I was uncomfortable from the minute I walked into “Critical Thinking and Writing” at 5:25pm on a Monday–the first day of my college career. I was uncomfortable being in a new state, surrounded by new people who had new interests and perceptions of what was “in” and what wasn’t. I grew even more uncomfortable when my teacher was late and one of my classmates insisted we all get in a circle and chat. That was not me. I was also very intimidated by the idea of critically thinking and thinking for myself. I had become very good at keeping quiet and reading the classroom and then reiterating exactly what I knew the teacher wanted to hear on whatever assessment came up. In fact, if I was directly asked my thoughts on something I would mutter an “I don’t know” and quickly divert my attention. Critical Thinking and Writing? This was not my cup of tea, to say the least.
I moved to the United States from Africa in 2008 when I was 12 years old from Senegal, Africa. Since then I have been living in Oakland, Ca and my life has been going pretty well. I had the privilege to learn English which is my third language after Wolof (native language) and French. I also adapted myself to the Californian’s life mostly the Oakland’s life. I remember back in middle school when I first moved to the U.S., my friends from school used to call me African’s boy which separated me from the Oakland people (Oaklanders) and there was also the language. But now people Oakland boy because I represented Oakland all the time with the sport teams such as the Warriors (NBA) and the Raiders (NFL). Even my style is the Oakland’s style and the music I listened. Sometimes I feel like I am from Oakland or more so I was born in Oakland because the city helped me grown to be a man I am today. But I am not from Oakland, I am from Senegal.
Many people growing up in places throughout the nation and other countries dream about coming to the Bay Area, a place where businesses are flourishing, technology is rampant, and people can make millions with their innovative ideas. However, what doesn’t pass through the minds of many is that people continue to dish out thousands of dollar to live in a place where the cost of living is artificially high, and where, despite being the headquarters of many social media companies, many people don’t even know their neighbors. The majority of the Bay Area does the same task of dressing up in a dress shirt and jeans, driving hours in stop-and-go traffic in either their “environmentally friendly car” or brand new sports car, working a 9 to 5 job, going home to cook dinner and repeat the same process the next day. My experience in Critical Writing and Thinking here at Santa Clara has taught me to have my eyes constantly open, to acknowledge the ignorance we have as a society, and to consider ways to change that.
Go home tonight and turn on the evening news. As you watch, count the amount of top stories that involve some sort of crime or disaster, and compare that number with the amount of top stories about events with a positive effect on the community. My guess is that the former will greatly outweigh the former. Whether or not we notice it, television media news plays tricks on us all the time. Knowing that the viewers will watch whatever is on the news, no matter how wild it may seem, news anchors spin stories left and right, adding intensity as they go, to ensure that their viewers are thrilled. And for Americans today, thrill goes hand in hand with fear, something that greatly benefits television news producers. Continue reading Televison News Tricks // Nick Goodpaster
In 1928, Presidential nominee Herbert Hoover promised Americans “A chicken in every pot” (Miller Center). Ironically, this assurance of prosperity was derailed a short nine months later, when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression ensued. However, the spirit of this promise lives on today, as Americans strive for prosperity- a successful career, a happy marriage, a quaint townhouse, two kids, a nice car, and family dinners.
With amazing technological and medical advances and a material wealth unmatched by any other in history, we have created the world’s most prosperous economy. In fact, we have quite literally reached the goal of “a chicken in every pot.” For the first time in over one hundred years, chicken is more popular than beef in the United States. A Huffington Post article focusing on this phenomenon reveals that the average American ate about sixteen pounds of chicken per year in the 1950s. Fifty years later, that number grew to over fifty pounds per year (Huffington Post). That number has continued to rise and chicken has steadily become a main staple of the American diet. It is everywhere. It is the foundation of common restaurant dishes, such as parmesan, barbecued, and grilled chicken. It is included in many ethnic meals, such as the Mexican taco and the Chinese chow mein. It is prevalent in the fast food arena, not only with poultry based chains, such as Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, and KFC, but also among well-known burger franchises, such as Burger King. Sometimes, it’s even hard to find a salad without chicken in it. Continue reading Uncaged: The Truth Behind The Poultry Industry
Dangers of the Prescription Pad
You don’t like being sick. No one does. If you do get ill, you can turn to a doctor, to modern science. Drugs, namely antibiotics, have allowed humans and animals alike to live for many extra years. The use of antibiotics in livestock feed has been able to supply humans with meat efficiently and reliably. So, what have we done? We’ve made hand-soaps, wet wipes, dish soap, and everything else in the world antibacterial. Seems carefree, but risk-free? Hardly. Continue reading Dangers of the Prescription Pad // JT Tran
When I read my freshman course descriptions for my first year at Santa Clara University, I was excited that my Critical Thinking and Writing class would be focused on the topic, ‘Food, Culture and Self’. I thought that the entire class would consist of talking about our favorite foods and different types of food around the world. Boy, was I wrong! One of our first assignments was to watch a YouTube video showing the cruel treatment towards pigs and cows in factory farms. I could barely watch the screen as pigs were castrated without pain relievers and cows’ throats were sliced open as they were hanging upside down, still alive. Continue reading Sorry to Burst Your Bubble // Sarah Thomas