"Education is not a product: mark, diploma, job, money; It is a process, a never-ending one." -bel kaufman

Friday, January 23, 2004


dear third period,

(a letter delivered to my english/journalism students)

to ozzie, isaly, sour, joe, benito, arturo, luis, miguel, max, amanda, clarissa, catherince, sergio, reina, maria, josue, and nalleli.

this is a letter to each of you. why? because i want to personally tell you how i feel about this class. i don't always have time to talk to you in person, one-on-one, so this is my chance.

i like this class. i would not give it up for any other class. and i like how we have the opportunity to choose our own direction. for all of our assignments, i want to give you the freedom to read and research and write about what interests you as a person. speaking on our current photojournalism project, i really like the topics that you have chosen and i can't wait to see what you can do.

* i like the topics about your neighborhoods--i think that every person should understand and interact with her/his community. if you see something great happening in your neighborhood, everyone should know about it. likewise, if something destructive or harmful is occurring in your community, we should all be talking about the problems and figuring out solutions.

* i think the topics about families are great. taking pictures and writing stories about the joy and pain of living with your family, or especially raising a child, is invaluable. you will have this project to keep with you forever, to look back and remember how you felt at this point in your life.

* to those of you shooting street photography--strangers on the street, people on the busses and trains, gangs, and graffiti--your topics remind me of my own work and how i love documenting signs of life in the city. musicians, commuters, local business owners, families, kids, friends, and enemies... we see these people everyday, but each in our own experience. i am looking forward to seeing your photographs and understanding how you view the world around you.

* the projects on friends and hobbies are unique and interesting. documenting your friends and what you all enjoy doing is not simple--you have to take a step back and closely examine the everyday things that you do. at the same time, your work will be fun to do and the project will become a unique first-hand documentary of the lives you and your friends.

i would usually say that i can only hope for the best out my students, but i feel like this is not a usual class. i already feel like this class is going to be something better. and i think you have an advantage when you work on projects based on the world circling around you. thank you for everything.

keep it real,


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