Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bring Daughter to Berkeley Day

My 8 year old daughter Leila had a whole week off from school for mid-winter break and I had pleasure of taking my precocious child with me to Berkeley.  So as we got dressed that morning, she meticulously packed her panda backpack with her ipod, her DSi and her Ramona the Pest book along with a good variety of snacks (in case I get the munchies she snickered).  She flashed me her radiant smile and said, "Let's go, Mom.  I can't wait to be a Golden Bear today!" Yes, all you Golden Bears out there rejoice, the brainwashing as begun! :)
Standing outside of Wheeler

So as Leila walked around Berkeley in wonder and awe and kept firing questions like what does she have to do to go to Berkeley, will she be able to play soccer there, can she drive everyday from home school etc. I couldn't help wondering as I responded if I was already planting the seeds on how to become an overachiever in this overly competitive world.  My responses consisted of keywords like, work hard, excellent grades, being active, being involved in the community.  As we people watched from Sproul and I had a chance to digest my words, I immediately retracted my first responses and told her that right now she need not worry about things like that and that she should focus on having fun, learning new things in school and just being a kid. She then looked up at me and said, "But Mom, I want to be like you." Oh goodness talk about mush overload. It made me realize that these past five to seven years of desperately trying to complete my undergraduate degree was because I wanted my then 2 year old to have a good role model to look up to, were not all in vain.  My mission was accomplished.  I sometimes get so lost in my own insecurities and self-doubt that I missed where my child actually absorbed the message I was trying to send through my educational pursuits. So thank you, Leila for always bringing me to reality.

My Golden Bear

Moving on, we walked into my first class, she was immediately greeted with warm welcomes and hellos, while I was greeted with the usual "OMG YOU have a kid/How OLD are you?" looks.  Suffice to say I'm quite used to these sorts of questions and politely informed my classmates of my hideous old age of 32 and that Leila was indeed not my only child.  My teacher asked Leila her name and what she wanted to do when she got older and her response was, "I'm going to a Golden Bear, then I will be a Pediatrician or a Cook!"  When probed further about what kind of cook she would like to be, she said, "The type of cook that cooks on TV."  Well go figure, all my obsessive Food Network watching has totally paid off! She quietly sat in class, read, played with her DSi and iPod. The only time we heard her during the 90 minutes of class, was when she starting singing along to Katy Perry's Firework while playing on her ipod. It definitely provided our Racial Othering lecture  with some much needed comic relief.

Tell-tale Telegraph

Eating "heavenly" cookies from C.R.E.A.M.
As we perused the latter part of our day on Telegraph where we both devoured some Blondie's pizza and C.R.E.A.M.'s freshly baked cookies, she was overcome with gratitude (and a sugar high) for bringing her to school with me. When I asked her what was the coolest thing about today, she immediately answered, "To be a Berkeley student for one day. Oh yeah and to eat warm cookies!"  Yes, as much I have had a love/hate relationship with attending Berkeley, at this moment I couldn't agree with her more!


  1. Please excuse the numerous typos and grammatical errors. In my excitement, I just posted it without proofreading which is a big NO NO for any writer. Nevertheless a little imperfection for my first try isn't gonna hurt too much.

  2. That's my babygirl Leila