Wednesday, May 02, 2007

San Francisco, Scangi(sp?), and School

San Francisco is a city of change - a city on the edge. This is seen quite literally in the steep slopes of the streets and the scenic views from the bay bridges, but also a figurative expression of this idea is apparent in the very fabric of the city's culture. During my weekend trip to the gorod of Bunin's gentleman, I managed to view a number of interesting spectacles, the most interesting of which was the one that occured Friday evening. This was the monthly bicycle ride down Market Street, meant to deter drivers from utilizing their automobiles by blocking the flow of traffic and taking over the street by sheer mass. The sight was incredible. People of all different types and with a broad range of bicycles rode down both lanes of traffic. What started as a small gathering, I am told, has now reached the point of tradition, with police blocking off the road to allow for a safer display by the riders. This sums up the nature of San Francisco perfectly. The city's denizens are pleased to perform their deeds without hesitation, ready to back up their beliefs with action. They live together, making change, embracing differences, and progressing to the future.

In San Francisco, I had the opportunity to eat scangi as part of our Italian fish dinner, although I can't seem to find this dish on any online database. They told us they were sea snails. They tasted like oysters, only with a rougher texture and less appealing mouthfeel. They were served in giant shells mixed in with the pasta sauce. They were sufficiently disgusting to prevent my eating any more than a single bite. I did swallow, unlike my fearful counterparts at my table.

School is back in full swing. I am taking three courses this spring, with the plan of not taking any courses in the summer. Of course, with a full scholarship, I might just take a couple of classes for fun. I am currently enrolled in an advanced writing class, a family history class (for that last required religion credit), and a time-consuming calculus class (required for my major), taught by a very cool Chinese Ph.D. student. His accent causes difficulty at times, but at least he's always smiling, and he doesn't make any mistakes in his explanations. I'm trying to devote most of my time to calculus, so I will actually understand it. So far it's been pretty easy, but since I haven't had math since 11th grade, I'm pretty sure it will be much more difficult for me than for some of the other students. Oh, and I hate math and always will.