Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thoughts on Rodriguez

Reading Rodriguez's piece really instilled this sort of sad feeling in my heart. On the one hand, it was great because Rodriguez was learning English. On the other hand, however, it was also very sad because through this process of "assimilation", as Rodriguez mentions at the end of the piece, he was losing his culture, his identity, and his family.

Some of the things that Rodriguez mentions really point out the fact that he was indeed losing everything that was dear to him. Rodriguez says at one point: "Gone was the desperate, urgent, intense feeling of being at home; rare was the experience of feeling myself individualized by family intimates. We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed. No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness."

This quote especially struck a chord of sadness in me. For me personally, family is one of the most important things in life. To lose my family identity and values would be a tragedy. Yet this is something the Rodriguez has to undergo, and I can't help but wonder how he truly felt about it, and how he was able to deal with it.

I think the main point to take away from Rodriguez's piece is this: as educators, teachers should not take away the identities of their students. Rather, they should acknowledge those differences at all times, and do their very best to treat each student as a unique individual. Students should not be forced to assimilate to society by losing their identity, especially their language, which is a source of comfort. But rather, they should be taught how to bring society and their personal identity together.

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