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Minerva Week 20: From the Mississippi to Moon to the Pacific Ocean

February 23, 2015

After an incredible few days in New Orleans (taking classes in the morning and walking the streets all day and night), I flew back to San Francisco and plunged into a few more days of adventure. Plunged is the operative word, because I ended up diving into the Pacific ocean!

Thursday night was Lunar New Years, a celebration for the South Asian students in our group. They graciously included the whole Minerva family and we sat down to an exceptional meal of dumplings, rice, fried noodles, spring rolls, and bean desserts. Almost all of us pitched in, whether it was rolling some dumplings or doing dishes. Delicious!
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The next day, we were monkeying around with electronics. Liat Segal, an incredible installation artist (and the sister of a Minerva student) came to teach us how to use Arduinos. Think of an Arduino as a little brain that you can link to something else. You give it instructions, and it can do things for you, like turning on and off a light, or causing a motor to run. I have to admit that I was exhausted and not internalizing a lot of what was going on around me, but I appreciated the chance to monkey around with circuit boards. I realized how extremely ignorant I am about what *really* makes electronics work. It’s an area I am excited to learn more about.
You might think that this would be the end of a full week (and it could have been) but it wasn’t! Right after we finished the electronics workshop, a few of us headed up to Point Reyes for a trip with MORE (Minerva Outdoor Recreation and Exploration, a student club). One of the Minerva staff was kind enough to invite us to his family’s house up there. We prepared a lovely meal together – oysters, pesto pasta, chicken-apple sausages, roasted brussel sprouts and burgers – and talked about the quirks and joys of being a student at Minerva (his family was pretty curious). After dinner, we learned that we were right along the San Andreas fault. We were on a tectonic plate that was moving 2 cm towards Alaska each year. Neat, right?

I couldn’t get over how clean and fragrant the air was outside. All the pine trees and flowers! We slept soundly and ate breakfast overlooking a river valley.
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The next day, after a quick stop for a packed lunch, we headed to a trail that would take us to a beautiful beach.
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I promised my friend Gabi that I would swim with her once we got to the beach, but I think she could tell that I wasn’t too sure. Would it it actually be warm enough? I could hardly believe that it would! It was February, after all! But once we got to the beach (not after passing three dead moles on the path, which was pretty mysterious!), it was sunny and beautiful and before I knew it I was diving into the cold and salty water. I bodysurfed on the waves and got sand everywhere. It was such a perfect moment.

We snoozed on the beach in the sun, and I managed to get a nasty sunburn. It was worth it.
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Things should get back to normal next week, but what that means here keeps changing! We’ll see what happens next.
Be well!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anggun permalink
    March 5, 2015 10:06 am

    Cool blog, Brianna! Love it! I wish that I’ll be the next student of the world! 🙂

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