On the 15th of August, 2013, some EC students and I went to the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife event, which is one of the most famous places in San Francisco. There is an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, a rain forest, and so on. Usually it closes at 5:00 pm, but during the summer months, it stays open late on Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. People who are over 21 can experience a different atmosphere from the normal daytime hours. First, we experienced the earthquake simulator and learned about the history of San Francisco. Most of us had never had any experience feeling the shaking of an earthquake, so some of us were very surprised about it and realized how important our lives are. After that, we went to the aquarium and saw many different kinds of fish! It was very beautiful and mysterious so we were extremely impressed! Our minds were blown! Before we went there, we hadn’t known each other at all, but thanks to this opportunity, we became good friends. We deepened our bond and it was a precious experience for us.
I went to Aquarium of the Bay with some EC students last weekend! The aquarium is located at Fishman’s wharf, one of the most popular destinations. However, since it’s hided in the shadow of “City’s Walkable Waterfront”, I didn’t even notice it’s there until this time! When we got inside the aquarium and found we were surrounded by water, we were about to yell out. All the visitors walked through a glass tube. When sharks and other marine animals swum above our heads and besides us, I felt like I was diving into the deep ocean. Jellyfish were my favorite. I swear I could watch them for days. The octopus, the otters and the snakes also took my breath away. What the most incredible experience I want to share with you is touching those lovely marine animals with our fingers! Guess who is the most popular star amount them: the sea star baby! I love marine animals. They are so adorable and amazing! It was a pretty perfect trip. We all had a really good time!
Chinatown is packed with interesting stores, markets, restaurants, tiny parks and lots and lots of color! Our teacher Drew took a group of students to Chinatown and toured the back alleys, the Buddhist temple, and of course the fortune cookie factory….yes Chinese fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco! They talked to lots of local people in English and yes, Chinatown is a great place to Learn English in San Francisco. Just 5 minutes from EC San Francisco’s front door is the Chinatown Gate, at the corner of Grant and Bush Streets. Since it is so close, we tend to take it for granted…”oh yeah, Chinatown, its right up the street” but it is a fascinating section of the City with an incredible history. SF’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and it is the oldest Chinatown in North America….older that New York’s, older than Vancouver’s! The first Chinese immigrants to San Francisco arrived in 1848, 2 men and one woman. They came on the American ship, the Eagle. Gold was discovered in California the next year and that event caused the Gold Rush, people from all over the world came to California, including thousands more people from China.
With deep regret, EC San Francisco says goodbye to our long-term Academic Director, Sara Buckingham Proctor. Sara dedicated her energy to helping accomplish the transformation of EC San Francisco into the dynamic, student-centered language school that it now is. Under her skilled and compassionate leadership, our student numbers have grown dramatically, our services to students have been improved, and our teaching staff has blossomed in numerous ways, all to the advantage of our purpose in being, our students. Sara will be moving on to teaching at an East Bay community college, and they are very lucky to get her. In the short term, the current author of this blog will become the Acting Academic Director. I hope to be able to uphold the high standards that Sara has brought to the job, and make her proud. Good luck, Sara. We will miss you!