Why is high school so disorienting to students like Ken Harvey? How does he cope with it? What other strategies do or can students use to cope with the pressures and judgments they encounter in school? High school is very disorienting to students like Ken Harvey because in high school they are confronted with views and opinions that are contradictory to their suppositions and beliefs. The al sources of these contradictions are other students and teachers. Students like Ken Harvey come into contact with students from different cultures and different abilities and these challenge the presuppositions held by him.
Moreover these challenges are all the more disorienting because this is the time when Ken Harvey is trying to shape his own identity. The curriculum of the school does not match the abilities or the goals of Ken Harvey and this adds to his consternation. Ken Harvey and others cope with these challenges by embracing the uniqueness implied by his proclivities towards vocation. That is he is average.
For this he has to act as if he is imbecile. He has to act dense. He has to use simple word and make a show that he is unintelligent. This blunts the effect of being labeled a ‘vocational’.
( Rose, M. I Just Wanna Be Average) Other strategies that other students use to cope with challenges are to taunt others especially racially different students, some would strike physically at anyone who treats them badly and get into a fight. Some students develop a defense by becoming mediocre. Others allow their attention to flitter away from academic issues to more interesting issues.
There were some who acted like a fool and developed methods for communicating during exams and getting through unscathed.( McGraw Hill 75 Thematic Readings) To sum Ken Harvey was disoriented because the opinions of others in school did not fit his viewpoints. He coped by embracing the image of a vocational student that is dim-witted. Other students had other defenses against the disorientation like picking up fights or becoming mediocre.
ReferencesMcGraw Hill 75 Thematic Readings, Mike Rose, 2003, November 2, 2006<http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072469315/student_view0/mike_rose-999/_nbsp_.html>:Rose, M.
I Just Wanna Be Average, 2005, November 2, 2006 <http://www-scf.usc.edu/~clarkjen/Mike%20Rose.doc>.
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