Unlike the rest of the class, this student is not excited about Ms. Gruwell’s new writing project, because s/he does not want to write about her/his neighborhood, the projects, which are filled with danger, violence, and filth. Instead, s/he would rather write fiction. In the projects, young children have fun destroying people’s property instead of playing peacefully. No one can be a good student, because performing well at school makes one an outsider. Murder, gang violence, and domestic abuse are so common that most people ignore it. This student has seen too many horrific things to count. S/he concludes that s/he would rather pretend that s/he does not live in the projects, and that she does not want to think or write about this pain, for it would only make it worse.
The negative impact of this student’s neighborhood on her/his mind is strong, as s/he considers her environment too unsafe and unhealthy to even want to talk about it. It is clear that her/his neighborhood has left her/him traumatized. At the same time, her/his mention of the various problems to which s/he has been confronted constitutes a form of self-expression, allowing her/him to at least express her/his anger and frustration about where s/he lives. This allows her/him to address the very pain s/he claims to be incapable of describing.