5280 Feet of Downhill

The school bell rang twice per day - At noon to let all the students in and at 9pm to let the students out… straight into the night.

Kick. Push. Kick. Push. Coast.

Getting to school was fast and hot and included dodging taxi drivers who often ran the red lights and rabies-infected street dogs that chase any moving object with wheels… and I had 4 of them under my feet. Getting home was a different story… With the idea of visually identifying the gang members from students on the streets - The school system decided to allow each school to select the color of their student’s uniform and to enforce each student to wear it every school day.

The color of the stripe on the school uniform signaled some sort of gang affiliation - just as much as a colored flag sticking out from the back pocket of sagging’ pants. When all your classmates are the rejects from others city schools who got expelled for fighting, drinking and/or having drugs and guns on them - you quickly learn to be diplomatic.