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Bulldog Bugle

‘I want people to know me for who I am”

Jaylynn Aparicio
Mr. Diaz is giving a thumbs up because he was extremely happy to take the photo.

Miguel Diaz, 27  years old, shares a story of what it was like growing up while he went to a Catholic school. He talks about how different it was from public school. He also talks about how difficult it was growing up with four siblings and was the most SPOILED out of all of them, but he learned how to share. Diaz grew up with a very loving family but it was very challenging at the same time because he had to go through life without his dad.



Eulalia Baltazar: What’s your full name?
Miguel Diaz: My full name is Miguel Diaz.
EB: Tell me a little bit more about yourself?
MD: Something about me is I like playing video games in my free time with friends, family, past friend’s as well. I also like playing sports on the weekends, then going to parks playing soccer mainly but also basketball.
EB: What was your childhood like?
MD: My childhood was very pleasant. I was the oldest of four but for eight years I was an only child so I will say I was kinda spoiled in that manner, but then as I started getting the [laugh] my siblings, I started feeling less and less spoiled so I had to learn how to share but my childhood was pretty pleasant.
EB: When you were younger what did you want to be?
MD: When I was younger I wanted to be a firefighter because I thought it was so cool seeing those firefighters driving those red trucks and then using the water hose to spray down the fire.s I thought that was cool and then also I used to watch this show called Th- uh Power Rangers- and it was a moment were, uh, they were putting out the fire and I thought that was cool. That episode was pretty cool to me so that’s what I wanted to be.
EB: When is your birthday and what year were you born in?
MD: My birthday is August 18, 1996. 
EB: Can you tell me a little bit more about your parents?
MD: Yes, both my parents were born in Mexico, then they came around the early 1990s. They came here then they had me, so I was born here in the US and I’ve lived here ever since. I’ve gone back to visit Mexico but I never stayed to live back there again.
EB: Have any of your parents made an impact or influence in your life?
MD: Yes, my dad mainly because he struggled- those times where he had to go back to Mexico and then coming back was not easy. He went through a lot where he, a lot of paperwork didn’t go through so he, they wouldn’t let him back in and he left me, my mom and my brother alone so those times were difficult and he persevered and he got through that and he made it through and that always inspired me because he never gave up on us because he could’ve easily given up on us and basically left us but he stayed and I will always applaud him for that.
EB: In the next ten years what do you see yourself doing?
MD: In the next ten years I see myself doing either two things, a professor in college teaching math or being a forensic scientist, which means helping to gather evidence in crime scenes, stuff like that, working for probably the police department.
EB: Do you fear anything?
MD: I fear getting mistaken for someone who I am not so someone who doesn’t know me, I fear that they- I don’t want to give them the image of me that I am, you know, a person that I am not. That’s one of my biggest fears. I want people to know who I truly am.
Jaylynn Aparicio: What college did you attend?
MD: I actually attended two colleges. My first two years at Sacramento State up north in Sacramento, I dormed there for two years. I had the best times of my life those years, although it was pretty expensive, but I had the best time. But then after those two years I got tired so I came back to L.A. and I went to CaL State Dominguez Hills.
JA: What did you study while you were in college?
MD: When I was in college I studied psychology, so basically the study of the brain and the mind, and also psychology also deals with a lot of behavior and so a lot of classes were about behavior and the study of people basically. So that’s what I studied in for my Bachelor’s.
JA: Did you have any friends in college?
MD: Yes, I had a couple of friends in college. I managed to get friends along the way and I still talk to them till this day. We may not see each other but every time we talk there is always a connection there and I always will cherish their connection with them.
JA: What got you into teaching?
MD: What got me into teaching was I had a past job where I was working as a behavior therapist for a one-on-one student, so basically I was taking care of a student and I would always follow that student around but I was not in charge of a class. I wanted to make more of an impact to a class so that’s why I wanted to become a teacher, so I can impact more kids rather than just the kid I was assigned to, and I believe that was what led me to be here where I am now.
JA: How was school different from or similar to the school you went to growing up?
MD: So this school is actually very similar because I went to a Catholic school where it was kinder through eighth grade and it was similar because it was small class sizes so the most students I ever, were in a classroom were probably twenty-five and, similar to here in AJMS, they can, one of the bigger classes can get to 30 but other than that they don’t get bigger. It was different because over there as opposed to here, let’s say it was such a small school over there where I went to middle school because an eighth grade class, the whole eighth grade class could be composed of just thirty students and that was all the eighth graders, as opposed to here where there are like a hundred and fifty something eighth graders, so that’s the difference in terms of students. There were more students here but over there where I was it was smaller but it was a bigger campus.
JA: If you weren’t teaching what would you be doing?
MD: I think if I wan’t teaching I would try to learn to be a mechanic because I feel like that saves you a lot of money in terms of how to fix your car and not having to rely on a mechanic and then not knowing if the mechanic is telling you the truth or not and I feel like that is something I would like to learn and be doing for the job.
JA: What were some difficulties about choosing a job?
MD: Some difficulties about choosing my job or just any job in general is just your pay. So you can get paid a lot of money but if you’re not happy then you’re not happy, then even if you have all that money you can’t really use it to your happiness because you’re not satisfied with what you’re doing, so that’s part of the challenge. And also sacrificing a little bit of your pay rate but also you’re happy, so you’re happy helping students, and I feel like that’s what you have to risk with this job, but if you’re happy then I say go for teaching.
JA: What have you struggled on or are currently struggling on? 
MD: I think I have struggled with, overall this has been, ever since I was a student too, being organized, being organized is something I still struggle till this day because sometimes I’m just all over the place, so just getting things done right, and that also goes with time management, I also have difficulty time managing. What I do and that can lead to sometimes me procrastinating and me staying a little up late at night to do work so that’s something I sometimes struggle with but I keep getting better at everyday. 
JA: If you can tell your students something about you that they wouldn’t know otherwise what would it be?
MD: I believe something my students wouldn’t know about me is that I am competitive. I’m extremely competitive. If I am ever playing something competitive with me, whether it’s a game, whether it’s something, anything, I’m very competitive and sometimes I let that competitive spirit come out and sometimes it, it can be a little too reactive and sometimes I’m not, you won’t recognize the person that I am if I’m too competitive.
JA: How do you want your students to remember you?
MD: I think I want my students to remember me as that teacher that was strict but also willing to hear your problems out or talk to you or just be approachable. I just want to be remembered as an approachable teacher that you had the chance to talk to.
EB: Do you have any advice for students going into high school? 
MD: My advice for students going into high school is right away start earning A’s because if you really want to get into a good college, like one of those colleges like UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, then you have to start right away because colleges look at your grades from ninth grade, they see how you start right away. And that’s a mistake I made as soon as I went into high school, I started slacking off and then that could’ve been the reason I didn’t get into some of my favorite colleges going into 12th grade.
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Eulalia Baltazar, staff writer

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    butterflyApr 24, 2024 at 10:01 am

    I admire Mr. Diaz.