|Reading room atUC, Berkeley|
So, it's been a while since I've posted on my research about the "Puerto Rican" riots but not without good reason. For about a week, I was able to travel to California with the McNair Scholars Program here at Loyola. Our purpose for being there was a four day McNair Symposium at the University of California at Berkeley which featured presentations by other McNair Scholars from all around the country who represented various fields. While we were there, we also visited the resort-like Stanford University which will be the subject of my next post. In addition to learning from the student presentations, we received vital information and advise about graduate admissions programs for different schools and fields. It was very comforting to meet so many other students who are in the same position of applying to graduate programs and now the stress that comes with that. We met some wonderful people, both students and administrators, who were passionate about what they did and their notable research presentations displayed this. It was a very motivating experience.
We stayed at the UC,Berkeley dorms which were right on the edge of a beautiful campus on hills and by the famous Telegraph Street in Berkeley.The city of Berkeley is a diverse and vibrant community that is filled with restaurants, museums, parks, and many small private shops. The campus of the university itself gave off a relaxed aura. Everyone I encountered seemed very comfortable with themselves and who generally seemed pretty happy to help (a bit different in my native NYC). As I walked about the campus, I noticed how many old buildings there were and how much significant history took place there during the civil rights eras of the 1960's and 1970's. It was there that remarkable individuals like Mario Savio gave passionate addresses on the right to free speech and human rights. Those moments were part of what helped make this trip so worthwhile.
During those few days, I was also fortunate enough to meet with two professors of History at the university: Mark Brilliant and Waldo Martin. Both were not only helpful in advising me on the application process, but they were also individuals who inspired me. They teach, not only to communicate facts, but to foster a mind that asks complex questions, understands historical methodology, and is focused enough to manifest their passion into a thoughtful final product. All in all, my visit to Berkeley was productive and quite relaxing, a nice break from the arduous, but enjoyable, research from last month. Without a doubt, I will take the necessary steps to submit a strong application to this prestigious school.