Berkeley English-Chernin Program

If you have anything to do with the university’s English department, you may have already heard of something called the Chernin Program. It’s a mentoring program held every semester for anyone interested in English and literature, as a major or otherwise. Undergraduate groups meet every other week in the evening with a graduate student leader to talk about everything under the sun, from particulars about the English major to the nature of reading in general. Students talk about broad topics that you can’t get into during class and questions that have been bugging them, like what the heck does the dialectic mean? If you don’t get to talk about what you want during your regular meeting, your graduate leader holds office hours every other week to answer questions. You can ask about the major, classes you should take, applying to graduate school, or literature itself. There’s no extra homework or reading, just a relaxed meeting of the minds that can make you feel smart in your free time while taking a break from classwork. There’s also free food, which is always a bonus for poor, hungry college students.

Besides these regular meetings, the program also gives opportunities to explore Berkeley’s resources. You can sign up for seminars to learn how to research things in the libraries and online databases, or you can tour the Bancroft Library’s collection of cool old stuff. Want to see one of the first editions of ‘Paradise Lost’, or ‘David Copperfield’? They have them, and you can gawk at them all you want with fellow bookworms. You can view these items otherwise as read more »


gather round for stories“Story Hour in the library.” What a beautiful bunch of words. We’re word-hounds, you see, and there’s nothing we like more than having stories read to us (except maybe having poems read to us).

If this sounds extraordinarily appealing to you (as it well should), get yourself over to the Morrison Library on the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. for a good ol’ fashioned reading series — mark it down on your desk calendar, friends, because that’s hard to remember.

You can thank the English department for creating this lovely little time for students to escape the unyielding pressures of academia and take a visit to the library for once …

Now you’re probably thinking: Hold the horses! Why should we spend any more time in the library than we have to? And we at the Clog will tell you: Go for the stories, young padawan. You go for the stories.

Image Source: aye_shamus under Creative Commons
Story Hour in the library [site]


Some English professors may profess to know nothing about blogs, but that didn’t stop the English department from launching its new blog. In fact, the blog is an effort to draw more people into the community of dusty-Anglo-tome lovers in face of statewide budget cuts.

In an e-mail to English majors and “friends,” graduate student John Lurz explained the seed behind the idea:

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You’re probably familiar with on-screen MILF lover, stoner and Sulu, John Cho–he graduated from UC Berkeley a while back. OMG, right? Clogger and arts writer, Christine Borden, recently had good times with Cho and the writers of today’s release, “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.” The Chron also had their own interview. What is the difference between the two? Well, when the San Francisco Chronicle interviews John Cho, they just have to mention his alma mater–like, three hundred times.

We won’t lie, though. We love it when alumni get famous, too–it means we nerds do have a chance at sweet stardom!

Here’s the Chron’s very first question, getting straight to the point:
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