The “Kenyon Commencement Speech,” by David Foster Wallace, explains the intellectual thought process of how people think in the white-collar business’s higher-income lifestyle, while “Blue-Collar Brilliance,” by Mike Rose, depicts how a blue-collar worker develops great cognitive skills through working a lower income job. While these passages have separate settings, in which one shows the life-style of college graduate in commission and the other a simple high school graduate’s career, both give great insight on the proper meaning of intelligence and its overall impact on a worker’s mentality. Many ideas on the opinion of intelligence white-collar and blue-collar jobs require in both of the essays disagree with one another, however, with their differences can be found key points that synthesize together to form similar arguments. These points are broken down into how the job’s cognitive skills affect the motivation of everyday working, the way true education is measured, and how a person should mentally go about his or her day and treat people.
In both white-collar and blue-collar jobs, it requires a higher level of intellect to progress smoothly through the workday, but the affect that the intelligence has on worker’s motivation is different. Wallace expresses that high school graduates preparing to attend college are uninformed about the mundane and repetitive lifestyle of a white-collar worker. Necessary cognitive skills are gained from the years of college before-hand, but that knowledge transferred over to work seems like a dreadful nightmare. Due to the form of thinking you acquire from a higher-education, it sometimes makes people “over-intellectualize stu...
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...ay to day tasks. By looking at how other people live their life, it will open up a more colorful and lively world instead of living by the default-setting of daily routines. In the blue-collar world, especially a waitress at that, most job efficiency and payment is determined by how the costumer and co-workers are treated. Rose’s mother, being a waitress, always has to put a costumer first, “and so she became adept at reading social cues and managing feelings, both the costumers and her own.” Being able to understand the emotional states and psychological attitudes of other people is learned everyday by certain blue-collar workers to complete this bigger picture. Both author’s feel that in the everyday world , a person should have the attitude of understanding the feelings of another in order to have a fulfilled mental state throughout their day and working career.
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