August 24th, 2008

I’m going to give you a suggestion now that may seem time sensitive, but it is not. In the past I’ve told you about little things to do in Berkeley, but never without some warning about being aware of whether you were going during the school year or not. This is a big consideration in Berkeley, which is super dense. The student population tends to dominate anything worth doing and must never be forgotten when planning to spend time there. But when I tell you now that the campus of UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful place to visit, the actual campus itself, I am attaching no stipulation about hurrying there before classes start at the end of the month. Registration at the UC schools is at an all time high, Santa Cruz is one of the more popular campuses, yet you could wander its hills any time of the year and only know you were on a well funded piece of government property by the how curiously well-maintained those vast expanses of meadow and forest are. Pack a lunch to eat on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, perhaps visit the organic farm. The last time I was there I found deer so tame they would eat out of my hand. And if you do happen to see some young people wandering around, but fail to identify them as students for lack of the harrowed, underslept, overcaffinated look that defined your undergraduate years, look back out over that cliff and remember that while letter grades are now a possible option at this school, essay evaluations are still the norm. It’s ok to consider jealousy, as I always do, but then I try instead to join them in their relaxed enjoyment of a beautiful life. I try.

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