As always, there were many interesting events and lectures that took place this past week. I always love attending these events or lectures and hearing the speakers. All of these events provide a great opportunity to learn about something that may be new and unfamiliar. I think that by attending, students are really engaging themselves in the true liberal arts experience of the school. Events are held by various departments, clubs and groups throughout the semester - usually at least two or three times a week, with great variation.
FeelGood's Generation Wake Up Symposium
One of the events that I attended this past week was FeelGood's Generation Wake Up Symposium - an event that stressed the interconnectedness and relatedness of every action that we take on this planet, and their subsequent environmental consequences. Because I am an environmental science major, and love all things about sustainability, I really enjoyed this event. During the program, I was challenged to think about the unexamined assumptions that I make each day, and how they affect people, animals and the environment elsewhere in the world. For example, when we say, "Throw it away," what exactly is meant by "away?" Trash that we throw away will end up doing environmental harm somewhere - but that is something that we never think about. Overall, the experience was touching and served as a reminder to continue pursuing environmentally sustainable practices.
Fair Food Fight
Another event I attended was the Fair Food Fight event held by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in the East Parlor. The two speakers are currently traveling the East Coast, spreading the word about their most recent boycott of Wendy's - the popular fast-food restaurant. The boycott was instituted after Wendy's refused to sign onto the "Fair Food Program" - a partnership among employees, farmer, and major retail brands that is working to end years of farmworker poverty, sexual abuse and even slavery. All the program requires is that one extra cent be paid to the workers, per basket of tomatoes, a minimum wage pay, and fair treatment of workers. However, that is still too much for Wendy's, regardless of the millions they take in. Needless to say, I won't be buying any Wendy'sfood until they sign onto the program.
Lastly, I attended a lecture at our SugarLoaf campus entitled, "Outsourcing Memory: Are our Minds Compatible with Computers? Can we Upload Our Memory to a Computer?“ The lecture was given by Dr. Noreen Herzfeld, a professor of computer science at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. The information and perspective that was presented was extremely interesting to me. Usually, when I hear about people contemplating the process of uploading our brain data onto computers in the future, they are excited about the possibilities it will bring. However, Dr. Herzfeld had quite the opposite opinion - suggesting that we should keep our relationships with computers how they are now, as mere partners.
Overall, the opportunities for learning outside of the classroom at CHC never fails to amaze me. You never quite know what events will pop up and what you will learn from them!