my two greatest fears for the future… are both related to the only constant in the universe that i know: change.

the first that causes me to lose sleep is the hyper reality of violence towards women in the world, as i attempt to raise two precious little girls within that same existence. it is a plight that i do not understand completely, masked by my masculine privilege, a patriarchal residue acting simultaneously as a protective armor and destructive weapon, unintentionally and absolutely wielded. i am reminded of this every time i suggest to my wife that she go for a jog as the evening sets in, every time my father (and almost every other family member) attempts to connect with his granddaughters by immediately complimenting their physical beauty instead of their personalities. i am reminded by the media that my students consume, misogyny disguised as music, every time my female students become a spectacle for the campus when fighting with the physical fury i have stereotypically reserved for my brethren. i am reminded by the headlines that i seek out. and although i am hopeful to see the inherent resilience that comes along with recognition and respect for femininity, i am a new father… and fear is not above getting the best of me. it scares me to read posts like this on a friend’s (nemesis’s) blog about the nature of YA literature’s treatment of the female protagonist, as well as the ever present parental paranoia of attempting to mitigate the powerful presence of princess archetypes. what can i feed my children that will nurture more than harm their wonderful feminine spirits? i just don’t see this system of subjugation, no matter how subtle these days, changing as quickly as i, a privileged man would demand for “my” daughters. i am scared.

the second fear that constantly raps its knuckles on the window of my distracted mind is the certainty of change. one that we are in complete denial about despite being in the midst of its absolute reality. the climate is changing, faster than we are. i am reminded every morning i commute to work, reviewing a lesson plan that i hope plants seeds of consciousness as well as tools of practicum that will combat the cancer of denial, every time i listen to the radio. i am reminded every time i breathe the air in Los Angeles, void of rainfall so desperately needed. i am reminded every time i bike over the concrete river that is our very own LA. i must keep the hope, this i know… or there is nothing left. and although there are many examples of the resilience of life (human and otherwise) to breathe faith into the future, the slight mathematical mind in me worries greatly about scale and impact. reports like this and this do not help quell the fear. i wonder, as a father, how will i prepare my children for a world that is on the verge of so many tipping points? this plays out in my teacher mind as well.

change. that is what we all want to affect. positive change in the world. and it is a process, an act. fear stands in the way of any act, renders us inactive, paralyzed. facing our fears is the first step in overcoming them. i guess this is my attempt tonight to do that.

the drawing below was co-created by myself and Niloufar Angel Gomez, my eldest daughter. she taught me that even scribble scrabble on daddy’s new notebook had possibility embedded within, creation can be flipped from destruction, with the right perspective. you could tell what was on my mind… what still is. i hope Nilou’s lesson holds out to be true.


true struggles… revisited

as a teacher i must never let my own struggles cause to me to lose sight of my students and their struggles. one is in the position of teacher in order to empower others to overcome their own strife. assuming that we as educators are empowered enough in our own lives to help guide others…

i wrote those words on january 21, 2008… at 11:28pm. this has been sitting in my drafts folder for over 6 years. and although i cannot remember the exact circumstances that initially prompted this exercise in writing, i can relate to these words just as if they had been uttered last week. come to think of it, they probably were.

what i have learned in what has almost been a decade now in the classroom (i realize that there are many a talented educator to whom a decade now seems like a drop in the bucket… but for my generation X’rs who have switched careers an average of 2 or 3 times within any given 10 years… to be doing the same thing, though not in the same way, for almost a third of your life?! com’n that’s INSANE!!!) – oh yea, what i have learned: it’s not about me… and then it is.

trying to qualify this paradoxical statement. having many conversations with educators, whether they be graduate students or student teachers of mine, colleagues in their first or fifteenth year, or administrators, a common and reoccurring theme has always been the need for each individual educator to recognize that for true, meaningful, and lasting learning to happen… the teacher must GET OUT THE WAY! our notions of why students are acting out, underachieving, what not… usually has less to do with what WE are thinking than what and HOW they are thinking and feeling. if what a teacher did or said was the catalyst (which it often is) that does not mean that we could have controlled everything else leading up to the materialization of struggle in the real world… nor does it mean we could have changed our limited role and expected an entirely different outcome. so a student curses you out? behavior that should not be tolerated, but probably not entirely brought on by your actions alone. i am not arguing for a lack of reflection on the educator’s part. more so what i am discovering is that failure (a necessary and integral part of the learning process) met with forgiveness after critical reflection is the best way for an educator to approach and model true learning. it isn’t about what we, as educators, did or did not do AS MUCH as it is about what the student did and WILL DO in the future. how will they re- build? how will they re-create? how will they solve life’s inevitable and abundant problems?

