Teacher feature: the tatted

Staff on campus reveal the meaning behind their tattoos

By Era Goel

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  • “My dad passed away about a year ago because of Alzheimer's disease, and he suffered and battled for 17 years," Guidance secretary Brooke Martinez said. "It was a long drawn out process … We knew the day was coming, but it always hits you like a ton of bricks when it actually does happen. That day, I went home and watched the movie ‘Wild’ with Reese Witherspoon. At the very end, there’s a quote by James Michener that says, ‘We are never prepared for what we expect.’ And I [was] like, ‘Oh my god, that’s like my life in a nutshell.’”

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “If you look at it with my hand down, it’s a mu," Physics teacher Kathleen Shreve said. "It’s a coefficient of a couple of things in physics … At that time, I was 19 and I had just switched majors from cinema to physics. So it was a big change, and I was really excited about it and I wanted to commemorate it. Upside down, it looks like a W. My brother’s name was William, and he had passed away the year before. It was a really tough time for me, and part of it was that I wanted to feel like I had him close to me. He was a big part of my life … I didn’t want to forget him.”

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “The tattoo is actually written in Latin," Special Education teacher Robert Garcia said. "In Latin, it’s ‘Non Nobis Solum Nati Sumus.’ The literal translation into English is ‘Not unto ourselves alone are we born.’ It comes from the readings of Cicero and it means that it takes a village to raise a child … Doing something for the greater good, and also struggling while you do it because everything worth having isn’t easy.”

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “I was with my daughter and my mother … The symbol is a viking rune … and the meaning behind it is that when there’s a will, there’s a way," English and history teacher Kelly Chunglo said. "My daughter is really close to all the women in her family and she was really drawn to that symbol and the meaning behind it. She’s also an artist and she was signing her art ‘CJC,’ her initials, but she was so connected to the viking idea that she changed her signature. That’s why the three of us decided to get the same tattoo to support her.”

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “I wanted something that was sort of delicate and beautiful and that I would be proud of if I showed it off," English teacher Ashley Suth said. "I liked the idea of lace … but then I also have a poppy flower, which is a wild flower. It was to sort of show that I can be rebellious and not organized not to a tee, which is my life as a teacher — pretty organized. And then there’s also a set of pearls, which is sort of an ode to the delicate propriety that I do have in me.”

    Photo by Ashley Suth

  • “I got it when I was 19 years old … It’s a cross, and it represents my faith," paraeducator Richard Cardenas said. "And it’s also the initials RDC, which are not only my initials, but my dad’s, my mom’s and my brother’s initials. So it represents the bond of family. I’ve always liked tattoos. I wanted a cross somewhere. I kind of liked Tupac when I was younger, and he had a huge tattoo of a cross on his back. I kind of wanted something similar, but not like a copy. So I found this design and took it to the artist Eddie, and he kind of came up with it for me.”

    Photo by Era Goel

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