Living Cooperatively

Last year I moved into Stebbins Hall, one of 17 houses in the Berkeley Student Cooperative.

Stebbins Hall, a 3-story buildin, as seen from the streetStebbins Hall, purchased by the University Student Cooperative Association in 1950

The Berkeley Student Cooperative’s mission is “to provide a quality, low-cost, cooperative housing community to university students, thereby providing an educational opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to afford a university education.”

The above statement is something I think about daily. My “quality, low-cost, cooperative community” has become one of the most valuable parts of my young adult life and certainly one of my most cherished experiences here at Berkeley. Though I think the co-ops do tend to get a lot of criticism (especially from within), there isn’t a single person living in BSC that isn’t having the quality of their lives seriously improved–I’ll explain. read more

How to Make Nothing of Substance and Have Fun Doing it, or Improv

Calapalooza 2014: a very tall but very friendly man leans across a table and asks me a clarifying question. He puts it bluntly, “are you interested in just watching improv or do you want to do improv too?” I tell him “both.”

Me using improv as an excuse to get an amazing head massage, Spring 2017

I’m happy to say I have been doing both the whole three years since then. That tall man was Derrek, who has since become a teammate, mentor, and dear friend. The table was for jericho! improv & sketch comedy which also became my de facto Cal family. jericho! which in our more flippant moments we like to call j! meets twice a week and performs every other Friday on campus (usually in the bottom floor of moffit, but not always). We do improv, write and perform live sketches and also creative digital shorts for our youtube channel. We love all of it just as much as we love each other. read more

Rhetoric, or How I Chose my B.A. in B.S.

I still remember it today: “Everything has a rhetoric. Even this has a rhetoric,” My professor noted as she lifted her iPhone off her desk in front of her. I rolled my eyes. The class was an R1B, one of the college writing courses students are required to take. Our topic was “The Rhetoric of Autobiography. In it we read poetry, novels, and essays, as well as an autobiography or two.

On my application I had listed philosophy as my major but over the course of that semester I found by reading for Philosophy 2 (Individual Morality & Social Justice) to be more and more tedious. My Rhetoric reading, however, I found more and more exciting. Poetry, novels, some of the most creative essays I had ever read. Our discussion got more and more fascinating too. Philosophy was slow, dotting every i, crossing every t, making its list checking it thrice. Rhetoric blazed ahead, regarding grammar only as another device to be used or eschewed depending on ones aims and cultural context. read more

Telluride, Ever Heard of it?

Have you heard of the Telluride Film Festival? You can go ahead and google it. I’ll wait. No really please do–famous people go! It’s a real film festival I swear. Check it out.

I first heard about the Telluride Film Festival in office hours. I was talking to a professor about Preston Struges, a guy who wrote and directed some of the best screwball comedies of the early 40’s. My professor mentioned he had seen something by Sturges recently, up at Telluride–he said it casually, but knowingly, like it was something I would recognize. I returned a knowing nod, but (just like you now) I had no idea what he was talking about. A quick google search in the hallway revealed that “Telluride” was a small town in Colorado that hosted an annual film festival. read more