Ten weeks in!

Bryant Phan, a student-blogger, is in 10th grade at Life Academy. -Katy

Hello. This is my first time blogging since the school year has started. Is it just me or is this school year passing by extremely fast? We’ll be getting our second report cards in about three weeks or so.

Recently, I transferred from MetWest to LIFE Academy. So far, I’ve been feeling pretty good about the school. However, I really miss the sense of community at MetWest.

It is also pretty ridiculous that we have to share a building with two middle schools. Because of this, we don’t have off campus lunch and the school lunches aren’t necessarily very delicious. I’ve tried to bring my own lunch but I get tired of eating sandwiches everyday. The school cafeteria has promised to serve better lunch but has not fulfilled their promise. I don’t know if it’s because LIFE Academy is on a middle school campus or because LIFE Academy is a public high school in Oakland, but the lunch that is being served isn’t very nutritious. What do you think is the best way to put pressure on the school so they will serve better food?

Alright, back to the positive side of school. I believe that school is much more than learning Math, Science, History, and English. I believe that school is about or should be about learning how to build a community and how to be successful in the “Real World.” Hopefully, by next week, I am going to start a Poetry Club that will involve LIFE Academy itself and the other two middle schools, Peralta Creek and United For Success. My idea for the Poetry Club is about trying to elevate student voice through art through any form of poetry, whether it is Spoken Word or Structured Poetry. The club will also inform people about things that are happening all around the world. I’ve learned recently that art communities are really strong and I think this would be a good way to start to build a community at a high school/ middle school. This club will have a “teacher adviser” but the club will be run by students.

I’ll continue this blog later on…

Tell me what you think!
Thank you!


  • Ms Matsui

    That’s awesome, Bryant! I agree, we need to work more at this school about building community and having more ways to have students interact on a non-academic level. I’m here to support you if you need it!

    Matsui – your advisor, Life Academy Humanities teacher 11/12th grade

  • Sue

    My thoughts on improving your school lunches – free advise is always worth what you paid for it – are to look at the post below yours, “Hey that’s my Honeydew mellon!” and see if you can get your school to the top of the list for adding a salad bar. And see if you can get a school gardening project, a la Alice Waters’ Edible School Yard project in Berkeley.

    I don’t know how you’d do either of those things, but I think you’re a smart and high-energy guy, and if it’s possible at all, *you* can find out how and make it happen.

    And good luck with the poetry club! That’s awesome.

  • Dania

    Bryant….I couldn’t agree more with your philosophy that art is a great way to build a community. Spoken word/poetry is a powerful way to get messages out and for people to express themselves with one another, building a sense of community. I’d love to talk with you and hear more about your ideas of building community at Life.


    Dania – Internship Coordinator (in the LRC)

  • F. Ngo

    You’re absolutely right about the goals of school and Life will surely benefit from your vision. Looking forward to seeing your leadership!

  • Carlos

    That’s awesome Bryant!! Poetry and Art were meant to be much more than just entertainment, but a lens through which to explore and discuss the greater world. I love your initiative and if you need help, please let us know. If you haven’t met Julio yet, I think he would be a great resource.



  • Venus E. Mesui

    Bryant you are a true visionary. I applaude the work you are doing and I celebrate your positive optimisim and leadership.

  • John

    The presentation of Japanese food is a distinctive art form, and also quite nutritious. Why not petition for an art and poetry class focused on Japanese food preparation/presentation while doing Haiku!? You could eat your art for lunch and live longer, especially if you’re no longer tempted to leave campus for lunch!