Sniffing for some skepticism


In an unfortunate chain of events, Shane’s dog ended up in the hospital after eating Tylenol pills she found in a plastic bag.

Shane Landon Olson, Editor-in-Chief

After she made her last outdoor bathroom break for the night and ensured the property was safe from any furry intruders, my dog, Sterling, made her way back indoors and scoured the floor for any food droppings. I imagine it went something like this for her:

She chewed apart a tissue box — weird texture, but the flavor was not awful.

Still unsatisfied, she came across a half-eaten bag of chips — nice and salty, 10 out of 10 would recommend.

She continued her mission for food into my mother’s briefcase where she found a bag of colorful capsules.

Sterling’s little adventure soon turned from sweet to sour as she laid on a stretcher in an emergency animal hospital, attached to an IV and sporting a new cone. The sugarcoated Tylenol resembled little dog treats, and as smart as Sterling is, she took the “treats” for their face value.

We are not much smarter.

Many of us buy phones, computers or earphones because they have an apple etched into them. Many of us buy boots because they read “Timberland” across the shoe box. Many of us drive Jeep Wranglers to school because, well, they’re Jeeps, of course.

This concept of taking things for their face value doesn’t just apply when buying physical products, but is rather seen in multiple facets of our lives. When we are presented with closed-ended questions and guided discussions in class, many of us are too naive to question the institutionalization of our education. When a rumor is spread throughout the halls of school, many of us believe it to be true without seeking a full grasp of the situation.

We must stay skeptical.

Analyze the specifications of new products rather than burning lots of money for the brand names. Challenge the status quo in your classes rather than constantly agreeing with conventional ideas. Did you hear about Shane throwing a desk at his teacher? Likely story.

Although failing to dig deeper beyond the surface may not land us on stretchers in an emergency animal hospital, we will be more informed and, ultimately, happier if we stay skeptical and do our research.

Who knows?

Maybe you’ll end up with a nicer phone and save some money for college. Or find a tougher pair of boots for our vicious Chicago winters. You might even find a more reliable car.

And for those of you that continue to buy the newest iPhones, blend your thoughts in with the rest of your classes and believe every rumor that meets your ear, I encourage you to come meet my dog (who did, fortunately, survive her accidental overdose on Tylenol). You two would get along great.