Why I’m Pro-Choice
Typically no one is legally obligated to use one or many of their organs to keep someone else alive. The only exception to this is pregnancy, wherein members of our society and government want to oblige a woman to give up her uterus to an unwanted fetus. Thus we are expecting a woman to do something that we generally don’t expect from anyone else and by doing so, we are implying that the fetus’s life is more important than hers.
If your friend Ted was dying of kidney failure and you happened to have a kidney that would be compatible with his body (it wouldn’t cause any bad immune reactions from his body if it was transplanted), you’d have two choices. You could decide that Ted is kind of a douchebag – he cuts people off in traffic, he farts in elevators, he takes way too many selfies on Facebook, etc. – basically you decide you don’t feel like giving him a kidney. You could even decide that although you like Ted, you’d rather look out for your own body instead. Conversely, you could decide that he’s a stand-up guy who deserves another shot at life, and donate your kidney. This is all perfectly within your rights. The most important thing to note in this scenario is that you have a CHOICE. Making abortions illegal is the equivalent of the government telling you that you HAVE TO donate your kidney to Ted.
Let’s take this analogy one step further. Let’s say that Ted’s liver is failing and he needs a liver transplant ASAP. You happen to have a liver that would be perfectly compatible with his. In this scenario, donating your liver means sacrificing your life for Ted. Once again, you are presented with the CHOICE of either condemning Ted to certain death or saving Ted’s life by sacrificing your own and that no one is telling you that you have to do one thing or another. This is analogous to a situation in which carrying a child to term will most likely result in maternal death. For the government to decree that the woman must carry the child to term – even at the expense of her life – is to imply that the fetus’s life is more important. Furthermore, this implies that her child’s life is more important than her life because her only value to society is as a mother. In this case, the government is disregarding her accomplishments, her contributions to society, and the joy that she has brought to the lives of others. The government is essentially negating her humanity, and saying that a woman is nothing more than a vessel for a man’s seed.
Doubt is a weed that if you allow it to take root in the garden of your mind, it will choke the flowers of your happiness and poison the fruits of your labors.
This article quite aptly describes the ways in which the education system is currently failing to keep up with the demands of the current economy, but I’d have to disagree with it on a few points. First off, “critical thinking,” “innovation,” “creativity” - I always fucking hear these buzzwords tossed around when people complain about our education system. And yet, no one knows how to improve my generation’s students’ ability to “critically think.” No one ever offers solutions - all they ever do is whine about how kids these days can’t think critically. Likewise, with soft, vague concepts like “creativity,” how do you really foster that? With a liberal arts degree?Sure, but from the looks of things, the business world is selecting against anyone who opts for that path of “higher” learning.
When it comes to higher education, I’ve noticed that people tend to fall into one of two camps. On one side, are people who bemoan the assault on the Arts and on Liberal Arts studies at universities around the country. They claim that studying the arts gives people the ability to think critically and imaginatively, to question and explore - abilities that are all stiffled by a business or a technical education. On the other side are people who claim that in today’s economic environment, people should study majors that will put them at an economic advantage in the workforce or at the very least, seek out and learn skills that are in high demand. Over the years, I’ve fallen into the latter camp.
Before I go further, let me give a little background about myself. I’m currently a 4th year biology major at UT and I regret the hell out of choosing my major. The thing about biology is that whenever you tell someone you’re a bio major, they usually comment about how hard it is or how smart you are. But when you get down to it, bio is difficult because it involves conceptualizing something seemingly abstract (like cellular processes or evolution), understanding it, and memorizing every little detail about it. And then to be successful, you just have to be smart and lucky enough to memorize the right facts. This is great and all, except for the fact that it has little use in the workplace - if I have a factual question, all I have to do is Google it. Being able to memorize a lot of material and fill in bubbles on a Scantron aren’t exactly marketable skills. Thus, my biology degree - just like the Liberal Arts degrees - is close to worthless and I, like thousands of others in similar majors, am being gypped. So many kids put hundreds or thousands of hours into studying and working hard for classes that confer little real benefit - most of the material is forgotten hours after the tests, few of the theories and facts have any relevance to the “real world” outside of academia. In fact, I once read that a study was conducted in which they tested students before and after college and found a marginal increase in critical thinking, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension. And yet so many students end up in debt just to have this experience!
The problem that I have with the first way of thought when it comes to higher education is that it is based on “shoulds” - our system “should” be this way or that way. But it isn’t. Companies aren’t likely to change their recruiting practices anytime soon just to accommodate to some Liberal Arts majors. And the problem with fetishizing the Liberal or Fine Arts is that even those areas of study don’t necessarily foster creative thinking. In any class where students have to write essays, the most common complaint (and a valid one at that) is that getting a good grade isn’t a matter of being creative or thinking critically. Success in say, an English Lit class, is a matter of analyzing some literature and coming to the same conclusion as your professor. And then, when someone graduates with a Liberal Arts (or even a Natural Science) degree, but they still have no way to market themselves to some HR director. So here they are with no useful skills, in the worst economy in recent history, forced to compete with older, more experienced people who DO have the skills that companies are looking for. All so that they can say that they’ve learned to think “outside the box.” It’s no wonder that so many grads end up with jobs that could be done by high schoolers. The current job market has become insanely competitive, thus creating a sort of Natural Selection that selects for those with the most skills and those that are adaptable. You adapt or you fall into poverty. At this point, the best thing that you can do - aside from majoring in a high demand field - is to constantly be seeking out new skill-sets that might be relevant to a field that you’re interested in and constantly adapting to new technologies and mediums. Hopefully you won’t fall off the economic treadmill.
…and if you really want to be more “creative,” just take an improv class for God’s sake!
People have it all wrong - the point of working out isn’t for you to become beautiful. The point of working out is to see how beautiful you already are. It’s about seeing how strong you really are and how much of a miracle your body really is.
SXSW is a lot like life – long stretches of searching and waiting, punctuated by brief moments of ecstasy that you’ll never forget.
South by Southwest is like life, for it often entails
Stretches of searching for a White Whale or a Holy Grail,
Waiting, and hoping that your quest was to some avail,
Interspersed with moments that will make for epic tales.
Climbing on Texas limestone is fucking hard! Holds are scarce and incredibly slippery. If you’re used to gym climbing, outdoor climbing will bring you back down to Earth. Literally. That being said, the brutal struggle and the fear of injury make top-outs that much more satisfying.