ENG 103 Essay Most Important Form of Intelligence

Submitted By benrich315
Words: 1267
Pages: 6

Intelligence is often defined as, “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” People often associate intelligence with being book-smart, as if it isn’t a broader term. I would like to challenge this idea. In my experiences, I have come to realize that it can be much more than that. There is a specific place I have in mind that has opened me up to a different way of thinking, thus changing my perspective on the word intelligence. That place isn’t a school, but a job. At this job I learned that the most important form of intelligence is knowledge of self. After high school I didn’t know which direction to take my life in. I was young, naïve, and lacked ambition. Despite being considered intelligent in the respect of schoolwork, I lacked the certain type of intelligence to really allow myself to progress. After a failed attempt at college, I needed some work. I looked around and I very well could have ended up at McDonalds flipping burgers, or at Tops pushing shopping carts. Things happened to work in my favor as I found myself where my most important learning took place: Orenda Springs Experiential Learning Center. Many don’t quite understand what experiential learning is, so to paraphrase, it is essentially learning by doing. Most people grow up in schools with conventional teaching; they have four walls, thirty kids, a chalk board, and a piece of paper. In my experiences, this isn’t a positive place to learn, at least not for most. The confines of a classroom only allow for so much learning to actually take place.
We refer to Orenda Springs as a “classroom in the woods”. Yes, everything we do is out in the middle of nowhere where our main activities integrate nature. While we may not have the standard methods such as desks and paper assignments, we believe the things we teach are not taught in school. Our main emphasis is on what we call “lifeskills”; essentially they are the building blocks of being a good leader (initiative, courage, empathy, integrity, etc.). In Mike Rose’s article “Blue Collar Brilliance”, he makes a statement about his brother who works on an assembly line. He said, “Still, for Joe the shop floor provided what school did not; it was like schooling, he said, a place where you’re constantly learning” (248). At Orenda, we believe that what we do is also a form of schooling. As Rose said, the line was a place where his brother was constantly adapting and learning; he was learning things that he potentially would not have learned in school. The activities we do with the participants also allow them to learn and adapt, but in a way that engages them and makes it fun, unlike your average classroom. This is what makes us special; we connect with the participants on a deeper level that pushes past the typical definition of intelligence. We break things down in a way that naturally and effectively promotes self-reflection, most importantly in terms of lifeskills. We don’t ask the students how well they can read or write. We try and focus on the tools that go into acknowledging their weaknesses and strengths to become better in every aspect of learning. While intelligence may still be viewed by many as being book-smart, I have seen many other demonstrations of it. A certain instance comes to mind when I say that. A few years ago, I had a young boy named Nasir at our program who, according to his teacher, was a poor student. He talked a lot in class, didn’t do his work, and caused trouble. His class came to Orenda Springs and I could immediately tell he was the most rambunctious of the bunch. As the day went on, I began to grow a bond with Nasir. I saw qualities in him that I too possessed. I could relate to him and I understood him better than his teachers. I sat him down and asked what was going on at school. As expected, he gave me the silent treatment. I am stubborn in many aspects of life, and now wasn’t the time to put that on the back burner, so I did what my mother would do. I put my