Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book smart vs street smart? Which is better?

                Hidden Intellectualism by Gerald Graff is an article about how you don’t have to be book smart to be considered smart. There are two types of smart. Book smart and street smart.  While being book smart is more valued in schools, it does not mean that it’s being better than street smart. One of the examples was on page 200. Where Graff was explaining how he was raised in a middle class neighborhood where it was a huge melting pot mixed with minorities. He had to learn how to survive on the streets by being tough and school intellect didn’t help him with surviving in his neighborhood. People would threaten to beat him if he seemed like the smart type. Examples like that prove that it’s not always best to be book smart depending on the situation. In my opinion if you live in a neighborhood where you have to be tough to survive, then you need to do what you need to do. However let’s say you live in a rich neighborhood where you don’t have to worry about things like that and everything is perfect. The only thing you would have to focus on is school so you could make as much money as your parents. It all depends on the situation. On page202, Graff explains how you don’t learn about sports in school but it’s on a different importance level than being culturally book smart. One example is that sports could bring people together. You could meet a random stranger and bond together because you have something to talk about that you’re both interested in. We can’t say the same for school because the lessons we learn come and go. People don’t always enjoy it and some people might be on different intellect levels than others. So it’s not as easy to bond over school. Who knows? Maybe if you bond over culture things like sports, you can gain friends that will help you out if you live in neighborhoods where you have to be worried about not being safe. I don’t think school would ever bring people together like that.
                My reading process for this book was really hard. I mean it was easier to read than the first chapter of “They Say/ I Say” but I worked all day, was exhausted, fell asleep, woke up with a fever and tried to read it at 6. I didn’t end up finishing until 11:35. Yes I know I did things very last minute and didn’t really analyze all of the examples in the article but I had a really bad day so I tried my best to complete the task before midnight. I was on Facebook majority of the time listening to music on Spotify because someone I cared about was mad at me and I felt really bad so I couldn’t do my homework until I fixed the problem completely and told him “brb I have less than 40 minutes to hand in my homework”. I didn’t watch any shows or videos so I can’t include anything. I just listened to the radio on Spotify as I did my homework.
                I liked this text. It would’ve been good if I didn’t have such a stressful day. I didn’t really understand it at first so I read the paragraphs about 3 times until I understood what the message was. Overall this was a pretty good article and I could relate to it. I did not take notes because I had so little time I was just trying to analyze the story in the best way that I could. I didn’t always think that street smart was better than book smart until I read this article and saw the other side of how it’s good sometimes. Whenever I would ask my friends if they prefer someone with street smarts or book smarts, they said they would always prefer book smart. I’m still not sure what I would choose because in my opinion, book smart means the people have boring personalities and only are only strictly smart in school. I could be both book smart and street smart if I wanted to but in my mind it’s easier to be street smart by socializing and hanging out a lot than studying, reading material, just to pass that subject and quickly move onto the next. I don’t always think being book smart is good. There should be a balance of both. Being book smart just means you’re able to complete tasks that are handed to you. Someone could be really smart intellectual wise and never leave the house because all they do is study but when it comes to real life problems, how would they know how to solve them? Stuff that involves hands on activities like home repairs, handy tricks, how to not be manipulated by people, how to manipulate people, etc.  I did not share this with anyone. It is 11:44pm and I just want to hand this in before my time is up. Maybe I will use it when I’m talking about life in general just to prove to someone it’s not always good to just be book smart but other than that I won’t mention it to anyone. Like I said before a lot of people don’t bond over school work. I wouldn’t want to bore someone randomly. I would use it if the conversation calls for it just to teach them what I have learned from this article.


  1. I agree. i think in order for a person to be successful in life they have to be both book smart and street smart. book smart education wise and street smart interaction wise.

  2. Great thoughts here! Just likes facts are useless if you don't know how to use them, knowing how to use info. you don't have isn't any better ;-)

    Hopefully, things have smoothed over, Ashley. Keep in mind, you have till class starts to post the homework to the blog :-)

    1. Really? I thought it was until midnight

    2. Comments are due by midnight on the day we discuss a reading :-)

    3. Omg that's such a relief. I thought it was the other way around haha thanks