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Minerva Week 15: Am I Back?

January 18, 2015

Where am I? The evasive answer is “not in San Francisco.” And yet I am back at school. Want proof? This week, I created and analyzed a map of my Facebook network, marvelling at the different clusters I have moved into and out of as I aged.

FriendMap

Still, I’ve also been in the kitchen with my parents, making potato dumplings, a stick-to-your-ribs peasant supper that my grandmother always cooks to perfection. (Did we attain perfection? Well… we’re on our way…)

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I have enjoyed taking my intrepid golden retriever for almost-daily walks in the eerily silent, snow-covered fields.

This weekend, I hiked on hard-packed snow through an abandoned orchard, saw a frozen waterfall and a fake train station.

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Weather-wise, I am about as far from San Francisco as you could get, and I am trying to luxuriate in the difference (the cold is nice, as long as you have great mittens).

I have one more week in the Great White North before I fly back to California. I, like a handful of other Minerva students, chose to extend my winter break simply because I could. Minerva came to me in Toronto just like it came to my friends in Israel, Argentina, Malaysia, Sweden and China. When the internet houses your school, the anywhere in the world can be your classroom (so long as you have good enough access to the information superhighway, that is!). In this first week, I got a taste of what it might be like when most students in Minerva are calling in from different cities, when they can bring their place-based knowledge into the virtual discussions.

And yet there is a part of Minerva that is in San Francisco. Home is where your people are, or so they say, and school is where the students are. I know that by choosing to stay a little longer at home, I’ve missed a bit of my parallel life in San Franciso. This week, Minervans chatted with the president of another university, were advised by an award-winning teacher, cooked together and discussed our upcoming “Exploration Year.” It will be a lot to catch up on, but having a little more time in the open, cold spaces near my house and the warm, food- and loved-one-filled spaces inside my house has been worth it.

Am I back? Not yet, but I’m on my way. 🙂 See you next Sunday, SF!

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 4:19 am

    Coooool map!!! How did you make the map of your FaceBook connections?

    • January 27, 2015 6:30 am

      You can do it with Wolfram Alpha. If you type “Facebook report” into the search bar, you get a full set of graphs. You have to download something and they also ask you to let them use your data (not obligatory) for their research.

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