Berkeley: Fear and Loathing and Sun and Wonder

And so now, at last, I find a moment to breathe.

In the last two weeks since I have been in Berkeley, California I have:

Seen the sunrise from the LeConte reading room

I never expected that my first all-nighter would happen during the first week of school. But it did, thanks to the Basic Semiconductor circuits lab. In the words of my lab partner as I contemplated stabbing my eyes out at 4 AM: “Welcome the the Physics Major.”

Nearly died of Heat exhaustion

The sun is just closer to the earth here, OK.

Chased a Volvo on my mountain bike

It was a Volvo V70 (the best one), it was red,  and it had a “S” sticker on the back. They had to be Swedish. They just had to. After they sped away from me and I gave up the chase, I realized it was probably a good thing I wasn’t able to catch up to them. It would have been very un-swedish. Not to mention creepy.

Done manual labor, been transported back to childhood.

“Let’s try to hit the wheelbarrel with the rock!” And so we did. After five hours on a patch of dirt in the middle of nowhere, somewhere near Concord, California, digging and hitting dirt with the blunt ends of shovels (read: building mountain bike trails), nothing sounded like more fun than trying to hit the wheelbarrel with rocks. Unfortunately, no one succeeded.

Talked about aliens

I am convinced that the unexplainable noise on out oscilloscope is actually a signal from ET that SETI has been missing for the last 40 years.

Made about 10 liters of hummus

Oh, the co-ops. How I missed you and your massive appetite for hippie food. The 10 liters of Hummus I made vanished into the stomachs of Davis residents within 48 hours. Tofu stir-fry and quinoa, anyone?

Seen a show, written a review

Dorian Gray, by Rhinoceros, at Eureka. Realizing how much of a non-sequitor that last sentence was to almost everyone, I’d also like to inform you that I sat next to Robert Hurwitt and Isabella. Not bad company, actually.

Bike rided

Looking at the view from of tunnel, I think of how many dark days in Sweden I had spent wondering about how the silhouette of the city looked precisely at that moment, and of how many times I have told how on some mornings, clear mornings like this, one can just faintly make out the color on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Been Quantum-ly confused

But seriously folks, what else is new? Eigenfunction.

Been overwhelmed from every angle

This is just what happens when you leave a country of with a population of nine million people who are spread out over seemingly endless green pastures and mountains and come to a country where there seems to be nine million people who live on your street —and you feel like you may know 1 million of those people (while the other 8 million you have never seen before and will never have more contact with than a passing glance for the rest of your life). Opportunities explode, duties multiply,  and the ability to accomplish anything rapidly approaches zero. The world contracts as it gets larger, and sometimes it’s just a little bit hard to keep up.



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2 Responses to “Berkeley: Fear and Loathing and Sun and Wonder”

  1. slittle Says:

    Thank you for the refreshing update – welcome back – have fun!

  2. lisa Says:

    Arielle! I just now noticed the sweet comment you posted on my poem. Thank you so much! I absolutely love your blog. And this post made me smile. I miss Berkeley! And I miss you. The bit about the hummus reminded me of the good old times we had at Sherman. You and Johanna made some amazing hummus (among many, many other things).

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