Critical Response Paper to Mike Rose’s I Just Wanna Be Average

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In I Just Wanna Be Average, Mike Rose reflects on his time at Our Lady of Mercy in South LA, where he was placed on the vocational education track. He uses the experiences of himself and his classmates to criticize the standardized educational system, which he believes fails to value all individuals and their intellectual capacities. Rose introduces the character of Ken Harvey, who famously declared, I just wanna be average, as a way to illustrate the attitude of many students in vocational education. Rose explains that Harvey was trying to protect himself from the stigma of being labeled as slow. Rose himself was fortunate enough to transfer to college prep and encounter teachers who cared about their students and pushed them to achieve their potential. However, he acknowledges that classism and racism continue to prevent many students from receiving a high-quality education. Rose’s essay highlights the challenges that students face in navigating their personal and academic lives, and he raises important questions about how to improve the educational system.

Table of Content

In his essay “I Just Wan na Be Average. ” Mike Rose inside informations his school life in South L. A. Now a professor of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Rose moves through secondary school at Our Lady of Mercy on the Voc. Ed. Track. uncovering why the standardised versions of this “educational system” betray the nucleus values behind broad. humanistic instruction as we understand it. As Rose wants to emphasize the value of all persons. the disagreements between their existent rational capacities and how the system classified and treated them. he paints his fellow pupils in Vocational Education in great item.

His rubric comes from Ken Harvey. who. among the many colourful characters and lively Americans Rose met. dropped the specifying one-liner of his full Voc. Ed. Experience: We were speaking about the fable of the endowments. about accomplishment. working hard. making the best you can make. blah-blah-blah. when the instructor called on the edgy Ken Harvey for an sentiment. Ken thought about it. but merely for a 2nd. and said ( with studied. minimum affect ) . “I merely wan na be mean. ” That woke me up.

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Average? Who wants to be mean? At the clip. I thought Ken’s averment was stupid. and I wrote him off. But his sentence has stayed with me all these old ages. and I think I am eventually coming to understand it ( Rereading America. 186 ) . Rose goes on to try to clear up his apprehension of this one-liner and how it fits in America’s instruction system. He reveals how Ken Harvey was seeking to protect himself. “by taking on with a retribution the individuality implied in the vocational track” ( 187 ) .

Rose himself was lucky. exchanging to College Prep and run intoing a belated beatnik intellectual-turned-educator named Jack MacFarland. and a hardheaded scientific discipline instructor named Brother Clint. These characters brought a college preparatory course of study to a topographic point and pupils who had ne’er seen it before. And Rose reveals how classism and racism most frequently prevent that from go oning. blowing full American populations in full communities intentionally. all while demanding higher “standards” and “accountability. ” when the existent attempts are ne’er made. salvage in name and sprinkled across the land as media headlines.

Rose’s essay reveals the battalion of challenges that pupils face. from battles with household at ages that leave them ill-prepared to manage the emotional fall-out. to battles with the outgrowth into a broader American universe. to prosecuting in their ain developing gender and its unsure function in the context of their lives: work. and dreams. and the sense of possibilities of what life can or can non be. I think Rose does a great occupation conveying this school in South Los Angeles to life. I can hear Ken Harvey. and see Jack MacFarland.

When we hear him diagnose Ken’s job. and his response to it. he’s really credible. He describes how childs get assigned to Voc. Ed. . being defined as “slow. ” And he reveals the consequences: “You’ll have to close down. hold to reject rational stimulations or spread them with irony. have to cultivate stupidity. ” I wonder though. what he thinks the replies are. Is it smaller categories. or instructors that attention? Obviously. Brother Clint and Jack MacFarland are instructors that attention. and work hard to link with every pupil. But non all instructors are like that. right?

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Critical Response Paper to Mike Rose’s I Just Wanna Be Average. (2017, Aug 04). Retrieved from

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