A Fight Over Jacket
Many people get what they deserve, while other people get what they want since they are richer and more powerful. In the short story “The Scholarship Jacket” by Martha Salinas, a girl is graduating grade eight with all A’s since grade one, which means she will receive the scholarship jacket. Just when the jacket is about to be handed to her, the principal alters the rules of the prize and decides to charge $15 for it. He wants to give the jacket to Joann, the second girl in line who has a rich father. Since Martha is neglected for her race and is not able to pay for the jacket, she tries to talk to the principal about it. In the end, Martha gets what she deserves. This proves that she is ambitious, hardworking, and brave.
Martha, a straight-A student, is known to be an ambitious person. She tries to achieve more than she already has achieved. When the school year is coming to an end, Martha tries to overachieve so she can obtain the scholarship jacket. She says that her “oldest sister Rosie had won the jacket a few years back and she fully expects to win.” She wants to be the winner of the jacket this year to achieve her dream. Also, Martha says that she “really wants the jacket.” She wants it because she knows she deserves it. Therefore, Martha is an ambitious person since she wants to achieve her dream and be better.
Martha is not only ambitious but also a hard worker. She works very hard to maintain her straight A’s for eight years straight. Martha says that she has been a “straight-A student since the first grade.” She keeps trying as much as she can so she can own the jacket after all. Her motive is to be the best and win the jacket just like her sister. She will try even harder than her sister just to win the jacket. In the story when Martha overhears the two teachers fighting, she hears Mr. Schmidt say that “Martha has straight A-plus average,” which means she works very hard to get to that point. Martha works as hard as she can to be a successful person and impress her family. Thus, Martha is a hard-working person.
Last but not least, Martha is brave for confronting the principal about what her grandpa says about the new rules of the scholarship. She is brave for standing up for herself and her right to get the scholarship jacket even though she cannot pay for it. She clarifies to the principal that her grandpa has told her that if she “pays for it, then it will not be a scholarship jacket.” When she tells the principal about what her grandpa says, he “make[s] an exception in her case.” At the end of the conversation, the principal makes a wise choice and decides that Martha deserves it more than Joann. He decides that having better grades is more important than money, which could never add up to knowledge. Martha is courageous for standing up for herself to get what she deserves instead of letting the case go and not getting what she deserves.
Martha is an ambitious, hard-working, and brave person for not letting go of the scholarship jacket that she deserves for all the hard work in the past eight years. Her story proves people should not be discriminating against others for their race and ethnicity. Everybody should be included in everything and not have their rights taken away just because they are not white.
Treat People Fairly
In society, there are times when one will be treated unfairly because of race, social class, or personal beliefs. Martha from “The Scholarship Jacket” by Martha Salinas is someone like this. A scholarship jacket is for the student with the best grade in eight years at elementary school. But this year the rule is altered; she has to pay $15. However, Martha knows the school is doing this so the scholarship jacket can go to Joann, the runner-up, whose father is really rich.. However, after Martha confronts the principal, the school’s principal decides to give the jacket to Martha in the end. From Martha’s actions, words, and thoughts, she comes across as competitive, hard-working, and stubborn.
First, Martha is very competitive. The scholarship jacket is very crucial to Martha. That is because “[her] older sister Rosie had won the scholarship jacket, so [she] fully [expected] to win also.” If one expects to get something because someone else got it, that person is competitive. She is competing not just with her sister, but also with herself. The story mentions Martha’s grade is far above the runner-up. But she is competing with herself for the straight-A average. Therefore, Martha is a very competitive person.
Also, Martha is very hard working. The short story mentions several times Martha is a straight-A student. In a discussion, one of the teachers in the school says, “Martha has a straight A-plus average and you know it.” What could be a more potent proof of one being hard-working other than a straight A plus average? Also, it is not just for one year; it is all eight years at elementary school. In that conversation, the teacher also mentions the second place, Joann’s, “grade is nothing compared to Martha’s,” which means Martha can win the scholarship jacket no matter what, but she still works hard to keep the average. Martha’s perseverance and persistence prove she is hard-working.
At last, Martha is very stubborn. When Martha is asking for the $15 from grandpa, and grandpa refuses and says it’s not a scholarship jacket anymore. Martha “[is] mad at grandpa, even though [she] [knows] grandpa [is] right.” Also, when Martha heard the conversation between the two teachers, she went straight home, not even bothering to go to gym class. Because of these reasons, Martha is a stubborn person.
In conclusion, Martha is competitive, hard-working, and stubborn. Because of that, she confronts the principal and eventually gets the jacket. In the present world, many people will face discrimination like Martha. This is going on because not everyone knows there is a consequence. However, if everyone stood up as Martha did, there would be far less discrimination.