Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Résumé

Work Experience:
Water and Ice
Address: 81 S. McQueen Rd. 85233 Gilbert, AZ
Phone number: (480)507-4723
Position: Clerk, stocking, inventory, janitor, food handler, security, and server.
Duties: Closing the store for the night, locking all doors, counting out the money in the cash register, setting the alarm and locking the door after hours. During business hours I greeted, made and served food and beverages, and assisted customers. I also kept my work space clean and organized, stocked shelves, bagged ice, occasionally answered business calls, and trained new employees.
Certification: Food Handlers Permit
Skills: Operating a cash register, handling, counting, and accounting for large amounts of money, directional skills, listening skills, attention to detail as well as customer service, multitasking, bilingual abilities, (English/Spanish) and cleanliness.
Hours: 28 hours a week
Starting pay: $5.15
Last Pay: $5.15
Owner: Steve Tolboth
Duration: 6/3/06 to 9/25/06
Reason for leaving: Store went out of business.

Address: 2750 E. Germann Rd.
Phone number: (480) –812-2930
Position: Apparel associate
Duties: Organize clean and managing 8 of the apparel sections. The clothing was to be hung, folded and categorized according to size, color, price and brand. I also attended customers in the fitting rooms, both in person and on the phone. While at Wal-Mart, I passed all the random inspection standards.
Skills: Organization, cleanliness, multitasking, customer service, bilingual abilities (English/Spanish) responsibility, attention to detail, directional skills, listening skills, and phone skills.
Hours: 20 hours per week
Starting pay: $7.15
Last pay: $7.15
Supervisor: June Piposar
Duration: 10/1/06 to 12/31/06
Reason for leaving: Temporary/seasonal Position

Creative Consumer Research (CCR)
Addresses: 500 W. Broadway, Tempe Arizona
Phones: (480) 557-6666
Position: Surveyor
Duties: Approach shoppers at fiesta mall, or call people registered in the CCR data base to completing market research surveys, interviews, studies, and focus groups. Conducting surveys includes, accurately, honestly and neatly recording a respondent’s answers. At the end of each survey I was responsible for paying participants, sometimes as much as $50 in cash, for participating in our survey
In the phone room I made and answered calls to and from people in our data base. Their responses were either written, or typing into a computer.
Skills: Communication skills, bilingual (English/Spanish), listening skills, attention to details, marketing and sales skills, phone skills, customer service skills, organizational skills, handling and accounting for money, patience, friendly, typing skills, enthusiasm, persuasiveness, and computer knowledge.
Hours: 20 hour week
Starting pay: Hourly and commission, with a $10 per hour/commission
Last Pay: $12 average per hour/commission
Phone room supervisor: Barbara Thompson.
Duration: 2/11/07 to 8/5/07
Reason for leaving: Seeking new job opportunities

Academic background
Attended: Academy for Math Engineering and Science (AMES) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Director: Al Church
Duration: 08/04 to 06/06
Grades: 9-10
Awards/ Achievements:
President and founder the AMES Academy volunteer club.
Blue Ribbon in 2006 public forum Debate tournament “Excellent Speaker”
AMES Academy Science fair participant
AMES Academy: Science advancement program award
AMES Academy science fair, honorable mention.
Salt Lake Valley Science Fair (SLVSF) Honorable Mention
Jane Goodall’s: Root’s and Shoots environmental award
American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) science award
AMES volunteers
AMES Bike club
Year Book
Public Forum Debate team
Science fair committee

Attended: Mesquite High School 500 S. McQueen Rd. 85233, Gilbert, Arizona.
Director: Mr. Marciano
Duration: 08/06 to Present
Up and Coming Voters Club
Tutoring Club
Fashion club
Speech and Debate Team
Volunteer experience:
Scottsdale Annual Arts Festival - Imagination center volunteer
Home Based Youth - “Rise N’ Dine” event volunteer.
American Cancer Association - Relay for Life
Muscular Dystrophy Association – Christmas Luncheon
Utah Aids Foundation – Christmas gift wrap
Save The Family – Made a scrapbook and birthday cards.
Boys and Girls Club of America – L.I.T. (Leader in Training).
Academy for Math Engineering and Science - Volunteer club president and founder.
Utah Children’s Center - Toy drive.
Nibley Park Elementary - Reading tutor.
Girls Scout of America - Christmas gift wrap.
Academy for Math Engineering and Science Multicultural Fair – Coordinator.

