Posts Tagged ‘coupons’

The value of critical thought

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

If you think about it, nearly everything in life can be problematized. We have the power to scrutinize ideas that are normally left unexamined and unquestioned. If you’re like me, you’ll find this prospect invigorating.

Don’t get me wrong––gratefulness is a large part of the self-revolution. It goes against everything we’ve been taught since we were young, especially in terms of our relationships with material goods. Indeed, gratefulness can open us up to opportunities like college savings and college discounts. But the practices of critical thinking and gratefulness do not have to be mutually exclusive.

You can practice acceptance of certain conditions––for example, the not-so-great material conditions you may face as you pursue the path that you’ve chosen––while at the same time refusing the very basis upon which this idea is founded: that the pursuit of money above all else is necessary for a comfortable existence.

A critical thinker would pause and ask why this has to be.

Do you think as deeply as this guy?

“Hard work” has long been a foundational value of American cultural and political thought. You could say that it’s entrenched in the American consciousness. But if you reflect for a bit, you’ll see that the idea of “hard work” is often used to justify racism, classism, sexism, nationalism, and other forms of discrimination.

The Declaration of Independence is a list of completely subjective statements constructed by a group of individuals interpreting their history in an effort to legitimize the coming insurrection against their rulers. One very famous line that Jefferson uses in the Declaration is meant to stifle critique before even it has the chance to manifest: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

This phrase is a perfect example of “one-dimensional thought” in operation. As critical theorist Herbert Marcuse wrote in One Dimensional Man:

“The closed language does not demonstrate and explain––it communicates decision, dictum, command” (101).

Deeming certain principles “truths” and describing these “truths” as “self-evident” without explaining why they are effectively shuts down any possibility for critique. If you don’t believe in what Jefferson is about to lay down, you’re perceived as unreasonable.

How can you question truth, let alone truth that is visible to each and every one of us? C’mon!

The perpetuation of unquestioned ideas is certainly not limited to 18th century political documents. Each of us contribute to this process every single day without realizing it.

Right from the beginning, our education system attempts to suppress the curious and critical tendencies of each child by forcing them to adhere to unquestioned notions and behaviors through standardized tests and rigid modes of teaching.

In a socioeconomic system that relies on a mass of individuals who do as they’re told and not much more, there is a multitude of power in critical thought. Critical thinking works to subvert the blind acquiescence which is a necessary component of the political and economic systems under which we live.

Given the fact that some ideas and methods of thinking are so powerfully entrenched in our consciousness, how can you begin to think critically?

To answer this question, I turn, once again, to Michel Foucault. Foucault described the elements of his moral code as such:

“(1) the refusal to accept as self-evident the things that are proposed to us; (2) the need to analyze and to know, since we can accomplish nothing without reflection and understanding—thus, the principle of curiosity; and (3) the principle of innovation: to seek out in our reflection those things that have never been thought or imagined. Thus: refusal, curiosity, innovation.”

The first step, then, is to realize that some of the truths we accept as “self-evident” are not necessarily so.

We say certain things and behave in certain ways that conform to what we accept as the “facts of life.” These “facts” are, for the most part, accepted by everyone and perpetuated without question.

Questioning these assumptions which are so often taken for granted is a powerful practice. It’s what we must start doing if we wish to radicalize our selves and society.

You can use critical thinking skills to change the direction of your life. Hopefully you'll perform a bit better than this button-hungry parrot.

The third element in Foucault’s list––innovation––depends entirely on the first two, refusal and curiosity. Without rejecting and analyzing an idea that is assumed to be self-evident, it’s impossible to create something new. How can you innovate without moving past the artificial barriers you face?

Critical thinking enables you to be creative, to see things differently, and to define your true values within the midst of a monotonous society that encourages cookie-cutter modes of thought.

Part of the challenge is recognizing the need to think critically. The next part is in applying your critical thinking skills to your everyday life, thereby uniting theory with practice.


Amanda Fox-Rouch (Hunter College)

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Why is the Campus Clipper Student Guide Right For Me?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

As a college student in New York, you’re constantly busy. You probably have an internship, a job, a social life, essays to write, homework to do, an on top of that, classes that you actually have to go to sometimes. The one big thing you’re definitely avoiding while taking care of all of these other things? Your finances.

It’s difficult! New York is an exciting city, and you’re extremely lucky that you get to spend your four years of college here. You might be a person who likes to go to concerts, or see your favorite comedians, or you might just enjoy going to a bookstore and splurging on books. Whatever your vice may be, there’s too much to do and see while you’re living here.

Campus Clipper is the best way for a student to not have to skimp on the fun stuff. You’ll get savings on things like school supplies, copy shops, textbooks, food, even spas and dry cleaning. That way, when your favorite band comes to town, you don’t have to say no.

The best thing about Campus Clipper: it’s free! We’re going to provide our new fall student guide and coupons absolutely free of charge. So whether you need props for your student film shoot, or a little relaxation time with friendsCampus Clipper is the best choice for your Manhattan lifestyle.


Erin O., NYU

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Spring is Abloom with Sunshine

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Spring is here!

