Monday, August 21, 2006

One from the Heart: A Good Tourist is Also a Good Citizen is Also a Good Student

This list of recommendations was given to incoming freshmen by the Dean's office. It does remind one that the city is both a classroom and a playground. If I were in in my *ironic* mode, I'd add a few things-to-do of my own....

But the semester has begun, and I think we shall lower the Black Flag of Irony for the next three months.

Here's the nice list. It's hopeful and open-hearted. Time enough to get all crabbed and sour later on. Heck, even though I am pretty crabbed and 99 and 44/100ths percent sour, I may just go for a certificate myself.

The Dean’s Syllabus: USF, the City, and Beyond

Jennifer E. Turpin, Dean

As part of its mission, the University of San Francisco strives to draw from the cultural, intellectual and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area and its location on the Pacific Rim to enrich and strengthen its educational programs. With this in mind, I challenge you to explore and learn about your community here at USF, in the City, and beyond. I’ve put together a “must-do” list of activities that I hope you find not only educational, but fun as well.

The Must-Do List:


1. Attend a concert or play at USF:

See the talents of your fellow students in a production sponsored by the Performing Arts Department.

2. Attend an art opening at the Thacher Gallery:

A public art crossroads in USF’s main library, the Thacher Gallery is a forum where creativity, scholarship, and community converge. Each year the Thacher Gallery presents exhibitions that probe community and aesthetic issues, multicultural and interfaith dialogue, and the urban Jesuit University’s commitment to social justice.

3. Talk to at least one Professor in your major/minor

In addition to knowledge learned in books, your professors can offer advice on life after college as well as ideas on how to reach your goals, if you ask. Make an appointment to see your professor at a time other than for academic advising.

4. Attend a reading or presentation by a visiting writer or scholar

Many of the academic programs sponsor a wide variety of readings and scholarly presentations throughout the academic year. I especially recommend that you attend the annual social justice lecture.

5. Visit one of the College’s centers or institutes

The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good; the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas; the Center for the Pacific Rim; the St. Ignatius Institute; and the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought offer a wide variety of programming. Contact the Dean’s office in Harney 240 for more information.

6. Join at least one student organization:

There are many student organizations on campus, including academic honor societies, cultural organizations, and special interest groups.

In The City:

7. Get a “rush” ticket to the San Francisco Symphony:

“Rush” tickets are sold at the symphony on the day of the performance and are more affordable for students than advance purchase tickets.

8. Visit City Lights Bookstore on Columbus Avenue in North Beach:

Founded in 1953, City Lights is one of the few truly great independent bookstores left in the United States. The Beats' legacy of anti-authoritarian politics and insurgent thinking continues to be a strong influence in the store, most evident in the selection of titles.

9. Attend a religious service for a religion/denomination other than your own

10. Visit at least one of the major museums in San Francisco

There are several museums in San Francisco covering a range of interests. Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the De Young, the Legion of Honor, or the Asian Art Museum. Look for special student rates or free days.

11. Take a ferry to Angel Island:

In addition to offering spectacular views of the entire Bay Area and several recreational activities, Angel Island is rich in historical significance. Miwok Indians fished and hunted there, and it was once the “Ellis Island” of the West.

12. Visit the San Francisco neighborhoods:

Each neighborhood has a culture, history, architecture, and personality of its own.

13. Take a Native American focused tour of Alcatraz:

The takeover of Alcatraz was one of the most successful American Indian protest actions of the 20th century, fueling the rise of modern Native American activism.

14. Visit one of the city’s many cultural centers

Abalone (the Native American Cultural Center), the Irish Cultural Center, the Chinese Cultural Center, the Arab Cultural and Community Center, and the Russian Center are just a few of the many cultural centers San Francisco has to offer. Visit a center that relates to your own heritage, or learn more about a culture different than your own.

15. Visit the California Academy of Sciences:

The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum.

16. Visit the Exploratorium:

The Exploratorium is an experimental, hands-on museum designed to spark curiosity – regardless of your age or familiarity with science.

17. Walk from USF through Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach

Golden Gate Park is a 1,017 acre urban park in the western section of San Francisco. It stretches 3.5 miles (by .5 miles wide) from the center of the city to the Pacific Ocean.

18. See the Balmy Alley Murals in the Mission district:

The colorful Mission District is the capital of San Francisco’s famous murals. Balmy Alley has a concentration of more than 30 vibrant murals, painted on fences, building walls, and garage doors.

And Beyond:

19. Participate in a USF international experience

USF offers a number of international programs, study abroad opportunities, and immersion experiences through University Ministry.

20. Contact a USF alumnus in your major:

Contacting one of the many USF alumni is a great way to find out about potential career opportunities and network with potential employers. Visiting an alumni-sponsored event is another way to meet graduates of USF.

Certificate of Completion:

While you will not receive a grade for this “class”; if, upon graduation, you submit a brief journal chronicling your reflections on each of these assignments to my office (Harney Science Center, Room 240), you will receive a special certificate of completion.

Welcome to USF and San Francisco!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Regards from Piura