Me and My Sham Education

For my senior colloquium course in college, I had to read this book, The Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by (you guessed it!) Richard Rodriguez. In it, Rodriguez talks about being a “scholarship boy” and the opportunities it provided him for a life amongst the gringos. He was given opportunities that his parents (who suffered because of a language barrier, in particular) just didn’t have. He was always concerned, however, that he was just pleasing people and going through the motions, that he wasn’t really as smart as everyone led him to believe. Much of this book examines the concept of duality. For a plethora of reasons, I hated it. Something about the language or his opinion of himself. I couldn’t necessarily put my finger on it, but I just hated it.

Then, a few years later, when I was in grad school, I had to read it again. Twice.

The more I read this book, the more I continued to dislike it. But as I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my education lately and where it’s gotten me, I keep coming back to this book. Curses! Something about that idea of duality and binary oppositions, that his entire education was something of a sham started to resonate with me.

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Fall 2001: A Retrospective

As the oldest of three children whose parents were both working commuters during their college days, I didn’t get much in the way of advice when it came time to pack up and set off for life on campus. Now that it’s been five years since I graduated and nine since I began college, the Person I’ve Become often wishes I could go back and smack some sense into the Person I Was…or at least impart some wisdom. Continue reading

A Post Without a Title

This past May, I crossed the five year mark from graduating college.

The day after I graduated, the local newspaper in the town where I went to college ran a story about the university’s graduation in which they quoted my roommate and me, then took it upon themselves to say of us and our job outlook that “neither seemed very hopeful.” Find me a college graduate on his or her graduation day who isn’t at least a little bit freaked out about the future. I think you’d be somewhat hard-pressed to do so. I’d like to invite that reporter to meet up with me now and I can show him what a lack of hope regarding job prospects really looks like. But I digress. Continue reading

Looking Back and Moving Forward

When I was in college (and even in the first two years immediately after), I was manic about keeping a LiveJournal. I did this because I wanted to chronicle every boring thing that happened to me every single day. A few days ago, I got the sudden urge to go back and start re-reading it. I haven’t pored over every single entry, but I read some and I skim some. I started in the middle of the spring semester of my sophomore year (early 2003) and at this point I’m up to where I have just started my last semester of my senior year. I have been driving my friends nuts over the last day or two (at least I assume this is the case since they’ve all stopped answering me) with memories and funny things I read and remember. Or things I read that make me smile or things I find touching. But as I touched upon in an earlier post, I am the kind of person who does stuff like that. When anything reminds me of one of my friends, I immediately want to jump to the phone or the computer and let them know I’m thinking about them. And okay, sometimes my feelings get a little hurt when they don’t care.  But I’ve also become the kind of person who eventually thinks “Ok, I’ve (texted/emailed/called/Facebooked) you (insert number here) amount of times in a row without a response so now I’m just annoyed because it’s your turn.” That’s something totally different that’s probably better left to another post when it’s not almost 3 a.m. I digress.

I quit the LJ cold turkey on my 25th birthday, calling it The Feast of the Quarter-Life Crisis (a joke that came back to bite me in the ass in the form of a true quarter-life crisis a few months later). It was time for a new chapter, and now that I’ll be 27.5 in a few weeks, I think it’s safe to go back and read what I had always considered such boring stuff. The thing is, though, that it’s not. I am constantly being reminded of how much I’ve grown and how much I am the same and yet still different. Some parts of my journal make me really sad, either because times have changed so much or because of the goings-on then. For example, during my junior year, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and borderline social anxiety. The journal entries in the month that led up to that diagnosis were so difficult to read. I pushed people away. I woke up in the morning, showered, and went back to sleep, missing days of classes. I left my room only to go to dinner and therapy some days. For all intents and purposes, I was in the bell jar. Stewing in it. Reading those entries brought me back to a lot of those feelings, but I realized a few things from it.  Continue reading