FAQ WRITER OF THE WEEK: TRUESUBSANE

BY HILARY GOLDSTEIN -> The unheralded heroes of the gaming world, FAQ writers trade their late nights for bragging rights simply to say that their walkthroughs, their secrets, their perfect paths through what seem like impossible missions work best. And what rewards do these slaves to countless pixels and polygons seek or receive? The knowledge that their sleepless nights detailing every last hidden item help gamers in desperate need of completing 100% of every game.

But here at IGN, we say enough with the gushy feelings and e-mail “thank you’s” being all these tireless and sometimes tortured gaming souls receive. That’s why we started the FAQ Writer of the Week. Every week IGN will pick the person we see as the best FAQ writer going and reward them with two games off of his or her wish list. But that’s not all. We also feel that it’s important for gamers to get to know these writers, the very ones that have helped them out of so many jams in the past. That’s why every week we’ll also sit down and talk to the Writer of the Week so you can get to know the person, and not just their moves.

Obsession. It’s an epidemic among geeks like you and me. Video game addicts often become obsessed about a particular character (Oh, Luigi is so handsome!), or a system (I only play teh PlayStation One!), or a movie franchise (One day, I too will be Dark Lord of the Sith). This week’s honorary FAQ writer is obsessed with a TV show – The Simpsons. In fact, he’s so obsessed, he’s written FAQs for every Simpson’s game out there! Check out this interview with TrueSubSane and get your fill of Simpsons gab.

IGN: You write yourself an endless amount of Simpsons FAQs. Do you play every Simpson game that’s released?

TrueSubSane: I wouldn’t be much a Simpsons game fanatic if I didn’t. Yea, I’ve played ‘em all.

IGN: What would you say is the best?

TrueSubSane: Heh, the best? That narrows it down quite a bit.

IGN: How about, which one sucked the least?

TrueSubSane: Ah, got ya. Road Rage and Simpsons Arcade are the top two, and I’m sure most people would agree. But I’ll go with Simpsons Arcade.

IGN: If most of the Simpsons games suck, why do you not only play them all, but write FAQs for them?

TrueSubSane: It’s a niche kinda thing. Everything has a fan no matter what, ya know? Crappy bands, films, etc. But I noticed no one pays mind to the Simpsons video games. I’m a huge fan of the show, and frankly I was appalled.

IGN: So writing FAQs is your way of drawing attention to the games?

TrueSubSane: In a way, yes. Though it didn’t start that way.

IGN: How did it start?

TrueSubSane: Oh, with Bartman Meets Radioactive Man. The game needed a FAQ, and I had just purchased the game the week before. Bingo bango, my FAQing career begins.

IGN: Are you gonna keep doing Simpson FAQs until you’re old and gray?

TrueSubSane: My man, I’ll keep writing FAQs for Simpsons games as long as greedy ol’ FOX keeps making them. No reason or logic behind it. I just will.

IGN: What about the Futurama game? Are you Simpsons exclusive, or do you plan on branching out to all Groening projects?

TrueSubSane: That’s a tough one. I think Hit and Run comes out around the same time, and I do have other, non-Simpsons projects. If life allows it, maybe.

IGN: Favorite Simpsons character?

TrueSubSane: Dude. Any fat, bald guy that can be as popular (and funny) as Homer gets my respect. So, Homer.

IGN: Do you aspire to be him? Not fat and bald, but as far as his life philosophy, do you try to be Homer?

TrueSubSane: Aspire? I am Homer! I’ve coasted through a lot of stuff in life, and had a great time doing it. Though my girlfriend says I am getting a bit too chubby. Need to work on that.

IGN: Favorite Homer moment?

TrueSubSane: Favorite Homer moment? Man… I guess in the episode where he hates gay people. Not a moment, just the whole episode was hilarious. I mean I could list who knows how many favorite moments.

IGN: Does your girlfriend aspire to be a simpson’s character?

