Saturday, January 11, 2014

"How to make your academics more fun and interesting?"

            The question of how to be strong and intelligent rises after reading the article of “Hidden Intellectualism” by Gerald Graf. Who begins his article with the intelligence of the person, and that its not only comes from our school academic but also from our side of the school, in his article he debates between street-smart and school smart. In his article he begins with the general explanation of school and colleges, who do not take for granted the works of those who are street smart, even though every teacher tell us in school to think out side of the box, they themselves fail to do so by leaving those who are street-smart outside.
Gerald Graff begins his interpretation with his personal story from his childhood. He was growing up during the ’50, those times was a hard time for each family. The author wasn’t “school-smart” he was interested in reading sport magazines; eventually it helped his to expand his knowledge in other fields as well. But his strategy of applying his personal experience into the academics helped him in the achievements.  To be intelligent its not always meant to be smart at school and have high grades, our intelligence develops throughout the time; street-smart people might be more smart at a certain field rather then those who were smart at school. Of course, schools and colleges are very important for our development, but most of the time they fail to think that there could be drawn a parallel between “street-smart and school-smart”.
“…the real intellectual world, the one that existed in the big world beyond school, is organized very much like the world of team sports,” stated the author of the article. The use of this quote helps us to draw the connection between being in a closed space (school” and being outside of that “closed space”.  Outside of the school we all work as a community, but at school you are standing for yourself, and mostly at school we are doing the things that 50% of the time we won’t be using them in real life. Gerald Graf makes a great point that by connecting the sport and academics could help students to find school more interesting, each of us most of the time want to be in the center of the attention and write about what we want to write about, so there would be more effort that is putted into the work. Gerald Graff states, “…it does not have to be a pedagogical cop-out as long as students are required to see these interests “through academic eyes”. By making associations with the real world and school, it helps the students be engaged more with the work that is required. Eventually during those readings and evaluations the students could go further of reading other books, articles, literacy which he considered being boring. But just by bringing person into the attention and look to the things from his/her point of view makes them to be interested in the work that should be done.


Every person has their own strategies of reading and remembering the key points from the text. Me reading process don’t include any fancy strategies that I apply, but I want to share some of them. As I begin my reading I always have a highlight in my hand, usually I don’t highlight the whole sentence I highlight only some of the key words that will help me memorize the particular part. When I was at school I preferred holding the book in front of me, feeling that book, and the smell of the pages made the book more interesting as I wanted to continue reading. I also carried always the sticky papers with me and then I summarize the particular page or why I found it interesting. As I didn’t have the dictionary of all the words I used to write also the words that wasn’t clear for me, then after coming back from school I was looking those words up. Also, as the words seem very complicated during the free time I used to make the sentence with them or associate with the particular person from my life.  When I entered college, I have my phone on me as in school it wasn’t allowed, now I found iBooks more interesting as I could highlight whatever I want, in addition to that I could make a note with a particular quote, and I could look up the words at the same time. Usually I read everything twice, as if English sometimes isn’t clear for me, it also helps me to understand more information that wasn’t clear from the first time. After I finish my reading I go for a cup of tea to the kitchen, while I do that I think about the passages of the chapter that I read and think how can I apply certain things into my life, or what lesson I can learn. It helps me memorize it faster. When I am on the train or bus, I also read because I found that it makes my trip faster. Also, when I read I try to imagine what the author of describing in his book.
 Going back to the article “Hidden intellectualism” I found it interesting, and everything that author said I am agree. But some parts of the article were confusing for me for example: “sports world was more compelling than school because it was more intellectual than school, not less”. Also, some words seemed very unfamiliar for me, but I looked them up. I also made the notes in my 

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Alina! And great work with the sticky notes :-)

    ReplyDelete