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The Professor is a Dropout

Page history last edited by David Hodges 11 years, 11 months ago



The Professor

Is a Dropout 

by Beth Johnson

p. 683


Discussion Closed

Conversation Continues

on Overflow Page


Read "The Professor Is a Dropout" and think about how dramatically one test result changed Guadalupe Quintanilla's life. The one cause, her very poor test result, started a chain of consequences that ended with her tremendous success.



  1. Speculate how Lupe Quintanilla's life would have been different if she had been IQ tested in Spanish instead of English. This form of Cause and Effect writing—speculative cause and effect—requires you to imagine the results of an event that never occurred. You'll use comparison and contrast also, to explain in what ways her life might have been different from, in what ways similar to, the life she in fact led.

  2. Use the "Add a Comment" field below to contribute to the conversation.

  3. Check the Chart below to see if you are finished.

  4. Continue to contribute until you score a 5 out of 5.

  5. I have created an Overflow page where you can continue the conversation after you score 5.



Student Name
Score out of 5 Instructions
venkatesh Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Serdar Final Grade 3 Discussion Closed
Mary Ebogu Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Rokya Alao-Fary Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Elisabeth Bio Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Tabinda Kashif Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Florence Oledimma Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Trang Nguyen Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Julian Molokwu Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Tan Hoang Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Fatimazahra Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Salena Akhter Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Maria Aznar Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Nidhi Barot Final Grade 3 Discussion Closed
Mohamed Fofana Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Irena Jusko Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Rajbir Kaur Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Keu Hwa Kim Final Grade 0 Discussion Closed
Elvia Mateo Final Grade 0 Discussion Closed
Ngoc-Dung Nguyen Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Neel Patel Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish
Trupti Patel Final Grade 3 Discussion Closed
Kamrun Aleya Final Grade 5 Proceed to Overflow page if you wish


5 POINTS for excellent contributions or leadership

4 POINTS for competent contributions or analysis

3 POINTS for average work but good participation

2 POINTS for below average work or poor participation

1 POINT for incomprehensible or unresponsive contributions

0 POINTS for no participation.

Comments (Show all 78)

Florence oledimma said

at 7:32 am on Jan 29, 2010

Florence oledimma said I deeply believe that we are the architect of our own destiny through our determination to achieve success. This woman tried her best even when she was labeled retarded . she was motivated by the desire to set example for her children. she not only created a distinguished destiny for herself but she also created it for her children. Today, many parents don't set a good example for their children. Children keeps growing without modeling appropriate behavior from anybody. if all parents will be like lupe, it means that all children will be responsible. Giving a very poor test result can make one's life miserable. The person might even want to quit everything concerning education,but in lupe's case,she was not the type known for quiting. Fellow students, don't quit easily we have to encourage ourselves and put more effort so that we will achieve our goal. The test was conducted in English. Had it been that the test was conducted in spanish instead of English, the result would have been different perhaps she wouldn't have bothered herself to reach this distinguish destiny in life. Folks, we can be whatever we want to be through our own effort,moreover,persistent effort leads to success. Keep on planting the seeds because there will be a day of harvest.

David Hodges said

at 11:42 am on Jan 29, 2010

In an earlier comment, I praised several students for beginning the speculation about Lupe's IQ test and how her life would have changed if she'd been tested in Spanish.

I should also have praised Venkatesh, who got to the topic even sooner. Congratulations, Venkatesh. You have earned your 5. You may proceed to the Overflow page if you like.

Mary Ebogu said

at 2:19 pm on Jan 29, 2010

Well, u guys are right, she would have been a better student if she was given an IQ test in spanish. But come to think of it, what would it have been like if she had taken the IQ test in


To my own point of view, the label of her being retarded wasn't her fault, bcos she couldn't couldn't understand english. To me everything happens for a purpose, i think if she had

taken the IQ test in spanish, she might find it difficiult to understand english. She is just like a student who wanted to enroll in a college, where english language is a necessity, and is to

the take an english placement test. How would they know what level of english langauge she is if she takes a spanish placement test in an english school. I think the problen was from

the school or teachers who named her retarded. what i would have expected them to do was to teach her the elementary basics of english when they found out that she wan't good at

english. Anyway, in all the troubles, sorrows, humilations and pains she passed through, she came out of the crowd being a winner.

fatimazahra said

at 2:27 pm on Jan 29, 2010

hello everybody,Ithink classfied lupe as retarted just because she got sixty -four in her score in the IQ test which it was in english=,this resault change her life ,she was embrassed , she can't inderstand any word in english .this event change her life .I think she was strong women at young age ,she was 16 when she got married and take care of three children and how she struggle when her children had the same problem the English that was also big challenge for all quintanilla familly ,I think lupe did all her best to be good english speaker,she faith for her kids too ,she was good examplefor her familly to push them study more and more ,and she prove her succsed by speaking english easily .

fatimazahra said

at 2:33 pm on Jan 29, 2010

For me she was good example to be good student and good mother in the same time ,I'm so keen to do the same thing beacuse everything has the price maybe high or low .

