Too great expectations

Critical Musings

Lately I’ve been feeling guilty about not living up to the expectations I have of myself. Hearing me complain, a friend suggested I think about what 10th-grade me might think of present-day me. Tenth-grade me would be pretty happy with where I am. Tenth-grade me would feel proud of getting
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On the end of the semester

Critical Musings

April is the worst, the Facebook statuses have declared. And they’re right. “April is the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land,” T.S. Eliot writes in “The Waste Land.” “Mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain.” In Berkeleyland, April is indeed a time to mix
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Vignettes from election season

Critical Musings

Being on campus during ASUC elections season can be annoying; that’s well-documented, irrefutable. It can be overeager, glossy-faced candidates in your ears at 8 a.m. pontificating about impossible platforms; unbiased announcements in class encouraging you to vote by voices who just so happen to belong to candidates; acquaintances met at
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Ninety percent chance of rain

Critical Musings

Summer is coming. In the mostly temperate Berkeley, its approach can be subtle. There are fewer jackets in the morning, more nakedness on Memorial Glade in the afternoon. There are landlords happily waiting outside of their May-to-May lease properties for their fifth showing today, residents inside those apartments wondering when
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Home for spring break

Critical Musings

Berkeley will empty out over the next few days. There will be no flyer-wielders on Sproul, no packed-to-capacity 51Bs at 5 p.m.; I might finally get a table at People’s Cafe. Spring break will mean the en masse student migration from here to varying degrees of Elsewhere. There will be
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In search of stillness

Critical Musings

To get the roughly 800 words of this column out of my head and into my computer, I had to change writing locations four times. I also drank two coffees, bought and ate a sandwich, sent two emails, five text messages and 10 instant messages, spent 10 minutes considering whether
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The shoulders of giants

Critical Musings

The chapter in my physics textbook on gravity is called “Newton’s Universe.” Forget worldviews: Imagine having a perspective on the entire universe named in your honor hundreds of years after you’re dead, like you’ve singlehandedly redefined the right way to look at literally everything. That’s godlike. But it’s apparently not
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Try-hards and Facebook

Critical Musings

While trying to find somewhere to write this column Wednesday night, my roommate and I ended up wandering through Main Stacks. Presumably because it is “midterm season” — which at Berkeley just means anytime after the first month of class and before finals — the library was packed. We spent
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They know me there

Critical Musings

I spent a lot of time on the north side of campus last semester, and what that meant was that I spent a lot of time at the restaurants located there. There was one cafe in particular that I was especially fond of and frequented most. I loved the way the
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