelry stores, but not as expensive as those of course.

It is very hard to think of similarities between these two different areas. The only thing that comes to mind is the fact that in both places, it does feel like a small community. There are a lot of things that are accessible. For example they both have a Bart station surrounded by stores and restaurants. Besides that I don’t think it’s the same. At Rockridge it didn’t feel very diverse. There were a lot of whites, and Asians. Rarely did I see Latinos and African Americans.

Overall, what surprised me is that Rockridge is actually IN Oakland when it doesn’t even feel like that. It is completely different, but not so much as Walnut Creek.