Hidden Intellectualism Gerald Graff Analysis

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In his essay Hidden Intellectualism, Gerald Graff explains the shift of his views street smarts, book smarts and intellectualism now that he’s older compared to when he was in school. When I was younger, I used to think that people who had “street smarts” were, while smart in their own way, not up to the standards of other people as far as intelligence goes. I’d thought of book smarts as being studious, well spoken, and sharp looking. I never heard the word, or the idea, of intellectualism until a few years ago, and I haven’t really thought through what it means, or how it applies to my life. In the last two years, I’ve grown up a lot and have re-evaluated what it means to be either book or street smart and I can form a more complete idea of what it means to be intellectual. Graff gives several examples of the types of behaviors, attitude, and dress that is often associated with street smarts; violence, thievery, bullying, and thug or “gangster” clothing. He also talks about how book smarts are often associated with “subjects and texts that are considered inherently weighty” (142). Graff then talks about intellectualism; how things he’s done in his life have lead him to being an…show more content…
When I think of someone whose street smart, I still think of the idea that Graff painted in his essay about “hoods”, as he called them. Someone who wears leather jackets steals your lunch money and is physically tough. But now that I’ve had a chance to actually meet people who have street smarts, I’m less and less surprised when they can engage me in a startlingly in-depth conversation about religion or art, or even hiking and nature. I’m slowly shifting my idea about street smarts, and not just taking those who have them at face value

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