Richard Rodriguez’s Challenging The Traditional Classroom Essay

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Education is a wonderful asset to anyone. With a good one the sky is the limit, and without one opportunity may never come knocking. In today’s society, so much emphasis is put on education. How many times have we heard the saying “if you get a good education, you’ll get a good job and make a lot of money”? Even today, my parents remind me of how much a college degree would add to my marketability. But when does it become too much? Is it possible that one could overlook the more important values in life in search to become a “learned man”? In Richard Rodriguez’s story Challenging The Traditional Classroom he examines his life as a student, and the affects his learning has towards his attitude about family and heritage. Rodriguez is…show more content…
As Rodriguez became more involved with his academics he drifted further away from his family. The intimacy once shared between them was disappearing. “He takes his first step toward academic success, away from his family.”. His family also understood the importance of education, as his siblings did well in school, but were never “so anxious about their schooling”. Upon making sure that her children learned English, Rodriguez’s mother would tell them to maintain their Spanish. This was obviously a hint to the children to remember their culture. While soaking in all his academics, Rodriguez intentionally abandons his culture. He makes it obvious that he wants nothing to do with his heritage by imitating the accents and diction of his teachers. He also doesn’t participate in family gatherings, which is evident when he tells us, “Nights when relatives visited and the front rooms were warmed by Spanish sounds, I slipped quietly out of the house”. Rodriguez actually uses his academics to move further away from his culture. He believes that being educated in academics will truly make him successful, and “like his teachers”.      It’s sad to think that one could put so much focus on education, and not see the importance of family and heritage. These two things are what make us who we are, and despite what we go through, they will remain unchanged (in most cases). Rodriguez learns this lesson first hand when he realizes the error in his

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