Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Carmelita Rickman (Fererras) ’62
I am sitting here thinking of how my whole life would have been different if I had attended another high school. At Tech I met my two best friends, Rosemercy Quilalang (Yasa) and Sandra Shinomoto. Rosemercy and her husband introduced me to my future husband (his friend).
I was married to the same man — loving, wonderful and intelligent — for almost 50 years. It was the time when the nation was in turmoil with Vietnam War and racial tensions, and because my husband and I were of mixed marriage it was quite disturbing to some people (especially, when we went to Sunday service).
I am an average student, but was enrolled in both Business and College Preparatory classes. I especially enjoyed my classes with Alice Perry, a Typing teacher. Through her I used my skill to secure a job and retire from the City of Oakland. Mrs. Eleanor Berg, International teacher and counselor for foreign students, was beautiful and had so much patience with us. My math teacher, Mr. Stonrod, was amazing teaching Geometry/Calculus. At that time, I did not realize the value of learning math, which we use daily. These are a few instructors that made me who I am. There are others – my history/counselor teacher, Biology, and Chemistry. (I remember one particular student who would call me “Squirt” because I was short and he was tall.) I didn’t mind because he helped me get through the class. I looked forward to my “homeroom.” The two sets of twins were there (Grays before they transferred to “Skyline”) and the Wilsons and other popular students.
The above are just part of my experiences at Tech. I can go on and on and probably would be able to write a book. In summary, high school is important to building character and preparing students to face their future, no matter what their choices will be.