Musical Musings

UC Berkeley’s Department of Music is ranked among the top music departments in the US, and frequently offers concerts and special workshops or events.

Piano InstituteThis past weekend from November 14 to 16, UC Berkeley hosted Piano Institute 2014, with three days of performances, lectures and demonstrations, and master classes in the resonant Hertz Concert Hall. Music enthusiasts had opportunities to listen to renowned pianists Seymour Lipkin, Suzanne Macahilig, Kenneth Hamilton, Chuck Fuery, and Malcolm Bilson. read more

Coffee: the perfect start to every day

Studying at your desk all the time gets boring, but luckily Berkeley is home to numerous coffee shops both on and around the campus that can satisfy your craving for a warm vanilla latte and provide a cozy corner for you to finish the last 20 pages of your reading. Here’s a list of my favorite spots to study and sip around campus:

1. International House Cafe (I-House)  IMG_5243

Located next to the stadium, I-House is situated at the top of Bancroft Avenue, which is a convenient location for students who live on the south side of campus. In addition to it’s array of expresso beverages, I-House cafe has a full breakfast and lunch menu. The best feature of I-House cafe is the window seating, which has an amazing view of the bay and, on a clear day, the Golden Gate Bridge. read more

Big Game Week

In the next week, the Cal campus will be buzzing with preparations for the Big Game, our annual football contest against our rivals from across the Bay (Stanford). After a week of excitement leading up to the game, fans from both sides will fill California Memorial Stadium on Saturday, November 22, the red on one side, the blue and gold on the other, awaiting the game ahead.

But as a junior here at Cal, about to embark on my third Big Game Week experience, I’ve come to realize how much more this week represents. Yes, it’s about watching our Golden Bears take the field with the hopes of vanquishing the ‘Furd, but it’s also about history, spirit, and tradition, all in celebration of our incredible university. read more

Food for thought

As a relative “foodie” and someone who tries to buy local, organic foods, I thought I knew a thing or two about the food production and food systems that shape the current day. However, a course I am taking this semester, Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) 155: Sustenance and Sustainability: the Social and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems, has challenged me to delve deeper into issues of food production, food security, and food justice.

This course has motivated me to think more deeply about what constitutes “organic” and “sustainable,” both in definition and in practice. It has allowed me to learn much of the history that has led to the way that agricultural systems are run currently, as the agriculture sector has become industrialized and internationalized. It has enabled me to learn more about how agricultural workers along the food production line are treated, and what protections, or lack thereof, are available to them. And it has empowered me take what I have learned and apply it to the food I buy and eat and the life I live as a Cal student. read more

Seeing a play on campus

One of the greatest parts of attending a school with over 1,400 student organizations is that there is always something to see or do on campus.


This past Sunday, I attended a performance of 12 Angry Men put on by BareStage, one of the many performance groups on campus. After a long afternoon of studying, it was the perfect study break. I’ve seen the play before (I’ve even been in it before) but this was by far the best performance of it I’ve ever seen. The show was put on entirely by students, including the directing, artwork and set design. That’s another thing I love about Berkeley – students fill every role in every student organization and you can dedicate yourself to absolutely anything you want – whether it’s acting, charity, volunteering or programming. read more

Fun, Friendly, Fascinating Faculty

UC Berkeley faculty are amazing. Not only are they world-renowned scholars, literary geniuses, and creative innovators, they also have incredible heart and enthusiasm for their students, teaching, and research. Whether in class, during office hours, at faculty-student events, or even around campus, interacting with UC Berkeley professors is a vibrant, memorable experience.

Although it’s been a year and a half since I’ve taken Chem 3B with Professor Pedersen, I still remember how he made organic chemistry seem practical and pertinent to everyday life with his “molecule of the day” examples, and how he inspired us with a clip from Pocahontas on the final day of class and told us we could change the world. I remember eating dinner with Professor Schekman my freshman year (two years before he won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine) in the Foothill dining commons and asking him what he found intriguing about biology. I also remember my excitement when learning about the longitudinal studies on facial expressions and positive emotionality in Psych 156 (Psychology of Human Emotion) with Professor Keltner. read more