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    CULTURE SHOCK BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    By Hasselhoff
    Sep 2, '06 11:57 PM EST

    Sorry to the fans for the delay. The last few weeks in Japan were great. I will just quickly summarize because I'm lazy. For my vacation week I headed to Yokohama and spent time with my friend Yukino and her family (Kumi was jealous, texting me that she was going to fight Yukichan). I saw the FOA terminal from about 1/4 mile (saw it last year). The weather was much cooler than in Osaka thanks to the hills and the water. Spent one day in Tokyo and went to Yasakuni Shrine on the same day as Koizumi. It was a mad house of old soldiers, hippies and tourists. After that I spent two days in Kamakura, "Kyoto of the East." There are temples and shrines every 5 feet and I used a rented bike to get around. It was pretty awesome. Nice views, trees, ocean, giant Buddha. Went to 48 Waterfalls with Kumi, Chinatsu and Chinatsu's boyfriend and that was fun. The last week of work was a whirlwind of site visits, meetings, speeches, and dinners. I was really sad to go. I made a lot of cool friends. On my last Saturday, my work group took me to a yuka in Kyoto and we had an expensive dinner. They also gave me a yukata, shuriken, plastic sword, and rubber samurai hair. Kumi gave me a sweet titanium, solar powered Seiko watch. She cried a lot when I left. We decided to see what happens. She is hoping to visit in Decemeber. I talked to her about how I felt like I was wasting her time and she said that I wasn't so, it's all good. So now I'm back in 'Merica.

    I was prepared for the reverse culture shock that I encountered last year on my return to the US, but it still didn't help. From the politeness of Japan to the TSA and Homeland Security in Detroit. WOOO! The scene was like something out of Minority Report. Stainless steel gates, some type of talking, bomb sniffing device and flat panel TVs with flashy Homeland Security info-mercials. It's creepy that all this stuff is unfortunately necesarry. I mean, hell, some ass from my almamater brought a stick of dynamite in his carry on (yeah, the Lafayette guy).

    On Wednesday I returned to Philadelphia. What a joy. I forgot the smell of urine that permiates most public places, the trash in the corners, obnoxious homeless people, rude employees and the abundance of big, fat, asses, oh and that lazy slurred Philadelphia accent that makes me want to rip out peoples' tongues. But worst by far are the Penn undergrads that are all moving in these days. Especially terrible are...NEW FRESHMEN. I am so glad that my undergrad institution was in a small town, up on a hill. That way we didn't bother anyone with our undergradness. I know I was stupid at 18, but the kids at Penn are infuriating. I worked at Harvard for two years, and those kids are smart. Or at least have their shit together in public. I don't know where they find the majority of Penn undergrads. I walk in to the bank to see some J Crewed, fake tanned, bleached tipped, popped collar guy standing there slack jawed as his mom deposits checks for him. How difficult is it to deposit checks Mr. Ivy League?

    This campus is riddled with dumpy people whose wardrobe consists entirely of sweatpants which they wear EVERYWHERE! I forgot about those people. Or those tubby, beer gutted, frog faced guys with a baseball cap already welded to their skulls that will surely be doing the elephant walk for Alpha Delta Douchebag in the coming weeks. God I hate this place.

    The University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2010

    image

    Guy: Dude, like I totally saw these gay dudes. Like the one guy had long hair and he was like making out with this guy and I like thought that the one guy was a girl, but like then I saw his face. I totally don't care, but like, if you're not used to gay dudes, you would like totally be freaked out. But like I'm cool with it

    Girl: Oh my god. Oh my god. Like I didn't plan on hooking up with him, it just kinda happened. We were drinking then you know, we went to his room. I don't think I'll call him back, but that's cool, ya know?

    +based on actual conversations I have witnessed on Penn's campus+


    After a round of ridiculous email infighting this summer among the students about this fall's studios (OH NO IT'S ON ARCHINECT!! People used to burn down schools for this kinda stuff. Big deal), we finally got our line up the other day. I'm pretty neutral the choices. Plus they are written in architalk, so I'm not even really sure what some of the projects really are. I think it's more that I'm just mentally done with school. I think for the first time in 2 years, this summer I had a life. I did what I wanted to do, I spent a lot of time with friends, I got to read what I wanted to read, go where I wanted to go etc. I liked that. I'm ready for that again. Long nights in studio is like soooooo 2005. As a result, I don't think I'm going to pursue a particularlly "rigorous or intellectual" career but rather something that will let me live. At least I won't have to design another school (3 out of my 4 semesters, my studios did schools). But I think any of the options could turn out to be pretty good. Some interesting programs, some travel, not bad. None of them made me gag. In previous options studios we definately had some choices that I would have really not wanted to take. Although I had kind of wanted to take the Wesley Wei Challenge and he's not teaching this year.

    Was told not to take Japanese this semester. Might end up with only 4 credits, but that's fine. I can't find something else that I want to take and doesn't conflict with studio. Spent $100 at IKEA today. It's raining and most of my friends still aren't back in Philly. That's all.



     
    • 4 Comments

    • Appleseed

      Awesome.

      Sep 3, 06 4:32 pm  · 
       · 
      the silent observer

      I hear ya...take school for what it is...don't let it rule your life, and then, when you finish, blow outta there like a bat outta hell...

      Sep 3, 06 4:55 pm  · 
       · 

      a friend of mine had a 'done with it' attitude when she came back from a semester abroad. she made her own rules that last semester back - while still remaining rigorous and intellectual :) - and she did some of her best work. basically reinvented the project and it was just a more honest and engaged way to work when it came from her own current preoccupations. you know: use the reading you did and found interesting, build on your recent experiences, etc, blah blah.

      Sep 4, 06 8:13 am  · 
       · 
      Hasselhoff

      I read novels, a hostory of Japan and The Selfish Gene. If I put anything about genes, DNA, or evolution in my project I would have to kick my own ass. Maybe I could script the evolution of door jambs into Rhino then take the output and call it a library. I did read the DaVinci Code. Maybe I could put some kind of secret room or robosafe or something. Game over man, GAME OVER! Brain melted.

      Sep 4, 06 11:25 am  · 
       · 

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