Oscar, the lost penguin: His day at UC Berkeley

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Just yesterday, a new shipment of frozen tilapia got shipped to Crossroads to replenish the dining hall supply. Little did the workers know that there was a fluffy feathered stowaway tucked away in one of the cardboard boxes. When no one was watching, the penguin, we’ll call him Oscar, escaped his paper imprisonment and waddled out of the establishment. Luckily, it was in between breakfast and lunch, so Oscar had a few precious moments to escape without anyone noticing. 

For scale, Oscar is a little penguin. He is little, indeed, but he’s also a kind of penguin that is commonly found in Australia and New Zealand. Oscar is one of the smallest penguins of his type, so anyone who saw him probably just thought that he was a genetically modified pigeon. Here is a rundown of what Oscar was up to for the day he spent at UC Berkeley.

The first stop was Artichoke Basille’s Pizza since it was along the way to the main campus. Oscar decided that it would be safest to travel in a group with some students. The warmth emanating from the pizzeria was enticing and Oscar almost didn’t want to leave. There was a fresh crust left on the ground, and despite quickly chomping three tilapia fillets during his transit to Crossroads, Oscar wasn’t fully sated. Before leaving Artichokes, Oscar took a long stare at the fishnet leg lamp that adorns the pizzeria.

Oscar found an opportunity to cross the road and took it without second-guessing. It seemed like the entire day would pass before the next opportunity would come. He quickly waddled to the other side, making sure not to get stepped on. All the students were too preoccupied with spinning thoughts about all the work they need to do in the next three weeks to notice Oscar.

Upon reaching campus, Oscar was overwhelmed and amazed by the grandness of Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate. To Oscar, all the students looked like larger, heavier versions of himself. Their puffy jackets and generally bundled attire made them look like giant penguins. Oscar thought he was truly at home when he spotted Strawberry Creek. He quickly hopped to the base of the creek and inspected the water. He dipped his foot into the cold water and was pleased. The water wasn’t deep enough to dive in, but Oscar still found the time to take a little bath. 

The next stop was Dwinelle room 155. When Oscar peered from the bottom entrance, he couldn’t recognize a single thing on the blackboard. The funny thing is, no one else in the Math 53 lecture knew what was happening either. Oscar got bored instantly and made a waddle for it. 

As soon as Oscar exited the building, he ran into a Kiwibot. The Kiwibot didn’t seem pleased, but Oscar was thrilled. Luckily no one in the area was too stunned by Oscar’s pleased chirps. After hugging the bot with his small fins, Oscar was off to his next destination.

Sooner or later, Oscar ended up on the steps of the Valley Life Sciences Building. He had never seen a building so grand and towering. “They must be doing important stuff,” Oscar thought to himself. He hopped up the remaining steps and found a way to slip past a tall graduate student that rushed out the door. Oscar plap-plapped across the second floor and quickly craned his neck from left and right to soak in all the cool sights. He couldn’t help but feel an interested gaze follow him from behind. Before he knew it, Oscar felt himself being lifted up and held at eye-level with a confused, scholarly looking individual. Oscar began to feel the crust from Artichokes travel up his gullet. 

You think this story would end with Oscar being shipped back to a zoo in Australia, but no. Oscar was given the task of making sure the halls of VLSB are well monitored. The building manager was not about to let such pure talent and sheer cuteness escape. Oscar was promptly fitted for a tailored hall monitor outfit and put to work the next day.

So, next time youre in VLSB and you hear a little “peep peep,” know that it is Oscar, doing his job and keeping the halls safe.

Contact Malvika Singhal at [email protected] .