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Rodriguez's tone is usually one of pride in what he has accomplished, but he also belittles himself and reveals a few less-than-stellar personal qualities. Often, authors use this technique to make a character appear more human and likeable. Rodriguez's pride in his own academic achievement is mitigated by his argument that what made him a good student was not intelligence but his willingness to memorize whatever he was asked to memorize. When he writes about selecting Stanford University for his undergraduate work, he admits that he did so not only because of its excellent academic reputation but also because "it was a school rich people went to," and he wanted to be around them.