The inaugural Berkeley Student Bear meme.

“Welcome … You’re about to become cynical, apathetic and jaded :D ,” the Tumblr, F Yeah, Berkeley Student Bear! informs you in bold white capital letters on a backdrop of gold and blue. The circular cut-out of a roaring grizzly completes the friendly message, courtesy of Katie Dominic, about to start her second year as an MCB major. (For more info, commence Facebook stalking.)

The meme’s witticisms hit close to home, capturing every frustrating, quirky particularity of Berkeley student life. The About page, however, refused to tell us anything at all about the mastermind behind the magic, so we corresponded with the clever creator herself to bring you everything you wanted to know (and didn’t) about this entertaining Tumblr.

Because her answers to our questions so beautifully convey her personality (and because we are lazy sons of b*tches), instead of paraphrasing or editing or whatever else it is bloggers are supposed to do, we bring you her replies in her own words:

1) What was the aha moment when you thought, “I absolutely must start this awesome Tumblr?”

I had a math discussion section in Cory Hall around midday during spring semester, and I had no other classes around that time and it was across campus from Unit 2 where I was living, so my walks to class in the afternoon often turned very cynical. If you’ve never had a class inside, it’s a million degrees in Cory at all times, and you have to walk up four flights of stairs to even get there, so that in itself was frustrating.

My combined frustration and newfound love of Tumblr (and all of the advice memes therein) resulted in me doodling little two-liners on the margins of my math notes, and thus a meme was born.

2) What do you do when your flow of ideas is more like a drying creek bed than a river?

Unfortunately that has been the case for much of this summer, being away from school and not experiencing all of Berkeley’s quirky ways and all, so at least for the summer I took a bit of a break. During the regular school year, if ever I have a little dry spell myself (busy with studying, a little too much CZ on the weekends, etc.), there is a growing contingent of wonderful Tumblr followers (225 last I checked!) who are really great about submitting ideas. Sometimes the ideas come fully formed straight from meme-generator, and sometimes people just submit little anecdotes about their Cal woes that I spin into two-line advice-style memes.

3) Favorite internet meme of the moment?

Oh, my gosh, right at the moment I’d have to say “Thank You, Based God” is my favorite. Lil B is just so wacky, the things he has to say crack me up. If you are unfamiliar with Lil’ B, ”The Based God” (who is, in fact, a Berkeley native!), I highly recommend doing a spot of internet research about the man, the myth, the legend himself.

4) Anything random you’d like to share? Anything at all.

Oh, geez, oh, geez, this is a stressful question. Along the lines of the Berkeley Student Bear meme itself, I guess this would be an appropriate opportunity to say that I’m thinking of adding a bit more of a community aspect to it. I started out thinking, “This will be very straightforward, just the meme, nothing extraneous,” but as it has gained a following and a lot of people seem to really relate to the material, I’ve started thinking that maybe it would be cool to start asking for and contributing my own short stories about embarrassing follies and exciting tribulations while living in Berkeley and going to Cal. I think it’s the kind of thing that people would enjoy (I know I would!), and maybe it could foster a sense of unity for when things at school get tough. I’m not sure, just an idea in the works!

To contact Katie, just go here.


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