1. What was your school like?
Having moved several times as a boy, my school history list is quite long. I attended three grade schools in Northern California and a middle school and high school in Southern California. Bishop Amat high school in La Puente, was formerly an all boys school, and thank God, integrated by the time I arrived. It was relatively small, perhaps 300 people in my class.
2. What was your favourite memory of school?
My favourite memories of school are my friends. The faces, the laughs, slice of life moments in between everything else.
3. Have you experienced bullying? If so how did you overcome this?
I experienced bullying in grade school and Jr. high school to an extent that caused me severe anxiety. I didn’t overcome it so much as I endured it until eventually I graduated from those schools and moved on.
4. What was your favourite school subject?
History and sciences got all my attention.
5. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
After the holidays, or any extended break form school, I suppose I looked most forward to the interaction with the people that I didn’t get to see in the interim. From interesting teachers, to girls I had crushes on, as well as friends, I was always eager to relate to people again. Time away from school wasn’t necessarily solitary, but lonely as it lacked stimuli.
The years of school ahead, although work laden, are where you will fill out the human person that you’ll be for the rest of your life. This is the time to seek out all the content, experience, and knowledge that there is and continue building yourself. Each day should be an exciting opportunity to grow and be and feel and do everything that you can. School is meant to be a place for all of that to be accessible. Take advantage of it.
6. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
I was constantly worried about my appearance. About fitting in. Being liked, accepted, thought of as worthy, interesting, or ‘cool.’ I never overcame it in the school setting. I took my self worth to be what others assigned it as.
7. What is your favourite school meal?
I remember spaghetti a lot. Some things never change. :)
8. What would you change about school?
I would largely overhaul the entire American education system focusing more on student lead assignments, creativity, and personal growth areas instead of memorization of content which doesn’t encourage young people to think for them themselves.
9. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
No advice can solve the problems of bullying and intimidation. Coping with them, and understanding what things are at your disposal to navigate the treacherous waters of ‘school’ is what’s needed to get through. A solid pre plan for dealing with foreseen trouble, as well as a plan if and when an incident arrises is necessary. Faculty and parents can be be wonderful for guiding students, for the most part. All of this is fine on paper but may seen useless when some person gets in your face and tries to make you feel about one inch tall, all the while laughing at you. In those moments, if you can remember your courage, if you can remember that you are not defined by other people or their opinions of you, if you can be brave and strong, and persevere, you will win in the end. School as awful at it can be at times, is temporary.