when it IS about you:
i recently read an article about social workers, stress, and burn out that reminded me of my campus schools for community action. not only because we have a school that is dedicated to building the next generation of community health advocates but because of how true these themes are in the teaching profession as well. It is about you when you are working through your own personal or professional issues, when you are finding out your own balance of bringing work home, not taking on another project to avoid burnout… Yet there are very limited contexts and manners in which students should see and be a part of our personal struggles. Community building circles, educational 3rd spaces where the teacher learner roles are flipped and the humanity of all is the front and center focus…

What I’ve learned is that this is one of the most simultaneously challenging and rewarding fields there is, that anything worth doing is hard. And that I have to live by those words if I espouse them to my students. That’s the beautiful struggle.

When students return…


Every teacher gets tremendous joy wen a former student returns for a visit, an update, a little piece of gratitude. It’s one of the most cherished and non quantifiable perks of being an educator, to finally see the difference.

What could possibly top that however is when that former student, troubling and challenging at the time, has made a transformation that inspires him or her to realize their calling, that of a teacher helping students…

When I saw Pierre again I wasn’t shocked but pleasantly surprised. I had seen him frequently since the days of middle school where we were first introduced in our 7th grade world history class. My second year of teaching came with its foreseeable challenges. But no one had yet warned me about students like Pierre. The amazingly gifted and talented, resistant students. He challenged me and my team at the time to further develop our skills to meet the needs of extremely intellectual gifted students. I saw him rather frequently when I made the move to Manual Arts and got to see him walk the stage and graduate. By this time I knew that great things were already within his reach.

The fact that he had returned to help out students at Augustus Hawkins by being a mentor was not a surprise. He had matured far beyond his middle school days and I was proud to see him recognize the value of giving back. What was a surprise was when Pierre told me he wanted to become a math professor. His middle school math teacher would be thrilled and shocked!

I won’t hold the fact that he’s a Trojan against him. He still young and has a lot to learn. But I’m very inspired by this young man. Always have been. And I’m glad he is here to help teach this next generation of students.

announcements… SXSWedu > SouthCentralLAedu apparently (courtesy of Pearson’s Foundation)

6 hours later... my school's most vital partner gets the axe... where is that story on twitter? oh, write here
6 hours later… my school’s most vital partner gets the axe… where is that story on twitter? oh, write here

it has been awhile since i have posted anything here… too busy creating and sustaining our brand new school. creating, aligning and articulating visions. dreams that play out daily at an innovative inner city school where students and teachers are inspired to learn new ways to better ourselves and our communities. in the process, only a year and a half in the making, (the single most challenging/rewarding year and a half of my career) my particular small school, C:\DAGS, stumbled upon one of the most inspiring professional partnerships i’ve had the honor to participate in… one that became fundamental in defining who we were and what C:\DAGS was attempting to become… a school of critical designers. this partnership was with the D3 Lab, and was facilitated by the New Learning Institute, an evermore publicized arm of the Pearson’s Foundation (the largest education company in the world and not without its problems, the most pertinent to this post being their inconsiderate and inaccurate announcements to expand their NLI programs to support “innovation.” 6 hours after tweeting this celebratory news, my staff had the displeasure of hearing from our design partners that Pearson’s had decided to end our innovative collaboration… no reason. no explanation. no tweet.

what message does it send to our community when the powers that be can simultaneously and publicly pat themselves on the back for expanding programs elsewhere on the same day they shut down a vital partnership in our school? what schools are worthy enough (read lucrative enough) to warrant this expansion? why is our school not worthy enough? where was our say in this partnership? our community is no stranger to the silencing of our voices… the preclusion of our participation at the decision making table… but we are not about tolerating it a second longer, for we are schools for community action… and yet ironically, it was this actual partnership that helped C:\DAGS to empower students in a civically engaged curricular experience. the struggle continues, with the added challenges thrust upon inner city public schools like mine, courtesy of the likes of Pearson’s and their decision makers.

year one almost done… are we “passing” the test?

