By: Richard Rodriguez
February 16, 2016
Richard Rodriguez did a great job describing his life as a child. He was definitely a man of difficulty living in a "white man's" world. Rodriguez was a Hispanic boy who spoke Spanish as his first language. He went to a Catholic School where he was required to learn English has his societal language. He was at disadvantage being at this Catholic School because he was being taught in English where he didn't know a single English word. In today's world, ever cultural person who lives in the United States needs to be able to speak and understand English because even though that is not our country's primary language, white English speaking people take up a majority of the country.
Since the seventies, every school needs to teach a foreign language to help broaden the minds of the students. Starting in Preschool, the teachers are required to intertwine Spanish into their curriculum because of the high population of Hispanics and Spanish speaking people.
For me, Every year since Preschool I was taught Spanish. When I entered high school, Spanish wasn't a demand but every student needed to take it. In my Spanish classrooms, it was strictly speaking Spanish- you were not allowed to speak any English. It was hard for English speaking students to learn Spanish and get tested on it when there was not English being used.
^ Just like Richard who was Spanish speaking and needed to learn English. It was hard for him to learn and understand English. When the nuns went to Richard's home to speak to his parents, the parents went along with speaking English in their home. But the result in the major life change was that Richard and his parents become distant towards each other.
This reading clearly relates to SCWAAMP. It relates to American-ness, Whiteness, and Christianity- three aspects of Grinner's SCWAAMP. American-ness because of the primary language of English; Whiteness because of the white nuns that are enforcing the rules and codes of power; Christianity because Richard went to a Catholic School.
Why did Richard go to a Catholic School, why couldn't he have gone to a public school? Going to this English speaking Catholic School, Richard struggled tremendously due to the way that English was the primary language that all cultural students had to learn. If English is not spoken at home and there is no outside help, the Spanish speaking child that is trying to learn English will not have the full opportunity and support that they should have.
Questions/Comments/Points to share:
Even though English is not the primary language in the United States, everybody needs to learn how to speak, white, and understand English. For English speaking people though, they need to learn Spanish because there has been a high population of Hispanic and Spanish speaking people in the United States over the past years. But why? If we were going to connect to SCWAAMP, why do white English people have to learn the minority language?