Student gets lost in cloud of smoke on Memorial Glade

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Alice Langford/File

4/20 can be pretty overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time celebrating it here at UC Berkeley. Here’s a personal account from a student who got lost in the shenanigans of last year’s ceremonial 4/20 Memorial Glade cloud:

4:18 p.m.

It’s OK; she has Berkeley time to get to her numerical analysis discussion in Evans. There are a ton of people bunched together on Memorial Glade, in the distance. People are yelling, and trash is strewn everywhere.

4:19 p.m.

She’s close to Doe Library now. Things are getting intense — she has to push through hordes of people sporting their sativa-inspired HUF socks and ridiculous marijuana memorabilia. She’s almost past the seal, when suddenly…

4:20 p.m.

“Four twenty!!!!” rings throughout the Glade, and the largest puff of gray smoke ever known to mankind erupts from the crowd. Every crack, crevice, entryway, etc. within a 10-foot radius of the Glade is covered in a blanket of a grossly familiar stench. She suddenly loses all knowledge of space and time. She has vowed to her parents never to do drugs in college, but the secondhand high she’s feeling at the moment is potent enough for her to be convinced that she has broken that promise. Evans is no longer to be seen, just a giant purple gummy bear that is the size of Evans and has an ominous expression that somehow looks scarier than Oski’s.

4:21 p.m.

She has strayed far from her path. Somehow, she’s ended up in the middle of the excitement. People are moving in a wavelike pattern. Some people are jumping up, while others are sitting down. The movement is sort of hypnotic. The acrid smell of the recent collective group puff is even stronger in the center of the chaos.

4:22 p.m.

She is trying to search for the edge of the mass of experienced and budding stoners alike. Her midterm is tomorrow! Time is of the essence. She can’t let this opportunity slip away. She didn’t ask for any of this. As coveted as 4/20 is as an unofficially official holiday on Berkeley’s campus, it is another thing to be part of the craziness rather than merely acknowledging its novelty.

4:24 p.m.

Right before losing hope, she starts spinning in circles to frantically look for a way out of the cloud. It doesn’t help that she’s short. The sun is beaming on the Glade, and the sweat is real. Every now and then, some random person’s sweaty arm hits her face. Getting lost in the cloud is not the biz.

4:25 p.m.

Five minutes left before discussion officially starts. It seems like eternity since she first got sucked into an alternate reality. People are very slowly clearing out. Most of the smoke has risen toward the ozone layer. She can finally breathe again. Evans no longer resembles a gelatinous snack, and a wave of depression overcomes her.

4:26 p.m.

The image of Evans is enough to immediately pull her back to reality. The paths are clearing, and students have started filling up the scene, since 4:30 classes are a thing. She has four minutes to get to hers. Luckily (or not), she is no longer surrounded by the infamous 4/20 cloud.

Contact Malvika Singhal at [email protected].