This week, we bring you a guest post from Haley Vien, a junior at Envision Academy in downtown Oakland, just around the corner from Pop Up Archive’s offices. Haley joined Pop Up Archive for two weeks in December as a full-time intern as part of a Work Learning Experience for her school. In addition to contributing to our social media accounts and helping test the Audiosear.ch clipmaker, Haley wrote this piece on what it’s like to find her way as a teenager in Oakland. Oakland is a huge part of Pop Up Archive — most of us live and work here — so we’re especially grateful to Haley for this deeply personal perspective of Oakland that we can share with the wider Pop Up Archive community.
It’s strange to be from somewhere you love, yet to not feel of that place. That’s how I feel about Oakland.
Living in Oakland but not feeling quite Oaklandish is complicated for someone who is still trying to discover who they are. I feel extreme pride and happiness to be part of a diverse, creative, and passionate community, and I’m trying to fit, but I feel like I stick out like a crooked puzzle piece. I don’t understand the lingo, I don’t know much about the local people or shops, and most of the time I don’t know what part of Oakland I am in. I don’t even own a single piece of clothing from the Oaklandish brand, which is a local clothing brand that celebrates Oakland. I have lived in Oakland all of my life, but I don’t feel Oaklandish in my soul. Continue reading