School girl

Isela Arellano

Photo By David Robert

We spotted 13-year-old Isela Arellano with her mom and little sister leaving Wal-Mart, where, inside, aisles freshly stacked with bottles of glue, packs of pencils and multicolored notebooks await the hands of this years’ new batch of students. A young lady of few words, Arellano says she’s excited to get back to work.

So what school do you go to?

I’m going to go to Vaughn.

Are you looking forward to that?


What are you looking forward to?

I’m going to be in middle school now. I was in elementary.

That’s exciting. How do you think middle school will be different?

A lot harder.

And you’re looking forward to that?


What’s the worst thing about school?

Um, mean teachers, probably.

Have you had a lot of mean teachers?

Yeah, one in elementary.

But not this year, hopefully.


What’s the best thing about school?

Meeting new people.

Do you play sports or do art?

No. But I’d like to play volleyball.

Is that something you can do in middle school that you couldn’t do in elementary?


Cool. So what’s your favorite subject?


Math? That’s my least favorite. So what do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a teacher or a veterinarian.

You like animals then. Do you have any pets?

No, not yet. We’re going to, but we live in an apartment.

Oh yeah, that’s hard. I do, too. So what are you going to wear the first day?

[Smiles] I don’t know yet.

Are you thinking about it? Does that make you nervous?


I remember that. So when does school start?

August 28.

Have you had a good summer?

Sort of, yeah.

What, was it boring?


You’re ready to do something else, huh?


Well thanks, Isela, and good luck with your school year.