TrueSubSane: I’m not sure. Though she is a dead-on Lisa. Always complaining, vegetarian, telling people they’re doing the wrong thing.

IGN: But not 8 years old, right?

TrueSubSane: Nice direction you took that. Nah, not that young. No, she acts just as mature and nosy as Lisa.

IGN: There’s been a few big changes to characters over the past few years, the biggest being that Maude Flanders died and that Barney quit drinking. Are you down with those kind of changes that resonate through the rest of the series or do you wish Maude was back and Barney was a lush from start to finish?

TrueSubSane: Yea, what was up with all that? Anyway, it’s tough with a show like The Simpsons. They’re going into season 15, and things change after that much time. I know the woman who does Maude’s voice left, as have other people. As for Barney’s sobriety… I can’t dig that. They basically killed what made him funny.

IGN: Exactly. He’s sort of useless now.

TrueSubSane: They should have him fall off the wagon (or is it get on the wagon?), for the last season. A finale sort of deal.

IGN: The show’s been on for a long, long time. It’s the longest running sitcom of all time and they plan on doing a couple more years. Where do you think the show stands now? Is it as funny as it ever was? Funnier? Not so good?

TrueSubSane: No, it’s definitely not as good as those middle years. Yes, there are still jokes. But that’s the thing. They’ll have one or two funny jokes in an episode, while back in the day the whole episode had you cracking up. I mean there are good episodes, just not as many great episodes as there used to be. But I am only one fan, and I’m certain there are tons of people who have different opinions.

IGN: What would make for the perfect Simpsons game?

TrueSubSane: I’ve actually thought about that to an unhealthy degree. A completely interactive 3-D Springfield is the main thing. Virtual Springfield had the right idea, but it was all on rails. They could make playable episodes, an FPS game, whatever.

IGN: Maybe like a Sims Simpsons?

TrueSubSane: Is The Sims like that? Never played it. Just the concept of being able to walk around freely, from Evergreen Terrace to Moe’s Tavern to the SNPP. I really am surprised they haven’t done it yet, but I have to check out Hit and Run first. You know, Hit and Run is on my wish list… *wink*

IGN: There’s been talk that once the series if over, Groening wants to make a Simpsons movie. Do you think that’s a good idea, or do you think the Simpsons can’t make it on the big screen?

TrueSubSane: Well, it will make it. Believe me. Is it a good idea? I’d say it is.

IGN: Why?

TrueSubSane: Simpsons fans have been waiting for a Simpsons movie for along time, and Groening and FOX know it. It will be the swan song for the series. They have some great writers over there, and I trust they can write a good film.

A special thanks for the good words from TrueSubSane. Check out his work here and read all about the many Simpsons games waiting for you.

I Hate Townies

God,
I hate townies! I didn’t really used to care, but last week something happened that changed my mind. It happened on a hot and boring
Thursday. I thought I was going to have to spend the day at my house
with my dumb parents, but Sara’s mom and dad were throwing a beach
party for their friends, and Sara called me and Maggie to keep her
company.

“And
make sure to bring a swim suit because we might go hang out at the beach,” she added,
so I grabbed the plaid two piece that I bought last week and waited
for Sara outside.

After,
like, ten minutes, she showed up with Maggie in the Benz.

“God,
why did you take forever,” I asked her as I got in. All she did
was give me that annoyed
look she gets whenever anyone talks down to her.

“Well,
I figured you probably wanted to grab a few cookies or something
before we left, so
I went to pick up Maggie first,” she said. Maggie being the
follower she is, she let out a little chuckle.

“Shut
up, at least I’m not a bulimic skeleton,” I retorted. It was all
I could think of.

She
just kept looking straight ahead as we turned the corner on to her
street. “Ouch, please,
no more. I can’t take such a verbal beating,” she replied
sarcastically.

