My Job

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my throat and my head hurt. its fucking hot. my body hurts less from vegas today then it did yesterday. i think i’m sick, my mother thinks i’m anxious about my first day back. So I was on LAtimes.com and found this lovely article about my neighborhood. These fucking gang memebers, the Avenues, tag the shit out of franklin and are rather scary, though I feel like their “invisible” in a sense, because I can’t tell who might be in one gang or another. Slightly explains the low number of blacks in this area, though they are increasing since I arrived in 2003- and i don’t mean that my presence is causing the increase…you know what I mean. The LAweekly also ran a large article about race relations in Highland park last summer, I believe, on the heels of the racial incidents happening at Jefferson and Fremont High. This quote basically sums up teaching in HP: “
Although gang members have for years been subject to a court order that limits their activities, they remain active, authorities said. Their racial antipathy is an outgrowth of prison culture, in which rival street gang members band together by race and then bring those attitudes back to the streets, Ortiz said.

“When you have gang members standing out on the street corners, they intimidate people,” he said. “They may commit a minor offense, like vandalism, but people are so afraid of them they won’t call in. It diminishes the quality of life in the community.”

Heinrich Keifer, president of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, said racial violence by gang members is not currently a problem in the area.

“Our biggest problem is not so much gangs, although some members of the community are intimidated. It’s more the taggers,” Keifer said. “They create that feeling that the community is destroyed. The gangs aren’t ruling the turf. They’re not necessarily muscling people out. There was some of that in the past.”

Like I said, those fuckers will tag the shit out of anything they can find…blink, and its tagged. My first year teaching here a young guy was killed around the corner from Franklin over a tagging incident. I can hear the fireworks in the background that are oddly popping off like the gun shots that i’m sure they are not. So here’s the thing…these incidents have definitely decreased in this area. I can understand whenthe article states that: “The area is on the rebound, so much so that many Westsiders are moving in,” Keifer said, citing the historic heritage of the area northeast of downtown. “Many of the poorer people are struggling with the rising rents.” the good folks at the LATimes are not lying. I love Highland park. I wonder what will run me out first though: potential for gang violence….or the increased gentrification? I also wonder which will bring my ass a Starbucks…I guess we all know the answer to that one.

my room was changed at the last minute so I need to figure out how and what I’m going to do about this new room. I guess tomorrow is going to be an interesting day of welcome back to class….now grab a broom and start helping Ms. clean.

Oh…and i got a textmessage from Vegas homeboy. how nice is that?

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