Mike Rose vs. Richard Rodriguez
Mike Rose and Richard Rodriguez both support education and the success it brings for an individual, but they support them in different ways and for different reasons. In Mike Rose’s essay he explains how he was an average person in his vocational classes. He says that his intelligence was not on a low level, but rather he thought of his intelligence to be low because of his teachers and the fact he was in vocational classes, but he soon realizes that pushing to the next level was the key to his success. In contrast, Richard Rodriguez explains in his essay about education throughout his life which included his teachers, family background and how it affected his upbringing and success. Mike Rose’s attitude about education and success and Richard Rodriguez attitude both have similarities but also have differences.
First, when I look at the authors push to get an education I see in Richard Rodriguez’s essay that he was very motivated. He started as a young boy with an accent striving to learn more and attain knowledge whenever he could because he knew of the benefits. In the story Rodriguez says that he shifted away from family life to study more and learn more from his teachers. He wanted school rather than his uneducated family. In contrast, Mike Rose clearly didn’t want to be in school, he wanted an easy way out of things. Rose explains he was put in vocational classes by accident, but decided to stay in the classes with the lower level students. He explains how the teachers could care less about the student’s education which affected Rose because he saw himself and everyone as being average.
Second, the relationships the authors had with their teachers were different. Rodriguez’s relationship with his teachers was one that really helped him succeed. Rodriguez’s teachers were dedicated to him and wanted to give him all the information he asked. Richard took advantage of his teacher’s knowledge by always asking questions. He states, “My earliest teachers, the nuns made my success their ambition.” The teacher’s guidance and ability to help Richard whenever he needed it gave him the ability to succeed in the classroom. In contrast, Rose’s relationship with his teacher in his vocational classes is unlike Rodriguez’s. Rose explains that his teachers could care less about teaching their students and instead of trying to talk to the students calmly, they use physical violence to control them.
Richard states, “When the class drifted away from him, which was often, his voice would rise in paranoid accusations, and occasionally he would lose control and shake or smack us. He also states, “The physical education teacher routinely had us grab our ankles to receive his stinging paddle across our butts.” Rose’s relationship with his vocational teachers was not successful and had the effect on him of trying to be an “average” person.
Lastly, both authors reflected differently on how their education and success affected them. Rodriguez believed that his teachers were the ones he should be thanking for his academic success. But he soon realizes that his parents had the biggest role in his success rather than giving all the credit to his teachers. Rodriguez explains that the embarrassment he saw his parents by as a young boy is now looked at by regret because his parents were the ones that put him in an unaffordable private school. As an adult Rodriguez looked back at how his parents pushed him and he has respect for their support. In contrast, Rose reflects his success and education with the help and push of his teacher Mr. MacFarland. When Rose’s father dies Mr. MacFarland comes to change his views on how he sees education.
Rose appreciates his teacher because unlike his other teachers, McFarland cares for his students and wants to see the best out of them. Rose is convinced that he is not average and pursues a college education. Knowledge was a bonding agent for rose and soon he realized who he was in life.
In conclusion, on the points of the push of education, the relationships, and the reflection of their education and success, both authors are similar because of how their views change overtime. They contrast on their upbringing in life because early on they both viewed education differently.