Wild Young Minds: It's a hard knock life... even in San Francisco!

Monday, August 31, 2015

It's a hard knock life... even in San Francisco!

My ''to-do list'' in this Golden State is growing and growing. Every time I meet new people, hear new stories or simply get lost in a new area again - seriously, these roads have as little logic as Amsterdam's city center - I can add another thing to my list. Places: Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Yosemite. Bars: Zeitgeist (actually already been here, amazing Berlin vibe and at walking distance from my apartment!), everything on Valencia St., everything on Haight St. Things to do: a night tour at Alcatraz, go to a basketball game, visit SF Jazz Center... Enough. A week ago reality kicked in: back to university!

So what's university life like in the States? Well, I can't speak for the entire country, of course there's a huge difference between campuses: you have Ivy League, then there are universities like Berkeley and very pretty private universities and a bit further down comes San Francisco State University. After all, it's a state university. The campus is, and I think I've said this before, not too fancy, the buildings look pretty old and the cafetaria is nothing but expensive. But hey, that's not what it's about. It's about education, guys. Something we shouldn't forget in this modern world ;)

And education differs per class and teacher. I've heard horror stories about super strict teachers, who won't allow you to miss one class in the first weeks, give lots of homework and will literally tell you the course might be too difficult for you. Then you've got teachers, like mine, who are extremely easy-going, will allow you to eat in class, have only one rule, which is: enter the class with a smile (I know, that's not what I was made for, can't help the eyebrows, miss) and who literally say: the tests are very easy, if you study two hours as a preparation, you'll get an A. Oh yeah!

Cause what I did decide, before I came here, but most definitely now that I'm here, is that I don't want to spend too much time on my homework, on readings and essays. Kind of hard, since I've been perfectionistic all my life and I might say that ''I don't give a shit about the boring books'' but truth is that I do. So, how to balance the social travellers' life and the straight A-student life? I have not thought about this very clearly, but what I think it comes down to is: B's are fine too. They say that the average level in the States is quite a lot lower than in the Netherlands. I don't have a job or modelling work here, so I should have plenty of time to combine the two of them. I won't complain. I don't dare to anyway, I'm in San Francisco.

So, for those of you who are interested, a little bit more about the classes I'm taking. I'm only taking four, which sounds like a lot for Dutch people, but it's the minimum here at SFSU. The first is called ''Nietzsche & postmodernism'' and is about - try to guess it! - yes, Nietzsche. Our teacher is a very old lady (70, maybe?) who immediately dived deep into Hume, Kant and all those other guys during the first class. I'm doing my best to keep up with her, also because I think she's very awesome. She definitely was one of the cool kids in her youth. Anyways, another course is called ''Contemporary Moral & Political Issues'' and it's interesting as well. It's about issues such as war, abortion, animal abuse, free speech, etc. The teacher definitely wasn't one of the cool kids in his youth, since he comes across as a bit insecure and thinks everything we say is: ''cool!'', ''brilliant!'' or ''super!" Interesting folks, those Americans.

The third course is ''World Religions'', the teacher is quite chaotic, but in itself, I think it's extremely interesting, especially in contemporary times. I'm reading a lot about Hinduism at the moment, and that religion sure has some good stuff woven through it. The last course is my favourite one, which is: ''Food, Wine & Culture in California''. The teacher is the one who wants us to smile, but she's actually very funny, sarcastic and all about alcohol. We get to review restaurants, wineries and taste wine. What else do you wish for in a class?

So, enough about college. What else have I seen so far in San Francisco? Me and my friends did some touristic things, such as visiting Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, Little Italy and the De Young Museum. I found a nice route for running - those hills are so damn steep! - we had some more house parties and we discovered a mouse in the kitchen. What?! A mouse? Yes, a tiny creature moving around the house, hiding in corners. I have to say that I'm not so shocked, since we had many of them in Amsterdam, but my roommates are pretty uptight. The landlady has sent someone to install traps, and I have to admit, I'll be glad if the creature has disappeared.

Any other news from the Western front? No all right, let's stick to Coast. Not really. I'm looking forward to Labour Day, which is next week, because I've got a little trip planned with some Italian exchange students: San José, Santa Cruz and Big Sur! Can't wait to travel around again. I might have to bring some of Nietzsche's work with me, but I'll be fine. Don't worry about me. I am even getting used to the expensive wine here. All in all, nothing to complain about.

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