Rodriguez employs various figures of speech in his description of his past and what happened to him as a scholarship boy in terms of the distance he felt springing up between him and his humble Mexican, campesino roots. At one point in this account, he talks about the way in which writing about scholarship students from the point of view of developing their intellectual independence:
Paragraphs glitter with a constellation of terms like creativity and originality.
Note the use of the implied metaphor to compare the frequency with which this terms appear to the stars in the sky. Clearly he is trying to emphasise the way that these two words are used again and again to describe scholarship students. The irony, as he goes on to say, is that the imitative nature of being a scholarship student is never mentioned.
He also uses another figure of speech to describe what he did as a scholarship boy and how he developed himself through education:
I was a scholarship boy at the time, busily laddering my way up the rungs of education.
Note again the implied metaphor where his study and hard work in school is compared to climbing up a ladder, the ladder of education, moving himself ever higher in the world, and also, incidentally, making himself more and more distant from his parents and his background.