this week is the infamous CST test… you know, the test that determines whether or not your campus is considered an “effective” school. the same test that many ed “reformers” (including our own superintendent) want to include in teacher evaluations to determine one’s “effectiveness.” without this post turning into another lengthy diatribe on how teacher’s should or should not be evaluated (as opposed to developed), i did want to take some time on the importance of accountability, reflection, and revision… the process most teachers i know commit to every single day…

accountability… what is it? and what does it look like in schools and classrooms? this is the question that quickly brings up a barrage of educational verbiage and acronyms that the general public usually isn’t well versed in and could probably (and correctly) care less about. what it comes down to is a couple of basic core concepts that any human could relate to. one of those is commitment in a relationship. the issue soon turn into one about measuring. how do you measure commitment to students? to bettering your practice as an educator? it it time spent in class teaching? extracurricular activities that you participate in? how much more unpaid time you spend outside of your contractual work day? is it how well your students fill out bubbles on a standardized test? what constitutes significant “data” and what does it suggest? i recently read an article in which the words of bill gates surprised yet inspired me. teachers WANT to be accountable to their students!!! because the SUPER majority of us are committed to the relationships that we cultivate with our students. the challenge is really in understanding the teaching/learning process as a profoundly relational one. and it becomes harder to quantify the significance of relationships when you begin to talk about them using more holistic and humanizing terminology rather than the reductive talk of testing.

reflection… arguably the most important part of teaching. it is where true learning happens. both for teachers and students. and it has to be taught and provided space. this year i have chosen to use the term “marinate” as a key signal for students to kick into reflection mode… they seem to enjoy it, testament by their joy of mimicking me mockingly. the point of that term invokes a process that is slow and intentional. a far cry from the anxiety filled pace that most teachers feel when they are tying to “cover” all the material that will be on the test. yet, even in the mad dash to cram our students’ heads full of the information that they will be expected to “know” for the test, teachers and students still find time to let the lessons marinate from day to day… that is IF there are systems designed to slow down our thought processes and really think and dialogue deeply about what it is we are DOING… so that we may learn more about the process as a whole. this could look a lot of different ways, and at my school it does, yet it is against the tide of a year one start up… the break neck pace is evidenced by my lack of posting personal reflections in the most exciting, challenging, and transformational year of my professional education career. what it always entails is a conversation following some deep cognition, usually brought on by questioning. what is amazing to me is that despite how important we know this to be in the learning process, it is really absent in any meaningful discussion about public education. we want such quick fixes to this “broken system.”

the most frustrating recent example of disregarding reflection was demonstrated by my own superintendent. after receiving a vote of no confidence from more half of the teachers he is charged with leading. his comments about this were as follows:

“I am far too busy working to serve all students and assure their right to graduate college- and workforce-ready to pay attention to this nonsense.”

what does not make a lot of sense to me is how the man in charge of the 2nd largest school district in the nation can blatantly disregard even an attempt to dialogue about some pretty clear data. what type of message is that sending to teachers? am i supposed to believe that a similar response from me would be acceptable if half of my students came back and said that they have no confidence in the direction our class was heading? charters like Green Dot championed by our superintendent himself already use student reflections in their teacher evaluations. this data is supposed to drive reflection: 1) deep thinking 2) dialogue/discussion 3) creation of an action plan to improve even further…
but i guess our leader is too busy for any of that nonsense… OR he is not holding himself to the same standards as he expects all teachers to adhere to.

revision… every teacher i know who is worth their weight as a teacher knows that they can always get better at their craft. they spend hours upon hours refining their lessons, scouring for appropriate and engaging resources, designing ever more engaging activities and authentic learning experiences, creating and fostering partnerships with outside organizations to bolster the “real world” application of the curriculum, re-imagining their classroom space to be more inviting and productive… and the list seriously goes ON and ON and ON… implied in the word is to have a vision of what is possible. and through the reflective process, have a road map of where you have been so that you may better create where you are going. what we know about creativity is that it happens better in groups… and the more informed these groups are through discussion, the more creative potential they harness. it is pretty much the antithesis to what testing is… and yet, the tests are what drive our educational system. so then the question becomes… what IS our vision of what education should be? this article written by a principal really drives home what it has become, especially in schools like mine.

what we have chosen to do here at the Schools for Community Action campus at Augustus Hawkins High School is begin to build a Counter-Narrative to the current vision of education for our inner city students.

a small taste of what we have to find time to do in order to counter the current narrative on public education…

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 10.40.48 AM

My students had been watching the videos on Youtube all weekend and we watched again this morning. Thanks for working so hard in involving kids and adults in creating such a positive school culture!