David Hodges said

at 2:35 pm on Jan 29, 2010

Good work, Mary. You have earned your 5. Proceed to the Overflow page if you have more to contribute.

Your comment is an improvement too, Fatimazahra, but doesn't succeed yet. What you say about Lupe is correct. The result of her English IQ test did embarrass her, although she did not let that defeat her. But I want you to speculate what would have happened if she had been IQ tested in Spanish instead. OK?

fatimazahra said

at 2:57 pm on Jan 29, 2010

Hello Mr.hodges ,thank you for your comment, i think if she took the IQ test in spanich maybe her life would be different ,furthermore she would had nothing to challenge everything would be easy for her maybe she can't speak english easily and beacme what she is now ,I know it was unfair for her to classfied her as retarted and her kids as well,Ithink taking IQ test in english was bad result for her emotionally but it was good reasons to achieve her goal by create succsed career.

Maria Aznar said

at 5:01 pm on Jan 29, 2010

In my opinion, Lupe had a difficult life since she tested IQ as retarded, but fortunately it made her harder in the future. However, I don't think that her effort to fight with everything is caused for her terrible experiences. Probably, if she had had tested in Spanish, her life had been succesful as well. The people who is persistent and believe in themselves, always achieve their purposes. Lupe is a strong woman even before she was tested, so the person who she has into herself is the responsable of all her merits either she was tested in English or in Spanish. In summary, I think she had had a succesful life anyway.

David Hodges said

at 5:23 pm on Jan 29, 2010

Good work, Fatimazahra and Maria!
You have both earned your 5s and may proceed to the Overflow page if you wish.

Mohamed Tidiane Fofana said

at 8:09 pm on Jan 29, 2010

Hello Mr hodges. What I think about Lupe is that the IQ test given to her in English made he become what she is today. If she was tested in spanish that is her mother langage, she wouldn't have had to challenge any difficulty in her life. Generally, no one likes to be humiliated by the way he or she thinks or do something, but if it happens, people try to overcome it by doing well as they can in order to keep they head high. Being treated as a retarded, likewise her children , gave to Lupe a thirst of learning english and even doing more. The result of that is what she is today, a doctor in Education.

julian molokwu said

at 9:52 pm on Jan 29, 2010

well, lupe would have do so much better in spanish more than english in the IQ test, but can she be able to associate with other people that are not spanish? in my own opinion, i strongly believe that test in english made her what she is today.think about the children named ''yellow bird'' in the school because their parents are not playing their role at home by helping in their studies. what would have been the future of those kids? these are the challenges that make her to stand on her feet and achieve her goal and become what she is today.

kamrunaleya said

at 12:14 am on Jan 30, 2010

Hi..Julian i m agree with your opinion.I think that Lupe Quintilla's life would have been different if she had been IQ tested in Spanish instead of English in many ways.Such as if she would have been tested in Spanish instead of English she might be

able to build up a wonderful career in Spanish but at the same time she will limited her life with in the boundary of Spanish language.She will become unable to communicate with those people who speak different language and she will become unable

to compete with today's world where English is the international language for all over the world.May be she will remain as a simple person as we are.The IQ test in English instead of Spanish create a way for her to achieve her goal and to prove

herself rather than make her unhappy.

