Words From the Top

A Little Bit of Legal Trouble

My last semester at Cal roughly resembles an Isaac Asimov short story in which an intrepid interstellar explorer lands on a mysterious and seemingly deserted ice planet, only to discover that the University of California at Berkeley has expelled him for misconduct. For those of you who don’t read or are idiots, I’ll dispense with the metaphorical bullshit: this means that I am in trouble for illegal acts that I have allegedly done. I say “allegedly” because the police have no evidence that those Molotov cocktails I tossed over my shoulder weren’t in self-defense. Also, they have no proof that Chancellor Birgeneau’s Mercedes wasn’t stolen by an elite criminal organization, who had deviously framed me by planting my fingerprints, blood, hair, sweat, dead skin cells, and semen all over the front seat.


And now, I’m on the lam. I’m hiding in an undisclosed Latin American country and waiting for things to blow over before I return to finish my bachelor’s degree under an assumed identity. It’s a perfect plan: no one will suspect Friedrich, the mild-mannered German exchange student who is majoring in Legal Studies, enjoys rugby, and speaks fluent Spanish for some reason.


But I must admit I worry sometimes. When I wake up every morning I  fear that I may be seized the long arm of UCPD, with its unchecked powers of sending mass emails about crime and yelling at students on bikes. So don’t think I’m on easy street: my paranoia knows no bounds. Even sunlight scares me: I put iron shutters on the windows and then painted those shudders black while thinking very hard about eclipses.


I guess I’m telling you all this because I want to say this: enjoy your college years while you can, and live without regrets. My dad used to say that people who have regrets are like people who don’t rob Chancellor Birgeneau: they’re not my son.