Monthly Archives: March 2016

A Cal Day for Everyone

Each spring, the UC Berkeley calendar contains one dominant fixture: Cal Day. With 35,000 visitors comprising primarily of newly admitted students and their families, it is easily the single busiest day on campus. But as a waitlisted student, I assumed CalDay was just for admitted students and stayed home.

However, for current students, Cal Day represents something entirely different. That Saturday is basically a campus-wide holiday of sorts with lots of anticipation among the student body. The day is filled with celebration, and there’s this palpable energy and revelry among the student body.

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Caves, Condors, and Cal: Spring Break 2016

Early on the first Saturday of spring break, I packed my car with snacks, water bottles, and two friends. We grabbed bagels from Beauty’s on Telegraph (which had a line nearly out the door even at 8AM on a Saturday) and headed out of town.

Our destination was Pinnacles National Park, situated about two and a half hours south of Berkeley. America’s most recently designated national park, I hadn’t heard of Pinnacles until just a few days earlier, when I’d run across some outdoorsy click bait on a routine scroll down my Facebook news feed that suggested I Explore this Hidden Gem Just South of San Francisco! It sounded fun to me.

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Active Learning

I have a love/hate relationship with Dwinelle Hall’s southwest stairwell. Though there is nothing particularly exceptional about the stairs themselves (no sweeping spirals or breathtaking Bay views from here, folks!), I have encountered them every weekday morning around 9:06AM for over a semester now, and I think it’s safe to say that exposure like that can elicit some strong emotional responses.

A high school biology textbook of mine once stated, in an attempt to stay relatable in the eyes of its teenaged target audience, something along the lines of: “A reasonably fit human being should be able to ascend three flights of stairs with a backpack on and make it to class on time without being out of breath.” What a farce. I am a reasonably fit human being—in that I do semi-regular yoga and occasionally take it upon myself to run up North Side’s Euclid Ave. to the Rose Garden—and every weekday morning around 9:09AM for over a semester now, I have arrived in Spanish class jadeando y sudando. Gasping and sweating.

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On the Right Track

Despite the daunting, twenty-minute uphill walk from the UC Berkeley campus, there’s something really special about the Clark Kerr dorms. Famous for its coveted larger-than-your-average-shoebox dorm rooms and Great Hall-esque dining facility, Clark Kerr is hands down Cal’s best residence hall  (though I admit I may be a teeny bit biased). The beautiful, Spanish mission-style architecture, sprawling lawns, and various amenities— I’m talking on-site pool, gym, softball field, archery range, fire trail access, and volleyball/basketball/tennis courts—provide a welcoming breath of fresh air after a long day of classes. Following a tiring day, it’s easy to kick back in the grass and check out the killer sunsets and views of the bay, all in the comfort of your home-away-from-home. On weekends, it’s not uncommon to see students interacting with laughing families, pets included, while lounging in the grassy patches scattered about the buildings. With its large rooms, great views, and laid-back vibe, it’s quite easy to see why the residents love CK so much.

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