Thank you Ms. Castillo,
Your energy was contagious with both students and adults. My student also sang the chorus! I feel privileged to work with outstanding committed educators!

Thanks you Ms.Castillo for being such an amazing Leadership advisor. We played both videos this morning before the test and the kids sang along. They feel the love.
Go Hawks!!!

I want to thank all of you for coming out to the CST Pep Rally and making it a success, even with the time confusion.

I’d like to give special thanks to:
Ms. Hollis, Mr. Gomez, Ms. Hanson, Mr. Velasquez, and Ms. Warrick for your creative writing, rapping, and/or performing. Also, Ms. Gaston for picking the song.
Ms. Moran, Ms. Englander, Ms. Briggs, Mr. Orozco, Ms. Se, Mr. Ayala for being special guest performers.
Mr. Bailey for helping us get the instrumentals and providing equipment.
Ms. Toussaint for organizing the cheerleaders in the midst of their busy schedule.
Our principals for your support and speaking at the rally.
Ms. Lamar for making the pledge cards.
Our counselors, especially Mr. Rodriguez, for compiling the list of proficient and advanced students and their advisories.
All the teachers that helped out and participated with spirit week.
Each department for being in our CST motivational video.
So much thanks to Mr. Mayorga, Ray, and David for always helping out with ALL events. We have the best B & G team EVER!
EXTRA big thanks for Ms. Hollis for editing both videos.

We’re setting the bar high and I know we’ll continue to do big things at the Hawk with the incredible and dedicated staff that we have.

Words, Break-Throughs, and TGIFs

on my morning commute yesterday i rode my bike through the part of downtown Los Angeles that everyone knows exist but does not want to admit exists. i have been there many times and yet it never ceases to amaze and sadden me, the amount of people living on the streets, without jobs, shelter, food, just your basic necessities that a lot of us take for granted… and i thought to myself, “i wonder how universal TGIF is really?”

this past week at work was long, like the previous 2 or 3… there have been many amazing examples of our stakeholders coming together to create a school that is supportive and innovative in committing to educational excellence. yet there have been just as many disheartening instances of disregard for authority and self-respect, destroying rather than building. to talk about all of the things that i have observed and thought about in relation to these rather long work weeks… it would be tediously long, incoherent, and overwhelming. so i just want to talk about yesterday, friday.

after my morning bike commute through Little Tokyo, Skid Row, and South Central Los Angeles, i arrived at work only to find out that the only true out of classroom personnel (my principal and school counselor) were not going to be in today. this happens too frequently as they are continually pulled out for district trainings and such, leaving our already understaffed campus to make due with less supervision staff… picture me and other teachers walking the campus during lunch and prep periods… after i realized that these key staff members would not be able to assist on this day i attempted to address the issue of one of my students and his foster guardian. this student has had difficulty all year just remaining in class, electing rather to roam the campus and hallways, which should be an easy fix if not for our complete shortage of supervision staff. he has also struggled with respecting authority. his foster guardian, who has successfully fostered 3 generations of children including the three currently living with her at the moment, was there to express her overwhelming concern and realization that she could no longer deal with the difficulties of raising said student at the expense of her own health or the future success of his foster mates. after 30 minutes of counseling and mediation between these tow parties, i was able to get him to commit to at least attending and remaining in ALL his classes that day as well as respectfully addressing any adult that he had an exchange with…

i next went on to manage a last minute attempt to decorate my classroom door (pics to come) with inspiring and informative messages regarding the college alma mater of my lovely wife. from there it was on to class (four 85 minute periods with only lunch as a break… even days are my most tiring) where i am currently attempting to manage a large scale hallway transformation project, my first real full scale “DESIGN” project in my geography class. we have gotten a lot of positive feedback (full on analysis and sharing of this project to come shortly) but nonetheless it is somewhat stressful to have 35 9th graders spread out between the hallways, classroom, with exacto knives and masking tape!

