“… I’d glimpsed all those years ago watching my father reach for his belt, watching the suburban dispatches in my living room, watching the golden-haired boys with their toy trucks and football cards, and dimly perceiving the great barrier between the world and me.” (Coates 65).

Coates views the world as such a beautiful place for the white people. They have everything they could ask for and their parents didn’t treat them the way he was being treated.He felt as if there is a wall that is separating him against the “dream” the life everyone think of when they say the American dream, but that wasn’t the life Coates was living.

He was taught to take care of his body in a way others do not have to worry about. If hes too aggressive he would loose his body, if he wasn’t aggressive enough he would loose his body. The constant life of fear was something known to him even as a young boy. Living in the streets seeing violence happen day to day. Of course there was differences from the world people saw to what was true.

From personal experience i understand the author, I to am a minority living in California and my parents raised me quite similar to Coates. We were in constant fear of upsetting police, the streets weren’t as welcoming as we would like and violence was a common thing. You tend to feel alienated from the perfect families you see in the movies.




“Fail in the streets and the crews would catch you slipping and take your body. Fail in the schools and you would be suspended and sent back to those same streets, where they would take your body.” (Coates 33).

The author is explaining that the schools are constantly asking to see the best in kids that go to school but if aren’t at their best will be sent home.If the problem is starting at home then the schools aren’t helping the student by ending them home. It will become a vicious cycle and no progress would be made. The constant fear of one having to protect them selves and have a guard up can be exhausting especially at the one place you thought you could be safe.

I feel as if this is very relevant because the people that need to be focused on or given more attention are not and instead are being pushed away rather than being helped. Suspension only helps the school get rid of the “problem” for a certain amount of time and hope they come back with perfect behavior.

The intention as Coates says is good, the intention isn’t to for kids to believe that there is no hope but the result says different. They go back to the streets where they are fighting for their lives everyday and try to become the “tough guy” so there is some sense of respect towards them. Then back to the school where everyone sees them as the “problem”.

I agree with the author, this is a cycle where the schools intention needs to be looked at and seen that suspending isn’t helping the cause.




Research Proposal

My topic is plastic bags. The damage they are doing to the environment and why they are being banned in southern California.

My main points are the damage plastic can be to the environment on land, in the ocean, and to us human beings. Bag pollution is damaging southern California oceans and landfills. – “A brief Analysis of Organic  Pollutants Sorbed to Pre and Post Production Plastic Particles from the Los Angeles and San Gabriel River Watersheds”  by C.J. Moore, G.L. Lattin, A.F. Zellers. – “Can the world solve the plastic waste problem?” By Robert Keiner – “Drowning the Oceans in Plastic” by Mark Gold and Cara Horowitz

What interests me the most about this topic is that people would want to be against banning plastic bags when there is no good that comes from using plastic.


The main argument in this article is talking about the placement in public schools and how there is much more pollution in the areas populated by the minorities; the minorities being the Latinos and African Americans. I can see the reasons why this happens, coming from a Latino family, we struggled and didn’t have a lot of money, of course my parents looked for somewhere affordable and not really paying attention to the health risks or the pollution, all we need to do was to survive and get an education.

I believe because many of the minorities don’t have the luxury to chose a school in the better part of town or have the funds for it they are left with the school that was placed in the middle of cancer and respiratory risks. This is no one’s fault but the governments’. It is unfair how the minorities are being left to catch all of these possible health problems due to the bad placement in school.

The building of public schools around hazardous areas should be banned. No child should be forced to go to school and be exposed to the pollution that can cause great damage.  The children are attending school to learn and to succeed in their futures but it cannot be possible if the schools are hazardous. Ones health is just as important as the education you can absorb.  So to answer the question, the government and LAUSD are defiantly not minding the kids.

The Wilderness Sanctuary

The Wilderness Sanctuary is a contradiction to what it is suppose to represent. It is suppose to represent an area of wildlife, somewhere where it isn’t maintained and animals are wild. I got a different understanding of what it was, I saw man made bridges and sprinklers everywhere, paths created by humans and a stream that is questionably natural? Although walking through it made me feel different, and like I was somewhere else, I can’t help but to think we are in a gated area that was meant to keep the wildlife inside.

Sitting down and thinking about how the sun peaked though some trees and hit my back ever so slightly and the cool breeze that touched my skin. Or even walking around and hearing the leaves crunch as I walked over them, my mind felt at ease. I began to wonder how everything started as nothing and with the power of natural it looks like a community of different plants, trees, and creatures.

The smell of musky pine takes me back to the day my family and I took a trip to Hungry Valley CA. It is considered a desert, and the drive there you see close to no life. Shortly after arriving to the designated campgrounds we took a ride into a trail and that ended up leading to a dried river, surrounding the river were trees. Extremely large pine trees and it made me feel so incredibly free.

The human brain is constantly running and thinking of so many different things that it is fairly easy to become stressed and mentally drained, so these man creations, The Wildlife Sanctuary in Mt. Sac, are made to serve several purposes not only to learn from them but to escape the mind.

The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back the Wrong Nature

One of William Cronons’ main arguments is how humans define nature and wilderness as something that has not yet been destroyed by a human being. As we tend to destroy nature, we will do anything possible to put it back to normal or back to its nature. I agree with this argument, I believe that the nature of a human is to destroy everything in its way because we are selfish. Until one is stopped by force we will learn to appreciate how our surroundings impact us.  “…if nature dies because we enter it, then the only way to nature is to kill ourselves.” (8.) As extreme as it may sound, in the long run, we will vanish from this earth and nature will live on.

“The escape from history is one reason why the language we use to talk about wilderness is often permeated with spiritual and religious values that reflect human ideals far more than material world of physical nature.” (6.)  William is indicating that the wilderness cleanses our mind and it brings many to peace. The same goes to religious practices and how they build temples and sanctuaries with the same concept of tranquility and Zen.

I experience peace when I am in a natural place. When I went to visit Yosemite Park a few years back I remember arriving to a really big field of grass and a waterfall a couple miles out. All I could think of is how extremely beautiful everything looked, it almost looked fake. I began to run out in the field and jump around, and not one time did I remember any of my worries, my mind was clear.

Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in LA.

“Nature blesses LA. Nature flees LA. Nature returns armed.”

This one quote stood out to me because no matter what we do whether we talk, walk, see, or  hear, it’s all nature.

Jennifer Price talks about the 13 ways that you could see nature in a place everyone thinks has nothing of. I for one believe that nature is everywhere. Nature is us human beings, the air we breathe, the grass on the floor, the insects flying around, and all the trees that surround. Price says that LA is equally full as nature as Yosemite Park, many can disagree but I agree one hundred percent.

Nature isn’t just about how green a patch of land is, it is the beauty of it all, the way a human being creates something out of nothing. The way the weather destroys and revives. Many believe that nature has to remain untouched in order to be considered nature, but the nature is a never ending cycle, and one day all of LA will be the same way it was before all of the buildings.