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Paola Garcia Professor Bolton ENG 101 March 13, 2014 Youre Such a Nerd! Who does one remember most, the star quarterback or the valedictorian? Grant Penrods essay Anti-Intellectualism: Why We Hate the Smart Kids, stresses why society looks down on the intellectuals. Most high schools contribute to anti-intellectualism. Several people will not remember who the valedictorian in their graduating class was, but they will most likely remember the star quarterback. Many people have negative thoughts about intellectuals, and dislike for intellectualism is supported by many public figures. Public figures, like celebrities, that drop out of school or athletes who are successful because of their skills, make society question if you need to be smart to be successful. This thought is carried from youth to adult hood. Penrod says, Factors can contribute to anti-intellectualism, and the result is a crushing disregard for the lives and achievements of fellow human beings (755). Grant Penrod is rightseveral factors like social stereotypes, public examples and monetary obsession contribute to anti-intellectualism; however some of Penrods public examples are questionable. Stereotypes are one factor that Penrod says contributes to anti-intellectualism, which he is right about. Intellectuals are thought as of having no life. Penrod says, The idea of the geek or nerd of the class is a familiar one to most students, and it is not a pleasant one (755). After all no one likes to be called names. The idea that intellectuals are only concerned about grades and test scores, omits them from the existence of normal social life. Grant Penrod says, This becomesa self-fulfilling prophecy; nerds are exclude form social activity because of their

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label and that label in turn intensifies through the resulting lack of social contact (755). Intellectuals that are not accepted are excluded from participating in social activity. This cycle continues and intellectuals are not being thought of as important. The image of intellectualism is harmed. Social stereotypes affect these intellectuals when society brings down those who make it progress. Another two point Penrod makes are that public examples and monetary obsession cause anti-intellectualism. Penrod states perpetuation of anti-intellectual feelings.originate somewhere (755). This state of mind, of anti-intellectualism, can come from anywhere. Penrod says: The football team from Mountain View High School won the Arizona state Champion ship last year. Again. Unbeknownst to the vast majority of the schools student body, so did the Science Bowl Team, the Speech and Debate Team and the Academic Decathlon Team. The football players enjoyed the attention of an enthralled school, complete with banners, assemblies, and even video announcements in their honor, a virtual barrage of praise and downright deification. As for the three champion academic teams, they received a combined total of around ten minutes of recognition, tacked onto the beginning of a sports assembly. (754) High schools are one of the places anti-intellectualism initiates. Most high school prize their athletic team, while they forget about their intellectuals. Public examples like, that of Mountain View High School, suggest to teens that their skills in athletic sports will obtain more recognition, then skills they would have as intellectuals. Penrod also mention in his article that modern celebrities suggest that intellectualism has no ties to success and social legitimacy

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(755). The internet is being used to bash intellectuals. Penrod mentions in his essay that websites prize famous high school drop outs. He states With such well-known cultural icons as Christina Aguileraand Sammy Sosa qualifying for such a list, any drive towards intelligence or education becomes laughable in the eyes of media-inundated young people (Noted Dropouts) (756). This is saying to society that one does not have to be an over achiever to obtain success. Children, teens and even adults carry the idea that one does not have to be educated to make billions of dollars and be prosperous. Monetary obsessions are also cause for antiintellectualism. Penrod says examples of uneducated success are even further entrenched by the prodigious wealth of the celebrities involved (756). Celebrities, like athlete Sammy Sosa success, further the idea that intellectualism is not important. According to a writer for The Carillon, In more than a few cases athletes incomes surpass the gross national product of some third-world countries (qtd. in Penrod 756). Some athletes make a lot of money and they do not have an education. This makes any teenager question if their education is important. They see these athletes in the media become famous for their athletic skills. Teens look up to some of these athletes as their role models. Teenagers carry this idea, of being talented over being educated, into their adulthood. It is carried off into college were most students seem to think that it is better to be well off then be well educated. Penrod mentions that a recent article by Ethan Bronner states that in the survey 74.9 percent of freshmen chose being well off as an essential goal while only 40.8 percent selected developing a philosophy as a similar goal (756). College freshmen prefer to have a carrier that will leave them money, then have a carrier that will further their intellect. Success is not measured by intellect but rather a talent or skill, society finds valuable.

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In addition, Penrods public examples might contribute to anti-intellectualism, but not all of them do. Penrod mentions in his article that uneducated success extends far beyond just singers and sports stars (756). In his essay Penrod says, the current President of the United States presents the image of the success of no intellectualism (756). I do not agree with Penrods example. I feel Penrod is extending this to make his point. In his essay he states, [The Presidents] reputation as a C student is widely touted and his public speeches hardly exonerate his intellectual image (756). We do not know if the President was a C student throughout his whole education, as Penrod does not specify. Also the President could have problems with public speaking. He is a public figure and anyone can get nervous, especially him since he has to address the whole nation. I do not believe the President contributes to anti-intellectualism. To have such an important role in leading our country, one has to be smart and ready to make decisions. Not everyone can become a President, it takes a lot of strive and intelligence. Antiintellectualism is supported by most public figures but not all. In conclusion, Penrod says Society looks down on those individuals who help it to progress, ostracizing its best and brightest (757), but not everyone in our society does. Stereotypes, public examples, and monetary obsession led to anti-intellectualism, but not all public figures support it. We have to respect each other abilities, whether it is being book smart or talented in sports. As a society we should pay more attention to the intellectuals and not look down on them. We should continue to prize those non-intellectuals for their success through talent and skill, without forgetting about the intellectuals. After all the intellectuals are the ones who help our society progress.

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Works Cited Penrod, Grant. Anti-Intellectualism: Why we Hate the Smart Kids. The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook. 3rd ed. Eds. Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. 754-757. Print.