It all started when I was seven years old.
The beige desolate building stood on the corner of 66th and Main Street. From the front it seemed like a church, but from the inside a prison. To many people Catholic schools are sometimes mis-interpreted. Not this one
Out of a yellow Volvo a small skinny kid stepped, not sure of what this thing called school was, kissed his mother and walked towards the door that read first grade. The ground reeked of fresh new blacktop and the sound of a boy crying for his mother not to leave him could be heard. Into the highly decorated classroom he walked. New desks were aligned in the shape of a quarter of a square with the blackboard facing them. Above the blackboard mounted on the wall was the alphabet in silly animal letters and to the corner, the American flag. The boy sat in his Windex-smelling desk, placed his backpack in his assigned cupboard adjacent to his desk, and placed an irregularly thick pencil in the pencil holder engraved in his desk. Gazing around the classroom the first thing that caught his eye was a large wooden cross that hung between the black and white clock and the fake plastic clock.
Little did I know that, that cross would later remind me of a school that showed me how malleable a young mind could be and how easy it was to destroy its self-worth.
First of all, I'd like to make this point clear to whomever reads this; I know that this is a narcissistic view of writing, but I'm not very good at talking about someone else's life considering the fact that it isn't mine. I'd rather write about someone I know a little better. Secondly, let's talk about the so-called Catholic school teachers and nuns that were supposed to represent the church and God. Sister Mary Teresa, who was the eighth grade teacher and a nun, seemed like a peaceful lady when I first met her when I was in first grade, and I kind of wanted to be in eighth grade, but once I was there I realized I didn't want to be there
Embarrassment was probably the key way of teaching in this Catholic school. At the time I really didn't understand how we were supposed to learn when all the teachers would do was put you on the spot just because you weren't paying attention or you didn't understand what they were talking about. To this day I still don't understand what their deal was! Tuck you shirt in! Stop day dreaming! I really couldn't see how we were supposed to learn in such a strict environment. The nuns who were supposed to represent God and love were also the ones criticizing and yelling at young boys and girls for some of the stupidest reasons like the dress code violations, for homework, for thinking differently than a "Christian." I sometimes think that maybe my morals would've been different if I hadn't gone to St. Mary's, but never the less I still didn't need the badgering and criticism of the so called Catholic school system.
So once Theos High was over, ironically I went to a Catholic high school where I experienced the cliques
The school was basically split up into groups which is pretty bad considering the fact that it was Catholic school. But, anyhow there were the jocks, skaters, surfers, TJ kids, and the ones who were just there. The one group that I thought that I fitted in with was the TJ kids, but only because I was Mexican, and so considering the fact that I couldn't carry a conversation in Spanish if my life depended on it I was out of luck with that group. So, after that group I tried the kids who were just there. That was just too boring for words. After trying several times to fit into a group I finally found one the skaters. The ones who didn't really care what race I was, or what my social status in the school was, we were the slackers of the school, and I liked it! So to top it off, the "Catholic school system" decided I wasn't fit to stay in the school because of my grades. Right after I had finally found a sense of belonging, I had to leave.
Now for someone who hasn't been sure who, or where he was in life, the school kicking me out wasn't the best option for me at the time. So I took about two weeks off and finally decided on Coronado High School. Now, before I get into this, life for me wasn't the best in the world. One, I had lost touch with all my friends from Theos. Two, I was going to a school where I didn't know a soul, and three, I had just been out of school for a long time and now I had to go back hoping that this new school would be just a little bit better than the last one. I am proud to say that getting kicked out of Theos Catholic High School was probably the best decision I've made in my life. Even though I didn't know anyone, everyone at Coronado was nicer to me than any other person at Theos had ever been. So all the stories of Coronado kids being snobby is a bunch of BS. Of course, there's always one or two jerks to ruin it for everybody, but the majority was very friendly and not cliquish in the slightest, or at least not as bad as Theos. At this school people may not be Catholic or the cream of the crop kids, but at least they're real people and know how to treat a person. So to all those Catholic school teachers and former classmates all you guys were so caught up in what you were and what you supposedly represented that you forgot about everybody else who wasn't like you and to Coronado, a simple thank you. Thanks for giving me a chance, showing me things that no private school could ever show me, to all my acquaintances and friends I am very grateful and appreciative, and last, but definitely not the least, my teachers who taught me integrity, hard work, and the most confidence any teacher has given me I'm ready to leave now