Essay by mimieyesCollege, UndergraduateB+, March 2007

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According to the Longman Dictionary, "a stereotype is a fixed set of ideas about what a particular type of person or thing is like." Stereotyping creates these imaginary boundaries that separate the people of different cultures. For instance, Asians are perceived being good at mathematics. Mexicans are perceived as lazy and uneducated by living on minimum wages or unemployment compensation. Americans are friendly and open-minded. The stereotypes go on and on. Stereotypes represent a general group and not an individual. As a result, most stereotypes are incorrect. Not only are stereotypes wrong but they are also cruel and upsetting. In the movie, Stand and Deliver, directed by Ramón Menéndez, 18 students, who were taught by Jaime Escalante, passed the rigorous AP Calculus test. Escalante sacrificed his well-paid job to pursue his passion for teaching. With Escalante's tough requirements, passionate heart, and unique teaching methods, his students passed the exam with high marks.

However, the students were all accused of cheating because they grew up in the East LA "barrio" and no one expected them to pass. Despite of how many extra hours the students had worked, they were all labeled as unintelligent or gang associated Latinos. On the contrary, many of these students had to fight for their rights to pursue education. Both Claudia and Lupe had to overcome obstacles to obtain a suitable education because of what other people had labeled them by stereotypes. From my personal experience, sometimes "good" stereotypes can cause damages to one's emotional state as well. Stereotypes are dangerous and can hinder one's education and opportunity for a better future.

People are oftentimes judged by their appearances, ethnicities, or speech accents. Consequently, people are not given opportunities to show who they really are and what they are truly capable of. For example, Claudia was...