I was at Cal from 1968 to 1972. It was a time of adventure, personal growth, and excitement set against a backdrop of chaos, turmoil, and unrest. As I solidified my decision about what major to pursue, I found myself lucky enough to grab a seat in Professor Harry Edwards’s sociology class. I had never not taken copious notes in a class, and I had never been so diligent about being on time for every single class.
But his class was different. I wanted a front-row seat, for Professor Edwards was more like going to the theater than going to a class. After the first lecture, I left my notebook at home. It was too fascinating to listen and watch him than to busy myself taking notes. Harry Edwards excited me about learning, discussing, thinking, listening to others’ perspectives, keeping an open mind, and trying to be a better contributor to society. I say Professor Edwards for President!
Decades later, I taught advanced placement literature to high school seniors; I told hundreds of students how this one professor helped open my eyes to the real world. I was always excited to see the graduating seniors head off to college — especially the upwards of 25 or more who chose Berkeley each year — knowing they would be introduced to new ideas, concepts, knowledge, people, and cultures that would make them better, more thoughtful, compassionate human beings.