as the day progresses, the lack of supervision staff always makes itself real apparent, after lunch especially… as it did on this day. instead of fights that draw huge mobs of students, tagging wars on the walls, smoking in the stairwells or bathrooms… today it was a false fire alarm, broken extinguisher, and vandalized 4th floor foamed to the max with whatever is in a fire extinguisher.

i have to write about these experiences as truthfully as possible. i have to believe that an honest reflection of what is actually going on in our schools will lead to deeper understanding and more effective strategies on how to mitigate the negative while simultaneously capitalizing and recreating the spaces for possibility… positive transformation. but needless to say after enough of these types of experiences, one begins to feel defeated.

so we come to the end of the day… the part of the day where i am supposed to be looking towards the end with relief, more anticipating the cold beverage i will be sharing with colleagues than the next work day i will have the privilege to serve my students in this capacity… my “TGIF” moment. at the last minute i remember one of my last commitments of the day. this commitment began earlier this year when i realized that one of my more academically capable english language learning (ELL) students REFUSED to speak any utterance of english, despite being able to read and write at a basic level of fluency in her second language. a little more background, her family came from El Salvador about two years ago. her brother is also enrolled in my class, has been since day one yet i have never met him. when i asked her about this she explained to me that her mother could not afford to pay the rent with what she was making and so her brother – and the rest of the family – collectively decided that it would be better for him to work full time than to finish high school. her refusal to say anything in english stems from a real and genuine FEAR about how others will perceive her accent, intelligence, and social worth. this is quite common amongst ELL students and it is something that our educational system is not equipped to address effectively. throughout the year i have had multiple talks, pleadings, and interventions… the last one took over 45 minutes and involved some of her peers, all of us BEGGING for her to say anything in english. that intervention ended with her finally reading a passage of her own notes in english, which she had to do in order to leave my classroom. teaching the fundamentals of language acquisition and development at the graduate level, i am able to recognize when a students’ language fluency is being stymied by an actually inability vs. a perceived reality… both of which are serious when it comes to the development of one’s ability to use “Words” (click here for a fascinating Radio Lab episode on understanding their power) the way our society expects… her tell tale sign was her ability to write, observing her write down her response to my warm ups in class in english, i could tell that she was thinking in english, much like how they say when you dream in a second language than you have arrived at a certain level of fluency (although there has been little to any research that i am aware of that shows any correlation between language proficiency and language use in dreams)

i finally decided to MAKE her speak the english that i knew she could. i casually threw a book at her and her friend. i chose a passage and told them that they had to practice reading it out loud, all week, and that i wanted to hear it by friday. at the time i was not thinking about how that might impact her TGIF experiences, but rather i was trying to FORCE a break through. mind you this approach would not have worked if i did not invest a lot of time forging a relationship with this student, having the privilege to have her both in my geography class and in my advisory. it has been a precarious cultivation, discovering the fine line between truly supporting and challenging her. in this instance it paid off. she stayed after all the students had left. we sat down at the desk. and she began to read…

it was fantastic. and not so much for her “fluency” in reading the words off the page (though she literally stumbled over 3 words that would be difficult for any non native speaker)… but for the sound of her voice… the tonal and rhythmic quality, absent of the same fear, lowered of her affective filter enough to just read a powerful passage and add to its significance. layering a top of the story about a young girl murdered in an moment of compounded misunderstanding and injustice, her own narrative of reclaiming her confidence and finding the power of her voice.

my friday had been made complete, despite an intense week of both victories and defeats, i could end on a momentary win. i am not sure of the significance, if any, the acronym TGIF can provide any of us beyond a silly #hashtag that has evolved from an even sillier period of sitcom television and tag lines. but i can say looking back on this past friday, form the start to the end… i am thankful for the opportunities to do what i do and the ability to recognize the possibility in all of the problematics, if only for a few moments… hopefully not just reserved for fridays.


there is something sacred about circles… and perhaps a little uncomfortable. particularly in the education world, where there is a strange evolution of the use of circles. we begin in kindergarten (or preschool for those of us who are fortunate enough to afford it) and circles are in our everyday routine. by the time we reach high school, to circle up is to feel awkward, embarrassed, and vulnerable. sharing parts of ourselves in those spaces seems to become very difficult.

