Incorporating The Best Of Both Worlds

1439 words - 6 pages

When asked which is better, being street smart or book smart, which would you choose? You don’t really need to look them up in Urban Dictionary to know that a person with street smarts is one with strong common sense, one who knows what is going on in the world, and one who knows how to handle different situations. On the other hand, a person with book smarts is defined a one who excels in academia, but not when it comes to common sense or reality. In “Hidden Intellectualism,” by Gerald Graff, author of They Say I Say and professor of English at the University of Illinois in Chicago, argues many different points on the two. With his many distinctive arguments throughout the reading I coincide with Graff when he shows us that, yes street smarts is favored, but fundamentally, incorporating street smarts and book smarts together will have the best outcome.
Gerald Graff gives his own experience from when he was a younger child growing up in his neighborhood (200). He shares how his friends and himself had to find a common ground between being strong (street smart) and being intelligent (book smart). Graff explains that he needed to find this balance in between the two not only to fit in, but also because he still wanted to do well in school. He goes on to explain how being intelligent outside of school actually taught him more than what he learned while in school. Graff expands on this idea when he states, "I began to learn the rudiments of the intellectual life: how to make an argument, weigh different kinds of evidence, move between particulars and generalizations, summarize the views of others and enter a conversation about ideas" (201).
Through Graffs’ experience he concluded that students now a days could learn a thing or two from bringing in activities and hobbies into their schools (198). Writing papers on enjoyable topics, students will actually put their full minds into the paper. Students would take everything they've learned in English and effectively apply everything they have been taught, such as grammar, writing compelling essays, and compiling great arguments. Graff expands on this idea very well when he states "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 Socraties' Apology" (204). Not only can street smarts make a subject, such as English, become more enjoyable, but it can also help in many other aspects of someone’s life intellectually as well. Without having some common sense, one could not make it very far in this world. I believe this because you could be the smartest man anyone knows, but when walking into an interview for your dream job and you have no people skills what so ever; what do you think will happen? Without great people skills, common knowledge, and a sense of communication that person would not do very well in that interview at all. This is a situation when street smarts plays a...

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