“Please,
Melissa, I don’t want to hear this stuff all day,” added Maggie,
so I didn’t try and give
a come-back. Maggie’s always taking Sara’s side, ever since we were
kids. I don’t think I can remember
an argument or whatever where Maggie agreed with me. She’s nice most
of the time, but
sometimes she’s just annoying.  With a smug smile on her stupid face,
Sara pulled into the driveway.
We went in the empty house and changed, then Sara went to get her
canvas bag for our clothes,
in case we wanted to change for that evening. As I made my way back
outside to the car I
walked through the main family room. All you could see was huge
portraits of all these different old
people from, like, the fifties or something. Sara never likes to stay
at her house, so we hardly ever
hang out there. I always guessed that those were her old relatives or
something, but I never really
cared enough to ask. I met Maggie at the front door and we went
outside to wait for Sara, then
the phone in the Benz started ringing. Sara was still inside the
house, so I went to answer.

“Hello,”
I asked.

“Hello,
who is this?” It was Sara’s mom.

“Hi
Mrs. Roberts, this is Melissa,” I told her.

“Oh,
hello dear. Is Sara there?” Obviously not, if I answered.

“Not
right here. She’s inside the house getting something. Want me to get
her?” I asked.

“No
dear, just tell her that I want her to go into town and pick up some
fancy herring snacks,” she answered. Uh, God, I swear Sara’s mom
is a lazy…

“Oh,
and tell her to use her money. I’ll pay her back when she gets here.
Bye bye hon,” and she clicked off. Great, just great. Now we had
to go into town.

“Sara,
your mom called and said to go into town and pick up some fancy
herring snacks,” I yelled out. “And she said to use your
money.” Sara said something but I couldn’t make out what. She
came out a minute later with the bag, wearing a new salmon-colored
bathing suit. She stopped at the top of the steps and flashed a
smile.

“Well,
what do you think,” she said. I just rolled my eyes and headed
to the car, but Maggie had an opinion.

“Oh
my god! That is such a cute swim suit. Where did you buy it,”
she asked out loud.

“Got
it yesterday at Bloomfields,” she answered.

“Sara,
let’s go huh? We need to go into town and still stop by your mom’s
party,” I said kind of annoyed.

“Fine,
fine,” as she and Maggie got in.

We
made our way down Baker Street to the A & P at the center of
town. The whole way there  we got the usual looks from the old people
that like to sit around like lazy bums. They just follow us from the
moment they see us on the left to the moment we are too far on the
right. I hate this town. We finally got to the A & P and parked
out in front.

“Who
wants to go in,” asked Sara.

“What?
Why do me or Maggie have to go? It’s your mom’s stupid herrings,”
I told her.

“Fine,
we’ll all go,” she answered.

“Great
idea Sara.” Maggie chimed in with the praise.

“Ok,
whatever, we’ll all go.” I got out and waited for them. Sara got
out and Maggie followed, and she made her way to the door. As she
pushed the door open, the chilly air of a grocery store hit us. It
always sort of takes my breath away, especially going from the hot
outside to the cool inside. Sara didn’t even notice, or didn’t show
it, and made her way in. Me and Maggie followed. As we made our way
in I noticed the clerk boy. He looked all tired and stuff, like a
townie does, but he was kind of cute. I didn’t look at him long,
there was no way I would give him a reason to talk to me. Sara made
her way next
to the bread and looked around,

“Hey
guys, where would the herring snacks be,” she asked us.

“How
should we know,” I told her.

“Geez,
why are you so bitchy today? Here, let’s look up this aisle,”
she answered as she started walking up the aisle. As she scanned the
shelves I noticed her look over to the clerk counters, then quickly
look away. “I think those clerk guys are staring at us,”
she whispered. Me and Maggie glanced that way and I realized she
meant the clerk boy I had noticed earlier, and some other guy. But
instead of being outraged, like I would have been, Sara smiled and
pulled her bathing suit straps around her shoulders.

I
gasped and quietly asked, “Sara, what are you doing?”

“Having
fun,” she replied.

