On page 198-199 the author writes, "We assume that it is possible to wax intellectual about Plato, Shakespeare, the French Revolution, and nuclear fission, but not about cars, dating, fashion, sports, TV or video games. The trouble with this assumption is that no necessary connection has ever been established between any text or subject and the educational depth and weight of discussion it can generate." I believe that the author, Gerald Graff, is disagreeing with the argument that you can only be considered an intellect if it is on an academic level, or that he agrees that there are levels to intellectualism, like an academic level and a non-academic, street level. I say this because in his essay, he writes about how unknowingly he and his peers were intellects at sports because they would analyze different aspects of sports. He writes about how him reading and arguing about sports and being tough with his friends allowed him to make generalizations, arguments, counterarguments, etc. On page 202, he writes, "I believe that street smarts beat out book smarts in our culture not because street smarts are nonintellectual, as we generally suppose, but because they satisfy an intellectual thirst more thoroughly than school culture, which seems pale and unreal." I think that this quote is a clear disagreement/agreement to the arguments I pointed out above because he is explaining how having street smarts is part of being an intellect.
After reading this essay, I believe that I was always an intellect at fashion design. I say this because I couldn't sew until I was 16 years old and I believed that in order to be good at and understand fashion design, I had to learn from a teacher. But as I think back on my childhood, I understood the basics of fashion design. Where I would make designs out of anything I could find for my dolls, I would analyze whatever piece of clothing would best hold on my dolls' bodies, how would the design stay in place, what would look right on my doll, etc. These are all things I learned myself through simply trying to be creative. Creativity is something that cannot be taught in schools. Intellectualism is something that cannot be taught in schools either, and to some extent, everyone is an intellect whether they know it or not.