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The Importance of an Education - According to Richard Rodriguez

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Richard Rodriguez faced many problems in his life regarding his education. Everything he did as a young child came from his parents wanting a better life for their children. Rodriquez wanted to balance his education and family, but it did not work that way at all. Rodriguez began isolating himself from his family and focused more on his studies. Richard Rodriguez describes the difficulties of balancing life in the academic world and the life of a working class family.

As a young boy Rodriguez did not do things normal kids did instead he busied himself with books and learning new things. Rodriguez said, “I was a scholarship boy, a certain kind of scholarship boy. Always successful, I was always unconfident. Exhilarated by my progress. Sad. I became the prized student – anxious and eager to learn,” (Pg. 339). Rodriguez is telling us that he was not an average student. He is letting it be known that he was a student that excelled in the classroom when it came to it. He then begins to describe how Ricard Hoggart view a scholarship boy. Hoggart states, “scholarship boy: good student, troubled son. The child is “moderately endowed,” intellectually mediocre,” (Pg. 341). Rodriguez is the troubled son because he was estranged from his family, but he still was a good student. He was a mixture of both descriptions of a scholarship boy, being that he was estranged from his family it caused problems between him and his parents.

Rodriguez parents were Mexican immigrants who wanted the best for their children. Even though his parents did not have an education they still made it work for their children. Rodriguez mother says, “Get all the education you can; with an education you can do anything,” (Pg.344). She was speaking to them and stressing the importance of an education because she didn't have one. She graduated from high school but the teachers was not paying attention to the fact that she barely spoke English. Rodriguez mother had a job for the government and lost it due to spelling one word wrong. While his mother made sure they accomplished a lot in school his father felt different. Rodriguez says, “In contrast to my mother, my father never verbally encourage his children’s academic success. Nor did he often praise us,” (Pg. 345). Rodriguez father was not one who helped their mother encourage them to be the greatest. Rodriguez distant himself from his family and it did not help that much. He felt as if they would not understand him because he was more advanced in school.

Rodriguez kept his life separate from school until people began to say, “Your parents must be proud…” it wasn't until his teacher met with his parents did he felt some type of way about how his parents spoke. Rodriguez said, “My teacher was soft-spoken



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