As a self imposed bookworm, I have no qualms about locking myself in a room devouring a trashy YA series until my eyes dry up. As a matter of fact, it’s become a sort of routine of mine. Though aside from an unhealthy obsession with reading (if you can even call reading an obsession) my mom drags me out of the Batcave every once in awhile to do things like eat and, my least favorite thing, socialize.

Socializing usually comes in the form of school. I’ve had a very unhealthy case of Senoritis since freshman year. Despite sharing classes with these kids for four years, I still point and grunt at whomever I’m referring to in class when I don’t know their name, and they do the same. There was never a need to get to know anyone, so I didn’t. We all were just strangers who had to sit next to each other and occasionally speak at one another, that is, until the clock strikes about 12:45, when my English class begins.

My teacher, Mr. Durant, has a very unconventional style of teaching. In his class, he likes to throw out random provocative ideas and watch his students pounce on them like lions with raw meat. Every day it feels more like a cage fight than a classroom and everyone is on edge to jump up and challenge what the other person has said. So usually, I stay quiet.

One Thursday, Durant had us separate ourselves into different sides of the room.

Left side to agree; right side to disagree. He then turned around and wrote on the board in big block letters, “All love is good love.”

Everyone in the room moved, some of us even climbing over furniture to pick a side, and then we spoke up.

In our little space, we were able to delve into really personal topics. We discussed break ups, domestic violence, self love, depression, family, anything that even touched the topic of love. Most of us laughed, but some of us cried too, though they were quickly comforted by so-in-so who was just a faceless classmate minutes before.

Pretty soon I realized that Mr Durant wasn’t guiding the conversation anymore, but just letting it flow. He threw in the occasional “that’s deep”, to show he was still paying attention but for the whole period the time was ours.

At Sacramento Charter, the students have a bit of a reputation. We are seen as hard and rowdy. We party too hard and get into fights constantly. There are very rare moments though where our culture shines through and despite our many traits, our sense of community outshines them all.