One Month in San Francisco

Today marks one month since my arrival to San Francisco. Doesn’t feel like that at all––every day has been stuffed full to the brim.

Since I have zero time to write you a post (I’ve literally been working on homework nonstop since Monday morning and I’m STILL behind for tomorrow), I’ll just include an email I wrote to my advisor when he asked for a check in letter. :’) enjoy


Today marks my one month anniversary in San Francisco! Time flies when you’re having fun––or simultaneously accurate, when your every waking moment is filled with Minerva events. Things have lessened a little with the second week of regular class… in that, we’re down to one mandatory event/training/workshop/team builder/conference/once-in-a-life-time opportunity a day. :P
Beyond the stress of completing homework while attending the most prestigious conferences San Fran has to offer while doing yoga for twenty five hours a day broken only by meditating on the biggest questions of universe…. anyways!
Two minutes left.
At the Market, now, with many other students near by. We’re all taking advantage of $2 tacos at a place normally far out of our financial reach. Braden and I are sitting outside doing assignments and readings. (Actually, we’re both just trying to get into a good space to do assignments. Checking email, responding to surveys, emailing our advisor, our work study bosses, downloading python packages for extra make up work, so we can do readings and not wake up one day to find our metaphorical electricity turned off.)
Anyways.
Everything else is pretty good––love this community, love myself, all the good stuff.
Being an RA is hard, but I guess it was to be expected that students would flock towards anybody who seemed like they knew what they were doing, even if in name only.
Five minutes.
Hope you’re well!
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Bonus picture. <3 lots of love, Phoebe

Foundation Week!

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Farmers market at Civic Center <3 <3 <3 Overlooked by City Hall.
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One of the great things about living in San Francisco is the mainstream friendliness to the queer community! These were found in Bed, Bath and Beyond.
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During Foundation Week (orientation), we were given four hours to complete a series of challenges around the city. One was to make a human pyramid in Dolores Park!
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Selfies are an important part of any college experience.
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San Francisco sunset from HQ balcony! <3
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City Hall at night. Spectacular view.
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First class!
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Major goal this year: Cook most of my own food––from scratch! Here are bags of chopped veggies from the farmers market, with some chicken stock bought in bulk from Costco, just waiting for me to get a free hour to cook it in the communal kitchen.
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After Convocation, a big group of us went out to dinner and ended up at IHOP (not my first choice but when you’re with friends…), where Chris (New Zealand) and I got the Funny Faces I had in my childhood with my grandparents when we’d make the 14+hr trips to Texas to visit. Technically only for kids but our server made an exception. :)
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During Convocation, the staff waited for the welcome speech to end in an alcove off the main floor… which was unfortunately situated under a giant Hunger Games banner, reminding me of HG training… scary.
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Palace of Fine Arts! Location of Convocation.
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View from the Palace of Fine Arts. <3
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To my rhetorical “what on earth are you up to,” I got back a cheeky “we’re creating a fire hazard!” You’ve got to love them all dearly.
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Ocean Beach! We held the closing ceremonies of Foundation Week here at sunset. You have to hand it to Student Experience, they really know how to pick their venues!
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A week ago, they were strangers. Now I look at this picture and see my fam.
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California ocean sunset, the stuff of legends.
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Selfie time!
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Tried to take a picture with the sunset, got my outline. Still pretty chill.
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And… because it’s Minerva, of course we had color changing fires that evening once s’mores were done cooking. Look at these flames!

Week 1 in San Francisco, check!

I get no end of pleasure from telling people I live in San Francisco.

Which is fortunate, really, since my phone has been blowing up (relatively) with calls from pizza companies and law offices looking for people I’ve never heard of. No, I couldn’t have ordered that pizza, I live in San Francisco. No, I don’t know whoever didn’t return that lawsuit information, I live in San Francisco.

Oh, by the way––I’m a resident of California living in San Francisco.

