Letters to the editor (March – April 2007)
Our readers tell us what they thought of the stories in the January – February issue of L.A. Youth.
‘Enough’ violence in our lives
The article “Enough” got me thinking of all the violence around our area. We live in the quiet city of La Mirada, about 40 minutes from Los Angeles. But sooner or later there is going to be violence here, too. This article made me realize that anything can happen anywhere. This article also taught me to be safe more often and not be stupid all the time.
—Tyler Brush, Hutchinson MS (La Mirada)
I was touched by the article “Enough” because it reminded me of when I used to live in Norwalk. All of the drive-bys and stuff, the shootings and too many murders happened.
This article also reminded me of my brother. He was involved in gangs and violence and was always getting in trouble with the cops and my parents. As a little girl, I didn’t know what to do as I watched my brother get beat up by gangs. I sometimes cried while I watched. I remember my brother always telling me, “Baby, go back inside.” My brother means the world to me because he’s my only brother and I would give my life for him.
After we moved to La Mirada it’s been peaceful and quiet. No robberies. Now my brother’s a well-behaved man. He’s married, going to college and has twin babies on the way. He’s really smart now. Since we set foot in La Mirada he’s changed. He’s a good influence in my life.
—Author’s name withheld, Hutchinson MS
I really like the article “Enough.” My cousin Jackie lives in East L.A., an area known for kids dropping out and getting pregnant. That’s probably why she got pregnant at 14. One time I slept over at her house for two days and by 8 p.m. everything grew dark and all I heard were gunshots, dogs barking and people cussing. About half an hour later, I went out to see a bunch of boys getting out of a car. They beat up a teenager and took him with them. I don’t know what could have happened to him, but I do believe Christina Quarles was right in her story, when she said that bad things happen everywhere. I think my cousin was affected by the other kids dropping out and getting pregnant at a young age.
—Yessica Cortez, Wilson MS (Glendale)
I think the article “Enough” was very sad. We need to get rid of the gangs. We need to stop all the shoot-outs, drive-bys and murders in the bad cities. We need to stop the gangs in L.A., Compton, everywhere. We need to stop all of the gangs in the United States. If we can do that then everyone won’t have to fear coming out of their homes and ending up dead somewhere. Everyone will live in a more peaceful place.
—Fred Ruiz, Hutchinson MS
The war is wrong
Dear George W. Bush,
I have been around death. Somebody in my family died because of your war. I cry because of death and you have caused more than 3,000 deaths. Think about how many people you have made like me. I’m lucky, I have a great life. But war and death still affect me. Think about the wounded, the men and women without legs and arms who are still scared. You have made a big mistake.
I know you can’t just pull the troops out. But try to find a way to stop more deaths. Stop the war. Think more about things like global warming and listen to Al Gore. With my humblest feeling, listen. I hope you agree. Most sincerely,
—Oliver Dane Heffron, Westland School
Courage to be shy
The article “The courage to be shy” was my absolute favorite. They boy in the story relates to my life. Paul was always a shy person and when I read about making the phone call it reminded me of myself. I don’t like talking on the phone at all, unless it is one of my best friends. I do not call people and when I do I say very little.
The article reminds me of a time when I really liked this girl. I thought she was the nicest person and had the best personality. That girl was very pretty but that was just an extra good thing about her. I used to accidentally run into her in the hallways and walk her to her next class. Whenever I was right next to her, I would barely talk because, like Paul, I thought I was going to say the wrong thing. After reading this article, it made me realize that you can always try to do things and that you shouldn’t be afraid to say things.
Also, I was very lazy and once I read the part where Paul said that he had a homework plan and that it was helping him, I thought about it and said t myself, “I really want to graduate this year.” So lately, I’ve been doing all of my homework and trying not to get distracted.
—Diego Llontop, Wilson MS
I have been shy all my life. When I went to someone’s house I would just sit on the chair until someone came and told me that we had to leave. Even when we had to go to a relative’s house who I knew really well, I still wouldn’t say anything except “hi” and “bye.” I’m still shy, but not as shy as I used to be. Sometimes when I go to parties with my three older cousins, I just sit in a corner and don’t do anything except watch my cousins dance with their girlfriends or watch other people dance. Sometimes I talk to people who I don’t know and most of the time I’m too shy to talk to people who I already know. That’s weird isn’t it? Well, I’m getting less shy every day and it’s actually cool to talk to others and not be shy or nervous wondering what they’re thinking about you.
