Better To Be Born Smarter

Essay by srmikeoneUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

download word file, 6 pages 4.4 2 reviews

Nerds, geeks, brainiacs, eggheads, dorks, and eagle scouts; these words have come to define the socially-challenged, yet academically-gifted populations in our schools. Taped glasses, high-water pants, pocket-protectors, well spoken and with high IQs; these are just a few of the characteristics that symbolize the stereotypical nerd or geek. Not everyone with taped glasses is a traditional nerd. This is just one of the many ways that society categorizes people. Luckily for dorks, these are features that can be changed. What about the physical characteristics that people are born with that cannot be changed? Things like gender and race. Although it may be against the better judgment of society, in practice it is all too common for humans to categorize each other based upon looks and the known actions of a few. In Sharon Old's, "On the Subway" and Brent Staples's, "Just Walk On By", the issue of racial stereotyping is addressed.

Through the social positions in life, our appearances, and the influence of society these authors show that great tensions arise from the ignorance and assumptions that are made everyday.

The tensions that exist between altered personal spaces are greatly increased by lack of it. Take the case of Sharon Old's "On the Subway". She starts off the poem with the line, "The boy and I face each other" (1). Literally, they are facing one another. Later on however, another interpretation of this is shown to be that they are facing each other as adversaries in life, rather than as spatial entities. Old's also declares that they "are stuck on the opposite sides of the car, a couple of molecules stuck in a rod of light, rapidly moving through darkness" (4-7). There is a double meaning here as well. Obviously, being on a subway qualifies as being a...