I Just Wanna Be Average

467 Words2 Pages
I Just Wanna Be Average is a chapter of author Mike Rose’s book “Lives on the Boundary”. This essay will discuss some of the ways that being in Vocational Education classes affected Rose and his fellow students. And since Rose was only relegated to Vocational Education due to a clerical error that was eventually corrected, he got a chance to compare the worlds of Vocational Education and College Prep at Our Lady of Mercy, a Catholic high school located in the Los Angeles California area. Being in Vocational Education at Our Lady of Mercy had an affect on Rose and the other students because they knew that not much was expected of them. In turn, many of them did just enough to get by and had no interest in doing any more than that. This meant the students were giving minimum effort towards their already minimum curriculum offerings. Rose himself learned to tune out in the classroom, and how to get by while being only half alert. Also, the students did not hold their teachers in high regard. Many of the teachers did not seem to care if the students were learning or not. Some of them were outright negative influences. Some really could not control their classes such as Rose’s homeroom teacher, Brother Dill. Brother Dill would sometimes shake or smack the children when he lost control of them in class. These surroundings were bound to affect the students’ emotional well-being. Students who have nothing to strive for are more likely to act out. Some students put up emotional walls to protect themselves. One student, Ken Harvey, expressed “being average” as his goal because he thought of himself as being below average. Basically students like Ken were determined to “live down” to what was expected of them. The social effects of being in Vocational Education were apparent as well. The boys tended to admire physical prowess and aspired to be

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