ISP 2030 Wk6-Wk8
Educational Experiences and the Dreams They Inspire: Comparing “Library Card” and “The Good Example” with the experiences of an ISP student.
In this essay I will compare my
own educational experiences
Wright’s “Library Card” and Vicente Riva Palacio’s “The Good Example”. The vast differences
detailed encourage one to
about how lucky they are, and also to pick up a book!
Growing up I was always encouraged
to read books, for pleasure, for school, and for general knowledge,
but I can
trace back to just one relative that really helped turn me into a
reader. My Aunt Alison,
even though she lived across
the country in California, would always ask me what I was reading any
wrote to me or talked to me on the phone.
When she was visiting us when I was 11 years old, she took me
bookstore and had me pick out 5 new books for myself. From that point on I was a reader and I loved it.
That day, I started reading young adult
fiction in the form of “Sweet Valley High” books and from then on, I
read them fast enough. My
joked that they might as well leave me in the library rather than
driving back and
forth every few days to get me more books since I would finish a book
in just a
couple of hours. My Aunt
continued to encourage me to read as I grew up, sending me boxes of
throughout my time in junior high and high school. Now that I’m an adult, I am still an avid reader, although
have to fit a couple of books into each week around my career and
classes too. Plus, now I
have to buy
My experiences with being
encouraged to read and given free access to all of the books I could
written in “Library Card”, although we both developed a passion for
reading. While Wright
had to lie and
sneak in order to get books from the library, I was allowed to freely
hours there and borrow as many books as I could manage.
The fact that even once Wright got the
books, he was still questioned as to what and why he was reading
books, illustrates what a terrible time it was for
people during that time in history.
Growing up in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s as a white
child, I never
experienced that type of restriction.
It’s sad that anyone would ever have to experience not being
free, not considered to be an equal, and not being allowed to borrow
a public library.
In “Library Card”, Wright goes through several educational experiences. He learns that he must do things such as lie and hide in order to get to the books that he wants to read. Once he gets to the point that he is able to get the books from the library with just minimal problems, he opens himself to a whole new world by reading books from authors with radical view points. During his reading he discovers that he’s able to understand words that he doesn’t know by using the context of the text surrounding it and he also realizes that getting caught up in a book is easy to do. One of the most poignant sentences in the piece to me is “…I went to work, but the mood of the book would not die; it lingered, coloring everything I saw, heard, did.” This seems to be the point where Wright really learns that the written word is powerful. Reading about different topics enables him to grasp what his mother went through, lets him really think about his options for life in the South and the North, and leads him to the realization that his reading puts distance between him and those around him. At the end of the story, I’m not sure whether he wishes he’d never started reading and thinking about new things, or if he wants the books to keep taking him to new levels.
If I compare my experiences
growing up of being encouraged to read and always wanting to learn
Good Example” by Vicente Riva Palacio, it further shows me how lucky I
it. In “The Good
outside the box and learning things that were not strictly taught in
classroom were just not encouraged.
Riva Palacio’s entire story mocks the education system in the
Republic. The lessons
taught in the
story are all about memorization and all of the students parroting
back what is
said to them. While
there were things
that I had to memorize in school, I was still encouraged as an
allowed different books to help broaden my mind.
I think the point regarding
education that is brought home in “The Good Example” is that when the
thing being taught is memorization, anyone can deliver the message.
story Riva Palacio tells us that the teacher, Don Lucas, considers
long suffering martyr, only enduring the lessons each day.
The thought that a pet parrot can learn all
of the lessons taught by Don Lucas and then later ‘teach’ those
other parrots further shows us what Riva Palacio thought of the
Lucas delivered. The
last line of the
story, “Ever since then, and well ahead of their time, the parrots of
district have seen the shadows of obscurantism and ignorance
us exactly what the writer thought of the lessons taught in the
school. He’s telling us
that the parrots of that
area are now just as smart and educated as the children.
When I think about what
educational aspirations that I would like everyone on the earth to
main one is literacy. I
the ability to read and comprehend is by far the most important skill
anyone can ever learn. Being
read and having access to any and all forms of the written world can
people to new levels of intelligence.
Having the ability to
the skill to learn new things…if they can read instructions, they can
teach themselves a new skill. Reading
also be a means of relaxation and escapism when people are able to
themselves in different roles and places.
All in all, I think that being able to read is the one skill
help bring everyone to a more level playing field, regardless of
For myself, even though I took a 6
From Wright showing us what it’s like to diligently go after knowledge through books when formal education is not available, to Palacio’s disdain for teaching through constant repetition, and finally to my own experiences of being encouraged to read and empowered by learning, it is clear that not all educational experiences are equal. No one can say for sure what method of education is best out of the thousands available, however everyone should be given the chance to get an education in some way, shape or form.