A Recommendation

by Kwesi (’15)

Growing up in the city (“San Francisco”), I was trained to be cautious of the world around me, to be aware and prepared to run or glare or yell at someone who was closer than “THE **** AWAY FROM ME.”

I was baffled by the close-knit communities I read about, where the neighbors are friends and the mailman knows everyone’s name and people smile at each other when they pass on the street. It was a foreign concept, and I was fascinated by the safety and security people found in their neighborhoods.

I knew it did not exist on my block, or on my street, or in my 7×7 urban home.

In the past year, I’ve changed my mind.

A few months ago, I came home from school early, sick, and walked into my building to find my mother and our UPS Guy, “Damien,” swapping stories about their days. I hadn’t known that we had a UPS Guy, much less one with a name and a face and an irritating curiosity about our last name.

It turns out Damien is not the only one. There are real-live nice, friendly people here in sunny San Francisco (Hey, I don’t know about the rest of you, but here in the Mission it’s pretty nice), where buses are lit on fire and people pee on your building EVERY SINGLE DAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO AWARENESS OF THE community we have here.

Or, the community we can have. The network of warm, fuzzy friendship exists everywhere, you just have to find it. So: bring back the antiquated concept of manners. Say thank you to your bus driver. Smile when you cross paths with someone on the sidewalk and it takes thirty seconds for y’all to agree who will move out of the way. Tell your neighbor with the really loud dog to please kindly make their dog shut up, and then bond over how awful the new washing machines are and how much you miss the graffiti they painted over on the corner store.

2012 Creative Writing Summer Session

Led by Maia Ipp, CW Artist-in-Residence
July 10—July 26 (3 weeks)
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 11 am—3 pm
Class held at Maia’s apartment in North Beach and in locations around the city

This summer workshop is an opportunity to exercise and deepen your
writing practice over the summer in a more experimental and less
formal setting. Using place-based inspiration from new adventures all
over the city, creative exercises, and workshopping, you’ll get to
spend 3 weeks focused on writing and developing your CW community
(including the incoming 9th graders!). It will be a great preparation
for CWII, or for the second year of CWI, where 10th graders step up to
a leadership position.

Fee is $500/student. Some need-based scholarship funds available.

Reading in the Mission

Thursday September 22, 2011
7pm to 10 pm
Om Shan Tea
233 14th Street, corner of Natoma,
(bet. Mission & South Van Ness)
San Francisco map

Open Heart Poetry @ Om Shan Tea
Open Heart Poetry
Hosted by Marc Kockinos
Featured Poet
La Tigresa
reading from her acclaimed new book, NAKED SACRED EARTH POEMS
La Tigresa is a consummate performer, who brings a skilled theatrical quality to her readings.
Her work praises Nature, and urges the listener to connect
with the Earth and protect the environment.

Open Heart Poetry is a weekly
gathering to bask in the poetry of awakening.
Please come with open ears, minds, hearts and words to share.
$5 min. for tea and vegan food (support the venue that supports us!