The first week of school has come and gone, and we’ve all had a chance to settle back in to school life. That also means we’ve gotten the chance to see yet again just how different school is from our home lives. Whether or not you were pining for Berkeley after a few weeks home, there’s bound to be a few things you miss.

Unit 1 Slottman

The bathrooms. You don’t have to clean the bathrooms yourself in the dorms, but you do have to share it with a whole floor instead of just your siblings. That’s a lot of people you probably aren’t best buds with using the same facilities.

The food. Home-cooked food! Need we say more? The luxury of trotting downstairs, opening the fridge and taking out a tupperware of deliciousness — that hasn’t come from the dining commons — is one that must not be taken for granted. And now we must live without it until spring break.

The privacy. You may love your roommate to bits, but not all the time. There’s something about walking into your bedroom and having no one else there to share the space with that’s pretty priceless. At Cal, you savor the moments you walk into an empty room. Maybe you even sing a little while there’s no one there to hear (mock) you.

Television. Most kids have at least one show they like to watch and having it on an actual T.V. screen rather than a computer screen is another novelty not found in the dorms. It’s often not even found in apartments either. At home the remote can become an extension of your arm as you flip through channels and watch shows too silly to deliberately pull up on Hulu.

The people. Hopefully this is the most important aspect of everyone’s lives. There are always people we miss from home, from parents, siblings, friends or even pets (though we realize those do not literally fall under this category). No matter where you live on campus, Unit 1 or an apartment on Dwight, this is the part of missing home we hope we can all relate to. But as long as you don’t let yourself get bogged down with it, we promise the semester will still turn out great! Trust us, being the Berkeley student you are, you’ll soon be so swept up in everything you won’t have time for anything else. And we’ve found the people here to be pretty great as well…

Image source: prayitno under Creative Commons


Image source: Joshua Escobar, the Daily Cal


The wonderment surrounding the recently constructed Maximino Martinez Commons has subsided, but we still thought we’d answer some lingering questions about how the new residence hall has turned out.
Martinez lobby
Walking in, a common reaction has been “It looks like a museum!” The weird angles and wood/steel combos definitely give credit to that idea. The lure of brand spanking new apartments is also something to chat about. But other than its new, pretty fixings, we’ve starting to wonder if this dorm is really all it’s cracked up to be.

There were already issues surrounding the bathrooms before students even moved in. The confusion over gender inclusive versus gender designated ones was an interesting, to say the least, topic fluttering about the halls towards the beginning of the semester. That got sorted out though, so no real harm done. Now what else still needs fixing around the place?

For two days in the beginning of September, heating was turned up to full blast to get it up and running, as to avoid kinks during colder weather. Ice cream was handed out and shorts were worn, so again there was no real inconvenience. But another morning, residents woke up to no electricity. No lights, no working fridge, no internet. That’s right, no in-room connection to Facebook for almost an entire day! It turns out the main power transformer failed and was disabled. Hours later that same night a generator was installed, restoring power to the studying inhabitants. But power tests remained, and a few hours of electricity were still missed while a temporary transformer was installed. The building is now up and running (Facebook is once again available), but not exactly on a permanent basis yet.

The Martinez Commons are clearly a work in progress. But in exchange for mattresses no one has slept on before, we suppose some concessions must be made. It still has a great location, beautiful courtyard, clean bathrooms, and is a half block away from “late night” at Crossroads. This slightly defective but shiny new student home promises future comfort to its residents, it’s just not exactly perfect yet.

Image source: Erum Khan, The Daily Californian


So you’re spending some quality in the bathroom, on the porcelain. You whip out your smart phone and respond to some texts, check your Facebook and maybe shoot off a couple tweets. It’s a good use of time, we at the Clog certainly don’t expect you to sit there and ponder life as people have done for thousands of years. This is the 21st century, put that smart phone to use.

However if you’re in a public bathroom there are a couple dos and don’ts.

Do: read more »


If you’re trans, androgynous, or genderqueer, it can get kinda hairy when it comes to finding friendly bathrooms. But now you can check before you go out (or on your iPhone if you’re cool like that) where to find a gender-neutral restroom. Single stall jobs and shared spaces included.

Right now, Berkeley doesn’t have too many offerings on the site, but we’re sure there’s more out there. San Francisco currently has 140 listed (it figures).

And you know, you–the general public you–can benefit too. Need a moment of privacy? We totally feel ya.

Image Source: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid under Creative Commons
safe2pee.org [Site]
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