Tag Archives: chickens


From the title, you can probably tell that this class has been all over the place. During my first year at Santa Clara University, every freshman was required to take a course called Critical Thinking and Writing (CTW), divided into two parts over two quarters. I was automatically enrolled in the 5:40 pm class, which was terrible because it conflicted with a lot of club meetings. However, I didn’t really have a choice, so I prayed this wouldn’t be the boring class I had thought from first glance.


Doing Right By Doing Wrong?

Authors: Beshoy Eskarous, Mayra Sierra-Rivera, Andrew Mauzy, and Nico Ray Benito

“The waste-management company was dumping the Compost into Landfill, so the university switched companies,” our professor, Nick Leither told us. Was this true? Did Santa Clara University change companies because they cared that compost wasn’t properly disposed of, or was it due to the bad publicity they wedRA1_f-maxage-0_s-200x150ould receive?

We wanted to find out: Does Santa Clara University actually care about sustainability? Or are they simply doing the right thing – but for the wrong reasons?

Sustainability is the ability to maintain a specific set of operations for an indefinite amount of time without harming the environment. It is a continuous mission that requires vigilance from those who pursue it, and yet it may never be fully achieved. Today, Santa Clara University prides itself on its journey towards sustainability, specifically its mission of becoming waste free by the year 2020, focusing its resources on recycling, composting and food recovery. It has become a key attraction in the University’s advertisement to alumni and prospective students. The school has worked hard to create this image – founded oduden its Jesuit values – and the community works each day to reinforce it. In the past few years, Santa Clara University has begun a process similar to many movements across the country. But does this process stem from a place of good intention, or are there ulterior motivations for this movement, such as marketing the school. Continue reading Doing Right By Doing Wrong?

Forging a Sustainable Future?

Tucked away on the corner of Sherman and Benton Street, there is the strong smell of soil. Walk inside the metal gate and a small house appears to the right, with flowers crawling up the sides. You will see a wooden awning sitting to the left, shielding picnic tables from the sun. As you walk into the garden, the stone path quickly turns to dirt where rows of soil beds lay filled with flowers, peas, and other seasonal vegetables. On the far side, you can hear the ruffle of feathers coming from an enclosure home to six chickens. One or two volunteers are bent over, sweeping the path or clipping stems, oblivious to the construction noises of the new law school a block away, or the cars driving by on the street. They are zoned in on the task at hand, in touch with the serenity that the Forge Garden provides. Once you enter the garden, all classes and obligations that were stacking up in your mind fade away. How have you gone so long without knowing about this small green space, so tranquil and so close to campus?

IMG_1120 Continue reading Forging a Sustainable Future?

Can’t Keep My Thoughts to Myself // Emma Carpenter

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.

Continue reading Can’t Keep My Thoughts to Myself // Emma Carpenter

Civil Wolves and Animalistic Men // Emily Lu

When I was a high school sophomore, I wrote an essay that I recall my teacher liking. It was about Lord of the Flies. I’m not quite sure of its whereabouts now, but I vaguely remember that it was about the boys’ descent into violence and what the book revealed about human nature through that. William Golding had made animals out of those marooned boys.

Recalling the contents of the essay now makes me wonder if every instance of the word “animalistic” (I am quite sure I used that word liberally, among others) is even appropriate in light of what animals are actually like. Though the word’s definitions are arguably fairly neutral in simply denoting something feral, it still often connotates ferocity, and as a result, is not many steps away from “violent.” The Merriam-Webster thesaurus gives us this example: “with animalistic fury the boxer tore into his opponent.”

Is that violent connotation really deserved by animals? Not really.

Continue reading Civil Wolves and Animalistic Men // Emily Lu

An Ivy Vine and a Burning Bush: How Being Present Can Lift Us Out of Hatred // Katherine Jack

The excitement of campaign season has come once again! Many hopeful politicians have announced the intention to run, and are facing the praise and punishment of their platforms. Jeb Bush is among those who have yet to

Ivy Ziedrich confronts Jeb Bush
Ivy Ziedrich confronts Jeb Bush

announce. Following a speech Bush gave, “a college student named Ivy Ziedrich stood up an said… the origins of Isis… law in the decision by Bush’s brother, in 2003, to disband the Iraqi Army following the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s government” (Filkins, 1). While it may not be entirely accurate to say that Bush created Isis, the truth of Ziedrich’s argument is that “President Bush… or someone in his Administration decreed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army” (Filkins, 1). In doing so, thousands were put out of work. Bush enhanced the “creation of the Iraqi insurgency,” which contributed to ISIS, since “some of the men fighting in ISIS were put out of work by the American occupiers in 2003” (Filkins, 2). The following notion can foretold the consequences of America’s actions in the Middle East: when one does not know what they are dealing with in conflict, one does not know what the outcome will be. Continue reading An Ivy Vine and a Burning Bush: How Being Present Can Lift Us Out of Hatred // Katherine Jack

Think twice before you eat// Yuya Oguchi

Like many of you reading this, I love eating meat! At least I thought so until half a year ago. I did not count food a meal unless it has some sort of meat in it, but now, I cut the amount of meat I eat in half. What changed my love for eating meat? learning about how meat is made. It never occurred to me about how the food is processed and served to us in the dish. To be honest, I never cared until I learned about it in CTW1&2 classes, but learning it for half a year changed the way I eat forever.

Let me ask you a question. Have you realized that the meat you purchase at grocery store is very cheap? well you might not think so, but compare it to vegetables at the same grocery store. I just went to Safeway the other day and I realized that vegetables are much more expensive than meat when you compare how full you get from purchasing the same price items. Have you ever wondered why that may be? Well that is because meat industry is deceiving you. Continue reading Think twice before you eat// Yuya Oguchi