Professor Tania J Quinn
100 las Experience, Learning and Identity
January 4, 2011
Malcolm x, self-educated his self in prison, and gained self confidence in reading and writing. I see myself in the same position. My whole life I felt I was in prison in the labor work force. `I am attempting to self educate myself at the college of New Rochelle. In an attempt to get a degree, so I can improve my finical situation. I am my biggest mentor at this point in my life, and you (Professor Quinn) seem to have a great influence on my education. Your energy and your personal stories inspire me to believe in myself. Like the tutor in educating Rita; he believed in Rita’s ability that she could learn and change her life around.
My goal is to be a better writer and receive my under graduate Degree, and eventually getting my master degree in teaching, and one day becoming a teacher. The thing that held me back from achieving a College degree in the past was family. I was just like Rita’s husband who wanted a family, but in my situation I was thinking with the wrong head. I had a son, and had to support my family, so I got a second job to make more money, and dropout of school. “The allegory of the cave” According to those living inside the cave, their perception was their reality, and these people who stayed inside the cave could not see the light and were not open to new ideas, but those who left outside the cave had a greater understanding of the light’s reality and realized there was more to life. It would have been hard to return after finding this new knowledge.
Malcolm X wrote to the minister Elijah Muhammad at least twenty-five times. He must have written that first one-page letter to him, over and over. Malcolm was trying to make it both legible and understandable. He practically couldn’t read his own handwriting; it shamed him to even remember this. Malcolm’s spelling and his grammar was as bad, if not worse. Anyway, as well as he could express it, he said, Malcolm had been told about Elijah Muhammad by his brothers and sisters, and Malcolm apologized for his poor letter written. (Alex Haley p.173) My whole life I felt entrapped to the life style I was living. A blue collar worker just barely able to pay the rent and feed my family. On the job I felt like a professional worker receiving migrant workers pay. My professional skills were fine tuned to perfection, and my bosses and co-workers always gave me the highest compliments when it came to my work performance. Promotions on the job came up frequently, and these positions would be posted publicly next to the staff’s mail boxes where I could see them daily. The frustrating thing was I could not apply for any of these positions because I was unqualified. Most of these positions required a College Degree, something I did not have.
It was because of Malcolm letters that he happened to stumble upon starting to acquire some kind of a homemade education. Malcolm was increasingly frustrated at not being able to express what he wanted to convey in letters that Malcolm wrote, especially those to Mr. Elijah Muhammad. In the streets, Malcolm had commanded attention when he said something. But now, trying to write simple English, he not only wasn’t articulate, Malcolm wasn’t even functional. How would he sound writing in slang, the way he would say it, something such as, “look, daddy, let me pull your coat about a cat, Elijah Muhammad—“Many who today hear Malcolm somewhere in person, or on television, or those who read something he said, will think Malcolm went to school far beyond the eighth grade. This impression is due entirely to Malcolm’s prison studies. (Alex Haley p.174)
I realized by not have a degree my finical situation would not change. Sure I could get another job, but that’s what led to the breakup of my family. Working to many hours and not spending quality time with them (workaholic). I also felt like I had no real respect given to me in the position I was in, and felt I was afraid to go back to college because I did not want anyone to know I was a college dropout. My handwriting, spelling, and grammar need improvement also. The college of New Rochelle is giving me the confidence to take charge my future.
Rita faced many obstacles in her academic progression. She had two main obstructions, one was her working class background and the second was her husband Denny. Denny’s views are very traditional when it comes to the role of a woman. He failed to support her education and tried his best to distract her whenever he could. In the end the marriage failed because of Rita’s pursuit of her studies. Socially Rita was confused, around her family she felt that she can be better and do something better with her life than just have children and be a support system to her husband, but in the other hand when around her peers she felt inferior to her fellow students for they were so knowledgeable and she had nothing to talk about. Even with her not being certain where exactly she fit in Rita still maintained enough confidence to push forward and accomplish her goals.
I faced many of the same obstacles in my academic progressions as Rita did. My work background was always in a blue collar capacity, always missing out on job advancement opportunities which meant better salaries of me. Letting my finical responsibility to my family first instead for going back to college and completing my degree requirements. This would have put me in a better position to spend more time raising my kids. Don’t look at this in a negative way, my kids are doing fine and turned out to be great young men, but if I had it to do over. Money and Quality time is a good recipe for a successful relationship. Today I maintained enough confidences to push forward and accomplish my goals just like Rita.
“The allegory of the cave” According to those living inside the cave, their perception was their reality, and these people who stayed inside the cave could not see the light and were not open to new ideas, but those who left outside the cave had a greater understanding of the light’s reality and realized there was more to life. It would have been hard to return after finding this new knowledge.
Growing up in the community I grow up in, seems to me know like the inside of a cave. My perception of reality was of the perception of those around me. A product of my environment, a person always chasing the money and not allowing the money to chase me. I was a person who would not venture to for from my community, but always wonder what it was like on the other side. Now that I am at the College of New Rochelle, I have a greater understanding and realize that I can accomplish more in life if I try. Going back to feeling like I am just a blue collar worker is unacceptable, for I see the torch and I am going to light it one day. Failure is not an option at this point in my life, so whatever it takes to accomplish this goal consider this goal accomplished. Professor Quinn I will see you at the finish line.
Writing Assignment #4
Education is Liberating
LAS 100 - Experience, Learning and Identity
Professor Tania J Quinn
December 1, 2010