What I appreciate most about “I Just Wanna Be Average” is the writer’s consistent tone and imagery. Rose is continuously setting the scene and inserting the audience within the story by introducing characters and brilliantly describing their actions and personality. In the essay, Rose introduces us to his sophomore English teacher, Mr. Mitropetros, “a large, bejeweled man who managed the parking lot at the Shrine Auditorium” We learn that his teacher “had little training in English, so his lesson plan for his day work had us reading the district’s required text, Julius Cesar, aloud for the semester” Rose describes this teacher and his skills because it’s his first experience with an English class.
Rose explains that the class would complete the required text so the classmates would switch roles and read it again. This scene reveals one of Rose‘s first experiences with monotone learning.
The author’s first taste of literary disappointment as his potential is slowly leaked from unproductive and monotonous teaching methods.
I admired Mike Rose’s perspective of each conflict he experienced. His first perspective came during the time spent in vocational education. He describes this program as “often a place for those who are just not making it, a dumping ground for the disaffected.“ His use of great imagery pushes the deep meaning of a hopeless and desolate place for the rejected. Rose further pushes the tone when he describes his adaption to the environment “I fooled around in class and read my book indifferently— the intellectual equivalent of playing with your food I did what I had to do to get by, and I did it with half a mind.
” The next conflict our author comes across is after his transition from vocational education to a higher-level program, college prep.
In college prep, rose realizes the negative effects, of indiscipline and indifference, carried over from the vocational education program. Once again he rides through education at the bare minimum, exploiting every chance he had to pass a class such as using his track team membership as leverage and abusing incompetent teachers, “I Just Wanna Be Average” is perhaps one of the most enlightening literary pieces I’ve read. The evaluation and interpretation of each conflict the author comes across resonates deeply with my struggles in schools At one point in my life I gave up in education, I was always intrigued with the social sciences such as history, philosophy, literature, and politics. However, the education program I was enrolled focused primarily on math and science, I never knew I had a choice in the matter, I hated every semester as the majority of my courses dealt with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, biology, and physiology I’d check out library books and on my own time read about history, philosophy, and politics. Eventually, I gave up on education and did exactly what Rose describes “did what I had to do to get by, and I did it with half a mind.”