My Education

My three older brothers told me how scary school was going to be and that I would hate kindergarten. They told me that people were going to be mean to me.

My mom said it won’t be that bad so when the first day came, I was crying and begging my mom to not leave me there when the teacher impatiently looked up at her and sternly told to her to “Just leave!” And my mom patted me on the head and walked away and left me there with a bunch of scary strangers, including the stern teacher and a whole bunch of rowdy, rambunctious kids while I was screaming my head off for my mom to please don’t leave.

Somehow or other I made it through that scary, seemingly endless first day of school. And then there she was, in what felt like forever, my mom came back. She didn’t forget all about me.

I was so relieved as I holding her hand and walking the several blocks back home, that when she asked me how it was, I wanted to act brave and I forced myself to softly say, “It was okay” as I kicked a rock on down the road. And then my mom dropped the bombshell and said; “Good, then maybe it won’t be so bad for you tomorrow.” I about fell over as I looked up at my mom and quivered and meekly said, “You mean I have to do that all over again tomorrow?” To which my mom said; “Oh it won’t be so bad.”

I made it through that first year of school and all the years from grammar school through high school after that. I can’t say I ever particularly cared for it though. Why? Maybe it was because I was just one of a multitude of the Baby Boom generation where I never really got the individual attention that I needed but that was nothing compared to getting drafted the year after high school and being sent to Vietnam as a medic. Suddenly school seemed like a cakewalk.

So when I managed to survive Vietnam and got back home, I applied to college and enjoyed every single day of it. As a matter of fact, I look back at my college education and think that it was the most carefree, happy time of my life.

Of course I also enjoyed going to many anti-war protests while I was at Cal State LA but I guess that was part of my education as well.

I guess one of my biggest struggles has been how to make a decision. With all the years of going to school I’ve had I wish some of it was focused on how to make a decision.

I think I’ll call my next blog, “A Quality Control Check List” and talk about how I’ve learned to make a decision.

Phil, June, 1950 001 Phil, June, 1950 in LA.

About Sr Felipe

I grew up in East LA, was drafted into the army and sent to Vietnam as a medic with the 1st Cav from 1966-1967. I survived that, came back to LA, went to East LA College and Cal State LA, became a social worker in Ventura, CA and moved up to Chico, CA in 1975. I started Sr Felipe's Salsas making organic salsa, enchilada, BBQ and pasta sauce that was available in natural food stores nationwide from 1980-2005. I've been doing a radio show on KZFR, Chico, 90.1 FM every Tuesday from 7:30-10:00 PM streamed live on where I play oldies from the 50s & 60s, doo-wop, Latin, folk, country and Gospel music and interview interesting people in the community. For the past three years I've been teaching beginning guitar through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute through Chico State University.
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