She
continued to walk up the aisle, and I looked over at Maggie. She just
shrugged and smiled too, and continued walking up the aisle. I
thought “Whatever,” and followed. I saw some cookies and
thought of asking Sara to buy some, for the car, you know, but I put
them back when I remembered what Sara said in the car.

As
we made our way up a bit further, I noticed the ladies in the aisles
were looking at us. No doubt Sara noticed too, but she didn’t really
care. I pretended not to either, but it did kind of bother me. When
we got to the end without spotting any herring snacks, Sara looked
over at Maggie.

“Go
ask that guy over at the meat counter where the herring snacks are,”
she told her. Maggie happily got to the meat counter and asked the
man where the herring snacks were while me and Sara waited next to
her. I looked at the old guy just as his eyes made his way over to
Sara. I was really getting tired of all these people looking at us,
well, Sara. And she was asking for it by acting the way she did.
Well, he answered Maggie’s question and pointed to a shelf at the
back of the store.

“There,”
we all asked in unison as we pointed at the shelf. He nodded and we
left the meat counter.
As we passed some diet peach stuff, Sara looked at me. I glared and
she looked over at Maggie. I knew they were smiling, but I didn’t
want to bring it up. I had actually been kind of mean that day.

Sara
grabbed a gray jar labeled Kingfish Fancy Herring Snacks in Pure Sour
Cream. I never did like the stuff, but her parents loved to buy it
for their little parties. I’m not sure if even Sara liked it. I’ve
never seen her eat it, so I assumed that she didn’t. Eh, I never
bothered to care.

We
made our way down the last aisle, passing by light bulbs, candy, and
old records. Wow, this was a really weird store, considering they
stick candy and records in the same aisle, but I guess they use up
whatever space they have. We came out and started to walk over to the
clerk at the second counter, but these old people got there first
holding cans of juice. Uh, who buys juice in a can? That can’t be
good for you… I guess these people buy what they can afford.

So
we ended up going over to the guy at the first counter, the cute one.
I still didn’t want him to talk to us, so I let Sara go ahead and
handle it. Boy, did I make a mistake. She walked up to him so
smoothly and put the jar down on the counter, the whole time this guy
staring at her. Ok, so now I thought he was a jerk. He picked it up
and read the label, then looked back up at her. I thought for a
second that Sara had forgotten to bring her money, but she showed me
she hadn’t. As slowly as she could, she reached under her bathing
suit, in her cleavage, and pulled out a folded dollar bill. I almost
gasped, Maggie did, as she handed the dollar to the clerk guy.

Right
then some old dude, like the manager or something, walked in and
looked over at us. Not the kind of looks we had been getting by the
other guys in the store, but the kind we were getting by the old
people. The “young lady, what are you wearing,” look. I
think I read his mind because he walked over to us.

“Girls,
this isn’t the beach,” he said.

Sara
seemed to have lost her composure, because she blushed. That was a
rare thing when it comes to her. She was always so cool and relaxed,
but this time she sort of got embarrassed.

“My
mother asked me to pick up a jar of herring snacks,” she
answered shyly.

“That’s
all right-” the guy answered. “But this isn’t the beach.”
He stared at us sternly, sort of like a dad does to his daughter.
Except this guy wasn’t our dad. I started to get angry, I mean, how
dare he talk to us like that?

“We
weren’t doing any shopping. We just came in for the one thing.”
I didn’t care who this guy was, he wasn’t going to tell us off like
that without protest.

“That
makes no difference,” he said. “We want you decently
dressed when you come in here.”

“We
are
decent,”
Sara said suddenly. It was about time she said something, after all
she was the one who was dressed al provocative or whatever. She still
pulled up her straps, but now she seemed as annoyed as I was.

“Girls,
I don’t want to argue with you. After this come in here with your
shoulders covered. It’s our policy.” He turned his back to
leave, but turned and said, “Sammy, have you rung up their
purchase?”

What?
I realized all of a sudden that the clerk guy was still there,
looking at us as we received our little lecture.

