2 Cal
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both adored. But when Kennedy won the nomination she took me to the Coliseum to hear his acceptance speech, in which he made his ringing call for sacri¤ce from the American people and his proclamation of a New Frontier for the 1960s. While she referred to JFK as “that punk kid,” a Kennedy bust and inaugural medallion graced her bookshelves until her death ten years to the day after his. She also did a lot of work for our local congressman, Jim Corman, even after reapportionment put her home outside his district. He gave her an engraved silver box as a thankyou , and when I later visited Washington on my own he treated me royally simply because I was Helen’s daughter. Being a dedicated Democrat didn’t keep me from ®irting with socialism . Not that I knew much about it. In the conservative, conformist 1950s, socialism was one of those dirty words, slightly paler than communism , which one read about in the press. Helen had no interest in socialism . As a nonconformist, the very fact that socialism was denigrated attracted me. Helen had taught me that if something was important enough to be feared, it was important enough to understand. The more I read, the better an idea socialism seemed. “From each according to their ability; to each according to their needs” didn’t seem so monstrous. But beyond a few slogans, there wasn’t much to read about socialism in the local library, so until I got to Berkeley it remained beyond my reach. 2 Cal Nestled at the foot of the Berkeley hills, the ®agship campus of the University of California slopes from east to west. There are many ravines and few plains. One is always walking up or down, entering the large 6 l At Berkeley in the Sixties buildings at different levels. On the Berkeley map it occupies a large rectangular area with a couple of rough edges. Hearst Avenue marks the northern and Bancroft Way runs along the southern boundary, with some buildings and most of the dorms located in the surrounding community. The campus does not give the appearance of having been planned but of expanding in response to need, like a medieval town. Indeed, the of¤cial southern entrance, known as Sather Gate, was a block inside the 1961 boundary of the campus. Buildings representing different styles and designs grew where there was space. Although some were surely built at the same time, none seemed to match and I cannot remember a single one I found aesthetically pleasing. In contrast, the landscaping was gorgeous. Trees abounded, grassy nooks were everywhere, and the variegated topography was skillfully used to create islands of seclusion in a very busy place. I thought Cal had some of the ugliest buildings on the most beautiful grounds I had ever seen. Cal was big and seemed bigger. Over 25,000 students, two-thirds of them undergraduates, plus faculty and staff gave it the bustle of a city, not the languid pace of a small town. Four-¤fths of the students came from California, especially Los Angeles. About 8 percent were foreign students, 4 percent came from New York, and the rest came from every other state.1 The campus had discreet sections, each with its own geography and atmosphere. From the main library, which was almost dead center in the campus, the physical science and engineering buildings were north and east; the life sciences were to the west; the social science, humanities , and general education buildings were to the south. Buildings built for older disciplines (e.g., home economics and agriculture) were more to the north than those built for newer ones. Construction had begun on a social science high-rise, which would become Barrows Hall. T-buildings (for temporary), bungalows built during World War II, still lined University Drive, running the length of what had once been the geographic center. The law school was a self-contained unit at the far eastern edge; the main gym and tracks were to the west, two blocks down from the girls’ gym, but the football stadium was east of campus, snug against the Berkeley hills. Disciplinary clustering made it possible to have backto -back classes in different buildings and still go from one to the other in the ten minutes allotted between periods; it made it dif¤cult to have back-to-back classes in different ¤elds without practicing cross-country running. It also informally segregated everyone by ¤eld...


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