at my new school we are trying to change that. both by design and what i find even more interesting is how much of it is impromptu. take lunches for instance. i have never been one to frequent the faculty cafeterias or break rooms. i was taught as a young teacher to stay away from those spaces, as they supposedly had the tendency to breed nothing but negativity in the form of talk (complaining) about our students, the community they were from, the profession that we chose, etc. and for the first 7 years of my teaching career this was fairly accurate. in contrast i have eaten lunch with my colleagues in the Critical Design and Gaming School probably more than in the last 7 years combined. and not that i didn’t break bread with folks i worked with ever… but it was never at the officially designated architectural place… and it was never the majority of my colleagues. where as this year, almost every teacher in our small school is always eating together, everyday.

but not just eating together… sharing ideas, talking about instructional highlights, bring in student work samples, and even informally lesson planning… together. lunches in the staff break room have become a place of personal inspiration…

One of the Circles I had the good
Fortune to participate in truly opened my eyes to the power of this democratic geometry. My very own principal invited me impromptu to sit in on this peculiar but not so uncommon situation… A conflict that needed resolving. 8 students walking out of a first year teacher’s class, delicate feelings to be navigated on both sides. Eventually through this hour long dialogue, there ceased to by sides. There was deeper understanding and renewed commitment to teaching and learning from all members involved. Powerful to say the least.

This post has been in draft form since September 8th. Since then I have been bombarded with the realities of working at an innovative start up public school in the inner city, as well as becoming a father again. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to share a post of such raw optimism experienced in our 3rd week of opening these dream schools in week 8 of a very challenging year. But alas I can. And it’s important. If only to Remind me that I still work within the context of possibility, limited only by our commitment to our own imaginations. Circles beget creativity, democracy, and community. The other… Status quo


the beginning of a new chapter…

this past week saw the proudest moment in my career as a professional educator. for the past year and a half, almost two years i have been part of a special team dedicated to designing a counter-narrative to the traditional story of public education in south central los angeles. our first chapter saw the opening of a new school, with new facilities, and a new vision for our students…

for the past 8 years i have written about my adventures in public education, the context being underserved inner city schools in the second biggest public school district in the nation. i have reflected on my daily practices, relationships with students and colleagues, political contexts, as well as my personal life and how it has so been impacted by my choice to enter this profession in said context… yet for almost a year now i have frequented this blogging space only to leave uninspired, not motivated to write with the passion or discipline i once approached public reflection. despite the evolving ease of being able to post my thoughts, no matter how random or well thought out, quickly on multiple devices like my phone… i just did not feel like writing about my experiences any longer. and although in reality i have written more this past year than in all my years of teaching – mainly focusing on the development of four viable small school plans, all of which can be summed up by the title of this blog – i could not bring myself, no matter how guilty i felt, to share any of these thoughts, experiences, nor adventures here…

i realized that there were many factors to my absence in the blogosphere… time being one principle element… it is hard to find time to dedicate to writing. it is a disciplined practice… especially hard for amateur writers such as myself. but we create and decide what to do with our time. as i looked back on some of my posts i realized that i didn’t always write about that idea of possibility in education, not as often as i would have liked… and this idea resonated with me as my colleague antero, one of the team members in this endeavor to open a school, asked me if i was ever going to get back on my blogging horse… i shrugged it off at the moment with a typical answer, something to the effect of “pending time”… but i realized that there was a deeper reason to why i had put the laptop aside and just decided to design a new school and not reflect publicly. i felt myself venturing into a common space where teachers (many of whom have blogs) write about all that they experience, good, bad, and ugly… too often i feel the latter two. and although there is a lot of validity and often productivity in sharing some of the uglier sides of our world as educators… when push came to shove in my mind, i wanted to raise the level of my writings to reflect more of possibility, positivity, and true education for change

as i find myself in a new space – figuratively and literally – i have rediscovered my intentions for creating this blog in the first place. i am ready to write about these things again. although i cannot promise that my teacher reflections will exclusively spell out reflections on possibilities and positivity… i want to start from that intent. and if there is one thing i have learned in the past year and a half… its that writing with a purpose… it works. our new schools are a testament to that.

i am now a teacher at one of these schools for community action. a collection of schools i helped to design. these schools opened this past week with an excitement and ease that i had never witnessed before at my two previous campuses. things were not perfect but they were good. really good. it felt like a school campus that you might find elsewhere… and that is the point. because you can find us on hoover and 60th st. in south central. we have begun the first chapter of our educational counter-narrative. stay tuned. education for change is happening. right here. and i am willing to write about it again.