Sylvandale Middle School 7th to 8th grade

I attended this school for 7th and 8th grade. Located in San Jose, CA. I participated in the science club assisting the school team staffs. 8th grade was the first time I really start ed to learn about computer programming, it was an Apple II computer with black and green screen, did some basic programming such as 10 print “hello” 20 goto 10, and run command. There are quite a few Vietnamese or Asian, white are the minority for this school, violent happened daily, if you wear certain colors tied to gang they will beat you. I like Art class, Social study, Science and Computer programming.

After school I usually hang out with a friend or sometime couple friends at the nearby public library, I checked out books about electricity invention science and experiment, while my other friends read Vietnamese books “Kiem Hiep”.

Franklin-McKinley Elementary school

I Started school couple weeks later after arriving to the USA in late 1987. It was “Franklin-McKinley Elementary school” in San Jose, CA next to the Santa Clara County fairground. I remember being poor, wearing the used clothing donated by others, but it kept me warm. I speak little English. I struggled quite a bit since this school at the time don’t have ESL class. I started 5th graded back in late 1987. Then moved on to 6th grade at the same school. During 6th grade I remember being introduced to a computer for the first time, I believe it was an Apple II computer, playing Oregon Trail.

McKinley School
McKinley School

My 5th grade teacher I remember was Mrs. Westime, not so sure about the spelling. I remember in the morning taking the bus about 3mins walk from the house, there were a few Vietnamese in the neighborhood, but they don’t speak Vietnamese so I can’t socialize with them anyways. The bus ride was about good 20mins, upon arriving at the school gate I remember kids in the back of the bus bounce up on purpose as the bus goes up the big speed bumb, I thought it was funny, they increased the bounce nearly hit the roof of the bus. I had breakfast, school food the first time, it wasn’t bad. Lunch wasn’t bad either. It was later me and another Vietnamese student got sent to a 3rd grade class to learn English, I noticed all the chair and table are smaller, and off course the kids are 3rd graders, off course I was embarass but I know it’s good for me.

My 5th teacher I believe was Mr. Adame, not so sure about the spelling either. By this time, there were Vietnamese students, some of the Vietnamese are good students to hand around with, a few others Vietnamese don’t even speak Vietnamese and some don’t even want to hang out with new comer Vietnamese like me, and there are other Vietnamese students although young but trouble maker, like chasing after girls, pick a fight with other races, and cussing in Vietnamese languages. The assignment that I did well was doing a project on the Egyptian way of life. I also succeeded in class as the best drawer, I can draw very well, mostly detail sketch of technology related drawings like space station, spaceship, the solar system, future cars control dashboard, new colonies in space, I was inspired seeing just a few videos and read books on space exploration …