Mrs. Mallory Musser
Writing Assignment 1
March 22, 2018
In “Hidden Intellectualism” written by Gerald Graff from the book called Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind. Gerald Graff talks about how many educators are doing their job in teaching wrong. Many educators are more focused on academic intelligence and ignoring the those who are street smart. Graff targets college students and let them know about hidden intellectualism that can be found anywhere and everyday life. “What a waste, we think, that one who is so intelligent about so many things in life seems unable to apply that intelligence to academic work. What doesn’t occur to us, though is that schools and colleges might be at fault for missing the opportunity to tap into such street smarts and channel them into good academic work” (Graff 244). He argues that people are intelligent in many ways and that they just need to learn to put intellectualism in way they enjoy into school during their classes. He believes that academic intelligence can be important, but students have interests as well. There interest could range from sports, to fashion, to dating or video games. He wants educators to learn to incorporate those interest into academics, then students would be able to relate and turn it into educational value.
An example Graff used is when he was in young adolescent years. Until I entered college, I hated books and cared for sports. The only reading I cared to do or could do was sports magazines, on which I became hooked, becoming a regular reader of Sport magazine in the late forties, “Sports Illustrated” when it began publishing in 1954, and the annual magazine guides to professional baseball, football, and basketball” (245). He was basically proving his point by telling the readers that he was “anti-intellectual” or at least he thought he was, but he was able to overcome it by applying to school work and classes.
Graff was able to use another experience with living a in a Chicago neighborhood while growing up. “Negotiating this class boundary was a tricky matter. On the one hand, it was necessary to maintain the boundary between “clean-cut” boy like me, and working-class “hoods”, as we called them which meant that it was good to be openly smart in a bookish sort of way” ( 246). I found that interesting because I could relate to that, and I am pretty sure many other people who read this essay can too. People in the hood may not be book smart or so they think they are not book smart, but those who were not in the hood of that neighborhood tend to go to a better school and will be considered very intellectual.
The author seems to show a certain frustration with how he was taught to be in school and how that educational system still hinders the potential of young people to explore their own intellectuality. It may seem like Graff is a little sarcastic to some readers, or even educators when talking about the current educational system. Because of that, Graff wrote, “That is why a George Orwell writing on the cultural meaning of penny postcards is infintley more substantial than the cogitations of many professors on Shakespeare or globalization”