Extracurricular activities: Volunteering, biking, hiking, swimming, photography, scrap booking, reading, writing, participating in my church, and my school’s up and coming voters club, studying, looking for scholarships, and being with my family.

About myself: I.G. I’m 17 years, I moved to Arizona a little over a year ago from Salt Lake City Utah. While in Utah, I tutored kids at Nibley Park Elementary and became a member of, and L.I.T. (Leader in Training), the local Boys and Girls club. I also attended the Academy for Math Engineering and Science also known as AMES Academy; a charter school where I participated in the yearbook club and the bicycle club. I also directed and organized our school’s first annual multi-cultural fair. My sophomore year, I created the school’s first volunteer club. As president of the club it was my job to recruit and organize volunteers for various volunteer events which I scheduled with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Girl Scouts, the Utah Aids Foundation, and the Utah Children’s Center. Simultaneously, I was a part of my school’s public forum debate team, where I won a Blue Ribbon in public forum. Shortly afterward, I was won honorable mentions at both the local and state science fairs. I also received the American Society of Civil Engineers science award, Jane Goodall's: Roots and Shoots Environmental award, and Ames Academy Science Advancement Program award. Once in Arizona, I became a Wildcat at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, where I joined the speech and debate team once again, as well as the “Up and Coming Voters Club,” and maintained a 3.0 or B average. Since coming to Arizona I've volunteered with Home Based Youth’s “Rise and Dine” program, The American Cancer Society’s in the Relay for Life, the Annual Scottsdale Arts Festival, and a scrap-booking/card making project for Save the Family.
At school my curriculum is filled with Honors classes, the only exception being stock market and economics. I look forward to graduating from Mesquite High School this coming May, and going on to college in the fall.

now thats a Résumé

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the diagnosis...

