This was my first attempt to record a video of San Francisco. It was not easy to edit all those frames to create the time-lapse, but it was worthwhile. I’m pretty happy with the result. Please, take a look and let me know if you like it in the comments section. (It was recorded back on January 2015).
I spent the Father’s Day weekend in the beautiful town of Tiburon, California. My father wasn’t here. We had celebrated his day back in May (that’s when Spaniards do it) and I was going to spend just another regular weekend… but came across this Classic Automobiles Show.
I don’t have a lot to say about the photos… I just hope you enjoy them, as I did.
If you’ve been reading my blog before, you probably know that I am an international student and that this is not my first time studying abroad. I came from Spain some months ago to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate in Marketing and since the first time I attended a class, I realized how different the system was. Students standing to introduce themselves in front of their classmates, professors encouraging participation… something completely new to me.
When I graduated from my Spanish University (after spending a year abroad studying in Paris), I knew this experience in the US would be challenging too, and it’s been certainly difficult in some aspects. I had (still have) to deal with bureaucracy, phone calls and linguistic differences… but there’s something that I really love about my American colleagues: I never have to stress out when working in group projects, because they always get things done.
I don’t know if it’s because most of my classmates are either adult working professionals or international students like me that struggled to be there, but the truth is that they always do what they are supposed to do.
I had worked with my Spanish and French classmates many times before and done lots of group projects as well… but always had to deal with some group member disappearing or finding some pretext to run away from their responsibilities. This is true to the point that working in groups with them would become a nightmare (working extra-hours to finish what a classmate didn’t finish, waiting for someone to deliver something in the last minute, arguing… and on and on).
I’m shocked that nothing like this has happened to me since I started attending my University in San Francisco almost six months ago (and I’ve done a lot of group projects so far…) but my classmates here are way more flexible and responsible.
Back in Spain and even more often in France, my classmates (mostly in their twenties) would always find the perfect excuse in them having a job to never get things done on time, like if having a job would exclude them from their student duties. I have never had any problem working with Americans. I have never heard a classmate making that kind of excuses, but again, it may have to do with the fact that they are mostly adults. I don’t know.
What do you think? Have you had a similar experience or do you think that my experience is just an exception?
Please, stop asking me about my race. I don’t like to include that kind of information in any form because I find it to be intrusive and annoying… not to say offensive. I never know how to identify myself and I don’t know what “race” or “ethnicity” or whatever you want to call it I am, because I’ve never before thought of myself as being part of any racial or ethnic group other than the human one.
I honestly think I can’t identify myself on any of those classifications because they don’t make any sense. You can ask me what’s my home country or even what’s my parents’ home country… but please, don’t make me check a box to specify my race.
Let me clarify this. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, you can identify yourself as white; black; of Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin; American Indian/Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander or some other race or origin.
Does this classification make any sense in the 21st century? Not at all. That’s what I think.
What’s the factor that determines your race or your ethnicity?
Is it your skin color? Is it your culture? Is it your country of origin? Is it your ancestors’ origin?
According to Wikipedia, for nearly three centuries race was defined by a person’s appearance, his social circle (how he lived), and his known non-White ancestry, while ethnicity refers to a social group of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience.
Again, does this classification makes any sense on 2014? Come on, people… let’s be realist.
We live in a diverse, multicultural world. People move every day from one country to another, just as they’ve been doing since the beginning of the world. We are all influenced by other cultures and we are all thankfully mixed. Why then that obsession to separate people in different groups?
Whatever the purpose of your classification is, call me what you want. I don’t feel this or that. Next time someone ask me to identify my race in a form, I’ll say “chihuahua”.
What do you think? Do you have a different point of view? Let me know in the comments below!
If you want to become a true Californian, you need to follow some basic rules:
- Buy a car. A big one. Replace the regular wheels with truck wheels. If you don’t have a car yet, you must buy one immediately, because… if you don’t have a car, how THE HELL do you get around?
- You should master the art of making BBQs. If you want to socialize, you’d better learn how to turn on the grill.
- When driving, follow your own rules. Traffic code? Rules of the road? What is that?
- You must have a Mac, iPhone, iPad or any other Apple product. They pair well with to-go coffee cups.
- You should drink anything out of these jars:
- Join some kind of trendy diet plan and remember to always eat organic. Otherwise…
- Do not freak out if you see someone grocery shopping in their pajamas. Remember: do not judge people by the way they dress.
- Try all kinds of exotic food and then write reviews about your “dining experience”. The weirdest, the better.
