Albert Einstein said, "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid". (Einstein 6) This implies, assessing a student only by narrow ideals in the classroom may cause them to feel inadequate. Gerald Graff's essay "Hidden Intellectualism" argues that student's interest should be implemented into academia. Graff suggest that students poised with "street smarts", are not being taught using their non-academic interest in the classroom. Graff contends that schools tend to believe that only certain topics are appropriate for an academic environment thus "street smarts" cease to evolve naturally into academic intellect. Graff's personal experience logically persuades the reader that the solution of promoting students non-academic interests into academics will enhance their success. .
Graff uses his personal experience to challenge the traditional model for learning to connect to the reader. Graff suggests that academia should let students decide on the subjects that interest them rather that the basics of academics. Graff 's experience of discussions about typical boy stuff with his friend became an intellectual exercise. He states that reading sports books and magazines taught him "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" (Graff 383). Undoubtedly if students were able to incorporate their street smarts of argumentation and apply validated assessment into academic writing they would learn how to use those critical thinking skills into something they care about rather than in scientific and philosophical themes that are of no interest. Linking student's interests in academia allows students to attain academic knowledge, and further develops their intellectual growth.