Matt Lawson: February 2011 Archives

My walk to North Campus was interrupted by an older, shy woman who was standing in front of the yellow building of Southwick. She forced a small paper into my hands as if I were walking in the middle of Boston. As I continued walking to class, I decided I'd do the woman a favor and actually read the pamphlet without trashing it.

Just by looking at the photos of caged pigs and chickens on the front page, I knew what kind of pamphlet this was. "Just another PETA thing" I thought. As I studied the cover more closely, I read something that PETA would NEVER say. "If everyone just cut their meat consumption in half, billions of animals would be spared from suffering." This organization "Oppose Cruelty" doesn't tell people to completely stop eating meat, but to simply "eat less". This is a different approach than what I'm used to. I've done a large amount of research on PETA and animal abuse, and this organization's information agrees with what I already know.

Here are some points that people should learn:

1.Animals aren't really on farms anymore. They're in factories, crammed into small spaces. (So small, that the animals oftentimes can't even turn around!) They live in their own waste, and suffer greatly.
2. Chickens have their beaks cut off so they don't peck other chickens. Male chicks are either gassed or ground up alive as opposed to the female chicks, who are raised for eggs.
3. Slaughter houses, by law, are supposed to stun animals before slaughter. That being said, animals are oftentimes conscious by mistake when they are painfully killed. For example, birds are given electrical shocks to render them unconscious. it is unknown whether the birds ACTUALLY are unconscious. If they aren't, they will still feel a tremendous amount of pain.

"Hogs, unlike cattle, are dunked in tanks of hot water after they are stunned to soften the hides for skinning. As a result, a botched slaughter condemns some hogs to being scaled and drowned. Secret videotape from an Iowa pork plant shows hogs squealing and kicking as they are being lowered into the water."

4. There are many alternatives for food. For example,Tofurky is a brand that sells "turkey deli slices". They taste and look like turkey, but really aren't!

One final point I'd like to make is that pigs, more than most animals being slaughtered, have a similar intelligence to dogs. Pigs would make GREAT pets for those who have enough room. They can love, cuddle , and even learn a few tricks. Pigs are even friendlier than some types of dogs!


So I'm in the middle of writing an essay that has opened my eyes to my future in the business world. The topic may be surprising to you. "Friends in the workplace". Believe it or not, having friends in the workplace is actually a good thing. The following is only a summary, and has only a few points that were made in my essay.

I started my essay with a scenario. Imagine being employed at a fast food restaurant as a cook. A second cook is hired, and he quickly becomes your friend. As you two are cooking, he tells you that your food is being overcooked, and suggests you take it out of the fryer a minute earlier. You listen, and you're instantly the most productive cook in the restaurant. As a result, you are promoted, given a raise, and recognized as employee of the month.

Although this particular situation is unlikely, friends can help you in many ways. The reason I'm writing about this is because I feel like they can benefit students also.

For example, if you create a study group with your friends, you could probably get a lot of work finished. They can help you by proof-reading an essay, or even guiding you through a homework problem.

Hey! You can even benefit from trying to do better on a test than your friend. This type of friendly competition has been my personal favorite. If I earn a better test grade than my friend, I will continue to work harder because the feeling is great.

With the pros, there are also cons. If you create a study group, and you socialize TOO MUCH, you will not get any work done. (This happens in the business world also.) Another con I've read about doesn't seem as likely, but it may effect those who rely too much on friends in the school or working world. If you rely on your friend and they drop out of school or even leave a job, your productivity may decrease as a result.

There was a story of a homeless man who once had a great job. His best friend was fired, and his productivity fell. He was fired,became an alcoholic and then became homeless.

Lesson of my blog? Friends are a great tool to have throughout life, but if you rely on them too much, you may become a victim if they move out of the picture.
When I graduated back in May or June, I realized life would be totally different. I would be going to Umass Lowell, and I would learn about subjects that interest me. For the most part, this has been true. My grades were pretty good after the first semester, and it felt like I definitely got my money's worth.

So far this semester has felt the same, with one exception. Intro to Sociology. I came into this class on the first day with hope that it would be an exciting and interesting topic. Within the first ten minutes, the professor was already teaching to the 200+ students in the very large lecture hall. He was not equipped with any sort of microphone or speakers and made it a point to not speak. We listened.

Now this class was different. We started off almost immediately in a topic about the working class. This time, the professor had a microphone and speakers, so even the furthest student could hear him.

About halfway through the lecture, the professor stopped speaking mid sentence, and yelled "Get out!" into a crowd of seated students. "You were talking. Get out." No one moved, or even got up. "Okay. I'll walk up there and point you out to everyone."

So the professor walked up the stairway/aisle, and up to the student, and pretty much made it his mission to harass the student until the student walked out.

This was not the only time during this class in which the professor stopped to embarrass and harass a student. It happened three times, and none of these times were the students really even talking. If anything, they were whispering. I was closer to a group of whispering students, and I couldn't even hear them. There is NO way the professor could have heard them. They were not distracting, and they were being respectful to the surrounding students by whispering.

So this whole thing really makes me mad. I'm not paying 20 grand a year for my professor to stop class four to five times every Tuesday/Thursday in order to kick students out. He needs to teach the students who actually want to learn and stop attacking those who don't care as much.

My rant of the semester.  Stay tuned for calmer material.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Matt Lawson in February 2011.

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