—Fiuneh Aleksandr, Wilson MS
When I was in the Philippines, I was loud and fun to be with. But when we came here to America I became shy. My classmates didn’t even talk to me, because they thought I was boring. Then I realized that it’s been a long time since we came here and I still didn’t have a single friend. To make friends, you have to be fun and especially not be shy. I tried not to be shy, so I talked to my classmates. (I was nervous that day.) They said “hi” back to me and we started a conversation. I learned that being shy means you don’t have friends and that not being shy is the best way to make friends.
—Kevyn Rubio, Wilson MS
I could relate to this article very much. I’m a quiet and shy girl. Well, I’m not really shy. When I was in the Philippines I was really outgoing and very friendly. But when I came here, I became quiet and shy, just like Paul (who wrote the story). When I’m in my classes, I don’t talk to anyone. I just like doing work and nothing else. So when I look at people who are not afraid to express themselves, I feel jealous. But now that I’m in eighth grade, I decided to overcome my shyness and try to be friendlier and get out of my own little world. Now I’m not that shy anymore and I participate in class. I feel great since I can express myself.
—Natalia Rubio, Wilson MS
Sometimes I feel very shy. It’s hard for me to meet new people because they are going to walk out of my life sooner or later. It’s hard to watch people go, especially for stupid reasons. When I lose a friend I feel like I lost a piece of me. I also hate changes, because when things change it means that life is flying by really fast. And when you grow up it feels like it only took two minutes to reach that age. The important thing is to live your life the way it is, because there is no better life. Life is life, and you should never look back.
—Michael Geozalian, Wilson MS
Sympathy for a girl whose family treats her coldly
After reading the story “I don’t need ‘em” I felt like I needed to take a look at my life and be grateful for what I have. This story really gave me the opportunity to humble myself and thank God that my family loves me and takes care of me.
This story is about Shimia’s life growing up without parents and a family that cares about her. Despite that, she stays positive throughout. She has really inspired me to be thankful for what I have and to be more determined to actually be someone when I grow up. I really admire Shimia for being so optimistic through such tough times.
—Esther Gonzales, Hutchinson MS
This story made me realize how important my family is. Even though my sister and I fight a lot, there is still love in our relationship and I think that is important. I believe that everyone should have a close relationship with his or her parents. I would not be able to handle not having a mom and dad and never seeing them. I would feel devastated to know that I lived my life without my real parents and had to stay at a foster home not being able to talk about my feelings with my loved ones. Without family, people would be lost and would feel that they have no hope or future. My family is my influence in life and they guide my steps as I grow older. I think that everyone deserves a good family and a good life.
—Elliot Kim, Wilson MS
The article “I don’t need ‘em” made me feel sorry for this girl. I can’t imagine what she or any other foster kid would feel when they finally meet their real family. I felt so bad when I read this and heard that her family didn’t really care about her. My feelings changed when I read about auntie Doe Doe. I felt so happy for her. This young girl has made me think about others instead of myself. She also showed me my list isn’t that bad.
—Rebecca DeIorio, Hutchinson MS
Could I be Rose Queen?
I was very interested in the “Could I be Rose Queen?” article because I am going to attend one of the schools eligible for the Rose Court. I am going to attend Marantha High School in Pasadena. This article inspired me to at least try to run for the Rose Court. If I run for Rose Queen I would like to break the stereotype of only smart, pretty girls becoming Rose Queen. I might not be the prettiest or the smartest girl, but I can try.
—Kristen Cruz, Wilson MS
Want to learn? Read a newspaper
Reading the newspaper gives us ideas about how other countries are struggling around the world and how they are trying to fix problems and also other things that they’re doing. In addition to this, newspapers can also be useful in other ways like improving our spelling and grammar. Reading the newspaper can also help us do better in school in many ways, because people can learn new vocabulary. Therefore, I believe that by reading a newspaper you can learn many things.
—Misael Sanchez, Wilson MS
Evanescene is great!
I strongly disagree with the writer about Evanescence’s new CD, The Open Door. I think the change in the band’s music is awesome, because it has given more feeling to the songs. I also did not like when the writer mentioned that “it sounds like someone scratched a chalkboard” when describing Amy Lee’s voice. When I listen to it, her voice sounds full and strong. I would definitely recommend Evanescence’s new CD to anyone and everyone.
—Kimberly Scott, Hutchinson MS