The transition was wrenching. He was a socially awkward loner who found himself with kids a year older. Worse yet, the sixth grade was in a different school, Crittenden Middle. It was only eight blocks from Monta Loma Elementary, but in
many ways it was a world apart, located in a neighborhood filled with ethnic gangs. “Fights were a daily occurrence; as were shakedowns in bathrooms,” wrote the
Silicon Valley journalist Michael S. Malone. “Knives were regularly brought to school as a show of macho.” Around the time that Jobs arrived, a group of students were
jailed for a gang rape, and the bus of a neighboring school was destroyed after its team beat Crittenden’s in a wrestling match.
Jobs was often bullied, and in the middle of seventh grade he gave his parents an ultimatum. “I insisted they put me in a different school,” he recalled. Financially this
was a tough demand. His parents were barely making ends meet, but by this point there was little doubt that they would eventually bend to his will. “When they resisted, I told them I would just quit going to school if I had to go back to Crittenden. So they
researched where the best schools were and scraped together every dime and bought a house for $21,000 in a nicer district.”
The move was only three miles to the south, to a former apricot orchard in Los Altos that had been turned into a subdivision of cookie-cutter tract homes. Their house, at 2066 Crist Drive, was one story with three bedrooms and an all-important attached
garage with a roll-down
door facing the street.
There Paul Jobs could tinker
with cars and his son with electronics.