Switzerland, 90210 - 4/12/10
Quick background: in addition to writing stupid shit and making stupid web series, I also run a tutoring company in the southern Los Angeles suburbs (this was actually the hilarious reason Paulspond had to go on hiatus for a while in 2008.) Every once in a strange while, the two worlds merge.

I got this email the other day:

From: trh x Holthuizen [mailto:kai.holthuizen@hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2010 4:30 AM

I'm from Switzerland.I found your e-mail address under the tutor side. I'm sorry if i'm disturbing you, but i've got a question. Wow, you go to the beautiful torrance High School. I love the Tv series Beverly Hills, 90210, which is filmed there. How is the school life there? Is it like in the Series with many Parties and stuff like this? So everybody is rich and comes to school by car? Are the class rooms as adorned with plants and posters as in the series? Do you have a school newspaper?


Well, obviously I had to write back.


Thanks for emailing! Iím not quite sure how you located my email in reference to the 90210 High School, but itís certainly no trouble! Iím guessing you were searching around online for "Beverly Hills 90210 High School" and somehow found your way to the Torrance Central High School website, at which point you clicked on the "tutoring resources" link in hopes of finding more information about life at the school (?), scrolled down to the "J" section, and found me? If so, I must say Iím honored that you picked me out of everyone you could have contacted! Or maybe you just emailed every single email you found on the site.

Unfortunately, Iím not a student - I actually run a tutoring company that services Torrance High, among other schools - but Iíll do my best to answer your questions. Yes, Torrance High is certainly a beautiful campus, although itís actually much further from Hollywood (20 miles!) than many other equally beautiful schools. Iím not sure why they picked that particular school for 90210, actually - perhaps because the scenic Venice High school (much closer) had already been used in the movie "Grease" and they knew they would be using the pristine El Segundo High in many movies, including the comedy hit "Role Models", starring the hilarious Sean William Scott. Or maybe it was just cheaper.

School life, from what Iíve gathered, is pretty good, but unfortunately not quite as glamorous as portrayed in the TV series. Itís a shame, but sometimes the producers of TV shows "exaggerate" things a bit to make them seem more "dramatic" and "cool". Also, Torrance is not quite as affluent of an area as it Beverly Hills. There are lots of rich people in Los Angeles, but there are also lots of poor people, as you might have seen in movies like "Dangerous Minds" starring Michelle Pfeiffer and "Menace to Society" starring several actors whose named I canít remember at the moment. Torrance High is sort of halfway in between. Some student drive cars to school, but not as many as at schools with more money like Mira Costa or Palos Verdes High, where everybody drives gold-plated Lamborghinis.

There are indeed parties; Iím not sure if they do in Switzerland, but some teenagers in the States like to drink alcohol and make out with one another. But these, too, are not as fancy as on TV - mostly the parties consist of 50 or so students crowded into somebodyís small living room around a single keg of Natty Ice that someoneís older brother bought with their fake ID.

Iíve heard the classrooms are pretty nice, and adorned with lots of colorful posters and plants, although as an outside tutor Iíve only been into one science classroom, which was actually kind of ratty, and had no plants at all. Although there WAS a really nice poster of the periodic table next to the blackboard.

The school newspaper is the Torrance News Torch (TNT) and you can learn more about it at http://torrancehigh.com/THS-newspaper.shtml.

Hope this helps!

Tutor, Torrance School District

I really do hope I'll get a nice Swiss pen-pal out of this.



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