last week at our graduation party, Malissa gave a speech. Aside from the best graduation advice she’s ever gotten (“always pay your bills on time”), she talked about what a great house we’ve built, basically from scratch. She said at the beginning of the year, she was really having doubts about living here, since there was practically nothing set up—not even our walk-in fridge was ready. Then one day, she was walking through the kitchen, and someone (me!) asked her if she wanted to help put the shelves together for the fridge, and she was like, YES! For me, it was kind of touching that such a simple thing—a request for help—could have such a memorable impact on someone. Of course, I remember it too—maybe not the actual asking, but the constructing of the shelves. It was me, Malissa, David, and Tim, and I think someone else who couldn’t make it to dinner with us… Malissa said that this year turned out to be the best year she’s had in Berkeley.

This being my only year in Berkeley, what Malissa said really makes me stop and think, and appreciate what I have. It’s true that certain things that people do in the house do annoy me; but the advantages of living here far outweigh the minor annoyances. First off, I’d probably be extremely depressed if I was living in an apartment by myself. And you learn so many things living in a house and having to take care of things yourself. It’s always interesting to listen to/watch Pepe (our maintenance manager) talking about/doing maintenance stuff. And, I don’t think I’d’ve ever considered being a house president if the house wasn’t new and everyone was just as clueless as I was, and then I got to go to Ann Arbor and learn about co-ops nationwide, and being treasurer/workshift manager of our food buyers’ club means i’ve learned about dealing with money and people, and we (as a house) have learned all about co-op bureaucracy through the whole house-naming affair. My goal for next year: learn to cook better (and more).

incidentally, we have someone in the house now who once wrote on his blog that the house is filled with “rich yuppie graduate students” who have “turn[ed] the place into a Victorian estate”. He was complaining about the “open house” that the USCA put on at the beginning of the year to appease the neighbors. He clearly didn’t understand the demographics of our house at all, and I think he mistook our new-to-berkeley enthusiasm as antidisestablishmentarian merriment. Oh well.

It’s summer semester now, and we’ve got lots of new residents moved in, many from I-House. It’s weird with so many of our first-year residents gone. I’m sure the house will adjust, but I’ll actually be gone in about two weeks.

Ah, summer time. Time to watch House and CSI.