Women in the 1950s vs 2000s

7 July 2016

Mike Rose is a critically acclaimed writer and professor in the School of Education at UCLA and has won many awards for his work. In this selection called “I Just Wanna Be Average” taken from his book Lives on the Boundary, Rose offers his experience trudging through the standardized vocational education track. Through his own account, the author points out that society and even faculty within these schools label the students as “slow” leaving the students with an objective of wanting to become just average in order to make up for their presumed sense of inadequacy given by their so called educators.

In this selection, Rose uses a lot of casual language and anecdotes of experiences in high school in order to reach out to students of all ages who might be struggling to find the value of their own intellectual capacity buried within the standards of what school systems considers intellectual. Through the style of his story telling, he conveys his message to his audience without necessarily forcing the idea on Throughout the chapter, Rose narrates his high school experience in chronological order.

Women in the 1950s vs 2000s Essay Example

He first describes the bus trip to school and many of the characters that he came across in this environment like Christy Biggars, the sixteen year old dealer or Bill Cobb, “the grease-pencil artist extraordinaire”. The author also gives detailed descriptions of what the teachers such as the “troubled and unstable” Brother Dill or Mr. Mitropetros who Mike Rose claimed to have little training in English but yet still managed to find a job as an English teacher. Before even describing what the education system in a vocational school, the author gives us some background information on some of the student demographic and some of the teachers that were in charge of these unruly students.

Giving a detailed description of these people gives readers a closer look in the overall environment before looking into the system. The reader can already see that these students, under first impression, are unmotivated to learn and that the teachers have issues of their own and makes the reader question the competence of some of these faculty members. As Rose continues to describe what his classes are like, he gives more detailed descriptions of some more classmates and schoolmates. From his descriptions, the reader can get to really see the lost potential in some of these students.

Ted Richard, a known street fight in school, was actually quite the philosophical character who enjoyed reading anything he could and conversed with anyone from a hobo to a businessman. Rose described him as developing into “one of those rough-hewn intellectuals whose sources a mix of the learned and the apocryphal” (161). With these examples of the types of students that come and go through vocational school, Rose subtly reveals how these standardized schools have failed to make students realize their full potential. Throughout this whole selection Rose makes references to many situations that most any student, current or past, may relate to.

He uses language such as “You’ll see a handful of students far excel you in courses that sound exotic” (162). By using this type of language the author creates a special space where he can communicate with the reader on a more personal level. There is a sense that the author is talking to the reader as opposed to talking at them or just plainly telling a story. He actively tries to pull the audience in to better understand his story by enabling the readers to look back into their own experiences as well.

With the use of his own high school experience, the audience is able to walk along with the author as he overcomes obstacles and limitations. He does not give a mundane explanation of how he struggled in school, but he paints a very detailed picture of the feelings of inadequacy when the very system that is supposed foster learning and the acquisition of knowledge is the one that is stifling its students and setting their boundaries. Though Rose never directly claims this is what is happening, but we the audience can not only see this happening in his story but may be also experiencing this in our own endeavors in the pursuit of knowledge.

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