Friday, June 6, 2008
I have been in Alameda a lot of times before, but I never came in deeply observing everything. I was looking around, and the houses were beautiful. There were a lot of nice restaurants around. There was a high population of white people. The people there looked kind of nice. Alameda was way nicer than Oakland. It was cleaner, it had nicer buildings, nicer houses, and a nicer environment. The similarity that I noticed between Alameda and Oakland was that we passed by a park in Alameda and the benches had a lot of tagging. The interviews went by pretty smooth; the people were polite.
After the interviews we went to the beach. I was really cold! I liked going to the beach because it had been a really long time since I had gone to the beach. The waves look so cute. I was just there looking at the waves and writing on the sand. It was a nice day. =)
Thursday, June 5, 2008
In the Why's Up class, I did things I don’t normally do. I tried new food, but I truly didn’t want to try it. I tried the crepes because Mr. Lee pressured me to do so. I consider myself a really shy person, and I didn’t want to approach strangers when doing the interviews. Unfortunately I mostly got groups of people who were pretty shy themselves, so I had to push myself and approach people. When it was really hard for me to approach people was when they didn’t speak Spanish. When I am a little nervous and talk in English I get tongue tied, and I mess up all my words. When it was someone who spoke Spanish I would always be the one that approach him or her. I feel more comfortable talking Spanish. I overcame the shyness of going up to people who didn’t spoke Spanish. I don’t really think I drew a line for myself. Only that sometimes when people didn’t know Spanish I would not approach them even if they looked available, but there were other times when I did approach them.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Before I went to Walnut Creek, I knew that people there were going to look different than me, but I still expected them to be nice. As soon as I arrived to Walnut Creek, I felt the difference. When we got off the BART everything was clean, unlike Oakland. Everything seemed more quiet and calm. There was police everywhere ready to respond in case of an emergency. In Oakland if something happens and we call the police they get there about an hour later!
I didn’t really feel comfortable walking on the streets of Walnut Creek. Walking as a group of minorities, it was obvious that we were a group of outsiders. I felt the stares of people; they stared at me like I was some sort of alien. There is one incident that stood out to me. The class was broken up into little groups, and I was in a group of four, three girls and one guy. We were trying to find people to interview. We saw a white lady sitting in a bus stop, so we told the guy in our group to ask her if we could interview her. As the white lady saw the guy approaching her she got scared and she rapidly grabbed her pursed that was in the side of her. It was then that I realized what people really think of minorities. I started laughing, as I thought how ignorant some people are. They get absorbed into stereotypes, and never take the time to find out who we really are. People in Walnut Creek were scared of color people; they were not used to seeing faces like ours.
The only similarity that I saw between Oakland and Walnut Creek was their workers. I saw really few minorities there, and the ones I saw were the ones working on a construction site, cleaning windows, and cooking. I talked to two of them,; they were Mexican. I tried to interview the worker who was cleaning windows, but he said that his boss was there and that he could get mad. His words were, “Me gustaria hacer la entrevista, pero ahi esta mi patron y es gabachito.” The other guy I talked to was a cook. I started talking to him and he was really nice; he was a Chilango. When I started talking to him I felt really comfortable that I was able to find someone who was like me.
You wonder why Oakland teenagers drink, smoke, and get high?
I wonder why we grew up with liquor stores in every corner all our life.
You wonder why teenagers in Oakland drop out of school?
I wonder why we received the worst education, and the system wants to keep minorities as fools.
You wonder why teenagers in Oakland kill one another?
I wonder why the system tries to keep minorities from coming together.
You wonder why minorities in Oakland have so much rage?
I wonder why for centuries we have had to deal with so much pain.
You wonder why teenagers in Oakland join gangs?
I wonder why the system tries to keep us from taking any positive path.
You wonder why sometimes we give up and don’t try?
I wonder why Malcom X had to be shot and died.
So stop wondering…
And start realizing
Being in the Castro area in San Francisco was a very different experience. This was a community really different from where I am from. In the Castro area most people were homosexuals. Around the Fruitvale area you rarely see a homosexual couple, so when it was so common in the Castro area it was surprising. The place also looked different. There were colorful flags in every corner representing their homosexuality. The stores were also different. The bookstores sold different types of books.
The people there were really nice and polite. Mostly every time I turned around I noticed a smile. Some people couldn’t do the interviews, but they would say it in a very nice way. They would have a warm smile, and we never heard a plain out “NO”.
I really liked being here because it was a new experience. I like experiencing new things and meeting new people.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
When we were on our way to Lakeshore, I expected to see something better from where I am from. When I got there I noticed that the streets were dirty. There were a lot of buildings that were better than the ones we have in East Oakland, but overall Lakeshore was bad. There was one homeless guy around the whole time that were there. He sat down in a bus stop for a while and I noticed that he was talking to himself. When we were going to leave I also noticed that he got food from the garbage can. A lot people there were the same as people from East Oakland. They had similar lifestyle to ours. The difference was that there were a lot of white people in Lakeshore, and in East Oakland there is not that many. When I was there I didn't felt like an outcast. I didn't feel like people were staring at me weird, and I felt pretty comfortable.
Afterwards we went to The Oakland Rose Garden. When we were walking I got to see some nice sculptures made out of rocks. When we went up the garden I sat down, and around me there were many beautiful roses. There were roses of all colors. They were beautiful.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Being in the farmers market in Old Oakland was interesting. Everything there looks good! The people were really nice and polite. We needed to get 3 interviews done, and the first three people we asked said yes. I felt really comfortable around there. It was interesting how people come from some far away places, only to come to sell their products in this place. It looks pretty diverse because people bring different products. The farmers market in Old Oakland had a lot of similarities with Fruitvale. I felt it similar because there were a lot of Latinos selling fruit in Old Oakland. They looked like the stands that we have around the Fruitvale District.
After the interviews we went to Lake Merritt and we went paddle boating. It was fun, but I got dizzy! Seeing the waves move around too much made me sick. It was interesting and fun though, but my legs got really tired.