Off the beat: In search of Walden Pond

More than my snug bed, more than Mom’s cooking, more even than that warm feeling of home, I miss Henry David Thoreau. Let me explain. I was more than a little disappointed academically in my first semester at Cal — not that my grades were poor, but I didn’t think
Read More…

ASUC report card

#ASUCproblems

My grades are in for this year’s ASUC fall report card. As ASUC terms normally go, the fall semester did have its share of blunders, but those mistakes are more due to a structural weakness in the ASUC than the shortcomings of any one elected official. This report card is
Read More…

On sacred spaces

Religiously Inclined

I recently watched the film “Kingdom of Heaven,” and I was struck by one of the final lines spoken by the character Saladin, a Muslim leader who battled to take over Jerusalem during the era of the Crusades. When questioned by Orlando Bloom’s character, Balian, a valiant defender of the
Read More…

College sex: Berkeley edition

Sex on Tuesday

Because I couldn’t afford to fly home the day before Thanksgiving this past week, I spent all of Wednesday in Berkeley. I only had one class that day, and the campus was marvelously empty. So at around 4:20 p.m., I called up my partner, and as two mischievous UC Berkeley
Read More…

The Millennial misconception

The Devil's Advocate

“Generations, like people, have personalities,” wrote the Pew Research Center in an introduction to its detailed 2010 report on the characteristics of young voters, “and Millennials — the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium — have begun to
Read More…

Deconstructing relationships

Sex on Tuesday

This confession is a first for me. The thought of being in a relationship scares the living shit out of me. The relationship I’m referring to is the exclusive, long-term, monogamous kind. The kind that people most commonly consider to be a romantic relationship. To me, being in a relationship
Read More…

Memo to the next chancellor

The Devil's Advocate

Dear Nicholas Dirks, Congratulations on your selection as UC Berkeley’s next chancellor. Your reputation will rise or fall depending on your ability to navigate an unpredictable and sometimes explosive political environment, win the trust of students who are notoriously wary of authority and guide the world’s leading public university through
Read More…

Staring down the barrel of Proposition 30

#ASUCproblems

In the aftermath of Proposition 30, the ASUC cannot rest on its laurels. Education was held hostage by California lawmakers in the sights of a gun whose trigger would have been pulled if the proposition failed. Though the success of the proposition means that the trigger has remained locked, it
Read More…

Agnosticism, atheism and labels

Religiously Inclined

As is common in the religious world, the concepts of both agnosticism and atheism are unforgivingly complicated. Even the standard Google search does not adequately resolve inquiry into their basic definitions. My own attempts to tackle these two subjects were in fact quite humbling — I realized, once again, that
Read More…

Just a little bit racy

Sex on Tuesday

A recurring subject among my housemates is the racial categorization of sexual preferences. My housemate once complained to me that people call her “exotic” because she is a black woman and that they often want to get with her only because she has curves. My other housemate told me he feels
Read More…