Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"The Achievement of Desire" by, Richard Rodriguez

In the reading of "The Achievement of Desire" by Richard Rodriguez in order to understand the world around us we must leave the comforts of home to go into the world unknown. You have to start and begin losing the way you speak and understand certain situations in order to start and function in public life/society. Rodriguez contends that bilingual education is not conduisive to Spanish speaking students, in that it will only reinforce Spanish speaking students separateness from mainstream American life.
In the reading one quote that stuck out to me was when Rodriguez stated that he was afraid to read silently so he choose to read aloud. One day after a session with a nun at his school, the nun asked Rodrizguez why he was so reluctant to read alone. Rodriguez states, "that the way written words made me feel alone" (page 441, "The Achievement of Desire", by Richard Rodriguez.) This quote actually relates somewhat to me because when I read anything, I to feel somewhat alone. By reading various newspapers, books, maganzines, etc. I feel I'm gaining all this discourse and knowledge but what good is it if nobody understands what I'm talking about.
While I was reading the text one word that appears throughout the text is "scholarship boy" (page 432, "The Achievement of Desire", by Richard Rodriguez.) The reason that this term was important to me is because its true that this type of individual must move between two worlds: the home and school environments. The individual feels comfortable at home but weary of the outside world. Its a balancing act between intense pressure of intimacy at home and public instruction tends to bind you to the trusting lonely reason.
The central theme of the text is how schooling can have a two-fold process to it. The first step is to take the student out of the family context and bring them into the classroom setting. In the classroom setting you are surrounded by students aiming for a common be educated. Students begin to lose what makes them individuals because schooling tries to "assimilate" you into a American student.
The problem with this type of education is that even though you gain a better understanding of what it is to be "educated" you sometimes begin to lose yourself in the process. This is especially true of minority families who only have one family member that has higher then a high school education. This member of the family begins to lose a sense of belonging to the family. By gaining an understanding of mainstream public life; education needs to be able to teach both extremes. Still keeping what makes you an individual and also helping you become a productive member of society.

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