Sunday, January 12, 2014

Can reading be fun?

             In the article "Hidden Intellectualism", Gerald Graff made great points and had a persuasive writing style that drew the reader in. The article was mainly about schooling systems not being suitable for less intellectual people. He made great comparisons to sports and school by using his past experiences. He states," Sports after all was full of challenging arguments, debates, problems for analysis, and intricate statistics that you could care about, as school conspicuously was not." He stated that street smart people actually have potential to be academically inclined  if  given the right subject selection. Graff mentioned that he was not always "school smart" because of where he grew up, which was Chicago, post WW2. He read a lot of sports illustrated and magazines. He had to make a choice to either be tough or book smart. He realized that too be tough, you had to be able to fight well, so he went with the next best thing. "...which was to be articulate, carefully hiding telltale marks of literacy like correct grammar and pronunciation." Graff states that because of his discussions with his  friends about sports and toughness, he was able to make arguments and weight different kind of evidence. Graff felt that schools isolated students and didn't make learning fun, which makes school a lot harder to willingly attend. He ends the article by saying," Give me the student anytime who writes a sharply argued, sociologically acute analysis of an issue in Source over the student who writes a lifeless explication of Hamlet or Socrates' Apology." This article was well constructed and well thought out. I agree with what Graff is trying to say and feel subject changes and wider selection should be implemented in school/college. 
            Personally, I always abhorred reading books or just anything in that regard. In 8th grade, i came across a Mixed Martial Arts blog and could not stop reading it. I then realized reading was that bad, but I was only reading books on fighting. In my freshman year of high school, I was assigned to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and i read it in about 3 hours because after reading those books on fighting, I was able to focus solely on one thing. Since then reading became very easy and enjoyable at the most part. I began reading this on Friday and I just woke up and wanted to get a head start on my homework before i had to leave for work, but my mom needed my help so i stopped where i was and bookmarked it. I came back and had about 25 mins to spare before i was off to the city for work. I read the article and found it to be surprisingly interesting. Throughout the whole day, I had a lot going at work, so i made a plan to come home and review the article. I got home at like 8pm and read it again while listening to one of my favorite Hip-Hop artists, J Cole. I try to make reading enjoyable as possible and one way is by listening to music. For me, I think that is the key. While reading, I had an understanding of the article and knew just about every word and if I didn't I used context clues to figure it out. I did not takes notes but highlighted some parts I thought to be important. I  reread the article once more and used my highlights to write the summary. I was telling my dad about it and we got into whole discussion about the school system and how the next generations are going to be less likely to want to attend. I think finding a specific thing you feel comfortable doing while reading, will make the experience a lot less boring. Maybe watching TV or reading along with someone or just simply laying down. Don't think about reading as a burden, think about it as learning something new and it might ease the "pain" of opening a book. 


  1. Your summary is easy to follow. I thought I have read so many books but I am still to lay my hands on To Kill a Mockingbird!! I used to read at the dinner table and my parents were not amused. i now have my own family and my reading has reduced but my kids also read a lot and I have almost all the classics at home which they have read. You are an encouragement.

  2. Great post, Eric! I'd love to hear more about what your dad thought :-)

    In your opening, you write, "The article was mainly about schooling systems not being suitable for less intellectual people." Keep in mind, Graff doesn't say these people are LESS intellectual, just that they're intellectual about DIFFERENT things :-)