“I Just Wanna Be Average” by Mike Rose is not just a simple story about a man that has done brilliantly in his life. It is a great, inspiring piece of writing that teaches us to set aside any hazards, unfortunate circumstances or difficulties we may come up against in our lives and believe we can be all we have ever hoped or dreamt of. Dare to go beyond our socioeconomic issues, just like Rose did, and reach for our true potentials.
Rose’s story is a clear example of the teachers’ important role in student motivation. Had it not been for MacFarland’s passion and positive influence, young Mike would most likely have been a completely different individual. It was that teacher’s insight that saw something in young Mike and the “beatnik who was born too late” turned into a beacon of light and guidance for Rose. MacFarland’s believing in Mike’s potentials played an important role in the life of this vocational-education student that the world would probably never have expected to hear about in the future with extolling comments following his name. Rose feels taken over by the common concept that students in voc ed don’t have a bright future, yet, he recognizes his good fortune.
Judging by its title, “I just wanna be average”, definitely wasn’t what I expected to read and to me it was a pleasant surprise to realize I had mistakenly taken this reading as rather pessimistic. It certainly is a profound way to show that students that want to develop their potentials will never be withdrawn by their life’s circumstances, no matter what societies think.