Over the weekend, the new freshman class moved into the dorms and today, they begin their UCLA undergraduate careers. They will take the walk down The Hill, up Bruin Walk, over to South Campus, over to Moore 100, and beyond.
Here at BN, we want to welcome the freshmen to UCLA. For all of us, our time at UCLA was special, filled with memories that we wouldn't want to replicate anywhere else. We're taking a step back from our focus on UCLA sports to focus on UCLA life - this is, after all, part of why you chose the best University on the planet. (slightly homeristic view.) We love UCLA sports, but we also remember that the first few weeks at UCLA is a pretty tumultuous time, with bouts of homesickness, meeting a million new people, living with people you never met, and the introduction to possibly some not age appropriate beverages.
We're breaking this down into two posts, and the front pagers have answered various questions about their UCLA years. Feel free to join in and provide your own memories!
1. Your scariest class and the class you enjoyed the most.
gbruin: My scariest class was the very first class on the first day, I think it was History 7A - not knowing how to find the lecture hall (use a map, it's fine), not knowing anyone in it (it's ok, they don't know anyone either), not knowing where to sit (never in the front row!), not knowing whether the Prof's questions were rhetorical (doesn't matter, the Prof would love to hear from you), and not knowing if I could handle college, let alone U.C.L.A., academics (I could, with work and time and patience, and so will you). All classes get easier with time. Some classes required more study, but your comfort with class will get better every day. My favorite that first quarter was Psych 10 with Dr Grijalva.
tasser10: My scariest class was my first Biology class with Prof. Griffis (I think that was her name...Nestor can confirm...he was there before he fled to north campus...deserter!). On the first day of class, a lecture hall full of premeds (Moore 100), she said "I have noticed that people who sit in the first five rows tend to get A's". It was a big class...and there was a curve. I was petrified. Of course, the very next lecture, people would line up 30 minutes before class in order to sit in the first 5 rows. Myself included. And that continued all quarter. Now of course, I realize that she said that so that people would sit close and pay attention. Then again, I did get an A, so maybe she was right...
There were two classes that I enjoyed the most, for two different reasons. One was my first biochemistry class, which I just loved. Everyone was scared of the class and how tough it was supposed to be, but for some reason I really enjoyed the material and it made sense to me. It was the first time where I felt like a "scientist", like I knew what I was doing in my major. That feeling went away with Organic Chemistry 100B but I sure enjoyed it! The other class that I really enjoyed was an elective, German 100B (German Civilization). My roommates and I decided that we absolutely had to have one class all together. We had a blast, the class wasn't that hard and since we were all south campus majors, we enjoyed the, um, view...
Nestor: Uhm, yeah. So I had that same Bio 5 class with Tasser10. I remember she started her very first lecture by blasting this. And yes, it was a bit of a "jungle" watching South Campus kids stumbling all over themselves to get themselves a seat in those first 5 rows. Some clowns would actually hurl their backpacks just so they could secure their precious seats. It was probably one of my first queues that I was not going to hang out in South Campus for too long.
There were number of classes I really enjoyed at UCLA. I liked all the history courses I took. I have fond memories of taking an honors American History class (I think it was History 6BH or something). The professor was pretty cool and we had a Thursday night discussion section that went from 4 to 6 pm in Bunche Hall. Now why I appreciated that professor? At least in two of those sessions I told the Professor I had to leave at 5 pm for other engagements. When he asked what could be so important - the answer was lining up to get my priority seats (which I had camped out for earlier in the night/am) for the student sections of our hoops team (we won the Pac-10 in our freshman year, got the number 1 seed, before getting blown out by Indiana (a team we beat earlier in the season) in the Elite Eight).
