Ucla Essays 2013

Ucla Essays 2013-74
John, a very good student, had failed the test; I had passed. Despite my initial relief over leaving school and helping my family, I’d also been unhappy about it.He did not recover from his disappointment and dropped out soon afterward. When I was discharged from the Army in May 1953, I applied for—and was granted—readmission to UCLA. Bill paid veterans a small monthly stipend but not enough to allow me to help Mother, so I decided to work while getting a university education, an arrangement that was not unique at the time. I found a job in the mail order department at the Sears, Roebuck located at Olympic and Soto.

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She was noncommittal but advised that I continue to work hard.

The following week she gave our class a vocabulary test, and my score was well above the others’.

My status at UCLA was precarious in a different way. I also returned to the post office, which allowed me as a veteran to set my own work schedule while I attended school. UCLA’s tuition of $75 per semester helped make our goal achievable. S.-born father was bilingual, our parents spoke Spanish with one another.) But Raul was hospitalized once and unable to communicate with hospital staff.

Mother was the only breadwinner in the family, which included six minor children, a fact that weighed heavily on me, her eldest. One difficulty was deciding on a major, and I didn’t know anyone who had attended college whom I might ask for guidance. A nurse then spoke to Mother about the importance of teaching children English. Only shards and fragments of Spanish remained in my head. His assumption was that I spoke Spanish and had enrolled in his class in quest of an easy grade.

Getting from south Los Angeles to Westwood and back also meant that I spent four hours every day riding streetcars and buses. Eventually, I wound up going in a direction I hadn’t expected. This caused me considerable frustration, because with any attempt to speak Spanish I committed errors that made me a target of scorn and laughter among native speakers. In the first few minutes of my first Spanish class Professor Donald Fogelquist called me to his desk. I apprised him of my situation and later took several advanced classes with him.

To make matters worse, I was majoring in engineering and realizing that I had chosen the wrong field of study. Despite his initial brusqueness, I came to enjoy his quiet, dignified manner and dry sense of humor.

There were times as I sat in class when I experienced a physical thrill from learning, as when professor of anthropology Joseph Birdsell lectured on DNA, still in the early stages of study.

Years later, thanks to that class, I read with pleasure .

That was her way of ascertaining that I had written my own essays.

My subsequent compositions received As, and on the grade card she mailed me at semester’s end she wrote, in pencil, and in a pale, delicate handwriting, “You have done some very nice work. L.” I got caught up in a daily routine: driving to Westwood to attend classes, parking my 1950 Ford at the corner of Sunset and Hilgard (when it rained, the dirt became mud that students maneuvered out of with the aid of wooden planks), and then, after class, following Sunset Boulevard all the way to the Terminal Annex.


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