“No,”
he replied. He took the dollar and unfolded quickly, and put it in
the register. Then he pulled out a fifty cent piece and a penny, and
put it in Sara’s hand. Without waiting for Sara, me and Maggie headed
for the door. Sara took the bag with the jar and quickly hurried
after us. Right when I was near the door, I heard that clerk guy say,
“I quit.” I was going to turn to see, but Sara came up
behind us and guided us out the door.

We
all silently made our way to the car. Once inside Sara angrily turned
the ignition key and uttered, “Damn this stupid town. I hate
townies!”

After
what happened, I couldn’t agree with her more.

Obituary.doc

Victor
Romero, 80; Leader in Animation, Enemy of Censorship in Film

-From
Associated Press

Los
Angeles – Victor Romero, director and lead animator of the
controversial film, How
It Is
,
among others, has died. He was 80.

Romero
died in his sleep Tuesday. The cause of death was a heart attack.

Gary
Garcia, lead singer of the old rock band The
Newcomers

and good friend of Romero’s, said “He was a good friend, always
had constructive criticism.” “He revolutionized the way
animation was utilized in film, hell, he revolutionized the film
industry in general,” said Garcia on Wednesday.

“I
will always remember how Victor was always trying to keep his work
real. He represented where he came from and was proud to do so,”
said Garcia.

A
representative of mayor Duncan’s office said the LA mayor was “deeply
saddened” at the news of Romero’s death. Romero and the mayor
were good friends from college.

In
its obituary, the LA Times said Romero “proved himself one of
the outstanding producers and animators of the digital film age,
transforming his production company… from a small independent
animation studio to the leader in digital computer film making in
Hollywood.”

After
the release of his first major animated film, It
All Ends
,
Romero came under much scrutiny for the vivid and rather brutal view
of LA’s suburban life. He stood by his artistic convictions, quoted
as saying,“Let them say what they want about me, but leave my
film alone.”

Jacob
Esther, former editor of Animatron,
an animation newspaper, wrote that Romero “became recognized as
a poster boy of liberal opinion in films,” and was “a
foremost critic of Hollywood’s ridiculous obsession with
censorship.”

A
famous SubSanity Inc.(Romero’s production company) short film from
Romero’s student days denounced the many of the major film companies
for digitally erasing scenes that involved the old Twin Towers.
Although the companies did not correct the erasures, the film gained
popularity and opened many people’s eyes to “the absurdity of
censorship”, as Romero himself used to say.

Victor
Hugo Romero Franco was born December 14, 1982, son of Jose Romero–an
immigrant from the state of Jalisco, Mexico who went on to own a
small meat distributor in California–and Juana Franco, who remained
a house wife until she opened up her own deli, Comida Mundial.

In
his childhood, Victor Romero had many influences that lead him to
animation. Many of his friends at the time were aspiring artists, one
of which is Rene Aldrete, producer of the comic Stryfe.
He was also influenced by a field trip to Film Roman Inc., the
company that animated The
Simpsons

until the show’s cancellation in 2005.

After
his education at Cal State Long Beach and the LA Art Institute, he
entered website design briefly before taking an animator job at Pixar
Inc., makers of such hits as Toy
Story
and
A
Bug’s Life
.

He
became lead animator at Pixar in 2009, but eventually left to start
his own animation company, a company where he had the freedom to do
whatever he wished. Thus, SubSanity Inc. began.

He
hired many of his friends, such as Rene Aldrete and Adam Gardner, and
carefully assembled a staff of animators and computer graphics
experts that he knew were ready to do things differently from other
companies.

In
its obituary, The Times called Romero “an inspired and creative
conductor of an unusually talented animated orchestra….” Not
only did Romero have an instinct for finding good animators; good
animators were happy to work for SubSanity Inc.

“The
films he created were one of a kind, comparable to Kubrick or even
Lynch,” the Times said.

The
animation company was not very successful at first, but began major
projects after How
It Is
was
released. SubSanity Inc. went on to create animated wonders such as
MegaMan,
Forever/Never,
and the film that started actress Amy Acker’s career, Rock.