I had multiple swollen lymph nodes, plus I was feeling pretty tiered all the time, so I visited the docotor who sent me to get some bloodwork done.
I later recieved a call saying I tested positive in my bloodwork.
I was confused, positive? On what? before I could ask the receptionist continued, "You need to come down here as soon as possible,"
"um-okay, do you guys have anything open between 4 and 5 tomorrow?"
"No, you need to get down here, like- right, now." she replied with a town of annoyed urgency.
I felt a little worried and asked her exactly what had shown up positive on my blood test; I did not hear the answer, as my mom yanked the phone out of my hands when she heard me say this.
He brow looked furrowed, as she listned intently. Annoyed, I went up stairs to my room, but no sooner had I shut the door behind me when my mother bellowed from downstairs, "INDIRA?!"
Startled I opened the door and stuck my head out, and before I could even reply she hurridly spoke once more, "Put on your shoes, and lets go- we have to go down to the clinic."
Feeling a mixture of annoyance, alarm and fatigue I stuffed my feet into a pair of nearby sneakers and hurriedly shuffled downstairs. "Mom," I began, "What was positive on the-"
She zoomed by talking a mile a minute on her cell phone, already halfway out the door, and turning to whith an impatient expression, urging me to shuffle just a little bit faster.
Inside the car, "I dunno, they just called us up and told us to come down here...yeah. Okay see you then."
At last she hung up her phone. He dark skin glistned with sweat, and her expression seemed determined. Before long I broke the silence, "Who was that?"
"Your dad."
more silence.
"And the blood results?" A little too casualy.
"Don't worry, it's nothing seriouse."
Irrited I gave up and resumed listening to my ipod...extra loud.
Awhile later we pulled into the nice, little, middle class, Palo Verde family clinic owned by Dr. Chang at Chandler Gateway Medical Center. It's a nice little clinic, it's waiting room not much bigger than your sitting room, or a small living room. about 6 chairs take up two plain white walls which face a short hallway to the bathrooms. It's air conditioned, and oxymoronly enough also has a fireplace, which is, of course, minus the fire. Stacks of magazines I neatly pilled on a wooden shelf built into the fire place and relaxing, if not boring, new wave/acid jazz plays from overhead speakers. In the waiting room there are no bothersome, ever humming, florecent light, instead the blinds are drawn and, as trees outside the window sheild the harsh Arizona sunshine, meek stream of sunshine make their way into the room. It dosen't smell like old people, or medicine and strangley enough, apart from my mother and I, the waiting room was empty; The ambience of the waiting room is unlike a clinic in many ways. After a 15 minute wait, a young hispanic nurse with her nose peirced, opened the door, and breifly looked down at her clipboard reading aloud, "Indera?" She looked around as if there were many more people in the waiting room, even though only my mother and I sat in a nearby corner.
"Here," My mother motioned, and stood up gathering her purse and a few papers.
I followed them both into the actual clinic, where I was led to a scale. I knew the drill and not bothering to remove my shoes, I bravely stepped on the scale.
"161 pounds," the nurse muttered jotting it down on her clipboard, "This way."
We followed her through a series of hallways, which remined me of a maze. My mother and I were mice, the nurse was the cheese. Hurriedly waking without looking up from her clipboard she let us to a small and plain room.
On one wall a gray bed with what looked like gray wax paper spread across the top. Nearby an innocent, small, gray, foot stool and directly across it, and the bed, a grey counter and sink. I believe the theme was gray.
The doctor will be right with you." Quick smile, and nose peircing glinting the nurse disappeared behind the door.
I looked up the florecent lights...
"Mom?" I looked over at her on the gray little stool. She looked commical; Here sat a very overweight woman, on a tiny gray stool, her eyes closed, appearantly asleep. My mom is prone to falling asleep in quiet places in which she can rest. A few minutes is all it takes, and sometimes she'll even snore.
"Do you want to listen to some music?" My thumb was already poised on the song I wanted to play, in the "c" section, Clair de lune.
"No." her eyes remained closed.
Surprised, but not betraying any signs of it I persisted, "Are you sure? It's a song you love."
Her eyes opened into little slits to revel tired bloodshot eyes, annoyed she finaly agreed.
I sat to her left so I gave her the left earbud, and selected the song. Quiet piano music filled my right ear.
Song after song, we listened to, mostly along the same vein; Quiet, peaceful, spanish, english.
There was a quick rap at the door, my mother jumped a little, as the door immidiately opened revealing Dr. Jahver's bright smiling face.
When asked why we stopped by the clinic, I explained how I got a phone call that one of my blood test's came back positive, (glancing at my mother quickly) for what I did not know.
"Valley fever." My mother interjected in her broken english. She looked a little more awake, however just as tired.
Dr. Jahiver whent on to explain the disease, or fungus rather, and the medication she would be perscribing. A dose of 200ml was strong, she said, but it would only be for the next six month.
So I guess I have a disease now...I won't die from it, but I guess I'm sick. How strange...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The art of failure

failing without meaning to fail is bad luck.
failing with a purpose is art.
the same goes with success.
My are will be revenge.

