Berkeley is a great school, a rigorous school, and a school with a transfer named Rainbow who boils every environmental history lesson down to a discussion of how a beaver would view the events of that era. In retrospect, that was either a bizarre attempt to get into the pants of the boring and balding professor or a perhaps an even more bizarre obsession with beavers. Both? Regardless, my empathy towards beavers nowhere nears Rainbow’s (real person), though I still actively avoid things that were punishable by death (glares) in the context of the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, like having a smart phone, printing out shit from the Internet and using plastic water bottles. For what it’s worth, I’m not a complete lost cause — I wear shoes, bras and deodorant. I also brush my teeth twice daily.
People ask me all the time if Berkeley lives up to its reputation, and the answer is yes, but not in every pocket. My most vivid Berkeley memory is when my Epic Poetry class was held in the dark and forebodingly damp basement of a bar because the professor didn’t want to cross a picket line. I spent the whole class repeatedly going up to people I didn’t really know and saying “Oh my G-d, this is exactly like Fight Club,” “I wonder how long until Brad Pitt shows up?” and “So, let’s wait for the teacher to get five stanzas in and then start brawling.” I earned more WTFs than friends, but — worth it. Plus, English majors are creepy. Or at least the one that would gchat me weekly asking me if I was single, and the one with Kenny G hair who would sit next to me and brag about playing some obscure Irish sport and definitely the obese girl who dyed her hair red and would always talk about Kafka, despite having the most epic late ’90s tramp stamp I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing. To be fair, I have probably only seen a dozen late ’90s tramp stamps, but this one had a unicorn and stretch marks so I am confident that it is top echelon.