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.
Continue reading Can’t Keep My Thoughts to Myself // Emma Carpenter
I love getting asked the question, “Where do you want to go eat?”, regularly followed up with an, “I’m not sure what’s around here, do you know of a place?” I often laugh. Of course I know of a place. Well, technically, nine time out of ten I myself don’t know of a place, but Yelp sure does. After much deliberation and using my cellphone to scroll through a wide variety of food establishments, preferably four stars and up, a decision gets made and the food adventure begins. Continue reading Because I Care// Carina Maysenhalder
I’ll always remember my brother telling me “ignorance of a law is not an excuse to break the law.” This seemed really strange to me, as I wondered how everyone could possibly know every law in every city in every part of the world. I’ve come to realize that what my brother said to me those many years ago is true, not just in judicial hearings, but in everyday life.
So often people choose to do what is easiest for them. They choose to drive a car because it is easier than walking home. They choose to go to McDonalds because it is easier than picking up groceries at the supermarket and cooking a meal. And more often than not, they choose to ignore underlying problems when dealing with intense issues, such as animal cruelty, sustainability, and violence. However, it is crucial for one to educate themselves on important issues in order to gain greater understanding of a situation and generate a clear opinion. Continue reading A-What?-Ness // Ana Maria Vidaurri
Right now, we live in a remarkable world of science and technology. It builds the backbone for so many things that have become an integral part of our daily lives. The digital cloud organizes our media, our smartphones perform so much more than calling, and even the simplest clock can have extremely precise time. What do these devices and services all have in common?
Continue reading A world worth fighting for // Paul Ahrens
I’ll never forget the first day of CTW. It was a blistering hot day, I had already attended three lectures, and I was getting hungry. But I had one lecture to go. I walked in to this old, somewhat creepy building and thought, “no, this must be the wrong building…” but then entered Classroom G, and found other students waiting for their CTW 1 professor to show up. At 5:45, Professor Nick Leither was 20 minutes overdue. We were all hungry and wanted to leave if we were not going to have class.
Continue reading The Personal Effect//Michelle Callson
There’s this mentality in society that we are only mere blips in the world. As humans, on an individual basis, there’s this perception that what we say or do doesn’t matter in the large-scale. People think, ‘What difference could I possibly make?’ Sure, we may say that everyone matters and everyone is capable of greatness, but you only see that kind of stuff on movies and television shows. It isn’t real. These are fabrications made by people who know what the public wants to hear. We want to hear that everything is possible and the world is at our fingertips, but the reality is that the world kind of sucks.
Continue reading I Promise, I’m Not a Cynic // Nithya Kiron