An Amigo Diferente: Rodriguex helps Parmar develop love of languages

September 24, 2010 — by Elijah Yi

On an early Monday morning, junior Viraj Parmar walks down the halls getting prepared for the day ahead of him. As the bell rings and school starts, most students walk lifelessly around the campus to their first period classes. However, amidst his fatigued classmates, Parmar walks with a smile and is thrilled for first-period Spanish with his favorite teacher, Arnaldo Rodriguex.

Although many students think of a teacher only as one who instructs, Parmar has found a friend in Rodriguex, who teaches advanced Spanish. The two have known each other for almost five years now, every year bringing new experiences and harder curriculum.

Parmar moved to Saratoga in the 7th grade and began attending Redwood Middle School. However, having already completed Spanish 1 at The Dorris-Eaton School in Walnut Creek, Parmar was in need of a teacher for Spanish 2, which was not available at Redwood. That was when Rodriguex came into the picture.

“I couldn’t take Spanish 2 at Redwood, and somehow I got the opportunity to be tutored by Señor,” Parmar said.

Parmar studied with Rodriguex once a week during 7th and 8th grade, with each session lasting up to an hour. By the time Parmar was a freshman, he was top of his Spanish 3 class, very advanced for his grade.

“Señor may have not been my teacher when I was a freshman, but he still helped me ou t with my Spanish,” Parmar said.

With support from Rodriguex and his own extra effort and time put in, Parmar was capable of taking a higher Spanish class ahead of the curve. In sophomore year, Parmar skipped Spanish 4 and advanced into Spanish 5 AP with Rodriguex. From there on, Parmar was not only learning from Rodriguex, but was also becoming better friends with him.

“I feel that he is not just a teacher to me,” said Parmar. “He has helped me as a friend through things besides just Spanish. He has even encouraged me through my Chinese classes and has made me a big fan of world languages.”

Rodriguex also feels that through the time that Parmar was his student, he has become acquainted with him.

“I have close relationships with many students from the past, but Viraj is an exception because I have known him since middle school, while others I meet while they are upperclassmen,” Rodriguex said. “I am also good friends with his family and brother Varun.”

Rodriguex hopes stay in contact with Parmar in the future the way he has with many of his other former students.

“I definitely hope to keep in touch with Viraj,” Rodriguex said. “I’ve had students from 30 years ago that I still keep in touch with, [so] hopefully him too.”

Parmar hopes to keep a friend in Rodriguex as well.

“I’m positive I will stay in touch with [him],” Parmar said. “He has helped me a lot so far and has been a big part in my high school experience.”

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