Mohamed Tidiane Fofana said

at 12:19 am on Jan 30, 2010

If Lupe was IQ tested in spanish instead of english, she would probably be placed in a higher grade. She would not be treated as a retarded because she did know how to read or express herself in spanish. Dr Quintanilla has struggled learning as a senior student because of the language matter. I don't think that the IQ test held in English was the real cause of Lupe's determination. I think the basic reason of her persistance and motivation was when she thought about her children. She didn't want them to be looked down in the society, she want them to be high and respected personality. So far,

David Hodges said

at 6:35 am on Jan 30, 2010

Beautiful work Kamrun, Julian, and Mohamed! You have earned your 5s. You may stay here to chat with one another or proceed to the Overflow page if you like.

trangnguyen said

at 2:03 pm on Jan 30, 2010

When i read this story , the first thing made me feel upset that the test IQ that is unfair for every one who is the first time learning by English. If you come from a different country as Lupe, and you have to get this test , you will have the same result , not surprising. She is very good at spanish that is not mean she is retared by English. The result of this test that made her life was changed, even she felt humiliated in front of her classmate and didn't feel confortable in classroom. I thought the main reason is she didnt have chance to learn and improve by english cause of her grandma and grandfarther. Going throught this story, I am very proud of her during the time she motivated herself by learning english and helped her children out of the problem as her past life. Finally, she is doing this job as the US Attorney General and her children did well in study . I think she won't be introuble if she take the test IQ in spanish instead of English.

julian molokwu said

at 5:14 pm on Jan 30, 2010

Dear professor Hodges, there is no mark for me yet.

David Hodges said

at 5:16 pm on Jan 30, 2010

What you say about Lupe's life is correct, Trang. She did extremely well for herself despite failing the IQ test in English. Now, you will perhaps think I'm being very demanding, but you haven't quite answered my question. Your last sentence gives a hint of how you will answer: "she won't be in trouble" if she takes the test in Spanish. Is that all you want to say? Will she excel in her studies if she tests well? Or will she take her education for granted? Does the determination she displays in her life result from her early humiliation? These are the questions I want you to speculate about.

trangnguyen said

at 8:13 pm on Jan 30, 2010

Dear professor Hodge, your right. I mean she won't be feel humiliated from her classmate in first grade like that if they don't think she is retarted from the scored IQ. I am not sure abour how excel she will be by spanish but i believe that she can do it well. In the story, she told about her life after she stayed at home " From that time on, she was serving as her blind grand father, and she is a fluent reader ." And she did it really well when she was a young age. The determination she displays in her life doesn;t result from her early humiliation because of her children when she know they put in the " yellow bird" . So the trouble i mean that she feft disappointment herself as the first grade when she reconiged that she doesn't have any talent by learning English.

ND Nguyen said

at 8:35 pm on Jan 30, 2010

To other people, the English IQ test was likely her life's tragedy because it made her almost stayed away of education. It brought her to a circumstance in which she was "so much older and so much dumber"; or at least she was shouted at without noticing what wrong she just had done. The English IQ test also indirectly pushed her to be a young cleaner machine as well as put her kids in the "Yellow Birds" group. To me, however, taking a panoramic look at through her story, this test might be a miraculous destiny. This terrible experience bequeathed her a thirst of knowledge. It made her to be a hunger of studying. If she had taken a Spanish IQ instead of the English one, would she have desired to study like this ? I guess no, she wouldn't. Might be she would just have studied as other common students. She would have graduated, worked and lived a normally easy life. On a contrary, the three-children mommy has created for her own a phenomenon. The English IQ test was like a first stage of a long steep staircase. It was not only not block her way but also lifted her up to a higher step. Even though it was not the most important factor led her to amazing achievements, it was not completely a nightmare. Some times obstacles and tragedies do not destroy dreams, but they just create heroes.

ND Nguyen said

at 8:59 pm on Jan 30, 2010

I do not prefer the way of thinking that if she took the Spanish test, her life would have been much more easier. I am partial to stick with the thought that she would not have succeed like this if she did not face with this obstacle. It could not whip her down;in contrast, it woke a phenomenon up.

David Hodges said

at 11:18 pm on Jan 30, 2010

Trang, I appreciate your extra effort to make your ideas clear. You and I will talk more about how to communicate using speculation, but for now I am happy to award you your 5.

ND, you have earned your 5 also, partly on the strength of your ideas, partly because of your charming images. I see you will not be satisfied to state things simply. I will count on you to introduce your classmates to metaphor and colorful speech this semester. :)

