Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life at Berkeley Forty Years Ago

Periodically, I am made aware that I am a part of history. Such was the case recently while I was on my vacation. Although I still am getting over the fact that the period in which I was in college is now taught as history at high schools and colleges, I am glad that I can tell my story through my blog.

I was spending time in the arts and crafts building at Bruin Woods when one of the arts and crafts counselors asked if I minded if she sat near me as she was interested in what I was making. It was a delight to talk with her. She would be starting her sophomore year at UCLA in the fall.

We talked about college life. I happened to mention that my mother-in-law had contemplated enrolling at UCLA and moving into the dorms because she would be close to the medical center, have meals provided, and be able to attended concerts and visit museums. The fact that only freshmen and sophomores are offered dorm rooms was not on my mother-in-law's radar. She has a master's degree already. Kelsey thought that having a 91-year-old living in the dorms might be fun.

Albeit, I thought about the time I was in college and how dorm rooms were available throughout all four years of ones time at Berkeley. When I tried to secure a dorm room, everything was taken so I ended up in a female living group that was approved by the University. Two years later, no one wanted to be in a dorm.

So much has changed since I was in college. The age of majority was 21 and, as a female, my parents had control of my life for the first 3 years of college. When I enrolled at Berkeley, my parents were asked to sign a document in which they gave or denied me permission to date or be out at night and establish a curfew on weekdays and weekends.

I was a freshman when I went out on a double-date with one of the women in my house. We did not get home until after midnight. I had to appear before the Judicial Committe on campus to explain myself. I was not penalized because the committee felt that I had been unduly influenced by my housemate who was a senior.

I had begun my freshman year after the Free Speech Movement began at Berkeley. Several of my classes focused on civil disobedience. I remember that I had to study about civil disobedience in the past. The year that I was at Berkeley was a relatively quiet year but my mother was still unnerved about my being there.

My mother wanted me to transfer to UC Irvine. If I did that, she would expect me to live at home. My father interceded and convinced my mother that I could come home on weekends if I was at UCLA. I transferred to UCLA but not because I wanted to transfer. I learned that I could graduate from UCLA under the Berkeley Catalog so I selected my classes based on the 1965 catalog with the intention of transferring back to Berkeley when I turned 21.

In preparation for my transfer, I learned about an emancipated minor. I had myself declared an emancipated minor about the time I met my husband to be. So it seems that the best laid plans were derailed by love.

No comments:

Post a Comment