What Mike Rose learns from his Voc. Ed. buddies is how to be mediocre. He explains how that he would just get by in class and only use half his brain. He learned these habits because he found it easy to relate to people who came from the same neighbor as him and had to deal with the same situations. Therefor, Rose adapted the tendencies that his friends had because he wanted to be like them somewhat. When Rose first heard Ken Harvey talk about wanting to just be average Rose thought he was crazy. Questioning Harvey and wondering how could someone want to be average. That sentence stuck with Rose for years until he finally understood why Harvey wanted to be average. Rose explains how there can be a lot of expectation to live up to weather it come from your friends, family, teachers, and society in general. Rose understands that at the end of the day Harvey just wants to be his self and not what everyone wants him to be. If Rose was looking through the lens of Coates’s insight he would have never question Harvey about how could he want to be average because Coates’s school system would want him to be just that. Even though, Rose grew up in a ruff neighborhood he alway had opportunities to be more successful than Coates because of his skin color.