4 September 2002
I drove to WeightWatchers this morning because my ow-ie was making
it difficult to bend my knee or walk. Sitting I'm fine. Standing I'm fine, but anything in
between hurts. Normally driving three blocks would seem like the height of laziness, now
that I'm a jockette, but given that I'm still coasting on the euphoria of having biked 36+
miles yesterday, I decided to play "poor pathetic me" and drive. (I had hoped to
crack another set of numbers--and I did, with a 2.6 weight loss, bringing the total to
slightly over 78 lbs. The most I ever lost before was 80 and at that point I was already
starting to sneak junk food here and there...this time I'm not doing that, so I'm
convinced I will reach my goal, which is still ~56 lbs from now.)
When I drove up to the meeting, the streets were fairly quiet. When
I drove back, they had already started filling with bikers and at one point I thought I'd
have to just park the car and walk home because it was easier than finding a break in the
steady stream of bikes to get across the street!
School is back in session. Most of the bikers I passed this morning
were students on their way to the high school, which is just 3 blocks from our house. But
on the main road from here toward the university, the bike lanes will soon be filled with
students scurrying back to campus for the start of the fall quarter. Soon you won't be
able to find a parking place downtown any more (good thing I am now a biker and don't have
to look for parking any more).
I had a clue that we were about to face the fall onslaught when I
was biking on Saturday and passed several U-haul's with eager young faces unloading
couches, desks, and TVs. Walt said that when he went downtown yesterday, there were at
least 2 moving vans on each street he passed.
You can always tell when school is back in this university town
because suddenly the lines at the supermarket stretch down the aisles, as everywhere
roommates are setting up housekeeping--most of them freshman doing it for the first time.
Trying to decide which toilet paper each prefers, figuring out how they can get the most
food for the least money, looking kind of lost as they face living without Mom's home
cooking (though these days I suppose kids can microwave as well as a lot of Moms do).
If it hadn't been for the dorms, I would have been one of those lost
souls wandering the aisles of Safeway back in 1961 when I entered UC Berkeley. Talk about
a fish out of water. I was going from the smallest high school in San Francisco to a
university the size of a small city. At least one of the classes I took that first
semester had more students in it than my entire high school. I'd never lived away from
home, never taken care of myself. Heck, until I started high school, I hadn't even done my
One of my biggest fears in joining the convent (which I had planned
to do until I changed my mind at the last minute) was that I wouldn't have anybody to set
my hair for me (do you think that might have been a clue that I wasn't really God-oriented
at the time??) So I had my hair cut quite short and learned how to set a couple of pin
curls (anybody remember pin curls??) and so could at least do that when I started UC
I had my choice of dorms. The university had just built a whole
complex of large dormitory buildings, the size of large apartment houses. But, still
thinking small, I chose my dorm based entirely on size. Mitchell Hall had 60 residents
(vs. >200 in most of the other dorms). It sat on top of a hill and I definitely got my
exercise walking to and from class each day. By a nice twist of fate, our grad resident
was Char, who scared me while I was living there, but who ultimately became my good
friend, partner in crime, and godmother to Paul.
Even a 60-person residence hall was a bit intimidating, so I found
my social outlet at the Newman Center, the catholic clubhouse on the other side of campus.
There I met the friends who have remained my friends to this day.
I remember the day I arrived on campus. Moving me was a family
affair. We moved all of my boxes in and met my roommate, Judy (with whom I did not get
along at all). I was so eager to be on my own, for the first time in my life, and
after the family left, I went out for a walk to explore my new home--the dorm, the campus,
etc. It was a grey day, a drizzly day--the kind of day I loved. I had the campus to
myself, it seemed and I was reveling in my new independence.
As I walked, I saw a car driving slowly up the road--people inside
looking at the campus too, as I was. Then there was a moment of recognition--they
recognized me, and I recognized the car. It was my family. The people I was so thrilled to
be separating from for the first time. "Oh shit" went through my head (or it's
equivalent--I'm not sure I had been corrupted into using 4-letter words yet).
We got back together, they took me to a pizza place for dinner and
then drove me back to the dorm, so I wouldn't have to walk in the drizzle I was enjoying
It was a lovely thing for them to do, and it only postponed my final
separation by a few hours.
These days I suppose I would have driven off in a u-haul with
friends instead of being driven to a dorm by the family.
It seems like such a long time ago...it was.