In the Mocking Chair

Published March 8, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As promised, here’s one of the Sample Essays I wrote for my new job.  This one was surprisingly easy to churn out.

  1. If you could change one important thing about your country, what would you change? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

If I could change an important thing about my country it would be its animosity over immigration issues.  It seems silly to me that a country created to be a free nation gathering huddled masses yearning to breathe free would get bogged down in the kind of problems that some states are taking to extremes.  It is not uncommon for people living in the Southwestern United States to have their citizenship challenged.  New Mexico residents will soon have to get passports to show along with their driver’s licenses to prove citizenship.  The Kid just brought this to my attention. When his NM Driver’s License expires, he will have to get a passport because New Mexico gives Driver’s Licenses to illegal immigrants. I have so many things I want to say about this, but the main thing is that it’s hard enough to get the Kid to keep up with his errands, and now he has to tack one more thing on to that.  True, now that he is working in the professional world, he probably needs a Passport anyway.  I bet he won’t be in a big hurry to get it for that reason, either. 

I am from my family’s third generation to be born in the United States.  All of my grandparents were born in Mexico and two of my great grandparents were full-blooded Mexican Indians.  Two of my great grandparents were also born in Europe.    I am glad to know about my roots and where my family comes from; but I know that I cannot be fully defined by my ethnic heritage.  My grandparents were all US Citizens.

True, I think they were grandfathered in because they were born in parts of Mexico that eventually became the United States, but that should count for double.  I once got into a verbal shoving match with Financial Aid because my brother and I could technically qualify for Native American status.  I was told that only applied to North American Natives.  I answered that Mexico is in North America.  Financial Aid people love to be entertained, but they do NOT love Geography lessons. 


My mother took my brother and me to be enrolled at a school in our new neighborhood.  We were the only Hispanic family in this neighborhood.  I vividly remember being asked if we were in the country legally.    This was three decades ago and I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Today, I find this hilarious because all of the schools in Texas have such a huge Hispanic population. My brother and I were also the only students in the school to consistently score in the upper five percent of our classes.  No one made loud catty comments about that, if I may be so rude to point out.  

It seems as ludicrous to me today as it did then and for mostly the same reason. In the United States public schools are for the public.  Children deserve to be educated.  It is this country’s treatment of Immigrants that has created the feeling of ill will between differing ethnic groups.

This member of the huddled masses yearns for knowledge. Thank heavens my parents pulled us out of that banana factory and made the sacrifice to send us to private school for the rest of our education.  By the way, both my brother and I got full scholarships to college. I have two Master’s Degrees and no student loans. I also have a tendency to get a bit preachy and snarly when challenged. If I may be so rude to point out. 

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