Teachers’ Painted Skin

Learning about SDHS Staff's meaningful and artistic tattoos

October 31, 2022

Tattoos have existed for centuries starting around 5000 BCE, symbolizing different meanings and styles across cultures and people. Today, many people have gotten tattoos for many reasons; some get tattoos to honor someone or something they love, some get a tattoo over a dare, and some get tattoos just for fun without some symbolic meaning. Like many other adults, staff at San Dimas Highschool have gotten tattoos over the years, and every tattoo has its own reason and meaning.

Math Teacher, Mrs. Arce

Saint Scroll: How many tattoos do you have? 

A: Nine

Saint Scroll: Which of your tattoos is the most meaningful to you?

A: There’s a tie. The most meaningful is definitely my family tree tattoo on my thigh. Because my last name in Spanish is Arce and in English, it’s a maple tree and in the roots, I have mom, dad, and then my two brothers’ names. But my favorite is my tattoo of Lila (pitbull) on my back with like flowers around it.

Saint Scroll: Do you plan on getting any more?

A: Oh, yes. Me and my brothers, we’re gonna do like a sibling tattoo. We were supposed to get it last summer, but it didn’t happen. So we’re gonna get it in December. We grew up around a bakery where they have Mexican bread, it’s called pan dulce. So we’re gonna get three bundles and they’re gonna be different colors. There’s going to be a pink one for me, a brown one for my brother and a white one for my other brother. 

Saint Scroll: Anything else you would like to share?

A: Students who want tattoos should wait and plan the design for at least a year before getting one done.

English and Drama Teacher, Mrs Kocalis

Saint Scroll: How many tattoos do you have? 

K: So I’m counting in my head and I have 7, but one of them has a cover-up so technically I have 8.

Saint Scroll: Which of your tattoos is the most meaningful to you?

K: Artisticly wise, it’s my harlequin masks on my back, it’s them done in the style of comedy and tragedy. Ironically, I based one of the faces off of a drawing I found online that looked so much like my best friend; I mean the shape of her mouth and her nose as well. It was my cover-up and it’s my favorite cause it’s beautiful and my best friend.

Saint Scroll: Do you plan on getting any more?

K: I am. For my son, who’s 20, last year for Christmas I bought him a tattoo, and see this tattoo artists dint charge by the tattoo but by the hour. He got a very historically accurate Hercules tattoo but he took about nine hours from twelve hours total. So I took the extra three hours and got one too. He’s told me that he wants his Christmas presents to be tattooed. So maybe that’s something we can do and like every Christmas, we get something new.

American Sign Language Teacher, Mr. Distelrath

Saint Scroll: How many tattoos do you have?

D: 19

Saint Scroll: Which of your tattoos is the most meaningful to you?

D: My most meaningful has to be the one on the side of my left foot. It’s part of the lyrics from Three’s Company.

Saint Scroll: Do you plan on getting more? Why?

D: Yes, because I like them and the story behind them.

Bio-Med and Forensics Teacher, Mrs. Knott

Saint Scroll: How many tattoos do you have? 

K: I have 4

 Saint Scroll: Which of your tattoos is the most meaningful to you?

K: It’s the one on my foot, it’s an Ansel Circle. It’s an eastern philosophy where they would use a paintbrush and they would create a circle and each day they would develop this circle and analyze it to determine the person’s state of mind, like connectivity to the universe. As a reminder that like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, that we belong to the universe, that we aren’t all that matters, you know, and just to remind us to lead a life of service and gratitude.

 Saint Scroll: Do you plan on getting any more?

K: Right now I’m toying with getting my kid’s fingerprints, like their thumbprints. It’s either going to be a heart made of prints or the infinity sign with each of their prints on polar ends.

Saint Scroll: Do you believe that tattoos are taboo?

K: Yeah do, but I think that gap is closing. I think for a long time tattoos were perceived as like, lowlife or criminal; in my country, my mom’s generation, the thoughtful people who had tattoos were criminals and that they were in jail. So she carried that on with her like many others, but I think the gap is closing for sure. I mean, having come from the generation where it was absolutely not allowed, to now where we are today like with teachers on campus.

 

 

 

 

 





 

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