When I started my college adventure, I never knew how hard it would be to leave high school where I felt secure and sheltered. My senior year of high school was a time of celebration. I received a scholarship to play soccer at this wonderful university and had never been so excited to go to school. The word student-athlete is not to be taken lightly as we are expected to practice, lift, condition, and watch film everyday while trying to maintain a certain GPA. Although there are many perks, I also had to balance a lot of things on my plate.
Speaking of plates, one of the first classes I was enrolled into was called “Food Porn”. I was a little shocked and scared as I was not expecting to see that, especially coming from my sheltered Catholic High School. I soon realized that I was required to take two quarters of this raunchy-titled class.
On our online class page, Professor Leither left a quote to show his students what this class is all about. The quote from Vladimir Nabokov reads, “if one begins with a ready-made generalization, one begins at the wrong end and travels away from the book before one has started to understand it.” It has taken me two quarters to understand the meaning of this quote. At the beginning of this school year, I was unaware of so many things regarding the food industry. In my naivety, I assumed everyone cared for the environment and the general health of others. My “ready-made generalization” created a barrier for me which was hard for me to understand the corruption of the food industry. Luckily, Professor Leither provided a course that truly made me critically think about subjects that I did not have any knowledge about. The assigned papers were tough but Professor Leither guided us in a way that gave my papers purpose.
In October, I wrote about how the food in the movie theaters are incredibly overpriced, yet people still feel the need to indulge in the calorie-filled food. It has been ingrained into our culture to grab a bucket of popcorn, a can of coke, and box of your favorite candy. We see this everywhere, in movies, commercials, and by our peers.
Then, I wrote about the perks of eating organically. I did a lot of research about the benefits of buying from local farms. Using the instruction of Professor Leither, I learned to use personal connections in my papers which made my thesis stronger. I used my dad as an example of someone who opposes eating locally because he believes it to be too expensive.
This then, opened my mind to examining food labels and how hard it is to determine what is good for you. My research found that food labels were not always true. Even though a product says it is “natural” that does not mean that it is necessarily good for you.
Throughout my two quarters of Professor Leither’s Critical Thinking and Writing class, I made the transition from a clueless consumer to a well-informed one. My paradigm of food manufacturing and labeling has completely shifted. I feel as if I have become enlightened and my perspective on food choices has grown significantly during the short time I have been enrolled here at Santa Clara University.
I am grateful to have been enrolled in such a great course that has helped me grow as a consumer, student, and person. I will end with a great quote from philosopher, self-help author, and a motivational speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer. He states, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” (BrainyQuote).
And this concludes my career in Critical Thinking and Writing, see you at graduation, class of 2020.
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