Hidden Intellectualism Essay

347 Words2 Pages
Intellect doesn’t only exist in the scholarly way of thinking claims Gerald Graff, author of Hidden Intellectualism. He insists that intellectualism can also stem from "street smarts.” Experiences from Graff’s childhood help argue his point that we all intellectuals. Growing up in Chicago, Graff suggests academic knowledge only interrupts social life. He tells about his disregard in traditional academic subjects, and further expands on his love of sports. Anti-intellectualism ran widespread during his childhood. Graff describes a saddening story of growing up torn "between the need to prove I was smart and the fear of a beating if I proved it too well." Intolerant of superiority, youth causes an internal conflict of brain versus brawn. As Graff aged, the "brawn" side of this heated debate was victorious. Little did he know when he conversed with his friends it helped develop analysis, arguments, generalizations, summaries and "other intellectualizing operations." Due to the conversations involving his friends, Graff believes that "street smarts" overpower "book smarts" for the fact that both community and culture desire more for sports and entertainment than for academic subjects. Subjects delegated in schoolwork were topics of isolation among peers, opposed to batting averages and winning percentages during the major league baseball playoffs being a common article for discussion. Graff reintroduces the idea that students already have intellectualism in the form of “street smarts.” As teachers Graff explains “we need bridge the gap” between the “street smarts” and “book smarts.” Graff pleads to the reader to take topics of interest that aren’t related to school and look at them "through academic eyes”. Such thinking requires the development of arguments, analyzing situations, and applying one‘s thoughts to the subject matter in order to come up with one’s own
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