29 April 2014
Education: Receiving or Claiming?
In Adrienne Rich’s “Claiming an Education” Rich presents the argument of claiming an education. In the United States claiming an education often seems far-fetched. Education is not free and not for everyone, or is it? Claiming an education sounds a lot like taking what’s rightfully yours. Do you receive an education for society or does society present it for a student to take? Rich seems to think that education is presented for those willing to claim it. “The first thing I want to say to you who are students, is that you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education; you will do much better to think of yourselves as being here to claim one.” (Rich) Perception is everything when entering the world of education. This powerful quote from Rich’s article sets the stage for any student’s performance in their education career. Receiving is thought as a collaboration process. Rich explains that receiving is to come into possession of or provided to someone in a receptacle manor. The concept of learning involves one how is willing to teach and one who is willing to learn. If a professor is willing to teach, it’s still up to the student to learn. Learning is a matter of taking advantage of the resources provided. Rich relates the majority of her article to women’s education. Women have the odds against them in our society. Society tells them to be mothers and homemakers and not pursue their education to the fullest. This may be because in our society the man is thought of to be the provider by working to provide for his family. In order to provide to the fullest in our society, it requires a higher level of education. Education provides the natural incentive of making more money by gaining trust from employers. This trust comes from the employee investing in his or her own education. Rich seems to go against the grain and show her women audience that they should claim what is rightfully theirs. Rich explains that there has been in increase in women seeking out their education but not giving back what was rightfully given to them. “We still see very few women in the upper levels in faculty and administration”. (Rich) Rich explains that even all women colleges are ran by men. This seems interesting because Rich is encouraging women to claim their education. Claiming something from my perspective means to take and not look back. Receiving means that someone may have to given something they have away. If women were teachers and administrators, women would feel better about receiving an education from another woman. Would receiving an education be appropriate for this idea? Rich’s argument is summed up when she informs the reader that the idea of claiming an education can be embraced by any sex, race, color or creed. “Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work”. (Rich) Education is not for everyone but it is there for the ones willing to take it. Rich provokes her reader by letting telling them to dicover their own jurney to education. We live in a society that embraces abstract thinking and making something out of nothing. Rich’s article is even reflected in this day and age. Our society is full of inventors and inovators. Making something out of nothing is what are you is good at. Finding answers to complex yet interesting problems become a compeitive challenge for most. With the wave of an internet society and and creative clulture, Rich’s abstract idea of claiming in education almost seems like common knownledge now. The you are seeing education as an opportunity rather than a trap. If the finitial element was taken out of the equation, their would be even more oppotunites for students to claim their education. I took advantage of my opportunity when it was presented to me five years ago. I was at...
Cited: Rich, Adrienne. "Claiming an Education." The Common Women(1977).
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