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.
High school essays were the worst. We all remember them; writing extensively on topics that generally didn’t interest us. Maybe it was just me, but writing to impress others wasn’t the most fun way to spend my time. The thought of comparing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to artwork and poetry brings back feelings of sadness, exhaustion, and confusion.
I was lucky enough to go to a fantastic high school and I have had some really awesome teachers. Mr. Yanosey and Ms. Keller were my Junior and Senior year English teachers and I genuinely looked forward to their classes every day. They had lots of energy, positive attitude, and it seemed like they gave their students a lot of freedom in their projects. I remember one of my best friends and I made a video project for Ms. Keller’s class that was hilarious and a lot of fun to do. But when it came to writing essays, there was no way to get around how boring and uneventful they were. We were assigned topics and told how to write about them. Uniformity was the name of the game, and that game sucked. Late nights writing about topics that genuinely didn’t interest me were easily some of my least favorite high school memories. Continue reading Write What’s Right // Jackson Fitzgerald O’Reilly
When I first signed up for my Critical Thinking and Writing (CTW) class I was expecting a class along the lines of an English 101 class with a lot of reading, vocabulary, and a couple short essays here and there; what I really signed up for was vastly different. CTW is a two-part class taken over the course of two quarters and each CTW class has an overarching theme. For my CTW 1 class we researched “Human, Animal, Machine” while in my CTW 2 class we researched “Food, Self, and Culture.” In both of my CTW classes shame was an overarching theme. Through my last quarter as a freshman I got to learn a lot about the food industry and how corrupt it really is.
When humans and animals are taken out of their environments it can cause serious problems. Animals and humans both have a distinct set of needs of needs and forcing one to leave their needs behind can be dangerous and uncomfortable.
Leaving one’s natural habitat is daunting and can even be dangerous. Both humans and animals have needs that they need to satisfy. Nature helps satisfy these needs, but being taken out of your normal habitat can be unhealthy. Continue reading NEEDS!
Authors: Ritika Agarwal, Noel Baham, Theodore Berkson, Benjamin Chambers, Zachary Chien, Britni Chon, Justin Eng, Alyssa Gutrich, Matthew Helfond, Kristi Hong, Marissa Macdonald, Kimiko May, Shannon Mayer, Isaac Mcquillen, Gabriel Noonan, Alison Pietrykowski, Sara Ryugo, Annabelle Van Schravendijk, Gabrielle Weininger
As a Critical Thinking and Writing class of nineteen freshman students at Santa Clara University, we worked together to examine the effects that the aesthetic portrayal of food has on our culture today. Currently in our second quarter studying in depth the benefits and harm caused by innovations in the food industry, we have collaborated here to examine the issue of “Food Porn.” Continue reading Don’t Play with Your Food: How “Food Porn” Devalues Our Relationship with What We Eat