Romero
stepped down as head of SubSanity Inc. in 2050, and his partner Julia
Riese took over. She was president until her death in 2059, and Adam
Gardner chose to leave his lead animator position and lead the
company. Romero went into retirement in Anchourage, Alaska where he
continued writing ideas and sending them to Riese and Gardner.

He
is survived by his wife, Michelle; his son Michael and his daughter
Sherry; and two grandchildren.

AutoBio.doc

This
is the story of a man. An average man. A man that has gone through countless
trials and tribulations in search of something, exactly what he has
yet to find out.

This
is my story. I am Victor Romero.

For
the last eighteen years I have been the first born of Jose and Juana
Romero. It is
they who are responsible for raising me to be the person I am today.
Having been raised in
the same religious small town in Mexico, they fell in love at a young
age and moved to the
sunny state of California.

Settling
in the beach side city of Santa Monica, my father Jose took up many
jobs. Starting
off as a landscaper at a golf course, he eventually moved on to
become a delivery truck
driver for several companies. Among some of the things he’s delivered
are air conditioners,
water heaters, and all kinds of meats and food products. The amount
of hardships
my father went through to make sure his family received everything
they deserved
is truly inspiring. My mother Juana, on the other hand, started out
as a housewife and
is still one to this day. Lately she has been selling small
sculptures and decorations that she
designs in her spare time, and hopes to start a career through it.

In
those eighteen years since my birth, my mother beared three more
children. Abraham,
aged fourteen years, twelve year old Cristian, and little four year
old Alexis. But let
me tell you, they are not easy to deal with. After numerous bruises,
noogies, and back drills,
I have learned the infinite patience needed in this cruel and unfair
world.

Well,
past explained, I can now move onto the best part, me. I’m a proud Hispanic,
parents born in Mexico, my Grandparents born and raised in Spain
before moving
to Mexico. I can honestly say that I am one diverse guy. I grew up in
a religious environment,
thinking that God was the one who caused everything. I spent eleven innocent
years having good, clean fun. Then came puberty and the high schools.

There
I met the various different characters that became my good friends.
The gangstas,
base heads, slackers, and nerds that helped develop my ideas were all
met during
junior high and high school. As a result of having such a diverse
group of friends, I learned
to be objective and listen to every opinion. At the same time, I had
decided not to let
my opinions go unvoiced. Mind you I don’t spout off recklessly, I
just analyze a situation
then add my input. So basically, having a broad spectrum of friends
has given me a
broad view of the world. As they say, “It’s all good!”.

Now,
my friends are gone. Oh sure, a few of the people I knew from high
school attend
 Cal State Long Beach, but no one from my close group of friends. So
here I am, a new
and different environment to deal with. Clueless as to why I’m here,
I have been dealing
with all kinds of problems to try and get this well respected college
education. Though
I understand that a college degree might possibly help get the most
out of my chosen
career, I try not to think too far ahead.

For
now I’m content with enjoying whatever time I am able to free up
after going to
school and work. Paintball, sketching, and on occasion football are
some of the things I enjoy
doing in this spare time. Not to mention my interest in films, with
people like Kevin Smith,
George Lucas, and Stanley Kubrick among my favorites.

For
now, this is the end. My life isn’t quite over yet, so should I
become famous in
the future for any reason, the longer and more complete version of my
life will be sold at
all major bookstores for the small amount of $49.95.

Freshman.doc

Inglewood
High is the world.  Or at least that is what I thought when I first
arrived at
Inglewood.  But as time progressed experience was gained, and I
learned that Inglewood
is but a step towards the rest of our lives, and the real world.
With all this knowledge
in my mind, I believe I would greatly be able to help a Freshman
student coming
to Inglewood for the first time.

