OUT OF THE FIELDS
My Journey From Farmworker Boy To Pediatrician
Book Excerpt from the Inspiring Story of Ramon Resa, MD:
Excerpt #12 of 17
RAMON RESA’S GRANDMOTHER ATTEMPTS TO SHAME HIM FOR LEAVING TO ATTEND COLLEGE, TEARS HER HAIR AND CALLS HIM NAMES WHEN HE GOES.
My college application is almost complete. My recommendations are very positive. I’ve done the best I can with the financial statement, and I’m almost finished with my essay.
It’s harder to write than I expected. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, so I don’t write everything. I do describe working in agricultural labor all my life and the adversity we endured. I write about going off in the summers to work in migrant camps to pick plums and about how summers were among the happiest times in my childhood. Even though we moved around during the summers for work, I thought of it as a holiday because we slept outside under the trees, and after work all the kids would get together and play until dark.
When I ask Ama to sign my application, she looks at it quizzically. “What’s this?”
“My application for college. The University of California at Santa Cruz.”
“What do you mean, college?”
“I have a chance to get a college education for free.”
“What about us?” she exclaims. “Who’s going to help take care of us if you go away? You can’t leave us! We raised you, and this is how you reward us! Abandoning us when we need you most – after we cared for you and took you in when no one else wanted you?” She starts sobbing.
“I’m not leaving forever. But I need to go so I can have an opportunity for a good job.”
“There are good factory jobs in town! Domingo has a good factory job right in Visalia!”
I know that Domingo and his girlfriend Laura are getting married because she’s pregnant and he had to take any job he could get.
“I want something more, and for that I need a college degree.”