Questions // Jason Capili

Coming into the first meeting of this class, I was already furious—my ideal college experienced entailed taking cool and interesting classes at the times I wanted to take them, and here I was, at 7 o’clock at night on the first day of college, walking into an English class I should’ve passed out of with my AP credits from high school. The first week or so was shaping up to meet my expectations of a typical English class, but then we watched a video called “This Is Water,” and I was hooked.

The video is all about how we get so caught up in our normal routines and with ourselves that we miss crucial details that go beyond the superficial, but there’s a line in the video that really strikes me after having taken this class: “The most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.” I didn’t know it at the start of the class, but I was dying to know what I was missing.

Continue reading Questions // Jason Capili


America: The Land of Conformity // Mary Fowler

Imagine you’re a high school student walking down the narrow corridors of your school. You see a small crowd gathering by the stairwell, so you saunter over to see what all the fuss is about.  After wiggling around enough, you see through the sea of heads a helpless, frail freshman being tormented by a senior, blonde, letterman-jacket-wearing meathead. While watching the young one getting knocked around and taking nasty blows by the words the senior is spitting out at him, you begin to wonder how all of this is happening? There has to be nearly a dozen kids standing around watching this occur, all loitering in silence. Although they stand with their mouths shut, they could not be condoning the violence in any better way. Silence of the people has done nothing positive for this country on both small and large scales.

Continue reading America: The Land of Conformity // Mary Fowler

The Necessity to Kill: A Disconnect between Life and Death // Justin Meeken

Just about anyone is capable of violence. Even in its smallest forms, violence is ever-present. People will squash bugs in their houses. They watch violent Television shows and movies. They read about violence on the news. It seems that we all have an obsession for violence with the amount of it we observe.

We are constantly exposed to violence in all parts of our lives. We even glorify it in many forms. For instance, in Television shows like “The Walking Dead,” the audience cheers whenever the protagonist kills one of the horrifying zombies. In “I Am Legend,” we cheer on Dr. Neville as he fights the “monsters of the night” and conducts gruesome experiments on them when he is truly the monster, killing the creatures even when unnecessary. We are taught that, under the right circumstances, violence can be good. Because of this constant glorification of violence, everyone is equally capable of it. People are disconnected from the consequences of violence which can cause them to resort to violence under certain circumstances.

Continue reading The Necessity to Kill: A Disconnect between Life and Death // Justin Meeken

Deceptive Labels // Kirti Duddi

While walking along the aisles of a supermarket, it is possible for the average person to be overwhelmed by the various food labels that exist. As people’s awareness and the demand for accountability and healthy options has grown over the years, more and more products can be seen with labels such as  “natural”, “organic” or “USDA verified”. Nevertheless, these food labels can be misleading, especially with meat products. For instance, corporate giant Perdue markets its chickens as “USDA verified”, “cage free”, and “humanely raised”. Yet, these chickens are raised unhealthily overweight and are contained in dark, cramped, and filthy conditions. When big companies put these arbitrary labels on their products, consumers are caught up in a false sense of comfort that prevents them from making informed decisions. It feeds into a cycle where consumers continue to lend their support to an unethical industry without demanding full transparency. In the process of rebranding their image by assuming unregulated and meaningless labels, companies exploit the public and withhold important information regarding their operations. Continue reading Deceptive Labels // Kirti Duddi

Ignorance is Bliss // JP Hurley

If there is one thing that I can take away from my Critical Thinking and Writing course, it is awareness. Before taking this class, I never thought about where my food came from, or what kind of life it lived. I never thought about how my steak got to my plate, I just wanted something that tasted good. Admittedly, this class has stripped me of my innocence. I can no longer plead ignorant to the horrific wrongdoings of the meat and poultry industries. The corruption among the Mega-Corporations is being swept under the rug and is going unpunished. The factories are tantamount to sweatshops, forcing workers, who have been reported to defecate while working, to repeatedly ravage carcasses of freshly slaughtered meat for inhumane hours.

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To Think // Pete Mitchell

To Think

The point. What is the point? Have you seen it? Found it? I never have. At least I don’t think so. Hasn’t stopped me from looking, though. The point is always out there, laughing and mocking my inability to grasp its seemingly simple yet frustratingly out-of-reach message. At times, it almost seems like I’ve got it, and its these moments that are the most maddening. Ignorance truly is bliss. Continue reading To Think // Pete Mitchell


After attending college for six and a half months and having taken my second flurry of final exams, it’s safe to say that among the nine courses I have enrolled in so far, two courses– the “Food, Self, and Culture” Critical Thinking and Writing sequence–surprised me the most. Ultimately, I learned more and more about specific social issues in America on top of the cruelties done by our food industry that seem to be swept under the carpet. Merging what I have learned from my essays together, while the concept of freedom and access to opportunities are certainly attributed to our country, our media lacks in raising awareness towards current social problems…which, unintentionally, hides them from the world.  Continue reading LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE HUNGRY // ROMAN LYMAN