Sunday, June 30, 2013

my giant unnessarry response to Gerald Graff.

Hidden Intellectualism by Gerald Graff is stating that the education system should adjust how to educate the minds of the students based on the students interests.Someone might be a math genius while others can find ways to educate themselves through their own interests, such as comic books, movies or magazines. Gerald Graff uses examples from his childhood explaining how he was more interested in sports such as Sports Illustrated rather than writing papers on Shakespeare's Hamlet and how the educational system missed out on tapping into this new way of looking at education. Street smarts vs book smarts has been the debate of a lifetime, Gerald Graff believes that being street smart is much more beneficial than being educated in the classroom environment claiming that everyone can talk about sports whether or not you're talking to a complete stranger or your best friend but not everyone can explain physics setting a barrier from socializing making it harder to meet new people. It is more common for us to talk about music or cars, the things we care about with others then discussing classroom intellectualism then applying these topics to further our education.  Gerald Graff is writing this article Hidden Intellectualism to explain how we can connect the two in the classroom, explaining that it is easier for students to relate the course material to something they are passionate about. Gerald Graff states that “Give me the student anytime who writes a sharply argued, sociologically acute analysis of an issue of Source over the student who writes a lifeless explication of Hamlet or Socrates’ Apology.” (page 386)
I had to reread Gerald Graff Hidden Intellectualism three times and every time I read it I still get the same impression on of it. The way I interpret Gerald Graff’s article is that everyone has their own way of learning, whether or not if it is in the classroom setting or in on the field, hands on or off we have our own process of learning, as my mother would say “to each their own.” If we find a way to connect the two educational styles of book smarts vs street smarts then we could reinvent the way we educate the public. I would be glad to debate with you whether or not League of Legends is better than D.O.T.A, which superhero is better than the other, which Beatles is the most talented member on any day of the week because I have passion for these subjects. But if you asked me to relate The Beatles to Hamlet (which might not be greatest idea but) anyone who knows The Beatles knows that there is somewhat of story line here, chances are more people know The Beatles then Hamlet. This does not mean we should question their intelligence. This is just an example of what interests you the most and help you think critically about that area relating it to an educational classroom method, instead of reading something you could care less about such as Hamlet. The fact that the educational system does not see this in this light should be frowned upon when in fact we can learn just as much as when we are interested in the subject by applying this method to the classroom setting.
As I read Gerald Graff’s Hidden Intellectualism I was focused on nothing but the text, I was on the bus, reading it all at once stopping at the parts I felt I had to reread I underlined a few sentences here and there, went over it one more time then wrote my response to the issue. I agree with Gerald Graff, if the educational system was more open to alternative ways of educating perhaps we would see more students getting involved in their work more, giving in better written works as long as the students try to see their work “through academic eyes.” I was confused on page 384 the last paragraph where Gerald Graff was comparing school work to sports claiming that intellectual world is bigger then the world beyond school and how we interpret as well as evaluate texts with other pieces of literature as a sporting event where in college football the rival teams are the other authors works claiming this is just like sports rivals. I understand what he is trying to say now about the work in class and the sports teams being similar to each other in their own ways. Each student is fighting for the higher grade, working together sometimes in group projects or individually helping each other to win by passing.
I had to look up “Methodologies” (page 384) other than that I had no major issues reading Graff’s article. I did not quite take proper notes, just underlining the sentences that stuck out to me or had issues with trying to understand. There is a part in the article where he contradicts himself I had to go back and read from the beginning to see what he was trying to say, claiming that this idea of educating is not proper but it is a step in the right direction.  I might have missed some of his main points even by reading it three times, I’ll have to reread it three times over if I make time for it. I know and understand that unlike other people I need to put in the extra time in my academics to understand what it is that is being asked of me to know, understand or do. I envy the ones who can sleep through class or not show up and still get a better grade than myself who does the work and put in the time.
I usually stay in the library after classes to do my work or do farther resource for my home environment is not “study environment friendly” with all the distractions from the T.V. or the temptation to play videogames I need to stay away as much as I can to get my work done. Hell if I glance at my bed I would probably stop what I’m doing and take a nap for sleeping is my favorite activity ever! I stay away from the evils of procrastination but even my best effort procrastination prevails, video games or music takes me away from all my responsibilities. I guess the child in me is stronger than the adult I want to be.  Last but not least I want to throw in an example of intelligence Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Charlie Gordon is the main character born with disabilities gets an operation and becomes a genius, he then questions what is more important, ethical, humanity or genuineness, he sees that being a genius might not be as important as having the ethics. Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck Lennie and George also questions this idea of intelligence and humanity.  Leaving us to question, is it worth it?


  1. i like your summary of the article especially when using quotes to support your claim; however i didn't really get the point you were trying to make at that last paragraph when taking about Of Mice and Men & Flowers for Algernon. other than that i liked your blog a lot.

  2. I was just puttign examples of different kind of intelligence and the struggles we go through to get there.

  3. Not a bad post, Brad!

    But you might be falling into closest cliche syndrome! Graff never states that he "believes that being street smart is much more beneficial than being educated in the classroom environment"! Be careful!