Photo essay: Appreciating the little things

Carli Baker/Senior Staff

Whether it’s strolling through Sather Gate, sprinting to Kroeber Hall, dancing through Memorial Glade or drunkenly stumbling down to Southside, the rhythm of my footsteps has created a Berkeley heartbeat. Walking onto campus for the first time during my senior year of high school, my heart was fluttering, unsure of my decisions but filled with anticipation of the unknown. Today, my footsteps are slowing as the nostalgia for this place — this college experience — weighs down my feet, slowing my Berkeley heartbeat into the slow drum of an alumna.

As my feet guide me through these memories, I find myself stopping at all the wrong places. These unremarkable places have been fixed in my mind, bringing color and life to the abstract campus I find myself on each day. To others, these things might have no significance, but in their own way, these physical campus landscapes have helped mold me into the person I am today.

My grandmother once told me it’s all the little things in life that give life meaning. Here are a few of the little things on campus that have brought meaning to my walks at Berkeley.


The Faculty Glade Buckeye was planted in 1882 and is a testament to the resiliency in all of us. This tree was one of my first photographic subjects when I got my camera in 2010 and it has been a source of comfort during some of the darkest days of my undergraduate career.


One of my first discoveries at Cal, this bench has been a great place to read, study, nap or just enjoy the sunshine.


Not many people wake up before the sun rises and walk to campus, but for two years, I’ve been able to appreciate walking beside the Campanile just before dawn.


Berkeley’s architecture has always fascinated me, especially the details of the buildings in the campus “Classic Core.”


I never truly appreciated squirrels before coming to Berkeley. Watching them harass students at lunch time and fight among branches always makes me smile.


My favorite place to spend time between classes has always been the reflecting pool in the Hearst Mining Circle, where you can enjoy the sun and watch the clouds move across the water.



These stairs are relatively unknown, modestly hugging the hillside along the chancellor’s house, hidden by redwoods.

Carli Baker was the fall 2013 photo editor. She joined the Daily Cal in spring 2011 as a photographer. She is graduating with bachelor’s degrees in conservation and resource studies and anthropology.