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.
It’s 2016, and there has never in times past been more opportunity, technology, and information that is available at the click of a button. We are no longer as limited in our actions. Those of us who are lucky enough to be students at Santa Clara University and others throughout the world, are able to travel anywhere with ease, consult entire libraries of text to answer our burning questions, and initiate programs to pursue our greatest aspirations. Continue reading What You Don’t Know Can (and Will) Hurt You // Christina Kraus
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.
Matching your commitments to your convictions. It is much easier said than done. We all struggle when balancing our needs and wants with the moral code that we have established for ourselves. Throughout the entirety of my Critical Thinking and Writing class at Santa Clara University, both my commitments and my convictions were constantly changing. I found this to be very upsetting because I have been taught that if you don’t respect your values than you don’t really value anything at all. Continue reading The Matching Game // Ali Pietrykowski
Authors: Elizabeth Biersch, Christopher Curley, Stephanie Giertsten, Julia Heath, Kellen Johnson, Jake Koplowitz, James Leclercq, Claire Lowe, Jeffrey Moon, Nina Odegaard, Lauren Perez, Timothy Powers, Danny Shafazand, Claire Skelly, Jacob Steiner, Layne Suhre, Parker Truesdell, Anne Underwood, Megan Wilcox
Over the first quarter of our critical thinking and writing class, nineteen of us freshmen at Santa Clara University studied the disturbing realities of the factory farming system and the influence of big agribusiness in the United States. Now in our second quarter, we have collaborated with one another to write this essay to do our part in helping spread the knowledge to others in order for more public awareness. We understand that it’s often difficult to face hard truths about things we often like to take for granted. While examining our own participation in the food industry, we too have struggled with our own choices and ethics. Our goal is not to guilt readers. It’s to share, examine and expose the awe-inspiring, inefficient, unsustainable, and often corrupt system that exists behind much of what we buy in grocery stores and put in our mouths.
This is what we have to say. Continue reading Starving on Excess: The Dangerous Exploitation Behind Your Food