Throughout my high school career I always knew I was a student who excelled the most in STEM classes, which is why I chose a major in engineering. Never once did I feel excited about or inspired by my English classes because they were always the same procedure: read a book, be tested on the book’s material, write an essay about the book. Sometimes we would explore the deeper meanings behind said books, but we were rarely allowed to go off on our own and write an essay about anything we desired as long as it falls under the themes of the class. Nick Leither’s CTW (Critical Thinking and Writing) class did just that. Throughout the two quarters that I got to be apart of Nick’s CTW class, I have learned more about food, self, and culture then ever before. And boy has it changed me. We as a class (and on my own) did extensive research on factory farming, cultural and environmental impacts of meat, and dishonesty in general and it has all lead me to one conclusion: Humans suck. Continue reading Humans Suck and Here’s Why//Lexi Enstrom
I lasted four weeks into Santa Clara University’s Fall 2017 quarter before I had to delete the BBC News app from my phone. Ever since the 2016 presidential election, each news alert has dragged me deeper into despair and sucked the hope out of my heart. With my freshman year of college heating up, I finally had to remove that depressing distraction from my life.
Critical Thinking and Writing (CTW), now that sounds like a fun class, doesn’t it? When I first saw this on my schedule, that thought didn’t exactly come to mind. Writing was such a chore for me and essays were not my cup of tea. In high school, I would have rather done anything else than write an eight page paper for my English class. However, you can imagine my curiosity when I saw that the class theme for my fall quarter Critical Thinking and Writing class was “Food Porn.” And for spring quarter, “Reading Food, Self and Culture… Lies!” What kind of class was Santa Clara University getting me into? However, what I came to learn was that I would be able to take a unique topic and write about it thoroughly, ask big questions, and write in my own style all at the same time.
I have never enjoyed writing papers. In fact, before taking Critical Thinking and Writing at Santa Clara University with Nicholas Leither, I would have much rather taken a sit-down exam for a final grade than write a 5 page paper. Writing papers always seemed repetitive, uninteresting, and full of verbal ‘fluff’ in order to meet the minimum page requirement. In elementary school, they always told us to create as big a bubble graph as we could on a topic in 5 minutes… “go!”
Imagine being a first year college student who is both excited and nervous for finally attending college. You are getting ready for your first quarter of college and after figuring out how to find your classes online, you realize that you are pre-enrolled in a class called “Food Porn.”
I think baffled would be an understatement of how I felt. Food Porn was definitely not a class I thought I would be taking at a Jesuit institution. But, yet that was the class I was enrolled in.
What I didn’t know was how much I would learn from this course. This was not like all the other typical English courses that I took in the past. Nor was it solely focused on food porn. There was so much more in store.
Oh, boy let me shed some light on the new knowledge that this first year college student found out.
Don’t follow your dreams. We have all heard the same celebrities give the same speeches over and over: “Never give up!” “Follow your dreams!” “Nothing is impossible!” I am here to tell you that every famous actor, athlete, and artist that has ever told you this is dead wrong.
I spent my entire life wholeheartedly believing that I was a morning person. I considered myself what they call a “morning lark”, someone who functions best and is the most productive earlier in the day. I always strived to finish all my work by evening, so I could relax and unwind at night. I would spend my nights mindlessly catching up on T.V, reading, and talking on the phone with friends, fully knowing I had to get up at 6 A.M for school. So, as expected, when I found out that I was assigned a critical thinking and writing class (CTW) at 7:20 P.M. for the first two quarters of my freshmen year of college, I was very skeptical. How would I be able to function in a class setting so late at night? How would I be able to actually critically think at the time when I critically think the least? I was convinced that I simply would not be able to be the best student I could be this late at night. Fortunately, I was very wrong.