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Hidden Intellectualism

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Intellect is subjective. Methods of becoming intellectual are subjective. In Hidden Intellectualism, the author is posing an argument that is up for debate. He is arguing that students do need intellectually challenging content, but can students really adopt this intellect if it is not in a subject they enjoy, or content they want to learn? Or do academic facilities miss the good in being street smart, seeing it as a waste? What if instead of throwing away students knowledge, use it towards progressing them academically and socially? Throughout this essay, the author is emphasizing the point that just because someone is not seen as academically smart because they aren’t doing good in school, it doesn’t mean they aren’t smart. He shows how there just isn’t a link between that student’s intellect, and the content schools want to teach. It is stated that there is not a connection that’s ever been established between any subject and the educational weight and discussion it can cause. People who are intellectual will put any subject through questioning, while others will just become bored and not understand the topic to its full capacity.

Students learn to be intellectual, but if you give them topics they don’t want to discuss or assignments they don’t understand, its harder for them to gain the qualities of an intellect, and adopt the levels of rational thinking and questioning that’s needed. A school does not define whether or not you are smart. The author has an outlook on this topic that is extremely logical. By giving students subjects they like to talk about, it gives them the ability to feel included in a group, as well as teach them how to create a solid argument while rationalizing facts given to them. It also assists in being able to understand and summarize the conclusions of others and express their own conclusions properly. Almost anyone can agree that they are most interested in debating a topic they love and are invested in, rather than the same topic that is presented year after year. Do some people thrive in more academic settings with more academic topics? Of course, but that does not mean you can cast the ones who don’t thrive in this environment to the side, as they can provide valuable insight and sides to topics others wouldn’t have thought of.

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Throughout elementary and middle school, I was often a good student. I would do my homework and do well on tests, get good grades. But when high school rolled around, I started to struggle, a lot. I had an interest in most of the topics being taught to me, but my grades started to drop. Even when I felt like I understood a topic, I would still end up doing bad on assignments, and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why. It took me a long time to figure out where the disconnect was. That was when makeup became important in my life. I would dedicate as many free hours as I could to makeup, whether it be doing it, researching the products I was wanting to buy, trying to understand the process in which makeup is manufactured. Eventually, I became what I would call a “mini-expert” in makeup. You could ask me about practically any makeup product or the manufacturing process of makeup and I could explain it. I invested a good amount of my money into makeup and knew every product in my collection by heart. You could show me the outside of an eyeshadow palette and I could tell you how many shades there were, the color story, the price, formula, etc.

Often I would get hassled by my family wondering how I could know so much about makeup, but not understanding topics in school. There were countless arguments in which I had to defend my love for makeup, but also understand where my parents were coming from. It wasn’t until later that I figured out that my love for makeup actually started helping me. It helped me organize my thoughts, and gave me a topic I somehow was able to relate to almost any subject. It gave me a brand new community of people to talk to and debate about products and brands with. While makeup is just a mix of different pigments and something you wash off at the end of the day, it gave me the opportunity to be able to express myself differently and gave me the confidence boost I needed to get through school. Is knowing academic topics important? Absolutely. Does everyone learn the same way? Absolutely not. You can’t cast a student’s perspective and interests to the side just because they don’t fit the curriculum. Makeup helped me learn how to take a topic I loved to an academic perspective, something I wouldn’t have even thought to do, and something my teachers wouldn’t have pushed for if I hadn’t had made it work for me. Once the fact that even though a student is not academically smart, but rather “street smart”, it will make it easier to have an intellectual conversation with large communities of all different backgrounds.

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