The First Day of Spring, Tuesday, March 20th, was welcomed with a huge helping of sunshine and fresh air.  Spring kicked off earlier this year than in the past, meaning a brighter, warmer time for everyone this season.  I left for work this morning in a long sleeve floral print tee, tossing on a dark gray hoodie just in case, and was pleasantly surprised by the sudden shift in temperature in just a mere two days.  The weather dares me to slip into a pair of strappy sandals and rock the cat-eye sunglasses like a boss, a challenge I gracefully accept with the coming months of clear skies and occasional breezes.  I prepare to retire my favorite leather boots in favor of Rainbow flip flops, sandals that pile up in front of every Southern Californian’s door mat.

Quintessential Southern Californian

Biking around Central Park.  Watching the sun set over the East River.  Eating a not-quite-yet-defrosted ice cream sandwich in front of the Bethesda Fountain.  These are all the things I’ve done since winter has slyly slithered away with its tail tucked between its legs.  With the exception of the $4 ice cream brick, the newfound sun is promising.  The liberation from wooly socks is refreshing, as are the crisp breezes that send a chill through my fat stubby toes.  My sandals harbor no bitterness while they’ve been in storage for the winter months; in fact, I swear they hugged me when I took them out for a brisk walk to the market.  As confident as I felt, no pair of sandals is complete without a clean set of digits.

Vada Spa has got you covered with a full array of beauty services.  For beach babies looking to hit the waves, you can get a Brazilian or full leg wax special for just $18.  To top it off, get your toesies in shape with a pedicure for $18 as well; don’t forget that a hot shade of nail polish goes a long way on your toes!  These student savings are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with your student ID.  Take advantage of the quickly-rising Spring heat with Campus Clipper student discounts today!

Go get your beauty on, girlfriend (or gentlemen.  Hey, even guys need a spa day)!

Angeline Dinh, Pepperdine University

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Soldier to Student…

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Today, life for me is a rather different matter compared to how it was just six months ago. My day used to begin at seven AM, with BBC Radio 4 news and the sensation of having just emerged from a deep freeze, as my mind attempted a mental inventory of the rest of my body. A partially effective shower later and I would be in the mess hall, shaved, smartly dressed and working through a stodgy breakfast, while my brain took a second stab at the physical inventory. By eight, I would be at my desk and just about through the fourth layer of security before I began a days work that was surprisingly dull, for all the significance it carried. Suffice it to say, those of us engaged in matters of National Security still despise MicroSoft’s Windows, still gossip like teenagers and still engage in petty contests to impress the boss… The best part of the day was my gym time in the evenings.

From my bed, to my breakfast to my workstation, I never had to leave the site; if you worked over a weekend you might not get ‘outside the wire’ in two weeks or more with a gym, a bar, a church, social activities and a life where your colleagues, are your friends, are your neighbors – it can be a true fishbowl. And I guess it was not so different from university life, in some respects – though the timings are offset by at least three hours or more! Where it does start to get different is the world around you. When I get up now I don’t start running through the strict timings of my day, I just try to recall the ones that matter. Instead of all eighteen hours of my conscious existence being accounted for, it’s two hours, every other day. The freedom gets perplexing sometimes, but it only takes about a week and half before you completely abandon your daily shaving regime, stop fussing over the shine on your shoes and even contemplate the necessity of a morning shower. Not so much de-institutionalized, rather re-institutionalized back into being a student, I have gleefully abandoned almost every element of my old life, bar one. After eight years of it, I cannot bare to miss my exercise.

With a host of options in a city like New York – only when you’ve spent ten bewildered minutes in front of three drinks coolers trying to work out the specific character of your thirst, can you really appreciate the majesty of a true consumer culture – finding a gym is technically easy and practically impossible. Normally, I would go to the university gym, but that’s not necessarily for everyone. The gym is always busy, and I’m getting past being an undergraduate by… well, I’m past being an undergraduate. As someone who’s been fit all their life, and in a professional capacity, I really wanted a little more. So, after a week of free trials and footwork, I finally settled on Crunch, near Union Square.


For me, running in NYC is almost a total non-starter. Yes, you can go out to the Park, or along the rivers, but I don’t live near any of those. I once ran a 10k in the Afghan desert, and that was less daunting, and more effective, than trying to run while constrained by New York traffic, so a good range of machines I can always get to makes all the difference. The weights more than matched my needs but the real difference was the classes. In the Army, you don’t just go out and run, or do push-ups in lines. We were always pretty good about mixing up fitness and providing different challenges and I still much prefer to vary my workout as often as possible, so getting to sign up for a different thing each week keeps me in good nick, and keeps me interested each session. It’s a lot better than just going down on your own and slogging through a routine you clipped from a magazine, or worse, just trailing round the equipment and giving it a bash. Having someone lead you through your exercise makes you work harder and better, and a trainer is just as good as a military PT – though I do get nostalgic for the name calling sometimes!


Whilst it seems a little extravagant to join a gym, there are deals to be had, particularly as a student. If it seems like something you’d want to get into, check out this deal on Crunch Gyms. They have a great offer across the summer when school is closed, so if you’re in the city over the summer, go for it.
Crunch Gym
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