Portraits: Kristen Haynes


Your alarm clock goes off. It’s way too early on Monday morning. You drag your groggy carcass out of bed and get ready for work. The 30 minute commute to work goes by in a blur and 6 periods of Spanish wiz by. Before you know it, it’s 6 p.m. and you are back in class. Only you are not standing in front teaching, but rather sitting amongst the rest of the students soaking up the wealth of knowledge being spouted out by the instructor.

Kristen Haynes, who is currently taking Artificial Light Photography and loving it, is not new to Las Positas in any way. Back in 1998, while in between studying at UCSD and getting her undergraduate at San Diego State, Haynes spent a semester at LPC. Currently, she is teaching 7th and 8th grade Spanish at Diablo Vista Middle School in Danville.

“I have six very full classes,” Haynes said with a tinge of exasperation. “My biggest class is 37 students.”
Nights can get long for Haynes with an average of 210 papers to grade, but her cat, Captain Jack Sparrow, who enjoys being an only child, keeps her company. “I guess he is the closest thing I get to a boyfriend,” said Haynes jokingly.

Haynes, who is living back at home with her parents, has enjoyed her continued education at Las Positas. She has had a nice camera since she was 18 but never really knew how to use it. A few years ago, she picked it up again and thought “This thing has all these great manual functions that I don’t know how to use.”

After graduating from San Diego State and taking on a full time teaching job, Haynes was not quite in a place to repay her student loans. She decided to return to LPC and take some photo classes. Starting with Photo 50, she has traveled through the different levels of the Photography program with a small group that has been with her since the first class.

“Its really fun to learn lighting, that’s kind of where I was at, at the end of my last class,” Haynes said. “It’s good to have an instructor who understands and who is fresh out (in the industry) and has all of his ideas right there and doesn’t have to search for them in his head.” This is a bit of a contrast to her experiences with other photo instructors at LPC.

Part way through taking Spanish classes and studying Chicana Poetry, she recalled upon the impact Senora Suarez had upon her and it just kind of clicked for Haynes and she knew she had to be a Spanish Teacher. She had to make an impact on some one else the way that Senora Suarez had made an impact on her. Though Haynes wonders if she really is making an impact sometimes, she still stays positive and enjoys what she does.

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2 comments

  1. Melissa

    Hey Alton,Nice focus. Good composition. :)And to think I was feeling sorry for myself because I have 50 papers to grade this week. I do wonder about that last contrast…

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