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Todd: So, Tres can you talk about American high school. What was high school like for you? What is American high school like?

Tres: That’s a very good question. When one says “an American high school”, to some people maybe movies that depict high school life come to mind. But the most thing I would like people to keep in mind is that depending on the school district, the state, the area of the state in which you live, the high school you go to can vary extremely. There are many poor schools in poor districts. And there are very rich schools similar to the “Beverly Hills 90210” television show, that’s quite popular around the world. I was fortunate to go to a high school that was a public school under a magnet program. And the idea was that you have a test to get in to the school. You have to excel academically. And the school would try to suck in, or attract students from all over the state, students that excelled in the math and sciences, sports, English, literature, foreign languages, and tried to bring those students together. Not only that, the idea of the school was to create an atmosphere that was “biologically diverse”. That just sounds better than “racially diverse”. So we had students of various socioeconomic backgrounds, meaning we had students of various races. Even though I don’t think “race” truly exist. But sociologically speaking, we had students of various races. At the school you could take classes from Italian to classical English. Many of our teachers had Ph.D.s so it was just a great academic atmosphere to be in. And then, we had a lot of fun on top of that. The first few years I went there, we had an open campus, which meant that during our lunch, we were able to get in our cars because we all drove to school. Get in our cars and drive home or drive to our friend’s house or drive to a restaurant during our lunch period. So we didn’t have to stay at school for lunch. We were completely free. And the school was very liberal. So the teachers had a very open idea of how students learn, and they wanted to make sure that we were learning in a way that was best for us. Now that doesn’t mean that they were not strict on us. When we did something bad, when we were in trouble, they let us know. But still many of our teachers were very open, and they would give us hugs if we needed hugs.

Todd: The teachers would give you hugs.

Tres: Yes, I know some schools, many teachers would want to keep that professional
distance. But I think when you’re working with children, always keep in mind that they are young adults. And they need to be taught a good model to fit into society. I think one of those models is reaching out to others when they are in trouble. Sometimes you know, a student may need a hug, be it your friend or be it a teacher. So I really enjoyed getting hugs from my principal, so I always give hugs to everybody.

Todd: Wow, that’s a lot different from my high school.