Sr.Irena Jusko said

at 8:34 pm on Jan 31, 2010

Hi! If Guadalope had been IQ tested in Spanish instead of English, she would have been classified as a clever student. Then, Lupe would study English in school and at the same time she would continue to flourish in Spanish at home. This means that her way to mastering English skills would be much shorter and easier. Also, she would have avoided some bad experiences,such as being humiliated by being viewed as "retarded". I am sure , Lupe finally would have ache ived academic success due to her passion for literature. Even the author says "Lupe's own love of reading flourished". It doesn't matter that she read in Spanish instead of English, her intellect continued to develop. While she is a passionate reader, she is also a very ambitious person. According to Beth Johnson, "she soon realized that the associate's degree by Texas Southmost College would not satisfy her." I believe that her ambition and talents would drive her to a high position in society. To summarize, regardless of being tested in Spanish or in English, she would have acheived success. However, by being tested in English, she encountered many obstacles which strengthened her character. Having persevered inspite of her dificulties, she has acquired an additional reward of the virtue of steadfastness.

rajbir13 said

at 8:54 pm on Jan 31, 2010

Hello Prof. Hodges, according to me if IQ test would have been taken in spanish her life would have been different. She would not been labeled as a retarded. She would not have faced the humiliation.She would have scored very well in the IQ test.Lupe was a hard working and a determined woman so she would have achieved her goal either way.

salena said

at 9:13 pm on Jan 31, 2010

I read three times Dr.Lupe`s article and now i think if her IQ test had not taken in English, she would not have been success in
her life. I am thinking this way because we are studing about 14 or 16 years,some of us has been finished and has started
again.few of us did good and rest of the students are just studing because they have to.As a consequence, same thing had
happened in her life.

When Guadalupe had retarded, she was not worried.She was doing everything normal way in her life. For example she took care
of her grandfather, she got married and she had given three kids within five years. She was happy but her contenment has
changed when her children had been put into a group called "yellow birds". It was agroup for slow learner.She thought same
thing also going to be happen with her children.Onthe contrary, she tried to develop herself. Inspite of her enough age she tried
to start from school. I have been fascinate to her brave.

David Hodges said

at 9:23 pm on Jan 31, 2010

That was quite remarkable, Irena! You may proceed to the Overflow page with the rest of the 5s. Rajbir, what you say is also entirely true. I would like you to answer one additional question before you move on, though. Suppose Lupe had not had children. The school would never have tested them and classified them as yellow birds. What then? Would Lupe have accepted the "retarded" label and submitted to a diminished life?

David Hodges said

at 9:27 pm on Jan 31, 2010

Salena, while I was asking my question of Rajbir, you seem to have been trying to answer it. Say as clearly as you can, Salena and Rajbir, if her children had tested well in school, or if she had not had children at all, would Lupe ever have challenged her own test score or achieved all that she did?

salena said

at 10:40 pm on Jan 31, 2010

Thank you Mr.David for your question.I do not think so because lupe achieved all those things in her life after putting her children into the group 'yellow birds".In addition, she has taken the challenge when she saw same thing going to be happen with her children.Other wise she was quite happy with her family.

Neel Patel said

at 10:56 pm on Jan 31, 2010

Professor Hodeges, When you said that name of the story in the class, Professor is a dropout, I thought this story would be about a student who is about to receive his PHD degree and for some reason he drops out of college...But after reading the first half page, i realized this story will not only give me a chance to write my idea on the wiki, but it helped me prove this quote in my life "Anything in this world is possible only if you are willing to make that task your only vision and defeat any obstacles in you way". When i read a sentence which was about her getting called retarded in first grade, it gave me a interest of how she was going to build her life...As she moved on from high school in her life, she really didn't have a specific reason to learn english but at the age of 16, when she got married and with in five year,when she gave birth to three children, she made her vision to learn english. So she can help her children develop and she can get somehwere in her life..it was not as easy as it sounds for her. She went to many places to learn english but because other people thought she wouldn't get anywhere, she was loosing her hope. But not everyone is same on this earth, the registrar from college gave her a hope and permission to start four year college...She worked her way up. Basically she was never retarded. Through out her entier life, she was ready to run on the track, someone just had to give her a direction..she did reach the biggest success of her life and the formula Lupe followed thoughtout her life was preety simple "Hard work=Success"

Personally what i learned:
If you think a person is not capable of doing something, don't just judge a book by its cover, understand him/her, and give them another chance...

Neel Patel said

at 10:58 pm on Jan 31, 2010

Sorry for the late comment on this disscussion Professor Hodges, I was out for the weekend...

Neel Patel said

at 11:13 pm on Jan 31, 2010

English IQ test was the biggest turn she had in life. It completely changed her ship's heading. Lopes life would not have been as hard if the IQ test was in spanish. She would have started off just like the other kids who started off normally. Not only starting off normally but she would have went to high school and then college which could have lead her to regular student life. After marriage, she would not have had to regrate the fact that she was uneducated. You can see that she still didn't give up on her life. Even after having an IQ test in English, she didn't let her head go down. All the hard work paid off at the end but if Lupe was to take that same IQ test in Spanish her, life would've been simple...Where as in english IQ test gave her more obstacles to overcome which she did in the future, and lead to the extraordinary life and some best momments of her life.

