Freshman Focus Q&A: Alex Kardasopoulos sets off dorm fire alarm

Alex Kardasopoulos attends California College of the Arts in Oakland, where he is majoring in photography.


Q: How do you like living in Oakland?

A: Well, there’s been a lot of mugging, so it’s kind of sketchy, but I love the people and the climate. There are good spots and there are bad spots here, and I feel that I landed in a good spot.


Q: What kind of classes do you take at an art school? Are they exclusively art classes?

A: About 70 percent of the classes I’ll take over the four years will be art, but 30 percent will be regular classes like English and math.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about CCA?

A: Yeah, I didn’t realize how young some of the teachers were. My photography teacher is only three years older than I am!


Q: How’s residential life?

A: It’s really awesome. I’ve been connecting with people through dorms, and I’ve even been offered a place to live off campus a couple of times. We don’t have a meal plan, so I usually buy my own stuff at Safeway or go to the corner cafe. We live in the heart of Oakland, so there’s a lot of great restaurants.


Q: What’s your favorite class?

A: I think my favorite is Black and White Photography. None of it is digital, so we get to do all of our developing in a darkroom.


Q: Are you doing any extracurriculars?

A: I’m doing yoga club, but there’s not really any sports—not even any intramurals—and the clubs are kind of scarce. I’m not really interested in any of that, though.


Q: What’s your biggest freshman mistake?

A: I was making a batch of chocolate chip cookies and forgot about them. They caught on fire and set off the alarm!


Q: Any advice for next year’s freshmen?

A: Get your parking spot early on. If you procrastinate to even one month before class starts, they’ll all be gone.

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