Another class, I really liked was one on mass media and political communications taught by Professor Christine Schultz (is she still teaching there?). She was amazing and pretty dynamic and got me hooked in that world for good.
freesia39: Scariest class to me was ANYTHING that required real math or science skills. I knew my weaknesses and deliberately took as few "real" South Campus classes as possible. Unfortunately I did not understand statistics, so it terrified me that it was a requirement for my major. I still don't know how I passed at times. As for the class I enjoyed the most, it was an Asian American Studies course, and I remember the instructor (not a professor) brought in Frank Chin one day to speak to the class. I was riveted as he told stories. (And I'm still mad he didn't give me an A+, come on man.)
bruinclassof10: The scariest class for me was any Math 31 course. As an aspiring Biz econ major, I thought that I could handle integrals and derivatives but boy was I wrong. Math 31B with Rogowski was pretty rough. The class that I enjoyed the most was Life Science 15 with Professor Jay Phelan. He went to UCLA for undergrad and I learned a lot of cool and random topics to discuss in social situations. Plus it also helped that he wrote the curriculum for his course, a short, enjoyable book called Mean Genes.
Bellerophon: I don't remember the class number or anything, but it was calculus. That sucked. Enough where it led me eventually, like others, to the promised land of North Campus by my third year.
2. What is one of your favorite memories from living in the dorms?
gbruin: Random introductions to people who are still among my best friends 25 years later. You cross paths with so many people, and you don't think about it at the time about which of those relationships will stick. But lots of them will. We also screamed down Rieber a few times and had some pretty awesome progressive parties. Sproul 6 South rules.
tasser10: This is a tough one. I spent one year in Rieber (4N) and one in Saxon. In Rieber, we had a quarterly pillow fight against another floor. We would take all our mattresses and cover the lounge floor with them and have a huge pillow fight. It was ridiculous. Another time, we filled up the study room on our floor with crumpled newspaper pages. The whole entire room, floor to ceiling. Absurd. My roommate was great that year, and they guy in the room next door (first guy I met in the dorms) is now my lifelong brother.
Nestor: I lived in Sunset Village for two years. We actually moved into the Delta Terrace - the very first year it opened - Fall of 1991. Lived in B2 the first year and then in A4 (Canyon Point) in my sophomore year. Lot of cool memories of living in the dorms, which included having get togethers at my apartment for 49ers games, doing midnight yells during Finals weeks, making pizza and potato skins runs to Puzzles cafetaria for late night "snack" breaks - and all the good parties in Saxon Suites.
There was also the part about Tyus Edney coming into my room in Sproul Hall (where I lived during summer right before my freshman year to take some classes) to check out the 49ers-Giants game (Niners unfortunately lost as IIRC Steve Young didn't get it done like Joe Montana). But I had no idea who Tyus really was. I just knew of him as a classmate. When he said he was going to play basketball at UCLA, I didn't really believe him. When I saw him on fan appreciation day I thought he was some walkon living his dream. And, then I saw him do his thing against Arizona at McKale center, pulling of UCLA's first win that venue in years. The very next Monday I saw him at the cafetaria and apologized to him for not believing he was actually big part of our team.
But the favorite memory is easy - meeting Mrs. N in my first week of the dorms (before classes started) at the Puzzles Cafeteria.
freesia39: I lived in Sproul one year, and I loved high rise living, because I loved the community we built on my floor. At midnight we went up to people's doors and sang happy birthday. My close friends on the floor would always get a cake and then smash it in to their faces on their birthday. I remember one night a bunch of us were in the shower at the same time (stop thinking dirty things) and we all started singing. I'm telling you, the best connections were made in the bathrooms - you couldn't avoid each other there.
bruinclassof10: As a freshman, I lived in Rieber Hall and enjoyed the RA's, people and the floor camraderie. One of my favorite memories was playing Civil War - capture the flag with my floor (North vs. South) on campus after a very rainy day. I also enjoyed the late night dorm food. 2nd year at Rieber Vista wasn't as cool because I got written up for being your typical college student (I am not telling you anything more) - stick to the high rises and off campus apartments, my friends!
bellerophon: Just the people. You meet people who will be your friends for life, but you also meet a lot of interesting, diverse individuals. It is a very neat experience, with a lot of very different people trying to figure out being an adult on their own in a totally new environment. That and the stupid antics. You know what I'm talking about.
