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.
29 thoughts on “Secretly Super Berkeley”
What a delightful writer you are, quirky, acerbic, funny, don’t forget funny, and you must be bright. I envy your mind. Keep on writing, lively voice!
I also went to Berkeley and wrote for The Daily Californian–but centuries ago :). Leslie
No one talks about poetry club…
Great post Ashley
Irreverently funny, love this!
English majors are weird. I think that’s a prerequisite of some sort. Unfortunately sense of humor is not. At least not yet.
everyone is weird, just different brands of it
Excellent post! Could’ve been worse, though – she could’ve had a tramp stamp of Kenny G…now THAT would be epic.
I bet someone in this world has that, I hope it, I hope it a lot
Please tell me it was a My Little Pony, this will make me happy and definitely tie the Where’s Waldo one I’ve seen. Oh yeah, unfortunately Waldo went there.
nope, it was just an awful unicorn. A Where’s Waldo on sounds amazing, though.
A tramp stamp with stretch marks must be a helluva sight to behold.
and a helluva sight to never forget
Huh huh huh. Beavers. Huh huh huh.
wow, now I have mixed feeling over not getting into their grad program
it’s totally different in the non-humanities, for what it’s worth
How could a writer, blotter, etc. possibly say something like “…English majors are creepy.” Does that include writers/authors?
I majored in English at California Baptist University in the 70’s – when dinosaurs walked the earth. I’m not creepy. At least no one has ever said I was.
Of course, I also lived in Berkeley in the 80’s. I don’t think it’s the English department that makes one “creepy”. Just living in Berkeley can do that all by itself.
(By the way, I don’t take it personally if you want to think of me as creepy; but you may want to check out my blogs. [See below.])
What kind of beaver? If it helps, a lot of people who aren’t English majors are creepy as well.
Okay, I’m old and I’m not a Left Coast resident so…what’s a tramp stamp?
I wonder how long she thought through that unicorn design
That was funny and fun to read. Thank you for the smile you gave me.
Yo, Ashley! You’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award! Check it out at http://jeffwhelan.wordpress.com/ and do with it what you will. Cheers!
Hilarious! But why wait five stanzas before the jump off? What are the odds of finding the unicorn of unicorn tramp stamps? Sweet.
This sounds like great source material for improv characters.
I will have to admit, I was on the fence on whether or not I wanted to grace your blog with my followship (is that even a word? spell check tells me no, oh well). But then I read the most delightful words I have seen in a while about late 90’s tramp stamps and well I must say, I am quite smitten.
Great post! And I look forward to reading more from your blog in the future!
Best! I will make it worth your while!