- Get a job. Are you working? So, what do you do for a living?
- Buy a pair of yoga pants and start exercising. Run, run as far as you can because you want to be healthy.
- Buy a huge flat TV screen. Hang it on a wall. Yeeeah.
- Do not ever admit your weaknesses. Brand yourself.
- Pretend you are an “artist”. If you don’t fit into this category, you must be a project manager… or a data scientist.
- Use an app to book a spot at the best local restaurant. Use an app to pay for the meal. Use an app to find where you parked your car. Use an app to find your way home. Everything is better if there’s an APP for that.
- Invest in stocks. At least, discuss about it. How are the Tesla guys doing?
- Don’t take this list too seriously. You’d better go and have a talk with some neighbor. That will be more fair.
I’ll never forget the first time I went grocery shopping in America. Everything looked super-sized to me; ridiculously big compared to what I used to buy in Europe. There were gallons (~3.8 liters) of almost any kind of liquid and offers like: “Buy 10 and get a discount”. Wait… who wants to buy 10 stuff, all at once, unless they are in a Costco? I noticed that many products were just available in big quantities and that the prices were “big” too, which annoyed me at first.
“Are these supermarkets made for people like me?” That would be one of my angry thoughts every time I went into the grocery store. “What happen with the singles in this country? Where do they buy regular-sized packages?”. I was too worried about wasting food. I don’t mean small sizes aren’t available; of course they are, but they are pretty much an exception.
Now that I’m getting used to it and starting to enjoy the shopping experience, I wanted to share with you the pictures of some of the products that got my attention at the grocery store during my first visits. Don’t take it too seriously… it’s just for fun (especially for my European friends).
Eating about forty cookies per box (I don’t know how many they are exactly) takes its time.
The potato and tortilla chips are my favorites. You’ve got the party size, the fiesta size, the grande size, the family size, the king size… Isn’t there a SuperDuper yet?
There you go. Milk for everyone. This round is on me.
Put some sauce on my steak, baby.
How many different candy brands can you find just in a regular drug store? I challenge you to count them all.
What do you think of my grocery store experience? Am I being too dramatic? How was your experience shopping in another country? Leave your comments!
If you are one of those “I’d like to study abroad but I don’t think I can do it” people, let me tell you not only why you actually can, but also why you should go to study abroad.
I’ve been an international student myself in two different occasions. The first time, I went to Paris as part of a European student exchange program called Erasmus. The second one, I came to California to improve my English and decided to enroll at the University .
Going to study abroad was probably the best decision I made in my life. It was difficult but definitely worth it.
I used to be one of those people afraid of traveling alone or having to do things all by myself but now that I’m enjoying the experience, I can promise this is the perfect opportunity for:
Learning a Language
In a globalized world, companies want to work with people who speak different languages and that are able to adapt quickly to new environments. Don’t be afraid of change, you don’t need to be fluent in a foreign language to study in another country. If you have a previous knowledge and you feel like you can get it with a bit of effort, then you’re ready to go. You don’t need to understand every single word of what the people say and there’s no reason to panic. Managing yourself it’s easier than you think. Time and practice will make you improve, although you will need to work on it.
Facing New Situations
Do you think going to study abroad is scary? Not at all. Educational institutions all over the world have been offering international student programs for decades and they are more than ready to help you with any kind of problem you may have. You won’t be the only international student abroad. There will be tons of people like you ( from your country too), so you won’t be alone… and after all, you’ll realize living abroad is not as though as you think.
The very first time I went to study abroad (a Summer in Canada) I was afraid of how being away from home would be, but what happened was that I ended up surrounded by many other Spaniards studying English just like me. We were so many that we couldn’t get rid of each other! and that wasn’t what we were looking for either… because when you go to study abroad, you want to experience new things. What’s the point otherwise?
Learning From Different Cultures
Getting yourself out of the bubble will make you open your mind to new ways of doing things and therefore, new ways of solving problems in everyday life. How do people from other cultures react to certain situations? What do they think about this and that? Get ready to open your mind and learn, learn, learn.
Getting a Job Faster
Believe it or not, studying abroad will help you boost your career. Why? Because having an international experience will make you stand out from the crowd and open new markets and global opportunities for you.
Getting to Know Yourself
This is just another consequence of living abroad. Being away from your family and friends has that advantage of having more time to spend on your own and, although this may sound boring… it’s actually a good meditation exercise to discover your thoughts and feelings, your hobbies and obsessions…
What are some other reasons you have to study abroad? Do you still think you don’t need to go anywhere?