The summer before coming to Santa Clara University, the school had sent an email to all the freshmen asking us to fill out a questionnaire describing our interests so that they could figure out which critical thinking and writing classes to place us in. The questionnaire read: “are you interested in philosophy? Economics? Science? The environment?” And the list went on. To be honest, when filling it out, I had no idea what I was interested in, so my answers were pretty random. So when I walked into my CTW 1 class on my first day of freshman year, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that the title of the course was “Food Porn,” which I had just discovered an hour before class by checking Camino. Once I arrived, there sat the professor with two books in hand: Slant (written by the professor himself) and Eating Animals, a book about vegetarianism and the meat industry. Oh great, I thought. I should’ve paid more attention to my responses on that questionnaire. Here I was, a meat-eating student from San Francisco who had been listening to the endless arguments for vegetarianism for years and still had no intention of giving up meat. Not only is this professor going to try to convert us all into vegetarians, but he’s also going to try to make us follow the same writing format so that our papers all look the same? Ugh, welcome to freshman English. Needless to say, I left that first day feeling a little salty about this class and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. Continue reading Wake Up and Smell the Roses (Even If There are Some Thorns)//Aria Berluti→
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.
In what way can I possibly sum up this year? The topics we have covered have varied in extreme levels and seem to have nothing in common. How could I possibly compare the Columbine massacre to “The Walking Dead”, a tv series based on the zombie apocalypse? What similarities are there between the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the “mass production”,if youwill, of animals that makes up factory farming? And don’t get me started on the seemingly nonexistent connection between the video “This is Water” and the issues of sustainability. When we initially think about it, the obvious answer to these questions is that there are no real connections.Continue reading What is the Message?: It’s Not Very Obvious // Connor Redmond→
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
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→
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.
Over the course of this year, I have studied numerous cases of neglect by the public. From food packaging to violent media to the prison system, most of modern society’s problems could be solved with a basic level of caring from just a few people. Continue reading Who Really Cares? // Kyle McMorrow→