Time Flies

7 April 2020

In his fifth blog, Pablo shares his last few weeks in California.


Time flies and, all of a sudden, there’s only two weeks left for me in California. The last couple of months have gone by so fast but they have also been the most fun. Not only have I had friends from Europe come visit me at different times but I’ve just been very lucky in most other aspects too.

For my last quarter here, I decided to take ocean rowing class through the university so I have been doing that twice a week. It is through this class that I met a group of really nice friends, some of which later introduced me to the Fossil Free campaign at UC Santa Cruz. This campaign, which demands universities to stop funding the fossil fuel industry, has seen some success here in California as the Academic Senates of most UC campuses have recently passed resolutions in favour of divestment. Working in human resources has also been interesting to say the least: if anything, there’s two things that I’ve learned from it.

 One, for health and efficiency reasons, document filing should exclusively be reserved for robots and computers. And two, if you ultimately decide to stay at the job, then make filing less tedious by doing it in the company of others whilst you play some sweet R&B from the Bay (Kehlani’s latest mixtape is an excellent choice for this activity). Learning on campus this two months has also been a joy. This quarter, I have taken classes on terrorism, post-colonial North Africa and even one on the Golden Age of Hip Hop. I’ve learnt about very diverse topics like the Prevent Duty in British universities and its institutionalisation of Islamophobia or even the role of hip hop music as a tool to protest the prison-industrial complex. Two subjects that have much more in common than they initially seem and that shed light into some of the dubious ways in which states regulate their populations. 

As mentioned earlier, I also had friends from Europe who came to stay with me in Santa Cruz. Some of the highlights of these visits were cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge with Santi, attending a funk concert with Serafín and Carlos or going on a road trip to LA with Irene and Milen. My Santa Cruz friends, however, have also done an amazing job at keeping me entertained, which is admirable considering how high-maintenance I am. A few weekends ago, Sasha and I swam around the wharf (which took us a full hour) and was pretty scary/exciting given we were only a few metres away from entire families of sea lions.

The next day, we went on a 30-mile cycle across the mountains to a little village called Zayante. It was my first time ever mountain biking and it was an absolute blast! More recently, as the end of the quarter was approaching, we realised we had not yet attended the ultimate American event: a monster truck rally. And so we did. And it was as American and over-the-top as expected. As excited as I am to get back to London, this year has been not only super enjoyable but also academically stimulating. I’m so so grateful to everyone that was part of it and, especially, to my wonderful American flatmates: Corbin, Ramón and John. This last post is for the three of you: I love you and I hope to see you all very soon.


By: Pablo Galindo