Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Year in Review: Fourth Anniversary

Let's celebrate the fourth year of this blog's existence! You can see recaps of Year One, Year Two, and Year Three here. Now it is time to reflect back on Year Four.

Last year's anniversary post was published on March 24, 2013. I began this blog in March 2010. That is why we always celebrate each anniversary in March. So let's begin this year's wrap-up with March 24, 2013 and the days that followed...

It was Passover season.

My seder plate. March 26, 2013

In early April I traveled to Toronto to attend the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History. My blog post was mostly about how I was stopped by the Canadian border police and interrogated about what my true intentions were in entering Canada. A very interesting and chilling experience. But I also wrote about what a cool place Toronto is!

And then it was May. 
May Day, to be precise. I did not blog about our Stony Brook May Day Celebration on May 1, 2013, but there is ample media elsewhere on the web that is left over from that event. You can see our 2013 homepage here, and from there link to other pages such as our media page which includes a link to lots of photos and video from the event!

Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU / CWA Local 1104) rally at May Day Stony Brook. May 1, 2013

March on the President's Office, May Day Stony Brook. May 1, 2013

Soon I was off to Ithaca, New York, for a week to attend Cornell University's Summer Institute on Contested Landscapes. I wrote about my experiences, and especially about our field trip to northern Pennsylvania to investigate fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and its social impacts. It was an eye-opening trip.

 In late May 2013 I attended the large March Against Monsanto at Union Square (march to Washington Square). As usual, I took tons of photographs and video of the event, which attracted a crowd of several thousand participants.

March Against Monsanto, entering Washington Square Park. May 25, 2013

March Against Monsanto, New York City. May 25, 2013

On June 1, I was back at Zuccotti Park for an #occupygezi demonstration in support of the protests in Turkey.

#OccupyGezi Solidarity Demonstration, Zuccotti Park. June 1, 2013


June.
What did I do in June?
I house-sat in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, for two weeks, and thus paid my obligatory (and first) visit to Fort Greene Park. (Little did I know that I would end up living in Brooklyn just nine months later.)

Fort Greene Park. June 14, 2013

On my wedding anniversary I went upstate to the Catskill Mountains. Went camping. :)

Our Camp at North-South Lake, Catskill Mountains. June 23, 2013

July 4th: the anniversary of American Independence. I attended the big Restore the Fourth (Amendment) rally at Union Square and marched down Broadway. This was in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA.

Restore the Fourth, march down Broadway with banner "Yes We Scan." July 4, 2013

A few days later I got back to blogging and wrote this update to my series on "Planning the Dissertation."

And then I was off to California, and then to Hawaiʻi, for a long summer away from home...
As always, I wrote about my California Research Adventure, this time in eight segments:

San Marino, July 2013 (part I of narrative)

Los Angeles, July 2013 (part II of narrative)

Los Angeles, July 2013 (part III of narrative)

San Marino, July 2013 (part IV of narrative)

Ventura County & Channel Islands, July 2013 (part V of narrative)

Pasadena, July 2013 (part VI of narrative)

San Marino, August 2013 (part VII of narrative)

Orange County, August 2013 (part VIII of narrative)

After returning home from Cali in mid-August, I was off, almost immediately again, to Cincinnati for a wedding.

Cincinnati Art Museum, August 17, 2013

Then, the morning after the wedding bash, I was on a plane to Honolulu for my Hawaiʻi Research Adventure, in seven segments:

Honolulu, August 2013 (part I of narrative)

Honolulu, August 2013 (part II of narrative)

Windward Coast, Oʻahu, August 2013 (part III of narrative)

North Shore & Central Oʻahu, August 2013 (part IV of narrative)

Central Oʻahu and Mānoa, August 2013 (part V of narrative)

Waiʻanae Coast, Oʻahu, August 2013 (part VI of narrative)

Koko Head and Waikīkī, September 2013 (part VII of narrative)

Although I returned from Hawaiʻi in early September, I did not write up those last two Research Adventure reports until mid-October. Meanwhile, in late September I visited home and spent some time with a good old friend, an old creek that I once loved as a young man:
 
The Lisha Kill, Niskayuna, New York, September 29, 2013

In early October I visited Tucson, Arizona, to attend the annual meeting of the Western History Association:

View from my hotel patio, Tucson, Arizona, October 9, 2013

In late October, on the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, I wrote a post to remember what it was like—at least what I experienced—as I encountered devastation amid the relief effort.


Then, in the last days of October, it was off to Cali for another California Research Adventure! This time in the Bay Area, and this time in nine parts:

Berkeley, October 2013 (part I of narrative)

San Francisco, November 2013 (part II of narrative)

Berkeley, November 2013 (part III of narrative)

Fort Ross & Point Reyes, November 2013 (part IV of narrative)

Oakland, November 2013 (part V of narrative)

San Francisco, November 2013 (part VI of narrative)

Monterey, November 2013 (part VII of narrative)

Berkeley, November 2013 (part VIII of narrative)

Berkeley, November 2013 (part IX of narrative)

I returned from California around Thanksgiving. Then I moved to Harlem on December 1st. 

View of Central Harlem from the 135th Street YMCA, December 1, 2013

I lived in Harlem for two months. I witnessed quite a few beautiful snowstorms, and I otherwise fell in love with the new neighborhood.

Snowstorm in the North Woods of Central Park, December 10, 2013

Come late December, I began to reflect back on the year—and on my entire life, actually. I decided to buy gregoryrosenthal.com and have my own website all about me! And I also wrote about this project: my effort to celebrate all of my life, not just the academic side. What I call "The Human C.V."

Then it was 2014. As I continued to think about life on a more existential level, and I took a few months off from academic research and writing, I did not write anything here on this blog.

On my birthday, in late January, I walked fifteen miles from Central Harlem to Williamsburg. It was a birthday march, and it symbolized my imminent move from Harlem to Brooklyn...

 Crossing the Williamsburg Bridge, January 24, 2014

 On February 1st, I moved to Brooklyn!

Welcome to Brooklyn! February 3, 2014

February. February. I traveled to Kansas for a week. I traveled to Vermont for a week. At one point late in the month I calculated that I had spent only about 50% of the nights in February in my own (new) bed in Brooklyn. It was a month of movement—of change—of transition.

In early March I published my first post of 2014, a post about gender and sexuality. A very personal post. But one that certainly continues the themes that I raised in "The Human C.V."

March 2014.

Greenwood Cemetery in snow. March 8, 2014.

It is a tradition of these anniversary posts to suggest a few things about the future. That is, what will the year from March 2014 to March 2015 look like? Well, here goes:

I will still be in school and still be a doctoral candidate through March 2015.

I will live in Brooklyn at least through January 2015 if not longer. If I am not living in Brooklyn as of March 2015, I will still be in the New York City area, as I will not graduate with my doctoral degree until May 2015. 

There will be at least one more research adventure: another trip to Hawaiʻi, probably sometime in the fall just before job hunting season turns to its in-person interviews (and hence, the potential need to be in the mainland United States with some regularity... unless I look for work overseas). The in-person period of the job hunt seems to be January through March, so I should plan my Hawaiʻi Research Adventure for late fall 2014. 

Yes, job hunting will be part of next year's program of activities. So will my dissertation defense. So will, basically, wrapping up my dissertation. Life will twist and turn into 2015. By March I may know where I am living and working in 2016... but perhaps not. 
 To another year: hear hear! rah rah!

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Very Own Closet


The phrase "coming out of the closet" is generally reserved for those who previously identified as "straight," or they didn't identify as anything (because society just assumed them to be straight), and then, turning a corner, they chose to publicly identify as "gay."

But what about everyone else who doesn't go from one side of this sexuality binary to the other? What about all those for who the binary of gay/straight is meaningless, or at least hollow? What about those who "come out" in different directions, who start from unusual starting points and end at equally unusual endings?

I have long believed that most people are neither "straight" nor "gay." Riffing on Kinsey here, I think that most of us fall somewhere in between hetero and homo. Indeed, although I am generally attracted to female-bodied persons, that has not been true 100% of the time in my life. I am generally attracted to people with feminine qualities, but not wholly so. The same goes for gender: most people are neither wholly male nor wholly female in my reckoning; most people are neither wholly masculine nor purely feminine. I myself have always had a feminine streak: in middle and high school I wanted to wear women's clothing, but I kept myself from doing it; in high school I sometimes wore glitter to school, which was, dare I say, fabulous. But more to the point: I'd rather talk about my feelings and relationships all day than watch or play sports or video games. But these are just crude gender stereotypes, and at worst I am just reinforcing that useless old binary that holds that some things are "masculine" while others are "feminine" and never the twain shall meet. But they do meet. They meet in me. In my heart. In my head. In my body and in my desires.

I think that everyone is "in the closet," really. But we each have our very own closet, a closet of our own making—something we built up around ourselves, under societal, familial, ideological, and moral pressures, to make life "easier" for ourselves. A grand delusion, in fact. Because performing "straight" and performing "gay" are easy enough in that the stereotypical behaviors and ways-of-being are so commonly known and almost universally accepted and shared throughout our society that it is easier to just be one of those things than to be something different. I know, because I've been performing "straight" for the great majority of my life. I have also long performed "male." These were and are my closets. These are the boxes that I have made for myself—boxes that limit my experience of the world and of this one special life that I get to live.

Although I have been perceived as "gay" by friends and acquaintances at least since high school, and I was even the victim of a minor hate crime in college based on my perceived sexual identity as "gay," the truth is that my closet wasn't made by those who assumed things about me, who bullied me, and who wanted me to feel bad about myself because of my gender expression and my perceived sexual orientation. No, I made my very own closet by pressuring myself to do the very opposite of these assumed things: to be more male, to be more straight. I've always been down on myself for not being masculine enough, for not being straight enough. I always worried that I would never be successful in a heterosexual relationship because I just couldn't get myself to perform the male/straight role in a satisfactory way. I put these pressures on myself. I have long believed that either I must succeed at being a "straight man" or else I will not be happy.

It is strange to find myself grasping in the dark for the doorknob of this closet. I have no idea—and I'm frankly a bit scared—of what I will discover on the other side. But I know that I want to smash this closet into pieces. I want to smash the gender binary. I want to smash the sexuality binary. I want to love every part of myself, all 100%, and not feel bad or embarrassed about any part of me that fails to conform to any one prescribed way of being or another.

In his History of Sexuality, did not Michel Foucault argue that the concept of being straight and being gay was a relatively modern phenomenon? That in the past people engaged in heterosexual or homosexual acts, but the idea of being one way or the other was not commonly understood? I wonder if we might not want to go back to that older way of thinking about sex. I understand that there are many, many labels out there, and that many of these labels are empowering and liberating to those who adopt them. But, personally, I don't want a label. I don't want to be any kind of sexuality except my own. I don't want to be any gender except my own. What am I? If you ask me that, I will say: I am Gregory. I am a beautiful person. I am full of love. What else is there to know?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Human C.V.

I've finally decided, after about four or five years of having one—and after watching it grow from one to four pages—to post my c.v. online: my curriculum vitae.

But to do so is painful. That's because I know that some people read a c.v. as if it is the person. "It says everything that you need to know about Gregory."

No... it does not. Not. Even. Close.

self-portrait (c. 1995)

A friend recently asked me in casual conversation: what is a c.v.? And what a question! But do I have a good answer? At first blush, I responded that it was like a resume, simply longer. The resume is traditionally one page, but the c.v. is as long as it can be or wants to be. Once you get really old, your c.v. might be fifty pages long, and that is okay. That's what we mean by "curriculum vitae": the course of one's life.

I kind of think it is impressive that I can now fill up four pages of my c.v. with stuff about me, but it is also sad, because if you would let me I would fill up four hundred pages to tell my story. So the question "what is a c.v.?" is not so much a question of how long it should be, but really: what does/should it say? What part of my four-hundred-page story becomes the condensed four-page mini-narrative? And how could anyone get away with thinking that those measly four pages represent me?

So while I am right that a c.v. can be as long as you want it to be, you cannot simply put anything on it. You do not include a list of all your romantic relationships, which ones reached different milestones such as sex or marriage, and then little filler information between certain relationships to explain why you were, say, single between 2003 and 2005—because people are really going to want to know that about you! No. I repeat: this information does not go into your c.v.

You do not list all the different pets that you have had over time: their names, their ages at time of death, et cetera. Nope, no pets.

You do not record when you first stood upright and you walked on two feet. You do not record when you said your first word and what that word was. You likewise do not record the funerals you have attended, the people close to you who have died, and what your relationship with them was.

In fact, almost anyone and everyone important in your life will never get onto the pages of your c.v. It's as if they never existed, and you were never impacted by their lives.

So what do you list on a c.v.? Well, you list 1) texts that you have published (and sometimes you can sneak in a few that you have written even if they are not published, but they must be eminently publishable); you list 2) public presentations that you have given; you list 3) the schools and programs you have received degrees from; you may list 4) organizations that you are a member of (but only if they are professional organizations similar to the professions held by the people reading your c.v.!).

Now you might think to yourself: the only person who is going to be able to fill up multiple pages of a c.v. with that kind of stuff is some kind of detached, soulless intellectual, am I right?!

Yes, you are right.

In fact, most people on Earth—wonderful, beautiful, creative, loving people—don't have c.v.s, and in the realm of c.v.-dom they just don't count.

Now, take a breath, and look away from the screen for a second. There are a select group of people on this Earth fretting and worrying about the format and placement of one thing or another on this piece (or pieces) of paper that only matter to a small group of other yet similar people. Meanwhile, good people—the best on Earth—are living their lives, helping others, doing amazing things, and none of it is chiseled into stone on a c.v.

So, to return to the question, "what is a c.v.?" Perhaps the best answer is that it is some kind of language or code that a small, select group of people use to judge and evaluate each other. Kind of like how an Olympic judge gives a seemingly random numeral grade for a floor routine in the field of gymnastics: the only people who really understand the nature of that grading system are the judges and the gymnasts. Right? I mean, how would I, for example, know what is a 9.1 performance versus a 9.9?

Anyone, with some work, can learn the code. Frankly, anyone can master it. There are people who actually get paid to listen to you talk about your life so that they can write up a c.v. for you. It's like, "tell me the 'course of your life' and I will turn that mundane English phrase into a Latin one!" :)

I'm not saying that the c.v. is all bad. Perhaps it serves an important purpose, although I do think that we who use and evaluate c.v.s are generally too competitive with each other and we think way too much about one-upmanship, about how one person's c.v. ranks against another's. But stop for a moment and think about how utterly stupid that is. You are taking one person's "course of their life" and then ranking it against someone else's. When and why did we ever start thinking that somehow human lives are comparable and rankable in this way? And what does it say about us that we so habitually do this to ourselves and to each other?

Of course, I do not mean just to criticize. The question now becomes: what can we do differently?

I believe there are three possible solutions to the problem of the c.v. One is to ban all c.v.s. Let's ban resumes, too. Or not ban them, but in all hiring situations we should simply ask people to send in whatever they want about themselves in whatever format they want. They can send in a written narrative, a resume or c.v., an audiotape or video recording, a portfolio of creative works or products, a basket of scented or tasty goodies, an envelope stuffed with cash. Really. Let people send in whatever they want.

I know what I would send in. I would write a super-duper-long cover letter, because I always want to write really long cover letters. I want to explain where I've come from and where I think I'm going, and how I believe this job/position fits into the trajectory of my life's adventure—my 'life's course' (aka curriculum vitae!). But I might also send in a few photographs of myself: pictures of me smiling and interacting with other people, to show that I am a personable guy and that I love working with others. (Indeed, one of the best jobs that I ever had was won—at least partly—by me sharing unsolicited photographs like the ones I just described! I am telling you: send in those smiling pictures!)

The second possible solution is: let's force everyone to have a c.v. Not just writers and thinkers and academics. But farmers, astronauts, nurses, politicians, plumbers, freelancers, breakdancers. Everyone should have a c.v. This way we would have to inevitably break down the artificial taxonomy of what goes in and what stays out of a c.v. The breakdancer would list all of their accomplishments as a dancer. The plumber list the skills s/he has acquired and the various jobs s/he has successfully completed. The academic will list their published books and articles. To everything there is a season; for everyone there is a c.v.

And how would that change my c.v.? Well, if you listed your experiences dancing, I'd probably list mine, too. (I performed with my college's modern dance company for one year in 2002-2003, but that's not on my current c.v. Too bad!). I have no experience as a plumber or an astronaut, but I have worked a bit on an organic vegetable farm. That's not on my c.v. But really, why not?

Finally, there is a third way—a middle path: the human c.v.

What do I mean by "human c.v."? Well, it's kind of like what I am describing above under option two. If you ever performed in a dance company, list it! If you ever walked one hundred miles across the desert without stop, and you slept on the side of the road, list it! If you fell deeply in love, had your heart broken, and wrote a poem about it, list it! If you had a child, or you lost a grandparent, list it!

Now don't go listing everything. Because who is going to read a four-hundred-page c.v. I'll read your four-hundred-page autobiography if you write it, but not a c.v. Sure, the human c.v. can be a little hybrid of the two: you can tell some narratives rather than just listing everything. I mean, whose "course of life" unfolded like a bunch of lists? Not mine. My life is more like a bunch of snaking stories that wind in and out of each other's ways, sometimes getting tangled up. Once in a while a story-snake just crokes, or gets chopped into two, and usually they simply splinter up into multiple new snakes like a many-headed hydra.

Tell your story. That's what the "human c.v." is all about. And who are you telling it to? Well... the world! Tell it. Not because you need to, or because you want people to judge or evaluate you—that's what the boring old normal c.v. is for. Tell your story because you are proud of it, and because when people ask you "who are you?" you can confidently point to your "human c.v." and say: that's me. (Of course it isn't. The only thing that is you is you. But being able to express yourself in words or images—to tell your story the way you want to tell it—may be an important and liberating adventure. It's worth a try!)

All I know is that my c.v. is not me and I am not my c.v. (It's like the Buddhist monk who once ripped up all his cards—his driver's license, his social security card, his credit cards—and with each rip said: "this card is not me. I am not this card.") The c.v. is, in the end, just some kind of fantastic and twisted mirror of one's self. It reflects a sort of "way of being" that I can perform, but it hardly reflects a "course of life" that I have lived and am still living. I think that this is the key difference between a c.v. and a "human c.v." The former is a tool for attaining a goal; the latter is a story that gives meaning to our lives.

I have never made a "human c.v." before, but I am working on one here. (And now I've got to go add that modern dance company line to it!). Please let me know what you think about this idea and project. And if you have a "human c.v." to share, I would love to see it! (No judgement. No evaluation. Just loving-kindness, respect, and appreciation for one's willingness to share their 'life course.')

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Goodbye, California

California Research Adventure: Days 64-69

Hey, this is my 100th blog post! [Three cheers!]

Berkeley Fire Trail at dawn

Can you believe that I have "research-adventured" for seventy days in the Golden State? That's well over two months. But as I said in an earlier post, I have spent about four months away from home in 2013. I'm a traveling man. And in 2014 it won't be very much different. I don't plan to "research-adventure" anymore—that is, visit archives—but I am planning to spend time in Harlem, maybe D.C., Kansas in February, back to S.F. in March, Atlanta in April, and who knows what happens from there!

So how did I spend my last few days in Berkeley? Well, on Saturday morning I decided to wake up very early and start walking uphill—through town—through campus—up into Strawberry Canyon. There I hooked up with the fire trail(s), a set of footpaths through the hills above UC-Berkeley. I ended up hiking at least seven miles, and moving nonstop for about 3-4 hours. It felt great!

 Looking all the way to Oakland from the fire trail

View of Berkeley (and even the Golden Gate) from the fire trail
 
After a lovely hike, I then hiked myself all the way back down the hill to campus where I hooked up with the Berkeley Art Museum. The museum happens to have almost exclusively Asian art on display at the moment, which is fine by me. But I found this kind of interesting and I wonder if it is part of the mission of the museum or whether I just happened to find them in this fleeting vogue. 
Check out this museum floor plan! As you walk through, you get no real sense of being on the "first floor" or the "second floor." Rather each room is its own floor—its own space floating within a bigger space. Very strange and kind of beautiful. 
Berkeley Art Museum, built c. 1970[?]
 
I enjoyed the museum, then made my way back to the Y to rest my feet and read and relax in the glowing sunlight pouring in through my window.

The next day—Sunday—I woke to this:

video
The Berkeley Half Marathon, as seen (and heard) through my window at 8 AM!

If I knew this was going to happen, I would have sold tickets for spectators to come up to my YMCA room for the view. :)

Berkeley Half Marathoners running past my window
 
Watching all these runners motivated me to throw on my clothes and run outside, too. I ran as far as the sidewalk, at which point I discovered that all the marathoners were long gone on their journey to the finish line. My run became a walk and I moseyed down to the local coffeehouse to sip coffee and read a book. Take that, Exercise. (But, as you know, I have been faithfully attending 7 AM yoga on most days on most weeks this past month. I am definitely more fit than I have been for the past two to three years.)

After a lovely weekend, on both Monday and Tuesday I visited the library for the last time(s). I have finished my dissertation research. Yes, I can say that now. :)

Tonight I am meeting up with an old friend (it's been six years) for dinner. Tomorrow morning meeting an old friend (it's been five years). Then getting on a plane to New York City. I will arrive in the cold, rainy, messy city around midnight on Thanksgiving morning. Then I've got to take a bus upstate. Should be at my childhood home by 11 AM on Thanksgiving... also first day of Hanukkah. 

Happy holidays! and Happy travels!

Friday, November 22, 2013

California Research Adventure: Days 59-63

Still life

I have really been cherishing my weekends here in Berkeley. Besides roadtripping to Point Reyes and to Monterey on two Saturdays, I have also spent two really calm and beautiful Sundays in Berkeley doing absolutely nothing. It is one of my new goals: to restore the sabbath—the week-end. See, when you are writing a doctoral dissertation, everyday is a work day and everyday and every hour bleeds into the next one. But that is no way to live. God said take one day out of every seven to rest. Working-class activists in this country later turned that one day into two, which is a good thing. This is not to say that every American has the luxury of taking two days off every week, but that is a goal and ideal that I think we commonly share. And my goal now, in late 2013, is to restore that sabbath-ness to the week-end. And the way I will do it is by doing absolutely nothing all weekend every weekend, except rest and play.

So far, it feels great. I end up laying in bed on sunlit afternoons, like the one pictured above, listening to jazz on my new AM/FM radio and just watching the shadows make slowly-moving patterns across the wall. Who ever said in this race towards "success" that I shouldn't take the time every week-end to to just lay around and do nothing?

The sun in my room

 Sun rays that stretch to infinity

Of course, cherishing the weekends means working that much harder from Monday to Friday. And that's okay. I still make my own schedule. I still have time for 7am yoga. I still have time to listen to some jazz on the radio, to do some recreational reading at sunup and at sundown. There is no justification for complaints about this wonderful, magical life. If it doesn't feel right, it is only because I am not awake to its magnificence. 

Thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—of campus workers went on strike on Wednesday all across the University of California system to protest harassment and intimidation that they have faced from management. They strike for dignity, the most important thing that all of us deserve.

I watched campus workers go out on strike on Wednesday. And I was reminded that the kind of life they want for themselves and their families is the same one that I want for myself, and that you want for yourself. We want time to be able to roadtrip to Monterey, to be able to watch the moonrise and to watch the sunset. We want time to spend with our loved ones. We want time to read a novel. We want time to go to a museum, to a park, to have a nice meal. We want time to develop hobbies and passions outside of our work, and we want our work to be fun and fulfilling, too. Time and dignity. Which are really the same thing. Because to be treated with dignity is to be treated human, and all humans have a right to "sabbath"—to rest and play on the week-end. Unfortunately millions of workers in the United States do not have that kind of time, because they get paid too little and must work multiple jobs or overtime. I am so proud to be an active member of my union, to be part of this epic, ongoing battle against capital, because it is ultimately our dignity—our very humanness—that is at stake.
 Striking campus workers in the cold rain

There is a tower in the middle of campus at Berkeley. It is over 300 feet tall and contains a huge clock that chimes once every hour. Also, a musician performs music on the carillon bells up in the tower a couple times each day. It is always a pleasure at noon, each day when I am in the archive, to just stop what I am doing and listen to the carillon music.

Sather Tower, UC-Berkeley, in the glow of sunset
The view in the other direction. Black trees, fog over the bay, and endless horizons of clouds folding upwards into darkness.

I finally decided that I had to go up to the top of the tower. There you can see all the carillon bells big and small.
The view from 300 feet up, looking west towards San Francisco

The view from 300 feet up, looking south towards Oakland

 The view from 300 feet up, looking east towards the Berkeley Hills

I have one more weekend left in California. Then this and all research adventures are over until I get that diploma in hand and can call myself "Doctor." :)

I plan to go east young man into those Berkeley Hills to do some hiking. Maybe watch the stars come out in the evening. Who knows?