3. How did you handle the Bruin Walk flyer people?
gbruin: It's like skiing moguls. Wear sunglasses, and always look 2 or 3 flyer people ahead and start making those turns now. If you wait until they are right in front of you to turn, you will crash.
tasser10: It depended on a few things...us weak minded boys were always susceptible to certain charms. The one I won't forget, that is still stuck in my mind, is "hey wanna go bungee jumping?". Most aggressive flyer people ever. So, the answer is, walk really fast, or stop, smile and take the flyer...
Nestor: Uh, well, given I was involved with a number of campus organizations, I think you are asking the wrong person. There was a trick to this though. I always somehow convinced friends from certain houses on Hilgard Ave to come out and join me for flyering. I had no problem with folks coming by to sign up with whatever we were pushing
freesia39: Earphones. Or pretend phone calls. Take a path and do not stray. My first year I didn't realize this and I always walked by with about a bazillion pieces of paper. By my second year, most of my classes were in North Campus, so I took the north campus route to my classes and avoided it completely.
bruinclassof10: Headphones and a seemingly bad attitude. In all seriousness though, I was always rushing to class so I would accept flyers when I had the time. No love for the CALPIRG folks though.
bellerophon: Hey, I used to be one of those people! Side note: the things we do for free food. At first, before I got involved with various things on campus (which led me to be one of the Bruin Walk flyer people), I'd just kind of ignore them or politely take whatever they were handing out if it sounded cool. Once I started doing it myself, I realized that EVERYONE responds to the following: free food, free alcohol, or free [concert/movie/show/etc.]. Free goes a long way in Westwood.
4. Who is the most interesting person you met at UCLA?
gbruin: I met Jimmy Connors when he was shooting baskets on Sproul's basketball court, Bill Cosby going into Drake, Magic Johnson outside Pauley one summer. There were some other celeb moments, but the most interesting people were always classmates or dorm mates who grew up in extraordinary or fascinating or scary or challenging places. Every Bruin had amazing stories.
tasser10: I did meet Nestor during orientation, and in that aforementioned class. But then he went north and I started rowing, so we lost touch a bit, I wish we had spent more time together then. Most of my professors were good but I do not remember anyone really standing out (note to students: seek out a great professor, no matter the class...it's better than taking a subject you think you'll like, with a boring professor). Celebrity moment: meeting Bill Clinton in 1992 after his awesome speech. Just a handshake and good luck, but that was great.
Nestor: As Tasser mentioned we met before classes started during orientation. I also met Menelaus during school. We were room-mates when went out to DC for internships. That experience was crucial for me because Menelaus and yours truly come from opposite political spectrum, yet we found a way to become best of friends despite having many heated arguments over the years. Oh Menelaus also taught me how to do the Windsor Knot - something that came in handy in subsequent years.
In terms of celebrity sightings Magic Johnson was on campus all the time, as was John Lithgow, Danica McKeller (Winnie Cooper), Urkel (he would come by our hoops games as a high school student), Mayim Bialik (saw Bloosom in few parties), Sean Austin (Rudy) and so on.
There was always something going on campus. It was a magical time. Every day that passes the memories become even more precious.
freesia39: My celebrity moment: I'm in Caruso's (the Italian deli/restaurant that used to be in Sproul) grabbing dinner. I turn around and accidentally bump into someone. I'm about to say "excuse me" when I lock eyes with MICHELLE KWAN. I of course turn into a freaking mute (because she is one of my favorite figure skaters EVER) and I can't say a word as Michelle is looking at me, semi-bewildered.
I worked at the front desk of one of the dorms, and the mailboxes would never open correctly, so students would always ask us to check their mail. One of the nicest, sweetest people that asked to check his mail, and always did so with a smile was Tyler Ebell. I was a little sad when he decided to transfer.
bruinclassof10: Most interesting person - Baron Davis. I met him on BruinWalk and he was dribbling a ball with a big ol grin on his face while people stared at him. I've also had the pleasure of briefly meeting many other former and current Bruin standouts during my time at UCLA including, Arron Afflalo, Alterraun Verner,Brian Price, Terrence Austin, Rick Neuheisel, etc. among others. They're all good people and great Bruins.
Bellerophon: I met a lot of pretty cool and interesting people at UCLA, so it's hard to pick just one. My most amusing "celebrity/athlete/