Reflection: What Really Makes Up SAN FRANCISCO

By Kayla Genord

Soon after our arrival, I realized the difference.Chinatown

Another state was not the only thing separating the lives of the locals from my own.

Nice buildings and beautiful views covered the area where I stayed.

For the most part, all I saw was what the media had been showing me from Michigan.

Running through the city and hopping on cable cars, I found myself becoming aware.

A bundle of separate worlds exist within the larger city called San Francisco, each with a reality that is unique to that neighborhood.

Nice parts of town could transform to Clarion Alleyrough parts around a single corner.

Confidently, I told myself I had known all that San Francisco had to offer via the media.

In a short and action-filled week, I had seen firsthand the missing pieces of San Francisco.

So many times I have limited myself to the “reality” media has shown me, until now.

Cautiously, I have diverged from the media, and opted to discover on my own what media representations have




  1. Kayla – Oh my goodness! This is so creative and well-done. I liked that you used poetry to take us through your journey of becoming more aware of San Francisco (beyond its representation in Midwest media). The read was short, but was therefore impactful and engaging. I know that you were constricted by the structure of your post, but I would have loved an example or two at the end of “the missing pieces of San Francisco” that you discovered. Again, I know you were constrained by the structure of your post, but what did you mean by: “I have diverged from the media”?


  2. This was really creative! I liked how you drew upon your personal experiences of what you thought you knew versus the reality of what you actually knew. Media can distort our understanding. For example, after watching Grey’s Anatomy some people may think that they have a grasp on what it takes to become a surgeon. However, the reality is that it takes years of studying to ensure that someone is fully equipped with the knowledge necessary to become one. What I mean by this is media can give people a false sense of complete understanding. Was there something that you thought you knew about San Francisco but then realized was different when you visited?


  3. Kayla, I love how creative this is! I also loved the use of multiple images… I was able to envision myself in at Clarion Alley and in China Town. I also loved the flow of a piece.. this is good! To be more specific, I would have loved a little context about the different neighborhoods.


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