In july I signed up to take an honors test, I did so hoping to make it into an honor level english class. The test was available to any and all students wishing to be part of an Honors class, they must of course, first qualify. I took the test confidently and knew I would pass, and get into an honors class. The subject for which I took the test was english, my favorite subject in school, and one of the easiest for me.
Just as I had expected two days ago, my parents received a letter informing them that I had pass the honors test with a 92 and could now join the class if I wished. Since that was the only puspose of taking test, which again I stress- I passed- I decided to go ahead see my counselor in order to get sign up for the class.
I was excited and happy, feeling as if I had acheived something, getting into a prestigiouse and challenging class, I couldn't wait to see what advice my counselor for me.
"I strongly urge you not to take this class."
What had I heard wrong?
"It's an HONORS CLASS." my counselor mrs. cucio empasised with her eyes bulging. What a contrast from the smiling face that had wished me luck the day of the test.
Why had I taken the test, if even after I had passed it with a great score, they were doubtful of my abilities? What then, was the purpose of the test?
I also added that I would like to drop pre-calculus because I did not need it to graduate, or to get into community college, I did not need it at all, and I wasn't doing good in it.
Appearantly last year she had advised me not to take this course, strange because I hadn't even taken algebra II then, which is a pre-requiset course which I took upon myself to complete online over the summer, so how she guessed I would be taking pre-calc is beyond me. But anyhow she was "Not going to argue" with me.
Truthfully the whole time I felt kind of scared and a little- scratch that- a lot shocked, at her anger, her whole attitude towards me, saying things like, "If you fail this class I am not dropping it for you...even if you fail."
Why is she so certain I'm going to fail, I haven't even stepped foot in the class yet? I've never done badly in an english class my whole High School career and english is my favorite subject although the slow pace of it can be pretty dull at times. I need a challenge.
I got one today, and I'm going to finnish it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007


So I'm looking up school notes and I see that this coming week our journal entry has to be about promises. At first I felt an irresistible smirk come on, promises. pfft.
I don't make promises. I don't need to, either you do what you're told, or you don't. The end, you shouldn't go around compromising yourself if you don't even know what could end up really happening.
So I began to write...
"In my family we don't make promises anymore, we just do it, and either we do what we are told, and we do it well, or we don't do it at all....."

then a though occurred to me.

"One person in my family, however, did make a life changing promise. When my grandma took in my mom and promised to take care of her till she was old enough to look after herself, she did not foresee taking care of her niece through a war which broke out in El Salvador during the early to late 80's..."

and then it all just came, like thought vomit, only it wasn't vomit, it was actually...meaningful...

"She did not foresee taking care of her through murder and crime, through safe houses in Nicaragua, and through a racist, and xenophobic Costa Rica. But she did, she took her safely out of the war by illegally leaving El Salvador, and settling down in Costa Rica. She watched over her through elementary school, through high school, through hardships of poverty, and news of war back home, till my mom walked her college graduation ceremony; diploma in hand. My grandma decided at this point my mom could look after herself and gave my parents her blessing. Her promise was complete. Because of the war the only living relative on my mom's side of the family is our grandma, and to my mom, her aunt. I feel as if my grandma struggled to survive the war in order to keep her promise to her sister."

It's weird to discover a treasure you had inside of you all along.
It's like the saying that saying, "In this world your either somebody, or a nobody"
The part that always gets omitted is the one that give this saying meaning,-
"and the only one that makes that decision is you."
Who are you?
I'm Indira Gutierrez, I'm a somebody.

Friday, August 10, 2007

First and last

First day of school came and when.
It's my last year of high school
and I'm anticipating the future.
Everything I wore on the first day was new right down to my undies. But truthfully the new things wont get many any Friends, the most they'll do is make me feel a little more confident because I feel good about my stuff, look good, and may therefore make me feel more positive. But really it's an attitude thing. I could walk into school with rags on, which admittedly would make me feel a little more self conscious, but that should not interfere with my enthusiasm for learning.
And that concept is what's really motivating me to get through this final year of high school.
I have all my credits in order. In order for me to graduate I only have to take a semester of English, and a year of social studies, but I have not only met those two but I am also taking, A.P. Ecology, Stock Market Economics, Pre-Calculus, IV SR Comp (soon to be Honors English) and A.P. Psychology.
graduating with 23.50 credits instead of 21.00. Nice. Not to mention two of those credits also count as college credit as well, that is assuming I pass test, and yes, of course I will.
I'm aiming for valedictorian this year, trying not to miss a sing day of class in order to be eligible for a drawing at the end of the year, and aiming to pass all my classes.

