Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Whittier Christian High School

Growing up in Los Angeles county during the 90's meant driving though good and bad neighborhoods with a common theme. No matter what kind of socioeconomic standing the homeowners managed to achieve, it seemed like every telephone pole was a victim of graffiti.

By Love Not Fear

In some of the better neighborhoods public officials are quick to paint over the graffiti, however they never seem to be able to match the previous paint color exactly. This sends the message to taggers: "Here is a great place to practice tagging!" If you mess up, just wait a few day, and you will have a fresh new canvas.

Gang activity was a problem to be sure, but I was one of those kids who believed everything others told me. For example, a friend informed me that on the first day of public high school someone will come up and ask "Where you from?" This does not mean they wanted to know where you were born or what ethnicity you happen to be, but rather what gang you are affiliated with. Also, if you say "none," they will immediately force you to join their gang, or kill you on the spot.

I later learned this is not how gang members recruit, but it was a little too late. My fear of impending doom led me to beg my parents to send me Whittier Christian. This was a private Christian school 30 minutes away. Looking back, I realize what a huge sacrifice it was for them to put me into a school where the tuition rivaled that of my undergrad college. But it was a small price to pay not to get stabbed in the side on the way to biology.

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