GSE Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

January 2001


One does not expect to find a high school in downtown Los Angeles. Daily, thousands of cars are deposited among the tall buildings and swiftly funneled into underground parking, their drivers whisked up interior elevators to work. At the end of the day, well-engineered entrance ramps carry the cars back to homeward-bound freeways. These cars crisscross each other, making elaborate and split-second negotiations, but interaction between people, it seems, is an indoor activity here. The vision of high school students carrying backpacks, walking and talking in groups, seems incongruous with this urban efficiency.


Postprint version. Reprinted by permission of the Publisher. From Betsy Rymes, Conversational Borderlands: Language and Identity in an Alternative Urban High School, New York: Teachers College Press © 2001 by Teachers College, Columbia University. All rights reserved.



Date Posted: 15 December 2008