“I always saw myself going to college because my brother went there. Now he’s a full-time architect.”
If you go back to fall 1995 in these student profiles—archived on SMC’s website at
www.smc.edu/schedules/archives/profiles—you’ll encounter a young man who was then dreaming of one day becoming an architect. His name is Alfredo Rodriguez, and he wanted nothing more than to set a good example for his younger brothers and sisters. “Yeah, that’s my brother!” says Vidal Rodriguez. “And he really
set a good example for all of us.” But where the building techniques of Alfredo are of the brick-and-mortar variety, his younger brother is curious about another set of ‘building blocks.’
“I want to go into physics so I can understand things at the molecular and chemical levels. I want to test things out, and experiment to find out how science can benefit people,” says Vidal. “It’s just something that I’ve been in love with since I was five years old. And I know it’s a very difficult field to get into,” he says, “but there’s nothing that can stop me from doing what I want.” And to support his belief in himself, Vidal quotes those two great philosophers, Mark Twain and... Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart.
“Twain said, ‘Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.’ And Hart said, ‘Life is based less on what we’ve learned and... more on what you’ve had inside you from the beginning.’ ”
Vidal expects in 10 years to be “working on my PhD in grad school.” But for the moment, he’s gobbling up as much science as possible at SMC. “I had a great chemistry professor here in Mr. Doucette, who made everything as simple and as clear as possible for us. And the Science building? It’s really extraordinary! The labs are so good; the experiments, the procedures. I mean, I just see SMC as a very