Spotlight: One student out of 36,000

Roxanne Estrada

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Photo Credit: Roxanne Estrada / Contributing Reporter

By Roxanne Estrada

To Ricardo Rodriguez, music is more than just a few notes strung along a treble clef; it’s a way of life.

“It’s the music, the scene, the whole culture of music, it’s almost like a ritual, a religion,” he said.

Rodriguez is an amateur roadie for his many friends in local bands and said he loves just being there whether it’s carrying amps or setting up equipment.

He’s not too picky when it comes to music.

“I like anything with a good beat,” he said.

But when it comes down to it, rock ‘n’ roll is what he’ll always play.

His favorite bands are Megadeth, Disturbed and F-5.

Despite his love for the music world, 20-year-old Rodriguez has had less time to travel with the band due to extra work and school hours. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, he is in his junior year and is starting to take 400-level classes as a history major.

He’s also working 22 hours each week as a receptionist at a Catholic school.

“You have to deal with little kids a lot,” he said, laughing.

Rodriguez never went to a religious school, and although he identifies as Catholic, he doesn’t consider himself very religious.

“Believe whatever you want to believe,” he said.

From ancient to modern, Rodriguez has always loved history.

“It was the only subject I was good at in high school,” he said.

After he graduates in 2011, he wants to travel as much as possible, starting in Europe.

“I read all about it in my books and I’m always curious to see these places,” he said.

But for now, Rodriguez is content with traveling to Mexico once a year to visit his large family in Zacatecas. But this past summer is the first time he hasn’t been able to go due to financial situations, mostly school-related.

“I remember signing up and paying less than $1,000 for tuition,” Rodriguez said. “Every semester it’s been going up and this semester I paid the bulk of it myself, that pretty much took up my whole summer and savings.”

Rodriguez will continue to save up this semester so he can visit his family over spring break. He’s already looking forward to hanging out with his cousins at a local bar and to “let the good times roll.”

“It’s my place to be at peace, my favorite place, because all the concern here like bills and school are just off my mind,” he said.