Campus personalities present and past Rebecca C. Brown and Tommaso Sciortino tackle the issues. This week on a very special CalJunket: Rebecca learns not to chew with her mouth open and Tommaso finds out his best friend is addicted to no-doze.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
I'm almost done. Ten units this semester, four in the spring. Then I'm off to get a teaching credential, hopefully at SF State. After that, besides saving the world, what's next? Marriage, homeownership, child-rearing, obligatory vacations to Europe when I have the money, general malaise of relative affluence? If this is what I have to look forward to, why am I so eager to be done with my undergraduate experience?
Maybe it's Berkeley. The Sproul characters are fun, but they never change. The arguments of angry students are admirable, but nobody ever tries to see anyone's side but their own. The academic courses are awesome, but after a while the reading lists all start to look the same.
Maybe it's my age. I didn't manage to make friends in high school, but I made scores at Cal. But now I have to reexamine what friendship means. Now that I'm already mentally planning my post-grad life, it occurs to me that most the people I've befriended will disappear after May; more upsetting is that I won't care, and they won't care, and we'll make more temporary friends. I'm also more in the throws of being in love than ever before, and the gravity of this privilege is playing no small part in giving me wrinkles.
Maybe it's political. The older I get, the more resigned I am to the fact that life isn't fair. People suffer, and all the blogging in the world won't make people equal. No matter who gets elected, each human is still consigned to pain; there's pain in poverty and in wealth. People are still going to ravage the natural resources that we've commandeered as our own. Americans will always consume more than they need.
What to do about all these boring/obvious/inescapable conclusions? With seven months to go at Cal, and hopefully a few more decades to go on Earth, I suppose the only reasonable action is to remain positive. It's more difficult than it sounds, especially for people like Rebecca C. Brown who really like angst. Even if the Berkeley schtick gets old, at least people are trying to shake up the system. Even if I'm not sure if I even know what real friendship feels like, as long as I think I feel love I'm in the clear. Even if we're all headed to Hell in a Hummer, upholstered with the skins of African AIDS orphans, fueled with the tears of a million abused circus elephants, rolling on tires crafted from millennia-old redwoods, we're all equal when we die (thanks, Defoe), and at least I'm giving it my best shot before that eventual day happens.
I promise my next post will be less Baudrillard and more ASUC insider gossip.