I’m Shine Nair and I am fifteen years old. I attend Bosque Prep in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have been there since sixth grade and I am now a freshman. At Bosque, every year we have something called Winterim. Winterim is the week before spring break where you have the option of doing an activity at school or travel and it counts as an educational part of school. I choose to travel every year. In sixth grade I did a Jackrabbit trip at Sevilleta. We learned how to spot jackrabbits; we learned about controlled fires and so much more. In seventh grade I went to Arizona and went camping for a week without a shower. That trip taught me a lot about nature and myself. Last year, in eighth grade, I went to Washington D.C. I learned a lot about how to transport myself in a big city and went to a lot of museums. I’ve learned a lot on these trips. This year I went to Los Angeles, California.

L.A. is a must-go for everyone. Our trip was a Latin-based trip. We went to the Getty Museum, which was amazing to me. They had rooms set up just as they would have been in ancient Rome. They had beds which seemed to be just big huge couches. The reason they had it set up like that was because they believed that if people were lying down they could be mistaken for being dead. Also they didn’t take showers often because they didn’t want to mess their hair up. We also went to the Getty Villa. Personally I thought the Getty museum was more impressive than the Villa. But don’t get me wrong, I liked the Villa. The building was a remodel of the actual Villa, which is in Rome. I think the reason I found the Museum better was because the museum had the most beautiful landscaping and the buildings were amazingly designed. The stuff at the museum should have been in the Villa and the stuff in the Villa should have been in the museum. It was still cool.

We went to Hollywood too. Hollywood was fun. More like a separate place altogether though. The next day we had a nice follow up. We went to Universal Studios and took a tour through a lot of sets we see in movies. We actually went through the area where they were currently filming Desperate Housewives, and Monk. We actually went through areas where we got to experience the technical aspects of filmmaking. For example, for the movie The Fast and the Furious, we got to watch the tech scan and then the live shot they did. We also learned about the technical things for the Mummy. It was cool. We spent the whole day at the Universal Studios. They had rides which I did not get on because I am afraid of stuff like that…Oh not true I went on one ride called the Mummy. It starts out slow then it rocks you and spins you then it jerks to a stop and shows you a picture of a guy with bugs crawling out of his shirt and then engulfing him. After watching this you feel stuff crawl up your legs. Then the ride repeats in reverse order. I am a big baby and I cried the entire way. When I got off the ride I couldn’t stop crying and shaking. I didn’t go on another ride after that.

Wednesday evening we went to Venice beach. When we got out of the van a black guy immediately asked us if we wanted to buy his CD. He said we could listen to it. I bought the CD and so did a boy in my group. The boy left me as well as the rest of my group. I was then surrounded by many other people who wanted me to buy their CDs. I was having fun talking to them and listening to why I should buy their CDs. When I left I shook all of their hands. The group I was with was so scared and wanted to know how I could stand over by them by myself. When we left the guy whom I had bought the first CD said “Thank you sistah and the group!” When we got on the bus everyone started talking about how those guys could have jumped me and how they would have been scared and how they were scared for me because I was surrounded by all those black guys. In a way it seemed liked they were saying it to be joking but I have a feeling like if it had been a bunch of white people then they would not have said the same things. It made me realize how non-diverse my school is. It also made me realize that a lot of the people I go to school with will always have those ideas in their heads.

The last day before we left, we went to The University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA has a wonderful campus. A lot of movies are shot there. Pretty much every movie that says it is Harvard is really just UCLA. The flashbacks of Monk at school are at UCLA. I had a good time during the tour but talking to a professor at UCLA didn’t make me want to go there like a lot of the people who were with me. Overall, my trip was enjoyable and educational.
by: Shine Nair