David Hodges said

at 3:05 am on Feb 1, 2010

That was very thorough, Neel. Good work, both of you! Neel and Salena, you may proceed to the Overflow Page if you wish to continue the conversation.

rajbir13 said

at 12:53 pm on Feb 1, 2010

Hello Prof. Hodges, if her children would have done well in english she would not have challenged her own test.When her children were called as slow learners, that was the reason for her to think about her test.if her children were good at school she would have continued her life as it was before and her story would have ended differently.

Tan Hoang said

at 3:50 pm on Feb 1, 2010

For me, in "lupe" situation, her life would changed if there was a Spanish IQ test. If that was the Spanish IQ test, she may has to stranfer to a Spanish elementary school instead of studied in the school which she dropout out. Then she does not have to study Englsih. Therefore, Lupe may married to a different person, but could not having any kids. As a result, she did not have to worry about children.
Just kidding!!!!!!!
In my oppinion, "Lupe" life has changed when her parrent decided moved to the United States. she has to learned English and speak it instead of Spanish. She went to school and learned it, but there were nothing changed at all, so they gave her an IQ test in English which lead her to a restarted student. was that didfferent if the Iq test is in Spanish? this is the question Mr Hodges drives us Nuts. Therefore, if the Iq test was in Spanish, of couse Lupe will get a perfect scored than any students in school. But, how could she learn if she is the only person that could speak and understand spanish in school. she could not communicated with any one who are English speaker. There are a big different if she came back to Spain and show them with that perfect IQ test in Spanish. Then, they could put her up in 4 th or 5 th grade instead. in adddition, she gave birth to her kids in Spain where they have to learned and spoken Spanish. in conclusion, Now, we do not have to discuss about her life and the Iq test.

David Hodges said

at 5:44 pm on Feb 1, 2010

Good work, Rajbir and Tan! You may proceed to the Overflow page if you wish.

Rajbir, you handled those conditional verbs nicely. They're very tricky.

Tan, you will have to work hard to improve your grammar over the next few weeks. Practice writing as much as you can and pay special attention to the grammar sections of our textbook. Obviously, you're a creative thinker—one who needs to communicate his wild ideas very clearly to be understood.

Trupti patel said

at 4:36 pm on Feb 2, 2010

Hello proffser David Hodges sorry for late reply

Trupti patel said

at 4:41 pm on Feb 2, 2010

I read Lope's story its incrediable and when i read that story and i think most of Esl students go through this situstion. and its really suprise she was taking care of her kids, husbands, and grand parnts the way she handle all this with study i cant belive. she is big example for every students of Esl.

nidhi said

at 7:18 pm on Feb 2, 2010

sorry for getting in this late...............

nidhi said

at 7:30 pm on Feb 2, 2010

when i heard the name of story i thought it will be something on some professor and his professional life. But when i read through i got the point of the story. This might true many ESL. students that they have to follow the same situation.. Lopes was really good at her language so she should of get some chance to learn English. but she couldn't. we are happy that we got chance to learn English. so i think from this story we should learn that even if we don't get chance to prove our self we should just not give up with that. we should try until we don't get that. and if we want something really bad in life. then we have to work until we don't that in life. i personally thing that we can not get anything easily in life for everything we have do something. Lupe's did try until she didn't get chance to learn English.

i learned from this story is that try until you don't get what you want in your life. it's not easy to do but it's not even impossible.

nidhi said

at 7:39 pm on Feb 2, 2010

another thing that i don't like this story is that they always judge Lopes from her IQ test. they were giving her IQ test in English. she never learned English, when you do this it's obvious that she can not do anything. because she never learned anything about that language. it's same thing as if someone aspect first grader to know what 10th grader knows. they should of give her IQ test in her language if she failed that then we can say that she is retarded. she was not retarded she was smart student because she proved her self even after having responsibility life at home she manged everything.

David Hodges said

at 4:10 am on Feb 3, 2010


Thank you, 5, for an excellent discussion! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you scored a 3, it's because you never speculated how Lupe's life would have changed if she had been tested in Spanish.

I will post a new question WED, FEB 03.

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