The
situation is one I can relate to.  My younger brother will be
attending Inglewood
High next year.  Although he has not mentioned anything, I know what
he must
be thinking.  The rumors of fights, bad conditions of the school, bad
teaching, and riots
are all valid thoughts for a Freshman, considering only three years
ago that was the actual
situation at Inglewood.  But things have changed.  

Fights
and disturbances are always going to exist.  Confrontations between
people are,
I believe, human nature.  But the response to these confrontations
has somewhat improved.
We have many more securities as opposed to three years ago, or last
year for that
matter. And even though they can be more of a nuisance than a help at
times, some students
tend to feel safer when there are that many securities.

As
for the bad conditions of the school, well, that is a predicament
that has been somewhat
rectified.  A new coat of paint has been applied to the majority of
the buildings. Different
trees and plants have been planted in various spots throughout the
campus. Each
classroom has had new phone lines installed, giving Internet
accessibility to those classrooms
that have computers, and preparing those classrooms that do not.
These may seem
like small accomplishments, they provide a good boost to morale.  If
only the students
come to appreciate their school, then the problem of vandalism can be
handled more
efficiently.  

Then
we have the backbone of a school, teachers.  Teachers are what make
it happen
at a school.  They are the ones who ultimately decide whether or not
a student can pass
a class or not.  But the fact that the teaching at Inglewood High has
become synonymous
with inadequacy often discourages parents from sending their children
to Inglewood,
or children from choosing to go to Inglewood.  But that is one rumor
that I can
confidently dispel.  Inglewood High has hired countless new teachers
in the past three years.
These new teachers provide a fresh new perspective of teaching that
students can relate
to.  Of course there are also the teachers who have the experience to
back up their teaching
methods.  With a myriad of years at Inglewood, these “veterans”,
as I like to call them,
have been with Inglewood through the bad to now enjoy the good.
Though some teachers
seem to have lost their passion for teaching, the rest are, in my
opinion, proud and
happy to teach at Inglewood.

Cinco
de Mayo is another tradition of Inglewood. But not the celebration of
the meaning
of Cinco de Mayo, but the annual riots that once took place.  If you
have lived in Inglewood
at any time during the past ten years, then you have heard or seen
these calamitous
events.  Based in racial tensions starting back in 1989, the riots
that occurred during
the Cinco de Mayo celebrations eventually became an excuse to cause
mayhem and get
out of school.  The execution of the two lunches program, in which
the student population’s
lunch was split into two separate lunches, has helped in bridling
possible trouble.
In conjunction with stricter rules and more security, Cinco de Mayo
is once again a
joy filled celebration rather than a destructive melee.

Now
I can say that I’m happy that I have gone to Inglewood, despite all
the changes
the school underwent.  My first year there was the last year of the
riots, the last year
with a principal that seemed ineffective, and the last year of young
innocence.  I grew up
that year.  I learned that people can be difficult, that one must not
be afraid of new ideas,
that life isn’t fair.  These ideas are difficult to grasp alone, and
sometimes I wish I had
someone there to help me. Advice I have for incoming Freshman would
be based upon
my personal experiences, so of course opinions may vary.

Teachers
are the backbone of a school, like previously mentioned.  So of
course students
would want to develop good relationships with teachers. Whether you
develop a friendly
relationship or just a teacher-student type of relationship, be sure
to always have respect
for the teacher.  I know of one teacher I had that was easily the
best teacher I had in
my fours years at Inglewood.  He was a Physical Science teacher.  The
stories he had to tell
were always interesting and fun to hear.  The affinity I had for this
teacher is a good example
of a friendly relationship.  Of course there is always that one
teacher, the one that truly
gives a student a hard time, or lack of respect.  In such a situation
I suggest that a student
simply leave that class and switch over to a different teacher.
Hopefully there will be
better luck with the next one.

High
school may not be a melting pot of different cultures, but it is a
place where new
faces and new ideas surface.  Even though junior high school
introduces you to different
people and ideas, high school is really where you meet the kids from
all over the city.
I remember I first heard of veganism is the ninth grade.  The whole
idea of someone not
eating anything that comes form an animal amazed me.  Of course, in
the next four years
I learned many other things, most of which I dare not mention here.

