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Exploring San Francisco


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So far, the other Leadership Academy kids and I have been enjoying the three day break we’ve had from classes.

For our last day this weekend, we went to San Francisco on Caltrain. A San Francisco street from the cable car and Alcatraz in the background.Once we got there, we walked to Market and Powell Street to hop on a world-famous San Francisco cable car. That was my favorite experience! I chose to stand on the side of the car, so I got some amazing photos of hilly San Francisco. We got off at Lombard Street, the steepest street in San Francisco. When we were done taking pictures, we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf where we went to In ‘N’ Out burger to eat. In my opinion, In ‘N’ Out serves the best burger ever!!!

After that, we were allowed to walk around and explore the city (with limitations of course). My group of Rose, Ruvi, Sophia, Austin, and Jared looked in Lids, a hat store, a block away from In ‘N’ Out burger. Then we went into a souvenir shop. In the shop, I got a watch for $15, which I think is a pretty good deal. By that time, it was already time to go back to our meeting point at Market and 4th Street. Once we got to the meeting point, we walked back to the train station to get on our train back to Palo Alto.

On Monday, we returned to classes. In the morning we had a session with Lonjezo about humanitarian intervention and the politics behind it. During the afternoon session with Benoit, we had a debate over whether or not America and the world should disarm their nuclear weapons. After 30 minutes of intense debate, it ended in a tie (actually my side won, but technically it was a tie). After the debate, Benoit gave a lecture on nuclear proliferation.

The next day, both our nuclear security class and our international relations class ended. In Lonjezo’s class, we talked about civil wars, terrorism, and religious fundamentalism. We learned the definitions for these three topics and discussed our views on the subjects. After the discussion, we watched Christiane Amanpour report on Islam in London. In Benoit’s class, we talked about Samuel P. Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” as well as the critiques of his article. One major critique regards Huntington’s claim that all post-Cold War conflicts would spawn from religion. However, after looking at the case study of Anders Breivik and the Norwegian massacre in 2011, we came to the conclusion that not all violence is driven by religion.

A picture of Hoover Tower from our classroom in the Main Quad at Stanford University

From 6:30 to 8pm, we had a self-defense class with our R.A. Andrew. We learned how to put attackers in joint locks, but eventually the entire group was just messing around and trying to be Kung Fu Panda (me especially).

-John

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