My game plan
homework done before due date
review everyday to stay fresh
sleep earlier to get more sleep and have more energy to go to school
no work to focus souly on school
be optimistic
be curious
and be clever!

Monday, August 6, 2007

my recipe for change


all photos by Marco Gutierrez- Madeline Cathedral in Salt Lake City Utah

my recipe for change
One drive by murder
One fatal car accident
two funerals
one of a child
a hint of a job offer
one house fire
one new puppy dog
and our lives changed forever.
All in one year 2005. by the end of that year, I had cried so much I had scabs on my eye lids that have since healed, by June 2006 we had arrive in a strange new land, of chandler AZ. I currently attend high school (not saying where!) at this point in my life I had accomplished so much by now I didn't know how I could top myself, though I knew I could.
I had won honorable mentions at the local and state science fair in Utah
At that very same state science fair I also won Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots environmental award, and The American Society for Civil Engineers or the ASCE Science Award and later that year at the Ame's Awards Banquet I won the Ames: Academy for Math Engineering and Science, Science Advancement Program Award.
I had also won a blue ribbon at my very first debate tournament and had also founded, organized, and coordinated my own volunteer club. I had volunteer through my own club for the Utah aids foundation, the Utah children's center, and for the muscular dystrophy associations Christmas luncheon. Since then in AZ I have volunteered for the Annual Scottsdale Arts festival, the American Cancer Society's relay for life, home based youth in rise and dine, and Save the Family scrap booking, and birthday card projects. I have also applied for the discover card scholarship and became a semi-finalist. Though I did not win anything I was still proud of that one.
Even through all these great experiences what I miss most of Utah is everything! I miss my best friend Sasha, going to Fairmont Park, walking to Barns and Nobel, or the dollar movies afterward. buying pixie sticks at party America just up the parking lot. Life was so much fun. Even at the new house, we could walk our dog to Roosevelt elementary playground and let the little butterball of a puppy dog run around without a leash for awhile. He was only as big as a soccer ball, at that, but he could run so fast!
I'll miss the mountains, so beautiful in snow, rain or shine. breathtaking sunsets, those beautiful truly, white Christmas's where the Christmas lights make the snow glow, where you really could catch the snowflake on your tongue, and eyebrows, and eye lashes...
the beautiful evergreens. Those toasty summers where kids would have water balloon fights, crowd the pool, or jump into nearest river at fox point. I'll miss Ame's, I'll miss all my neighborhoods but most of all I'll miss the people, I'll miss everything and absolutely everyone.
I guess this is an unofficial, official goodbye to all that, but not for good.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