When
it came to friends, I was a very lucky guy.  Having a laid back and positive
attitude helped me meet many interesting and fun people in high
school, while still staying
close to my old friends..  And even when people weren’t my close
friends, I at least knew
them.  A “hello”, or a “what’s up”, was always a
good way to meet, greet, and start a
conversation with people.  But no matter who your friends are, never
be afraid or too shy
to meet someone new.  That someone new could become your next close
friend.

Yes,
high school is a place of learning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t
have fun. Enjoy
the company of your friends, open your mind, take in new experiences.
Inglewood High
is the next stage of a lifetime. Hopefully my words can help a young
Freshman into that
stage.

Personal Statement

Why are parents
always right? No matter how much I argue, they cannot have a wrong
answer. Although I continued getting warnings from my family like,
“No seas tan flojo, ve y as algo constructivo.”, the
Spanish equivalent of, “Don’t be so lazy, go do something
constructive.”, I never quite understood why they continued to
push me so hard. Now that my future approaches,  I understand.
Although my family has never been directly involved with my school
education, the moral support they have provided me has helped me get
through those difficult points in life when you realize that life
will move on with or without you.

Both my parents
are of Mexican descent, born and raised in a small town in central Mexico. They had
the classic romance; meet a person you like in your town, go through the ritual
courting, then ask the person for their hand in marriage. Such
practices were normal back then,
but soon after they moved to Santa Monica, California my parents were forced to adapt to
a more liberal lifestyle. The small town mentality they once had no longer applied in
this new environment, as my father once learned. What he would have considered a small
argument between himself and another man ended in a gun being brandished and my
father being shot in the back. To this day the bullet remains lodged
in his back, a grim
reminder of the difference between their native society and the
American one.

Through such
stories of the difficulties my parents have endured, I have developed
a deep sense of
pride of my Mexican background, as well as pride in the ideas and
values my parents have
passed down to me. Although they believe in the opinions they
developed growing up in Mexico, my
parents developed the most open-minded attitudes I have ever observed, a trait
I am convinced I have gained as well.

Throughout my
life I have been very accepting of different people, regardless of ethnic
differences. I always attempt to treat others with respect and
dignity, and I never judge anyone based on outward appearance. Often
I may notice someone who may be dressed outlandishly or frankly
ridiculous, as was the case some time ago at my job. I was just
assisting a customer when a very muscular Indian man walked in. He
was wearing his hair straight up, with a torn yellow shirt and purple
pants. Although my immediate mental reaction was to label this man as
someone very odd, I stopped myself and realized that although I may
consider his clothes or hair to be bizarre, he most likely conceives
his clothing as normal. Through such experiences my view of people in
general has drastically changed to a much more comprehensive and
accepting one.

My parents are
very calm, mellow people. They never seek an argument, and definitely
never try to resort to physical violence as a solution to a quarrel.
They are the type of people who will attempt to calm down an
aggressor before he causes himself any trouble. Though I must admit I
seem to have developed a more confrontational attitude toward a
problem, I, too, try to never resort to physical violence to resolve
it.

One time at
school a man came up to me believing I was the guy who had stolen his
girlfriend from him. Albeit I knew that I wasn’t the same guy he
was referring to, he was obviously quite sure that I was the one.
After trying to talk him down, he still refused to listen to reason
and shoved me. While I’m not one to take anything of that nature
lightly, I merely regained my composure and stood there. He lunged
again and I was forced to hold him down, for he was actually shorter
than me. I very slowly explained that it could not possibly be me
because of the fact that he himself had described the guy as a
“…short little punk…”. As I was taller, he realized I was
right and dismissed himself.

My family has
been the sole guidance in my life, and although they may not have
contributed to my educational goals, they have taught me valuable
lessons that I will be able to utilize to further my educational
career, and my hopes for the future.