Essay 1: What kind of student is Richard Rodriguez?
In The Achievement of Desire, Richard Rodriguez describes himself as being “a very bad student” (515-6). However, Rodriguez is not referring to the stereotypical image one would automatically assume, the one who doesn’t do any of the assigned work, fails examinations, and lacks the motivation and eagerness to learn. Rather, he is referring to the kind of student described as “The Scholarship Boy” (516). Said character is described by Rodriguez as “the prized student – anxious and eager to learn. Too eager, too anxious – an imitative and unoriginal pupil” (516). Which leads to ask, what kind of student is Richard Rodriguez?” Rodriguez is the “Scholarship Boy”. Rodriguez read books to attain knowledge; he never questioned authors and whether or not they were correct in their arguments. To him, “the information gathered from a book was unquestioned” (524). He read for pleasure as well. However, his way of educating himself through books would lead him to his own miseducation. Although very successful academically, his opinions were not his owns, he would quote famous authors, “take something else from Frye or Empson or Leavis. He even repeats exactly his professor’s earlier comment. All his ideas were clearly borrowed” (528) Such attributes in a student are benign. One cannot attempt to become educated by copying the ideas of others, by mimicking and paraphrasing their thoughts. Rather, in my opinion, a student should harvest their own ideas. Use what knowledge they’ve attained from their readings and experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. In order to be educated, one must know how to make sense out of whatever one has learned. Rodriguez would ask his grammar school teachers to recommend him books. About this experience he says “any book they told me to read, I read – then waited for them to tell me which books I enjoyed” (519). This goes to show that he, from a young age, valued the educational...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document