Striving towards Halls of Scholars
Striving towards Halls of Scholars
The journey to the epitome of scholarly achievements has its fair share of tribulation to the majority; others have a relatively smooth ride. An interaction of multiple factors comes into a play for a person to reach the echelons of scholar hood. Beyond a person’s intellectual endowment, the socio-economic environment of the said individual has enduring effects on the person’s acquisition of literacy skills. Similarly, personal revelations regarding the potencies of one’s deficiencies may further chart an individual’s academic destiny. While a person can hardly control the external factors that dictate an individual’s scholarly path, he should aspire to muster his intrinsic influences. The character of true scholar is built upon his ability to strike a balance between the impediments and opportunities he encounters in his journey towards self-realization.
In my opinion for one to become a true scholar, he ought to first work on his personal weaknesses. Personally, my pursuit of academic excellence was hampered by my dismal reading skills. My poor reading skills emanated not from the lack of comprehension of content rather from the speed. I was an extremely slow reader. Time being money, the liability proved costly. One day in silent meditation, I pondered over the shortcoming that despite bringing to bear multiple reading techniques there was no sign of improvement. I came out of that session with an epiphany that changed my entire perspective on life. The said shortcoming was really strength as it facilitated observation. By taking things slow, I was able to identify the undertones hidden in the text at first glance. Although it would take a while before I finished, I would have grasped the intended concepts in their entirety. Taking the skill in a real life scenario, I am able to pick up subtle cues that reveal the intent of a person’s actions. With time, I have become proficient in reading peoples’ behavior transforming into a good judge of character. In short, changing your perspective on your problems may prove profitable (Galindo, Brisa, et al 23). As people say, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”
Scholarly achievement is the product of a person’s milieu. According to Brandt’s concept of sponsors every individual has entities not necessarily people who facilitate or impede their academic aspirations. A person born of privilege in a higher social stratum is bound to have a stronger support system and the corresponding access to quality literacy material (Brandt 23). Their stable politico-economic situation gives them a head start unbeknown to the average citizens. On the other hand, the social status of a person may be an impediment to him successfully pursuing his aspirations. Individuals from minority groups like the Black race are often financially at a disadvantage (Villanueva 34). It follows that their academic ambitions are curtailed. They are not spoilt for choices in regards to sponsors thus are inclined to grasp to anything that gives them an inkling of hope. Take for instance there are two individuals, lets assume they are equally intellectually gifted, moved into the same mid western town with their kin. One was a European American, Raymond Branch, from a wealthy family the other was a Mexican American, Dora Lopez, from a relatively poor household. Having grown around computers the former grew into a successful software freelance writer. The latter coming from a lineage of farmhands came across her first computer at the onset of her teens. Owing to her due diligence, she became proficient in Spanish. Unlike Raymond’s litany of powerful educators, Dora only had her parents. It is conclusive to infer that the strength of a person’s sponsors correlates to their scholarly success. The higher an individual is in the social stratum the more the opportunities for advancement. Recognizing the benefit of privilege or lack thereof, will limit individuals from attributing their achievements to their innate genius and others misfortunes to their personal shortcomings.
For further emphasize this point is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier. In chapter 4, he traces the educational hurdles faced by two geniuses Chris Langan and Robert Openheimmer. The latter came from a poor family and luckily acquired a scholarship to Reed College after a year he was discontinued due to buearacratic issues. After shifting between various manual jobs, he was able to get an opportunity to proceed with his academics (Gladwell 56). Even then, his dreams to be a scholar were deferred as he was accused of being lazy. On the other hand, Openheimmer, born of privilege, went to the Ivy League schools, Harvard and Cambridge. At one point, he was irritated with his tutor that he attempted to poison him. Rather than being expelled, he was taken for a psychiatric evaluation. The leniency was attributed to the influence of his family. Despite getting access to the best scholarly materials, the high-class can get aware with the most serious of offenses (Caro 34). Openheimmer’s culture helped to know how to be confident in his negotiation abilities entitlement to convince people to see life his own way. On the other hand, Langan had a drunken father and a mother whose laxity in filling the financial forms caused Langan to lose a scholarship.
The American scholar draws upon nature, the past, and action in equal measure to create character. The scholarly privilege in Emerson’s society was reversed for the male sex as the female were otherwise engaged in household chores or nurturing duty. In line with this view society emerged from from the one individual who was multiplied to leverage social corporation. This was a sustainable model as along as individuals stuck to their role (Emerson 12). However, people have departed from their designated duties leading to degeneration of the entire society. The scholar being a component of society has also deteriorated. This elevates the role of the individual in the sustenance of the whole.
For the scholar to return to his former glory, he has to be reeducated on his essence in society. Towards this end, the scholar ought to acquaint himself with the natural laws, as they are a reflection of his being. The more you know about nature the higher your self-knowledge and the reverse holds true. The author elaborates that true scholar is does dwell not past literacy heritage rather aspires to creates new individual truths himself. Emerson highlights that the ideas of past though overtly brilliant should not embraced as infallible truths rather should be scrutinized as they are founded on the bias innate in their era. Divinity inspires creativity similar to nature. Rather bind one’s self in established dictates, a true scholar should strive to discover new universal truths. Emerson (23) does not aim to downplay the significance of the historical wealth of knowledge rather he emphasis on the need for a scholar to balance between hindsight and foresight. Scholars ought to build upon past thinkers to chart their own course. Reading has a unique capability of transference of genius and emotion across generations. Nonetheless, the pursuit of reading should always be done critically, with inspiration for creativity as the end goal rather than mere memorization of text. A true scholar recognizes the precedence of thought over action but does not hesitate to translate his principles to material creativity. Acts are in time elevated to thoughts. Labor helps the scholar match his physical strength with his intellectual capacity making him an all-rounded individual.
Becoming a scholar entails apprenticeship. In order to achieve the highest levels of Discourse, one must learn under a mentor who has become an expert. We acquire discourse in stages. The Primary discourse is acquired at home whereas the secondary discourse requires formal institution. In the later discourse, the scholar may pursue the dominant Discourse to acquire status mobility. On the other hand, the non-dominant discourse liberates the said academic. Literacy increases a person’s awareness of his present status. There is a limitation to the amount of discourse that a person can be taught. Majority of these values, beliefs are acquired through social interactions (Gee 34). Discourses like the norms of culture, are made up small concepts and details that build the said main discourse. It follows that a scholar must be a student of culture similar to formal training in order to actualize his potential. Learning is a lifetime occurrence that occurs regardless the setting. The true scholar should be vigilant of the skills and attitudes he aspires to posses shifting out the rest.
Brandt, Deborah. “Deborah Brandt Sponsors of Literacy.” (1998).
Caro, Robert A. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. Alfred a Knopf Incorporated, 2012. Print.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The American Scholar. BompaCrazy. com, 1970. Internet resource.
Galindo, Brisa, et al. “Challenging Our Labels: Rejecting the Language of Remediation.” Young Scholars in Writing 11 (2014). Internet resource.
Gee, James Paul. “Literacy, discourse, and linguistics: Introduction.” Journal of Education (1989): 5-176.
Gladwell, Malcolm. “Outliers: The secret of success.” New York (2008). Internet resource.
Villanueva, Victor. “” Memoria” Is a Friend of Ours: On the Discourse of Color.” College English (2004): 9-19. Internet resource.
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