March 16, 2008 12:48 PM
Events, Seminars, Performances Galore
With your busy schedule, who has time to go attend events, performances, or lectures? Well, first of all, these events are usually a once in a lifetime event. I mean, when are you ever going to be able to see Richard Dawkins? Or be able to watch a ballet for 50% of the ticket price? Take advantage of these events that come to Berkeley! Take a break, have fun, and be amazed (or disappointed). Either way, these events will enrich your life.
One of the best resources for events coming up is the events page on the Berkeley website. They have a pretty good listing of everything happening at Cal from lectures to exhibits and performances. Sometimes, you have to find out by ear or e-mail. Just last week, I listened to Michael Pollan talk about his most recent book, In Defense of Food, which was a very good and interesting talk just about food in general. Later that week, listened to Richard Dawkins talk about his new book The God Delusion, which was quite enlightening given that I never heard of him before, given that I research the evolutionary relationships of plants.
As for seminars, I encourage any student who is really interested in a particular topic and has time in his/her class schedule to attend seminars. Some of these are actual class seminars that you can sign up for units, but there are other ones that usually happen once every week at a certain time. Here are some websites that might interest you. I actually try to attend Botany Lunches every week, and if given the chance, the IB ones. Most of them are quite interesting, even if you don't understand what they are talking about.
Cal Performances has been my favorite venue for attending musical and dance performance, mainly because as students, we get 50% off the ticket price (and sometimes more if you join the Cal Performances e-mail club), making it worthwhile to sit in the orchestra seats (just think about it, when are you ever going to get such a good deal?). Okay, so maybe it's just me, but check out the website for other musical gigs that may take place at the Greek Theater. Plus, it's right on campus, so you don't have to travel very far.
Unfortunately, this makes me overlook all the other wonderful student events happening on Cal (which is why I sometimes wish I lived in the dorms – you usually have a better feeling of what's going on). For instance, I just missed the UC Men's Octet by a day, and I really love listening to them and all the other choral groups. There are also stage productions by the Theater, Dance, and Performances Department (and if you are into dance, check out the Berkeley Dance Project later this year).
Great thing about living in the Bay Area is the close proximity to San Francisco, which is like the cultural center of California (LA really doesn't compare). Again, there are concerts by the SF Symphony Orchestra (very well known), SF Opera, SF ballet, and then a bunch of modern dance companies, some touring Broadway shows, and that doesn't even cover it. If any of you are interest in film, check out the Asian-American Film Festival. Some of the movies are being held at the Pacific Film Archive, but you can also check out some of the ones around the Bay Area.
Anyway, I hope you take the time to enjoy what Berkeley has to offer!
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