one million pencils



With the academic year getting back into full swing, I’ve had to trade my summer writings (which were fairly articulate ruminations on summer themes, but mostly an excuse to use phrases like “screaming into your inbox” and “consistently lends themselves to porg comparisons”) for the better regarded English essay. A summer newsletter that I kept went out to around 60 people, and my English essays will be read by my gsi’s, but here, on this barely-trafficked site, I want to try crossing academic utility with summer carefreeness, knowing that nothing is really at stake.

I mean for this blog to be primarily about the lessons learned by a beginning business owner, but I also want it to be a place for a broader observations of a Berkeley student with an interest in history and constitutional law.

Berkeley is an exciting place to be. I came here a year ago, to my dream school, excited but fully ready to become disillusioned and lost in the crowd of some 42,000 students. But that day hasn’t come yet.

Certainly nothing has ever been handed to me here--it’s difficult to hand out anything when your class can contain over 500 students--but every professor I’ve had so far has been more than happy to get to know me as an individual if I just reach out. I’ve been to Lick Observatory with a world-renowned astronomer, who worked on Nobel-winning projects concerning the accelerating expansion of the universe. I’ve spent hours discussing the intricacies of personal faith with a professor who spent half a lifetime in the Middle East. And for every frustration with Berkeley bureaucracy that I’ve had, or struggle that I’ve had to distinguish myself from equally (and often more) intelligent and motivated students, there have been upperclassmen and gsi’s happy to pass on their experience and help me navigate Berkeley.

What I also love about Berkeley is that, at least in my college (Letters & Science), there is an emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches to every subject. Though I am an English major, I’ve so far taken three science classes (far beyond what my breadth requirements would ask) geared at humanities majors, and I’m starting to understand what it really means to gain a liberal education.

So that’s the approach that I want to take with wherever this blog goes. Perhaps my ultimate goals are technically business-oriented, but the journey that I take to get there has so far spanned over many fields, and I believe that it is all the richer because of this. Whether I am furthering an old love of history, a newer understanding of political science, or my perennial interest in beautiful and functional design, I’m ready to learn from it.


Meg Shriber