smoke free class of 2000

A photo project on what it means to turn thirty to a generation of Americans.
www.kevintruong.com

Interview and Photo by Kevin Truong.
Barry.  David Douglas High School.  Portland, Oregon.
KT:  Hey Barry, how do you feel about being thirty?
BC:  Good.  I never really subscribed to the whole idea of thirty as a milestone.  I don’t know if that’s good or not.  Maybe people who do subscribe accomplish a little bit more than me.
KT:  Laughs.  Well how were you twenties for you?
BC:  Pretty good.  Just learning more about myself and what I want.
KT:  Any defining moments?
BC:  Maybe graduating college.  I was the first one in my family to do so.
KT:  Yeah, congratulations.  When you hear the word American, what does it mean to you?
BC:  I don’t know, isn’t America defined by kind of this melting pot of people?  I guess just believing in the American ideal of freedom.
KT:  Well, as an immigrant—because you came here when you were twelve—how can you say life is for immigrants in America, from a first hand perspective?
BC:  I think for the older generation it’s kind of tougher.  They can’t really speak the language so they can’t do that much.  And they work pretty crappy jobs usually.  But I think they’re just making a sacrifice for the next generation, for people like me so I can go to college and have a better chance.
KT:  Definitely.  What do you think of the state of our country right now?
BC:  It’s kind of a mess.  I think over the long term, I’m pretty optimistic.  I think eventually, gays will be allowed to marry everywhere, stem cell won’t be such a huge issue, and so on, but right now it’s kind of mess.  We have a huge debt, fighting multiple wars.
KT:  Well do you have any specific concerns?  You mentioned the debt and some social issues, for you what really concerns you?
BC:  I think the health care system should be completely revamped.  I think because it’s such a huge mess right now.  And I think eventually we need to stop borrowing so much and having such a low interest rate, it’s kind of devaluing the dollar quite a bit right now.
KT:  But you are hopeful things will turn around?
BC:  Over the long term, yeah, I have no idea how in the short-term things will work out.  But I’m very optimistic for the long term.
KT:  And finally, I guess you’ll probably say no because you moved to the states later, but do you remember us being called the Smoke Free Class of 2000?
BC:  When was that?  What grade was that?
KT:  Third grade, I think.
BC:  Third grade, yeah, I was not around for third grade.  I remember DARE, but I never remembered the Smoke Free Class…
KT:  Well, did you stay smoke free?
BC:  Yes.

Interview and Photo by Kevin Truong.

Barry.  David Douglas High School.  Portland, Oregon.

KT:  Hey Barry, how do you feel about being thirty?

BC:  Good.  I never really subscribed to the whole idea of thirty as a milestone.  I don’t know if that’s good or not.  Maybe people who do subscribe accomplish a little bit more than me.

KT:  Laughs.  Well how were you twenties for you?

BC:  Pretty good.  Just learning more about myself and what I want.

KT:  Any defining moments?

BC:  Maybe graduating college.  I was the first one in my family to do so.

KT:  Yeah, congratulations.  When you hear the word American, what does it mean to you?

BC:  I don’t know, isn’t America defined by kind of this melting pot of people?  I guess just believing in the American ideal of freedom.

KT:  Well, as an immigrant—because you came here when you were twelve—how can you say life is for immigrants in America, from a first hand perspective?

BC:  I think for the older generation it’s kind of tougher.  They can’t really speak the language so they can’t do that much.  And they work pretty crappy jobs usually.  But I think they’re just making a sacrifice for the next generation, for people like me so I can go to college and have a better chance.

KT:  Definitely.  What do you think of the state of our country right now?

BC:  It’s kind of a mess.  I think over the long term, I’m pretty optimistic.  I think eventually, gays will be allowed to marry everywhere, stem cell won’t be such a huge issue, and so on, but right now it’s kind of mess.  We have a huge debt, fighting multiple wars.

KT:  Well do you have any specific concerns?  You mentioned the debt and some social issues, for you what really concerns you?

BC:  I think the health care system should be completely revamped.  I think because it’s such a huge mess right now.  And I think eventually we need to stop borrowing so much and having such a low interest rate, it’s kind of devaluing the dollar quite a bit right now.

KT:  But you are hopeful things will turn around?

BC:  Over the long term, yeah, I have no idea how in the short-term things will work out.  But I’m very optimistic for the long term.

KT:  And finally, I guess you’ll probably say no because you moved to the states later, but do you remember us being called the Smoke Free Class of 2000?

BC:  When was that?  What grade was that?

KT:  Third grade, I think.

BC:  Third grade, yeah, I was not around for third grade.  I remember DARE, but I never remembered the Smoke Free Class…

KT:  Well, did you stay smoke free?

BC:  Yes.