School was a struggle for John D. Rodrigues. He knew he was smart, but teachers and classmates didn't believe him. All they saw was a kid who wore freakish orthopedic shoes, couldn't sit still in class, and struggled miserably with reading. At age sixteen, John had had enough. He dropped out, certain he'd never return to school.
Thanks to a chance encounter, John discovered ice sculpting. Here, finally, was something the young man was good at, and he took to it passionately. His talent for releasing beauty from massive blocks of ice led to jobs working in famous hotels and on cruise ships. He was happy, but his failure to graduate tugged at the back of his mind.
The failure, as it turned out, wasn't John's. It was the fault of the school system that had never diagnosed his dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Armed with strategies that played to his strengths, John passed remedial classes in community college and then went on to study at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley.
In High School Dropout to Harvard, John candidly recounts his inspirational journey and dispenses hard-won, practical advice for other readers who may be facing similar challenges.
|Publisher:||John D Rodrigues|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.24(d)|
|Age Range:||1 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Brock & Fernette Eide, authors of The Dyslexic Advantage
"John Rodrigues has written an inspiring and empowering story about his personal dyslexic journey. Young people who have dropped out of school or others who are thinking about returning to school will be encouraged by his honest recounting, light hearted tone, and perceptive insights about his thinking style and advantages. I particularly liked what he shared about approaching classes strategically and figuring out how to get through his degree program."
"Well written. He covers many of the issues faced by dyslexics and offers a tremendous amount of hope to students." Regina G. Richards, International Dyslexia Association
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
High School Dropout to Harvard by John D. Rodrigues is a fascinating memoir of a student’s struggle to overcome the odds and achieve his goals. The author is not diagnosed with dyslexia until he enrolls in college and relates stories of his early obstacles in school and home with an unrecognized learning disability. What I admired most about the book was the positive attitude the author maintained. When most people would have given up and accepted mediocrity, Rodrigues instead chooses to push the envelope and follows his dreams up to and including enrolling in Harvard University. I love how he takes something that is called a “disability” and turns it into strength. It is evident that he has analyzed the way he thinks visually and found unique methods to work smarter, not harder. As the mother of a child recently diagnosed on the autism spectrum, I can genuinely relate to the struggles of not knowing how to best help my son to learn in a way that works best for him. I totally agree with the author’s assessment of the current school system and its focus on rote learning instead of independent thinking. High School Dropout to Harvard is a quick and inspiring read giving a glimpse into how a visual thinker views the world. I think it is a must read for educators and anyone affected by dyslexia. I would definitely recommend this book!
High School Dropout to Harvard, by John D. Rodrigues, is a memoir that tells the story of a young man that dropped out of high school after battling with dyslexia. The author tells his story of life after leaving the hell of high school behind. Not only did he get a chance to travel the world and win an international competition, but against all odds, he was accepted into Harvard. There is so much emotion put into the pages of this book that you can't help but feel what he is going through during the different stages of his life. The disappointment of his parents, the frustration of his teachers, and the shame in himself just pours out of the pages as the story unfolds! I really enjoyed this book. I think the author did a great job at not only telling his story, but portraying the emotions that came accross during the time! I would definitely recommend John's story to any readers of the memoir genre. Great job to the author.
High School Dropout to Harvard is a memoir by John Rodrigues that reads like a fiction novel. He tells of creating giant ice sculptures that win international competitions, traveling aboard a cruise liner to numerous exotic locations, and getting into Harvard—all after dropping out of high school and fighting with dyslexia. John shares the trials and tribulations of his life while living with a learning disability. As a child, he disappointed his parents and fellow students with his clumsiness and general comprehension issues. Instead of thinking in words and reading letters, he realizes early on that he thinks in pictures and that life is a giant puzzle. Over the course of his lifetime, he learns to harness this unusual ability to think in abstracts to achieve greatness and be unique. Although he drops out of high school and almost everyone thinks he’s never amount to amount to anything, he eventually—through much perseverance and hard work—ends up matriculating at Harvard University. It is John’s unbelievable tale that draws the reader in, but it is the realization that every word is true that creates a lasting impression. John’s battle with his own brain—and his conquering/compromising with it—can be applied to every person’s life. He figured out a challenging aspect of himself, learned to work around that aspect/use it to his advantage, and accomplished more than he ever thought possible. This book is a must-read and an inspiration to people with disabilities and “normal” people alike!
High School Dropout to Harvard is a personal memoir about a young man’s struggle to succeed while battling dyslexia and “3D thinking”. Written by John D. Rodrigues, this is a fairly short book (only ninety pages on my ereader) that tells how Mr. Rodrigues struggled through school, eventually dropping out but finding success and happiness as a chef and ice sculptor on a cruise ship. Not one to give up, the author wants to persevere and continue his education by going to college. It is here that he is tested and told that he isn’t unintelligent (obviously) or unable to learn, rather he has dyslexia as well as being a visual learner (meaning he pictures things, most times in 3D, not linear). This makes reading and writing very difficult and listening to lectures nearly impossible. He solves problems by picturing them in a 3D format. He develops his own way of learning and ends up at Harvard. This is a book of perseverance and the proof that if faced with obstacles don’t give up because success is in your grasp. This story should be read by anyone who has dealt with learning difficulties in their own lives, whether the difficulties are their own or a loved one’s. This is a fast and easy read as well as entertaining. Had I still been working in the special education field I would use this book to provide inspiration for my students.
In High School Dropout to Harvard, John Rodrigues gives us a humor filled, autobiographical account of learning from the perspective of a boy who doesn’t fit the mold of an ideal student. As a young boy with tons of energy and enthusiasm, he loved kindergarten, but once he entered first grade and beyond, he found the traditionally linear school setting to be overwhelming and lacking the freedom to allow him express his creativity. After using humor and avoidance to cope with his dyslexia and poor academic achievement, he ultimately decided to drop out of high school and find a job. It wasn’t until he began working as an ice sculptor that he began to find acceptance and realized that his way of thinking and learning could be used as a strength. To the surprise of many, he ultimately turned things around for himself and found success as a student at a prestigious university. Mr. Rodrigues clearly and fairly demonstrates that our traditional school system does not always serve every style of learner. He backs up his own personal experiences with research, peppered with good-natured humor. Despite his own struggles, the author turned what could be a painful subject into a hopeful read that approaches dyslexia and a few other disabilities with a positive spin, demonstrating that our so called disabilities can serve to provide us with a different perspective rather than just be thought of as a hindrance. While the author’s style of writing is fast paced and easy to read, I did find that he had a tendency to repeat himself. While this did not hinder the progress of the book, it was unnecessary. Overall, this refreshing book offers hope and a new perspective on a difficult subject to those who struggle in our linear school system as well as parents and teachers of students who are non-traditional learners.