Place Where You Live:

Bakersfield, California

I wish I could say that Bakersfield is a beautiful or picturesque small town, but it’s not. Bakersfield is agriculture and oil fields and valley fever. The city scorches in the hundred-degree weather in the summer and is met with little to no rain in the winter like most of California. Despite being a small town, Bakersfield ranks among the top five most polluted cities in America. Whether the survey of illiteracy was accurate because it was based upon libraries and newspapers delivered, doesn’t change the fact that Bakersfield was also ranked the most illiterate city in California; this survey, however, didn’t take into account that many people learned English as their second language, or that everyone stopped receiving the newspaper when the layout was changed to look like a magazine.

It’s hard to defend my hometown when I got the hell out of there at my first opportunity, but I, along with every other teenager who lived here, felt the need to go out of town for college, so we wouldn’t be stuck in Bakersfield forever. When I first moved, it wasn’t often that people knew Bakersfield, but when they did, it was always a bad response: “Oh, don’t tell anyone else that” they’d say, making no effort to hide their shock or to even feign politeness.

There’s isn’t anything memorable about Bakersfield, there isn’t a landmark, there are rarely concerts, the highlight of the year is the annual fair and the most well known thing is probably Buck Owens and his country song about Bakersfield. The most history we have is the rumor that the devil appeared at a nightclub, danced with a woman then disappeared, a nightclub that is now shutting down because most people avoided it like the plague afterwards. The Cal State isn’t remarkable, just average; the community college on the other hand, has an exceptional nursing program, and ranks well among other community colleges.