Monday, September 30, 2013

Intellectual Equality for ALL!

Everything and everyone has value is the message delivered by Gerald Graff in “Hidden Intellectualism”. Graff asks us to assess the hidden and potentially destructive implications of what and whom we call “intellectual” and how our current definition indirectly impacts our educational system. Any discipline that requires “street smarts” or falls into the realm of “cars, dating, fashion, sports, TV and video games, (Graff 381) has been excluded from the definition of intellectual and consequently not taught in a school setting.
The problem with this narrow definition, according to Graff, is that it shuts out entire groups who have worth and value from the educational system. Using his own childhood experiences as an illustration, Graff claims that children interested in sports or other "non-intellectual" subjects
may find traditional school work dull and perform poorly as a result of their disinterest in what they are studying. Graff believes the unfortunate outcome of this scenario is that kids like him begin to perceive themselves as intellectually dense because the subject matter studied appears to have little personal value in their day to day life.
dunce-cap (1)Broadening the definition of intellectual, Graff argues, would reverse this trend by allowing groups wrongly labeled as underachievers to display their intellectual talents in areas where they have a natural affinity. Graff ultimately proclaims the purpose of the educational system should not be to make some people feel smarter than or intellectually superior to their peers. The goal should be to make the principle academic tools used universally by intellectuals easily accessible to everyone and applicable to every subject.

Now, since there is no easy way to transition into how I read the article assigned, I will just start writing about it. Since my schedule today was hectic, I did my reading in my personal library or what you might call the subway. I do a lot of my reading while riding the train simply because it is the one place where I am 100% focused on what is in front of me. I have no choice. It is the only way to distract myself from the winos, rats and other not so chic ambience that gives NYC transit it’s one of a kind charm. Even if others stare, I freely underline passages I find interesting and write notes in the margins because that is the best way I know to digest and understand what I am reading. (If it’s on my e-reader, I create an e-note). My method of reading works well enough that I usually do not need to re-read the text to create a summary, expect for pulling exact quotes that I want to include. That is basically it…oh wait a minute! I think I missed my stop!




  1. " It is the only way to distract myself from the winos, rats and other not so chic ambience that gives NYC transit it’s one of a kind charm."

    Haha! Nice :-) And an excellent post! I'm with you; reading on the subway is sort of the only way I can tolerate being surrounded by so many people :-/

  2. Dawn, good post. I really liked the way you described the subway, and your method of understanding the reading. I do the same :)