Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More Than Book Smart final draft

Eric LaBrocca
Prof Villarreal
English 24      

More Than Book Smart

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 wasn’t 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 minutes 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 take 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. My dad stated the format of learning needs to be enhanced because of the tainted attention span of the younger generation. I think finding a specific thing you feel comfortable doing while reading, will make the experience a lot less boring. 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. 
         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 people who are “street” smart. He made great comparisons to sports and school by using his past experiences. He claims that sports are more compelling than school because it was more intellectual.   The evidence that supports his statement is," 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." 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." He stated that street-smart people actually have potential to be academically inclined if given the right subject selection. Graff says 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.
        Gerald Graff uses “Sports Illustrated” as a pop culture reference. The magazine is very well known in the sports world and started in 1954. Graff did not have interest in reading until he began to read sport books and sport magazines. He then understood the importance of reading and learning. Sports Illustrated actually does educate its readers on a portion of analyzing and writing. Also, the magazine allows readers to critically think about a variety of topics pertaining to sports. The point Gerald Graff is trying to make is using different types of books, articles, and essays besides Shakespeare and generic textbooks can enhance the learning process and can add fun, as well. Appeal is the first step to drawing in a reader. The youth does not always want to be subjected to boring articles and complex essays. If you can learn to read while reading sports books, you should not be frowned upon or degraded.  Sports Illustrated has a lot different sections and articles that would attract any sports fan, which is majority of men and sometimes women.  School systems should think about implementing a variety of subjects including sports.
       When I began writing this essay, I was in my room and it was at like 2am (I don’t sleep much). I had the book right next to me the whole time writing. I re-read the essay about three times before completing the second paragraph. I like to understand what I read, not just read because its an assignment for college, you know. I did not finish that night. A couple days went by and I was just trying to gather ideas. I sat down and continued writing while eating a slice of pizza. A can eat pizza at any time of the day for some reason. On another note, the writing process came easy to me because of the amount of times I read Graff’s essay. I was focused on the completion of this essay, so I was not distracted at any point of the writing process.

Work Cited

Graff, Gerald. "Hidden Intellectualism." They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. New York: W.W. Norton &, 201. 198-205. Print.
Collins, Jimmy. "History of the Magazine Sports Illustrated." Yahoo Contributor Network. N.p., 26 Mar. 2010. Web. 21 Jan. 2014.
"Sports Illustrated Magazine." Echo Media -. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Eric,
    Looks like you ignored a lot of my notes on your draft?
    Also, why do you not cite the source(s) of your research? And why did you not include any of the blogs and in-class assignments into your writing process? And how did that process improve your understanding of the text?