New year

I'm starting a new year as a senior in exactly 4 days and I can't wait. My last year of high school and it feels like once it's over, a little voice in my head will say, "Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life."
To people who have been there and done that it may not seem so important but I am about to venture into undiscovered territory and the clocks ticking away. That how I feel whenever I reach a milestone in my life, or even a small goal; I relish in it momentarily before feeling the urge to move on to the next. I guess I was meant to work, and work hard, in this life. I’m not a conformist and my life story is anything but traditional. In fact it is one of the most unique stories of anyone I know.
My mother, from El Salvador met my dad in Costa Rica, as a refugee from the civil war conflict in her country. My dad jokes that he met her in a refugee camp, I don't know if this is true.
The both grew up in the simple times, of that already simple country Costa Rica, in which I was born. They reminisce and drink coffee over memories of waking up early summer morning to pick harvest of fresh coffee beans in dense coffee Fields. Though now days the often talk more of bills and work than they do of the "good old days," when guava and lemon trees grew in our back yard.
I don't remember much of Costa Rica; I know both my grandpa and grandma on my dad's side of the family live there, as well as my mother's adoptive mother. My mom's adoptive dad, who was a priest in El Salvador during the civil war, was a prime target for attack as a religious figure. He, along with my uncle who lived with my grandma and died at the Young age of 28 later died; In Costa Rica, leaving my grandma as the only known, immediate family relative still living from my mother's side.
My dad's side of the family is also pretty interesting. His dad, a tough old bird, is nearing 80 and still walks miles everyday to market, in order to buy a loaf of bread and gossip. He was the town healer, owning a pharmacy and often making late night house calls no one else would, charging very cheaply and sometimes nothing at all if his patients were too poor to pay, something which no one else in the medical field ever did. If you're too poor to for your meds, find a place to die.
His kindness and generosity made him a sort of living legend and local celebrity. A few years ago he mailed my dad a newspaper clipping featuring a parade that took place down Main Street, the reason for celebration? My grandpa, the parade commemorated local heroes my grandpa, front and center. Yet he is humble, almost to an annoying degree.
He is getting on in his years, yet is as able as ever, and a story often circulates around the table whenever my family speaks of him; when my dad was small boy he and Friends found an Ouija board in the attic. They asked it when my grandpa would die, and it reportedly said, "150."
We're all still waiting around to see if this premonition will come true, and it seems to be well on it's way too.
My grandma on my dad's side is something like half Japanese. In any case, I know hardly anything about her, nor would I want to. She has never received my mother too warmly and apparently objected my mother and father marrying.
The rest of my fathers’ family lives in Texas. The only one that ever bother's to communicate is my dad's youngest sister, with whom we lived with, for a time in Utah; when we first came to America. The rest are fairly recluse and resent my dad living away from the family. While two of my mother's estranged siblings live in Pennsylvania, and don't bother to write or call either, as we do like wise.
Yet, like my mother has often said on the subject, she would receive them just as warmly as the last time they met. We're there for each other, but otherwise live and let live.

My own family arrived to America, when I was five and my sister two. We took a plane mind you, which is apparently unusual for Hispanics nowadays. We lived in Salt Lake City, Utah for 12 wonderful, memorable, and truly, magnificent years- which I will never forget and will always cherish. Every year counted. We moved around a lot but always settled in beautiful places, meeting great people and making lifelong friends. From quiet little Murray to the dollar movies, barns and nobles and Fairmont park aka teen scene of Sugar House, we attended catechism at Scared Heart Church in Salt Lake City, and sometimes visited Midvale’s St. Teresa, on a whim.
My dad worked for converges and my mom worked for Holy Cross Ministries as a social worker, case worker and “Promotora.” Or promoter. Helping new immigrants, most of them illegal, to become legal and find employment, abused women to find shelters and protection programs as well as a other resources (directing them to programs like a the baby basket. Which gave abused and homeless pregnant women a basket filled with baby care products such a diapers, blankets, food, shoes, and clothing; for free.) She also helped children under the custody of CPS, and kids in the juvenile detention system.

She and my father had bought a new house. My mom called it her dream home. The house its self was a two story cookie cutter house only 4 years old and built in a cookie cutter neighborhood create only 8 years ago. It was perfect.
During this time life began to settle in an almost perfect direction. I was attending a prestigious academy; my sister was studying in grade school still and poised to enter the academy soon. My dad was immersed in his hobbies of photography. Waking up early to dive out to the canyons and take some amazing photographs the likes of which, I daresay would rival some of the best. He managed to make money with this talent taking pictures for wedding, baptisms, and first communions. He was also a secretary for the church, cleaned a laundry mat, and was a bilingual (Spanish/English) teacher for adults at hunter high school all the while working at converges.
Both my parents were very connected to the church. Mainly through my mother, who worked for Holy Cross. My dad became a church secretary this way and they both befriended a total of 4 families each with kids. All 4, including my family, totaling 5; would tailgate somewhere, every weekend we drove out to “the” lake (whichever it would be), and BBQ, while the kids played in the water. The places: Mirror Lake, Bear Lake, and Yuba among others.
A year later we were in Arizona, two people dead and life completely different.