A Trip Back to Berkeley

Today was Cal Day so I took my wife and son to visit UC Berkeley to tour the campus and visit Lawrence Hall of Science. I didn't want to go but my wife wanted our son to get a good feel for UC Berkeley even though he still has 4 years of highschool ahead of him. That's too much planning for my taste but my wife has taken charge of our son's education planning so I have to do her biddings. Thankfully, our next trip will be to Stanford which is just 10 minutes away. MIT, however, will be a problem.
It was odd revisiting places I frequented when I was a student there more than 20 years ago. Dang. It was same old Berkeley. My apartment off Durant was the same. Steve's BBQ, where I used to eat when I got tired of ramen, moved from a hole in the wall to two holes in the wall next door. Hotel across the street is now House of Curry. Rasputin, a used record store, was not there though and the theather on University that occasionally played porn (Ronda Jo Petty wooo~) on silverscreen was gone as well. Campus was the same old flat foot punishing chilly place and Telegraph area was still grungy as ever.
I never liked school. I didn't like being taught to and being forced to follow preset trail of education. In hindsight, I think Berkeley was not my kind of town either. Too chilly, gloomy, and grungy. Having to route around inevitable circle of idiots who stand around talking in the middle of the sidewalk wasn't good for my temper either.
In comparison, Palo Alto is brighter, politer, and cleaner. After dropping out of Berkeley, I spent much of my free hours at Stanford libraries to read research papers as part of my self-administered computer science graduate program of sort. And I spent most of my career working within 20 mile radius of Palo Alto. And have I been happy? You bet. It'll take a quite a lot to make me work anywhere else, even if it's just across the Bay.

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