There was no other university I wanted to attend beyond UC Berkeley. I knew it in 8th grade when I visited from Southern California. I knew it from the stands at Memorial Stadium during “The Play” at the Big Game and felt the rush of a singular sporting event that would never be replicated. I knew it during profound classroom interactions with professors in poetry, such as Ishmael Reed and Thom Gunn… in political science, such as Leslie Lipson, Norman Jacobson, and Ken Jowitt… and in social sciences, such as Bill Slottman. Every one of them gave texture, breadth, and meaning to my inquiries.
My life as an attorney, poet, musician, and citizen of the world could not have been shaped by any place other than Cal. The entire community — and not just the classroom — was the teaching environment from 1980−84 during the Reagan years. Without the lifelong quest for questioning and learning that was inculcated at Cal, I dare say my life would have been the very thing Socrates warned against — a “life unexamined.” Fiat Lux forever.