Introduction: September 3, 1968

Hello! My name is Robert Rodriguez Clemente and I just turned 18 years old. University is starting soon for me; it will also be the first time that I have lived away from my parents. However, I’m really excited to be starting my first semester at la Universidad de Buenos Aires, even though it’s a 4.5 hour drive from my home in Mar del Plata. I know that I’m still young, but I can’t wait to go out there and change the world!

I come from a fairly well off background, my father is the bank manager at Banco Supervielle and my mother works as a nurse in HPC (Hospital Privado de Communidad). Both of my parents are my heroes in their own way: my father is my hero because he came from absolutely nothing in this country and found a way to earn a good living. In Argentina, somebody born in the lower class will usually stay there, but my dad found a way out. He has always told me that if I dream big and work hard, I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. My mother was also born in Argentina and grew up with the challenges of being a woman at the time. Her mother (my abuela) had always told her how lucky she was to have the opportunities to work in the new society. That is why she has always insisted on working, even though my father makes enough money for us to live on. It has created a lot of tension in the house; my father does not like that my mother continues to work even after they got married. He comes from a family that believes that a woman’s proper place is in the household and it is deeply shameful that his wife continues to work. It makes him feel inadequate as a man, but my mother is insistent that she could not live without having a job. So, in a way, both of my parents fought (and continue to fight) against the systems that have existed for years. Their battles have shown me that the system is full of injusticia, and I believe that it is my solemn duty to help those that are hurt by the current system that we have in place. In their own ways, they have inspired me to fight for the lower classes and the oppressed. Of course, they don’t believe a word of it. They call me air headed and tell me I should take advantage of the opportunities that they never had. They want me to get a good job and take care of my future wife and kids, but I want my life to mean more than that. A good job means nothing to me if I don’t help those who need it.

So I am excited to begin my journey into college, but I will always be looking out for the ones not so fortunate. I have never been afraid to express my opinion and I certainly will not change that in university. I don’t know where my journey will take me; I only hope that I can be an inspiration for my brother, Pablo, who is now 15 years old and for all of my younger cousins. I am the oldest in the family, and I look forward to leading them into a new era, full of possibilities for all. Hopefully this document will be in the history books as the start of my adventure into Argentinian folklore.

Ciao,

Roberto Rodriguez Clemente

1 thought on “Introduction: September 3, 1968

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hola, Roberto. Very good to meet you. Has anyone ever told you that you have the same name as…oh, never mind. People in Argentina probably don’t follow beisbol. Anyway, it’s nice that you let me read these letters of yours and I look forward to hearing more from you. What are you studying at the uni?

    [NOTE: The school year in Buenos Aires starts in March and runs through mid-December, with a winter break in July.]

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