A life of service

Not so funny, guise

While our college selves would still agree that picking up trash along a creek constitutes giving back to the community just as much as it did back in middle school, we now strive to be part of our environment in more integral and grandiose ways. As much as I respect
Read More…


Destination: Berkeley

It’s easy to hear the words “study abroad” and immediately think of far-off places like Spain, Brazil, South Africa or England, but the truth is that leaving Berkeley is only half the story. Each year, thousands of students flock to the University of California from every corner of the globe
Read More…


Wherever I lay my hat

Champagne Problems

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like… whatever, Dorothy. You’d better not wear those shoes to a Cal-Stanford game. But that smug Kansas kid had one thing right. Wherever you are, whatever you do, the pull of your home is inexorable. We carry
Read More…

You just can't beat a Sultanahmet sunset.

Istanbul, or Why has it taken me 20 years to get here

If your list of dream travel destinations does not currently include Istanbul, let me tell you, straight up: You’re doing it wrong. Move over Paris, Barcelona — these traditional European hotspots need to make room for the best thing you never knew you were missing. Do yourself a favor and
Read More…

A winning combination of traditional Italian flavors, the "Dar Poeta" is sure to please.

The pizza pilgrimage

Simply put, it is impossible to come to Italy without dedicating a good 30 percent of your time to enjoying the local cuisine. Truth be told, I probably spend about half of my day in the company of food of some variety, and more often than not, it’s pizza. Sure,
Read More…

All packed and ready to go ...

Wise words from a well-traveled teddy bear

If my childhood teddy bear, Garry, owned a passport, it would boast stamps from five continents and over a dozen countries. It would also verify that his name is indeed spelled with two R’s, as I quite enjoyed double consonants in my youth and decided to include that particular quirk
Read More…

Nina Brown

A fiscal, ethical dilemma

This week, I spoke with a UC Berkeley sophomore who is paying her own way at Cal. She started off this semester as a newly declared English major with hopes of studying abroad, but after the financial aid office canceled her work-study in September, she began reconsidering her plans for
Read More…

The Scottish Parliament Building, located in Edinburgh, Scotland.

National Pride

It’s pouring rain. I’m dressed in green army-themed “fancy dress” (that’s British for costume, go figure) and military face paint is streaking down my face. I’m trudging up a hill through muddy puddles that my California-girl sandals are clearly not designed for. I have three companions. One is wearing a
Read More…

Desperately searching for a toilet, or "hiking," near the town of Saint-Étienne, France.

Feeling down in Lyon town

Believe it or not, this Francophile has the blues, or as the French would say, “J’ai le cafard” which literally translates to “I have the cockroach.” Yup, I’m finally in France and I’m feeling a little down. Although there are several contributing factors, such as the broken headphones and the
Read More…

The view from Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

The world is flat (except in Scotland)

Anyone who lives in Berkeley knows well the kind of tolerance for hills you need if you’re a runner there. Actually you need a decent tolerance for them just to go to football games, or classes, if you’re an engineer. I spent most of my freshman year on the phone
Read More…