:D

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One of the coolest things about this city is how queer-friendly it is. There are rainbow flags all over. Gay men pass holding hands and kiss in hallways waiting for the elevator in ritzy apartments. I saw this sign here and had to snap a pic because I’m so proud that places like this exist in the U.S.

The last week, I’ve been participating in RA training for my dorm. RAs, or Resident Assistants, provide peer support to fellow students living in the resident hall. (Which is the entire school at this point, all 160 of us.) This ranges from being a resource to students and providing info on the city, programming, academics, rules, etc. and being a link between the student body and the school administration.

It promises to be an awesome learning experience for me, as well as a lot of fun! I do enjoy knowing what’s going on and taking a leadership role, so this role seems pretty perfect to me. Training has been intense––in the last week, I’ve become first aid and CPR certified, participated in two peer counseling  and suicide prevention workshops, made name signs for all my residents, been woken up by the fire alarm going off 3 nights in a row (they’ve fixed it now I think, good practice though), gone through building safety lectures and pop quizzes, identity exploration, icebreaker training… and so much more. Oh, and we had to build most of the furniture from IKEA in the building by hand! #somanyskillz

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I love how you can just look down a street and suddenly the world is falling away, overlooking a whole ‘nother part of the city in white and grey and light blue….

It’s midnight, now, so I’ll head to bed now and just leave you with some more photos and a revelation.  I have to get up at 7am tomorrow, and I’ve still got to read some Game of Thrones tonight. I’m halfway through the third book, and THE RED WEDDING JUST HAPPENED OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD–

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Where Whole Foods is the first level of an apartment building (left) and Safeway has vintage-esk signs that remind me of bowling alleys in Tucson. Hills in the background, as always. 

So. Revelation.

I guess I can’t really speak for all of Minerva yet, or the other students, since we haven’t started school yet and the other students haven’t arrived yet.

But there’s something about this whole thing that is magical.

And in a way, the part that is so magical about it is how normal it seems.

I feel like I’ve been a part of this organization, that I’ve been with these other RAs, for the last 10 years. It feels like a natural extension of myself. I enjoy being around the people. I really like, respect, and trust the adults working on the project. My fellow RAs are the most mature peers I’ve ever met.

Part of this ease of mind comes from the fact I think I’ve finally stopped fighting myself. I haven’t started over completely in a while. I’ve lived with my family for almost my whole life, and for the past ~8 years in Tucson, Arizona. Even when I spent a year studying abroad in Panama, I clung to home and family. (I was 16 and had never been away from home before. And by clung I mean I kept myself updated on the occurrences back home, and had the mindset I would be returning. I was not always on my phone, don’t worry. :P )

Last year, I went to my in-state university in Tucson, where my dorm room was 5 minutes walk from my dad’s office, and old friend groups were easily accessible.

But now… now I’ve left home with the intention of moving out completely. I’ve grown, I have my individuality and independence. I know how to take care of myself, and well. I know who I am, and more importantly, I have a good idea of who I want to be.

It feels like my entire life so far has suddenly paid off. All the hard work I’ve put in over the years shows suddenly in this moment.

I miss my friends, family, and town, but it feels so healthy to be able to shuck off all identities and impressions and obligations I no longer want to keep as a part of “Phoebe.” I can be whoever I want to be… namely, myself.

Hmm, I think I said that in a previous post. I just really like that sentence. :)

And I’ve accepted all the parts that make Phoebe, Phoebe. There are still some that I work ever day to change, obviously. But I accept them, I acknowledge them. I’m honest with myself and about myself. All those self-love workshops really did hit home––they just needed a full restart to kick in. That makes me happier than words can describe, so with that, sweet dreams, world.

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This here building is the San Francisco Unified School District building!!! What!?! This was the third school/school admin building I saw today that looked like a legit castle. I mean I know Arizona is like last on the list of states that give money to education, but this is almost ridiculous. Ridiculously cool, that is!!