CJ and I are at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley, California, where we have a breathtaking view and a fantastic internet rate, thanks to the recession. This place is too fancy for a college trip, but all the Berkeley parents we know said we must stay here. An incongruous grand old California castle on a hill, this fading old-world bastion of country club civility is just a few blocks away from the somewhat anachronistic African drums and tie-die of Telegraph Avenue.
CJ spent an entire day and evening with FE (Fencing Engineer) a childhood friend and teammate (and outstanding conversationalist) who is thriving here. They attended two classes together, and while CJ is not quite ready to switch from Undecided to Engineering, he said he "understood" the computer programming lecture.
The Good (besides the cost, location, prestige and weather):
1. Fires here are under control; SoCal fires rage
2. Despite the enormity of the campus, we ran into two people we knew, and were spotted by a third, who didn't say hello, but called his mom and reported that he saw us.
3. Yogurt Possibilities
4. Great China Restaurant – NY-quality Chinese
5. Amazing suites for freshmen
6. Parking spaces marked "NL" are reserved for Nobel Laureates.
7. Multiple styles of mugs in gift shop. Truly, I have never seen a better selection of college mugs.
1. Uncomfortable cement bleachers at football stadium
2. Our tour visited a class with 750 kids and a professor with sub-par English skills; tour guide was not certain whether class was Calculus or Economics.
4. Political Activism is presented on the tour as a piece of ancient history.