Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - June 10, 2011

Griselda Carlos-Arzate

'We can totally do it'

Griselda Carlos-Arzate says she'll most miss the safe, warm feeling of Castilleja School when she moves across El Camino Real to Stanford University this fall.

As the daughter of a cook in the school's kitchen, Carlos-Arzate has been playing on the Bryant Street campus since she was a toddler — later attending summer camp there and, finally, feeling fortunate to gain admission to the school for the sixth grade.

Arriving as a student from a public school in Newark, Carlos-Arzate said she "was definitely at a disadvantage academically.

"There as catch-up I had to do, but nothing that set me back, because I had incredible support from everyone here," she said.

At Castilleja, Carlos-Arzate ran cross country for a few years and has played lacrosse for Castilleja all four years.

She also co-founded the school's Diversity Club, which aims to spread the word about the value of diversity through events such as "Mix it Up Day," in which students are randomly assigned to share lunch with others they wouldn't usually talk to.

The club also created a seventh-grade "diversity curriculum," talking to students about how to handle uncomfortable classrooms situations, such as when a teacher singles out a black student while teaching about slavery, she said.

Born in the United States to Mexican parents, Carlos-Arzate easily alternates between speaking Spanish and English, depending on the setting.

Though excited to venture out of the Castilleja bubble into a co-ed environment, she says she'll miss the close student-teacher bonds fostered at the school.

She won't miss "the feeling of constant work — always having to push yourself harder and harder."

History? International Relations? Carlos-Arzate is undecided about a college major, intending to "try a lot of general-education classes to narrow it down."

She's equally uncertain about where she sees herself in 10 years but expects her life will be different from that of her parents.

"I'm definitely a hard worker, but I can never work as hard as they do now. They got a minimal education. I'll have graduated from Castilleja and be going to Stanford. Things like that were unimaginable for them."

Her generation has been given a lot of "homework" by the older generation, she said.

"When we have speakers come here they talk about global warming and other problems they didn't see coming, and they say we'll have to solve it.

"My generation will have to take up those problems and create solutions and be innovative. And I think we can totally do it."

—Chris Kenrick

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields