Tag Archives: university of california

UCB Peace Signs

I encountered these peace signs unexpectedly today, as I was walking across campus.


Argument at UC Berkeley

I’m proud of my students this semester in Intermediate Composition: Argument in the Disciplines. This was the first semester the course has been offered, and the students stepped up and built a website about written argument for the student community at UCB. The website (Argument at UC Berkeley) contains papers that the students wrote during the course, as well as advice from professionals and academics whom they interviewed. Students in subsequent semesters will maintain and expand the site.

Here’s a link, if you want to check out the site: http://argument.berkeley.edu/


[Sorry about not quoting for a few weeks.  Life.]

“Fiat Lux (‘let there be light’) is not only the motto of the University of California. It is also the name of a vast repository of photographs taken of the entire UC system nearly fifty years ago by Ansel Adams, one of the most famous photographers of the 20th Century. This extraordinary time capsule from the UC’s past has been chosen as the centerpiece for the 2012 On the Same Page program. Through our website (and the network of classes, talks, exhibitions, and databases that it weaves together), we invite you to explore the Fiat Lux collection, to look imaginatively and critically at our university’s history, and to participate actively in making its future. We are all stewards of the University of California.”

–“Fiat Lux: The Project.”  On the Same Page.  June 2012. University of California.  Web.


“What makes you happy?

That was the question more than 400 UC Berkeley students had to consider before they completed Psychology 162 this spring.

A scene from Bill's Story, the winner of our Human Happiness Student Video Competition.
A scene from Bill’s Story, the winner of our Human Happiness Student Video Competition.


This was no ordinary assignment, and it was no ordinary class. The class, called ‘Human Happiness,’ was taught by Greater Good Science Center Faculty Director Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at Berkeley. Keltner offered his students an interdisciplinary tour of the new science of happiness, covering topics such as gratitude, awe, humor, and compassion.

Toward the end of the semester, Keltner presented his students with an unusual extra credit assignment: Produce a short video illustrating at least one of the key concepts covered in ‘Human Happiness.’ The videos had to be short (1-3 minutes), draw on the material they covered in class, and answer the question, ‘What makes you happy?'”

–“The Results of Our Human Happiness Video Competition.”  The Greater Good.  May 17, 2o12.  Web.


“Members of the Class of 2012,

As a former secretary of labor and current professor, I feel I owe it to you to tell you the truth about the pieces of parchment you’re picking up today.

You’re f*cked.

Well, not exactly. But you won’t have it easy.

First, you’re going to have a hell of a hard time finding a job. The job market you’re heading into is still bad. Fewer than half of the graduates from last year’s class have as yet found full-time jobs. Most are still looking.

That’s been the pattern over the last three graduating classes: It’s been taking them more than a year to land the first job. And those who still haven’t found a job will be competing with you, making your job search even harder.

Contrast this with the class of 2008, whose members were lucky enough to get out of here and into the job market before the Great Recession really hit. Almost three-quarters of them found jobs within the year.

You’re still better off than your friends who didn’t graduate. Overall, the unemployment rate among young people (21 to 24 years old) with four-year college degrees is now 6.4 percent. With just a high school degree, the rate is double that.

But even when you get a job, it’s likely to pay peanuts.

Last year’s young college graduates lucky enough to land jobs had an average hourly wage of only $16.81, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute. That’s about $35,000 a year – lower than the yearly earnings of young college graduates in 2007, before the Great Recession. The typical wage of young college graduates dropped 4.6 percent between 2007 and 2011, adjusted for inflation.”

–Robert Reich. “The Commencement Address That Won’t Be Given.”  The Berkeley Blog May 21, 2012. UC Berkeley. Web.


“For the Class of 2016′s last sweet summer before college, UC Berkeley is offering its annual, eclectic list of reading suggestions suitable for inquiring minds — be they at the beach, taking a break from work or hanging around the house waiting to pack for school.

‘Revolutions’ is the theme of this year’s Summer Reading List for Freshmen, a compilation of recommendations from Berkeley faculty and staff.”

–“Revolutionary Reading List Offered for Summer.” UC Berkeley NewsCenter.  May 16, 2012. Web.


“A growing body of child cognition research at UC Berkeley suggests that parents and educators put aside the flash cards, electronic learning games and rote-memory tasks and set kids free to discover and investigate.

‘Spontaneous and “pretend play” is just as important as reading and writing drills,’ Gopnik said.”

–Yasmin Anwar. “Scientists Tap the Genius of Babies and Youngsters to Make Computers Smarter.” UC Berkeley News Center. March 12, 2012. Web.


“OUR UNIQUE SIX-WEEK PROGRAM offers aspiring, practicing and experienced writers a sustained community in which to create, network and live the writing life. The program offers workshops in fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Make lifelong connections while enjoying master classes with renowned authors, meeting with agents and attending and participating in panels. Specialized intensives such as novel writing and preparing the MFA application portfolio will also be offered.

Immerse yourself in the rich Bay Area literary scene. The City by the Bay has been home to and inspired a range of remarkable writers, from Chandler to Eggers to Ferlinghetti to Ginsberg to Kerouac to Thompson to Tan. Classes meet Monday through Thursday morning, leaving afternoons, evenings, and weekends free for writing, reading, and discovering why that thread of water tying the bay to the ocean is called the Golden Gate.”

–Summer Creative Writing Program. College Writing Programs. UC Berkeley. February 1, 2012. Web.


“College Writing Programs is not, in short, your grandparents’ writing program. Grammar and syntax still apply, and still matter. But CWP has come a long way from its 19th-century origins, when UC students were schooled in ‘Oral and Written Expression’ — known universitywide as Subject A — defined as the ability to use English ‘correctly, clearly and pertinently.’ In addition to such longtime staples as reading and comp and professional communication, the 21st-century Berkeley program offers more than 20 courses in everything from public speaking, creative nonfiction and travel writing to new media, where advanced students learn concision by crafting 130-character micro-essays suitable for Twitter.”

–Barry Bergman. “Berkeley’s Writing Requirement? Bold Vision, Endless Revision.” UC Berkeley NewsCenter. Jan 31, 2012. Web.


“Without being too dramatic, we are seeing an attempt to resist the destruction of the central institutions of modernity: the university, the public commons, and the welfare state. Although it was once taken for granted that everyone should sacrifice for the common public good, this social contract has been broken, and now some are fighting to maintain it, while others are pushing us forward to a more premodern mode of social organization.”

–Bob Samuels. “UCR Students Promote a Bad Tuition Plan as Police Beat Protesters.” Changing Universities. Blogspot. Jan. 20, 2102. Web.