The academic year is coming to an end, which means that this column is wrapping up today. I have new respect for the students at The Daily who pump out publishable material day after day, because it is hard enough to make something worth reading once a week, as I have tried to do. Thank you to everyone who has read any of my columns! There are lots of things you could be doing with your free time, and I’m honored that you chose to spend part of it reading my thoughts on life at Stanford. Since this is my last time on the soapbox, I would like to tie up some loose ends and throw out some opinions that never quite justified their own columns. In no particular order, I now present a series of end-of-year memos.
Memo to Public Safety: Planting police officers on Santa Teresa Street has not conditioned me to stop at stop signs; it has taught me to look both ways for the police before crossing an intersection. In your favor, I’ll admit that it would be smarter if I watched out for cross traffic instead of scanning nearby bushes and parking lots for hidden law enforcement.
Memo to People Who Think “Avatar” Is Like Real Life: Last week, I was sitting next to a young woman having a deep conversation with a male friend. At one point, as the two were lamenting the lost joys of a simpler life, the woman said something like “It would be really great if we could just live off the land, like in ‘Avatar.’ You know, the blue people.” I think this thought says more about the impact of the Internet age than any statistic about how much we are plugged into our phones and laptops. If you want to learn about a less technological existence, Willa Cather or Laura Ingalls Wilder might be more illuminating than a sci-fi movie featuring a computer-generated war between humans and 20-foot-tall aliens.
Memo to Pizza Lovers: My column about the difficulty of finding great pizza in the Bay Area got me a lot of restaurant recommendations. I haven’t gone to all of them yet, but I did find some good Italian-style pizza. The point of my column still stands, though, because none of them are cheap enough to be frequently enjoyed on a student budget. The three places I recommend are all sit-down restaurants, and the cheapest option is to order take-out. In Mountain View, there is Napoletana Pizzeria, where a decent margherita pizza costs $15. The other two places, which are definitely superior, are Pizzeria Delfina and A16, where the margherita pizzas are $13 and $15, respectively. The pizzas are very good, and they remind me of Italy. Unfortunately, Delfina and A16 are both in San Francisco, and their upscale atmospheres would prevent them from being everyday destinations even if we were closer to Stanford.
Memo to the Suites Killdeer Family: Congratulations to the killdeer who nested in the tanbark at Governor’s Corner on the hatching of their three precocious chicks. I saw the fluffy little guys running in the grass the day they were born, smaller than tennis balls. And special thanks to whoever put yellow caution tape around the nest to keep it safe!
Contact Jeff at jeff2013 “at” stanford “dot” edu