Shortly after Penelope Spheeris' movie, "The Decline of Western Civilization" came out, I decided that I needed to get away from the Hollywood/L.A. music scene, which had already lost much of its appeal for me anyway. Partly motivated by the instinct for self-preservation, I went back to college and earned my degree in Philosophy. I decided to become an elementary school teacher. As a kid who entered school speaking only Spanish, I can remember how painful it was when my teachers would get frustrated with me. I thought I might be able to help spare some children that anguish.
People who knew me back in the old punk rock days are sometimes surprised to find out that Alice Bag became a schoolteacher. But the funny thing I've realized is that many, many punks are naturally drawn to education as a career. I suppose I shouldn't "out" them here...being a schoolteacher is still not considered very cool. But trust me when I say that you'd be surprised at just how many of us there are in classrooms all across the country. Some singers who punk fans would consider really "hardcore punk" are in fact shaping young minds daily. Like Dewey Finn says in School of Rock: "I'm a teacher. All I need are minds for molding."
Here's a small video clip that was part of a PBS documentary from some years back that features me and Teresa Covarrubias (of the 80's punk band, The Brat) in the classroom, back when we worked together at an inner city school in L.A. Click on the thumbnail photo to launch a Windows Media Viewer file from Chicanas In Tune.To once again quote the great Dewey Finn, "Your kids have all really touched me, and I'm pretty sure that I've touched them."