Home Sick

Hotel, motel … I bet plenty of y’all know what comes next. Back to that in a moment. In second grade I had a crush on the nurse, so I pretended to be sick. My teacher sent me to the office; the nurse sent me home — for two days! In third grade I stayed …

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Firsts

Of all the memories people recall, childhood “firsts” have to rank near the top: first day of school, first time riding a bike, first crush, first kiss, first dance. More on that in a second. Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence, there was something that I both loved and …

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Pen Pals

If you’re anywhere near my age, you may remember the days when people had traditional snail mail Pen Pal relationships. Nowadays, with the expansion of the Internet, Pen Pals are pretty much a thing of the past. (There are some online clubs, and prisoners still develop Pen Pal-type relationships.) When I was in fifth grade, …

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Butt Out!

If there’s one parenting ritual I’ve inherited from my dad, it’s the propensity to lecture. My kids undoubtedly do not enjoy them, but it beats getting hit with a chancla. My dad viewed lecturing as an art form, and he made sure I heard every single word. Here are some examples. When I was about …

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50

About 42 years ago, I met the person you see pictured here in Room 9 — a third grade classroom on the campus of Cedar Grove Elementary School in East San Jose. Today, August 15, 2017, he hit the half-century mark: 50! While we met at a pretty young age, we didn’t develop a brotherly …

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Spaghetti Ready

If you were a ‘70’s kid like I was, chances are that you had at least one poster in your room. I had several — from the classic Farrah Fawcett bikini poster, to Magic Johnson, to the “He’s the DJ, I’m the rapper” poster of the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff. One of the reasons …

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No Trespassing

When I was a kid, orchards, ranches, and barren land were within walking distance from our house. Nowadays, it’s hard to find any of these things in my hometown of San Jose. In those days, signs like the one you see here were all over the place, and the message was pretty clear: Stay off …

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Freaks?

It was often horrifying to visit my grandma’s house. Not in the sense that I didn’t want to be there. I enjoyed visiting very much. It’s where I got to see and play outside with my cousins, eat tasty food — including homemade tortillas, and learn a little Spanish. My parents, and the other adults …

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