By Rosa Guillen
History Professor at both the South Gate and Monterey Park ELAC campuses, Carlos Ramirez, is definitely not “all books and no play.” He also enjoys a jam session here and there with fellow musicians.
Even while teaching history classes at ELAC and Advanced Placement Government courses at South East High School in South Gate, Ramirez still makes time to pick up a guitar. “I like to pretend that I’m as good as the other guys I play with,” Ramirez said jokingly.
He and his fellow band members play for fun and anywhere people will have them. Their two main projects are The Appletons and Rivertrain Company. The Appletons, he said, “remind people of the Cranberries and the 10,000 Maniacs,” while Rivertrain Company is a Blues and Classic Rock-inspired project.
However fun these two projects may be, Ramirez reminds students that he prioritizes his time and makes sure he is ready to teach or lecture before playing guitar. He tells them they should take care of schoolwork before any leisure activities. When he is not on stage performing or in the classroom, Ramirez enjoys reading subjects such as history, religion and philosophy, information that he uses to engage his students during lectures.
Ramirez admires students that are, “taking advantage of the college system to achieve academic or career goals” and encourages them to choose a major and career that interests them. His advice to all college students is, “Read, read, read and write, write, write.” He believes that is the way to succeed in college and in their careers. Following the philosophy “Teach to make a difference,” teaching at ELAC has given him the opportunity to give back to his community.
He believes this system gives many students a second chance in their education, and he is proud to be a part of their academic institution. After attending Bell High School and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Ramirez has learned that succeeding in school is not easy.
He still believes that students need to commit to their goals, work hard at them and know that their work will eventually pay off. Ramirez said, “An education provides more than economic opportunities. It also offers a social platform to exchange opinions, learn new ideas, and build your political efficacy so that one may become a socially responsible citizen.” He enjoys teaching history at ELAC because he believes it provides a setting to discuss past issues that are relevant today.
For the past two and a half years, Ramirez has taught numerous history classes, including History of World Civilizations, History of The United States and will continue to do so. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history, a master’s degree in education and a part-time career in music, Ramirez is the perfect example that no matter where one comes from, with hard work, one can accomplish anything.