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.
Alright, I confess. I am a typical millennial. I have a smartphone. I have Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Media has consumed me, but I hadn’t really noticed it to the full extent before taking a Critical Thinking and Writing class in my first two quarters of college. In this class I got to enjoy creativity, picking my own topics for essays and being able to run with them. This freedom allowed me to research topics that I was actually interested in, and that I could connect with. This creative freedom allowed me to learn the lesson that media has a choke hold on our lives, a hold so tight that we don’t even notice it is there because we have become numb and unaware of its control and how it influences us.
Chicken Noodle Poop:
The fact of the matter is that the CDC estimates that 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur in America each year (Foer 139).
While reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, I learned a lot of disturbing facts about the food industry, particularly about factory farming. I wrote an essay about the ill treatment of chickens in factory farms and how people continue to eat chicken, believing that it is healthy, despite getting so many people sick. The numbers I stumbled upon were atrocious. I couldn’t believe that with the number of illnesses, there wasn’t anything changing in the system. I found it to be because of ignorance. Not enough people are really aware of what is going on. There is not a large enough backlash on the industry to create change. This connects to media in that the media is not talking about it. It is a hushed topic, an industry filled with hush money. Instead of focusing on hard hitting issues, like the health of our society, we are focusing on mindless memes. And the industry couldn’t be happier about it; with no one talking about it, there is no need for change.
The Prognosis for “Crash” Diets
The first piece of evidence is the very name of these diets, as they are often classified and identified by catchy names in order to hook the public’s interest. This strategy is perfect for marketing purposes and help the articles and websites with the diets go viral on social media platforms (REVIEWS).
College is a time where people often try to reinvent themselves in different ways, one of them being body image. I wrote an essay about how crash diets fail to provide people with long term results and are often unhealthy. Despite these diets being unsustainable and ineffective, people keep going back to them. The diets continue to gain ground and make their creators money. This is all due to media. Media gets the word out there, continuously introducing new fad diets for the public to try. The media presents these ineffective diets in catchy ways on a multitude of platforms, constantly keeping them in front of the public, enticing people to fall for the empty promises of the diets. Media drives consumerism. It quietly influences people by continuously sticking things in people’s faces, which ultimately steers people’s habits without them even realizing it Continue reading Creative Lessons//Brooke Broszus
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 would 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 on 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?
My mother’s cooking was never to amazing when I was a child, the same dishes week after week began to haunt my evening dinners. So when we had a chance to get fast food it was always the best. “What do you guys want to eat?”, were the best words my parents would say after an exhausting day. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King all so delicious and fun, but which one shall we choose? It became harder than a judges role in the pursuit of justice to decide what we wanted. Not only thinking about the food, but the new toys and the huge playgrounds. But in the end no matter what we got or ate it was always a let down after the meal. From tired bodies to hurt stomachs there was always something that made us regret why we even wanted it in the first place. What is it that is bringing us back to these fast food restaurants? Continue reading The Fast and The Delicious?// Andres Jimenez
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.
Look around you, what do you see? I see Billboards and commercials advertising the return of the famous “McRib” to McDonald’s stores, people trying their luck at the newest diet featured in some well-known health magazine, hundreds of different products on the shelves that serve the exact same purpose, and every news station reporting on every shooting, crime, potential terrorist threat, and offensive trump quote they can get. I see all that and much more on a day to day basis. Those days add up, and as weeks, months, and years go by, it all becomes normal. It becomes so normal that we don’t even realize that everything that we see, we see for a reason. That reason being: To incite thought, feeling, emotion, and response within all of us; which all correlates to us purchasing a specific kind of pain reliever because we recognize the name, voting for one presidential candidate over the other because one of them has had something they said twisted and mangled and posted all over the internet for people to ridicule, and to consume a specific brand of animal product because it is “Free-Range” or “Organic.” We see so much in our day to day lives, yet we are blind to what is really happening. Continue reading We See Everything and Nothing // Ryan Willett
Before I even started school at SCU, I was dreading this class. It was a class I did not choose to take, it was at night, and it was called food, self, and culture. All I could think about was that this class is just going to be a bunch of PETA videos and the professor is going to convert us into vegetarians, but that is not what the class ended up being about. It was about a lot more; more than I ever expected.
While we did watch some videos from PETA and other groups about the inhumane treatment of animals, we were watching them to see what is really going on in our society. By watching videos like Food, Inc and reading books like Eating Animals and Columbine, my class became more aware of what is going on in our society and how the media influences that. That seemed to be the overarching themes in the two quarters of CTW: awareness and the media. In our “global village” (McLuhan 67) of society today, we are losing touch with the outside world. With modern technology advances, we are so focused in ourselves that we are not aware what is happening around us. Continue reading I See the Water // Paul Kozel