REFLECTION I JUST WANNA BE AVERAGE
Going through high school is not quite an easy ordeal especially for the students who are underprivileged to start off their education from a vocational education platform just like professor Mike Rose did. But this does not mean that students who are unlucky to find themselves in such a situation will end up being failures. Hardships in school are quite a normal phenomena but some of these hardships that students undergo are created by individual especially teachers who are incompetent in their work. The most interesting thing about the ordeal that professor Rose presents in his book ‘I just wanna be Average’ is that it gives a reflection on real experiences that happen in schools rather than basing his arguments on fictions and here say. His account is quite a familiar one for anybody who has gone through high school.
One thing that quite appealing about the story that professor Rose tells is that he does not beat around the bushes in criticizing the weaknesses of the education system that parents are throwing their children to each and every day oblivious of what their children have to contend with. The several reasons that Professor Rose describes as the ones that cause students to fail in high school are the reasons that teachers who claim to be the fountains of knowledge do not seem to recognize. If these teachers cannot understand and effectively address student’s problems then the blame for failures cannot be blamed on the student but rather on the teachers and the entire education system. Professor Rose does not hesitate to tell of the likes of these teachers who can otherwise be described as either underprepared during their training of incompetent. These are the types of teachers who waste the students and make them write off of the school system(Mike, 2006). As professor Rose puts it out most of the students have a lot of potential in them only that most teacher are so insensitive and incompetent to know how to nature this knowledge and maximize on the students potentials. Instead most of the teachers repress this potential by carelessly handling the students such that they develop fears inside them or generally lack interest towards education (Mike, 2006). A very common case of how the teacher as the representatives of the education system destroy the potentials of students is by using negative degrading and humiliating labels to describe weak student rather than using positive encouraging labels that will make the students reflect on themselves and work towards improvements rather that hating on themselves.
The fact that a student can easily relate to the stories that Professor Rose describes in the book is a reason big enough for any realistic student to deeply fall in love with the article. Being surrounded in an environment where teacher are always reasoning as if students ought to be angels who are all gifted in education in equal amounts, a student is bound to like the approach that Professor Rose uses all through the text. As a matter of fact, she has gone out of her big shoes and put on those that are exactly put on by students. She is simply talking directly to the students in a manner that is very attractive and realistic (Mike, 2006). Professor Rose addresses the very issues that students feel that teachers ignore while teaching or talking to them and this is very pleasing. Differences and difficulties that teachers ordinarily turn a blind eye on are clearly addressed by Professor Rose. As a matter of fact, this act of openness and being realistic in addressing the issue at hand clearly helps a frustrated student to come to realization to the relieving fact that someone somewhere understands what they go through hence they are not in it all alone.
The initial reaction that an ordinary student would give the book is the attitude that he or she is bored with the volume of the article. Students are bored by large volume books or articles which talk largely of vague and abstract things. This is totally unlike the article by Professor Rose. Once one gets deep in to the article the boring attitude is likely to fade away very fast given the fact that personal stories that she offers to the reader have a great amount of credit. The fact that a student can read through the article and realize that Professor Rose is not only enticing the reader but is offering very credible personal experiences which by all means are realistic and true makes one fall in love with the book (Mike, 2006). It is not written based on social expectations of a professor but on credible stories which only pushes the reader to loving the article.
It is very clear from the illustrations given above that it would be very mean to expect a student not to fall in love with the text written by Professor Rose. As a matter of fact, I Just Wanna Be Average offers a deep ground of comfort for not only frustrated students but also teachers who feel frustrated by some of their students.
Mike, R. “I Just Wanna Be Average”. Knepler’s (2007). In Crossing Cultures: Readings for Composition. New York: Wadsworth.
“I Just Wanna Be Average”—Mike Rose
In “I Just Wanna Be Average”, Mike Rose recounts his experiences in vocational program in high school, which known as bottom level. When he was a freshman, he accidently was placed in these classes but he decided to stay. Rose goes into details describing some of his teachers and classmates. Certain teachers he introduced were not enthusiastic about their jobs and they don’t believe their students can make good achievements, and sometime they even treat students violently, which also lead some students of the vocational program to slack off and not care about studying. Rose also focused on some of his classmates, who were seen as troublemakers. He found out that they actually were not always like fighting, being lazy and loafing, and they had some special skills showed their true personalities. There was one boy that very stuck out to Rose was Ken Harvey, who was asked by teacher to give an opinion of working hard to make achievements, stated that “ I just wanna be average” (Rose 335). I was pretty impressive about this quote because that I think being average might like some of students calm down and feel not so stressful to survive in educational system. Later in Rose’s life, he eventually moved out of vocational program and back to typical school system. At this time, his father passed away, which is not so relevant with the main plot. Later, Mr. MacFarland came into Rose’s life as his English teacher in senior year. Rose looked up Mr. MacFarland deeply because he sincerely cared of his students, told the importance of working hard to them and even encourage Rose to pursue further education in college. I can tell that Mr. MacFarland left positive impacts on Rose’s whole life, and helped him found his real potential.
The term “vocational program” was described as “ a euphemism for the bottom level” (Rose 332). In my point of view, it is to provide students basic job skills or train them to possess necessary knowledge in order to get “average” jobs later in society, because they were thought as that they could not make good achievements in academy. There are some similar schools or teaching systems in China as well, and students there are also belong to the bottom level of schools. However, what I noticed is that teachers and studying environments of these schools are not quite good as typical schools. I think teachers’ teaching methods and cares to students could influence them greatly in their school years. Back to my sophomore year in middle school, I had a very...
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