Vote for a new spring semester columnist

This semester, the fate of the Friday column spot is in your hands. Here’s how it works: Every day this week, one candidate’s column will appear on page two of the Daily Cal. If you like what you see, give the candidate a “yes” vote. If you've heard enough, vote “no.” Voting on each column will close at midnight the day after its publication—and don’t panic, “Sex on Tuesday” will return soon.

James GorryKeena BattiPatrick Niemeyer

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You have ten minutes to get across campus; you’re practically running past Wheeler, through Sather Gate, and somehow, somebody flyering manages to stop you. You don’t know how you fell into their trap, but now you’ll definitely be late for that lecture. Again. Unfortunately, I cannot hand you a flyer (which you will no doubt recycle at the next available moment), nor badger you into listening to me (which there is a good chance you are only half doing). I do hope to be able to use this weekly space to discuss those little quirks of life. A column to escape the often depressing, humdrum life of a student, and the even more depressing, humdrum world that we live in!

Being a British student studying at Cal through EAP means that I’m new to all of Berkeley’s little idiosyncrasies: the peculiarities that I’m learning to love, that are slowly softening my characteristically British stiff upper lip.

Now I am off to stand on my soapbox on Sproul, with all of my worldly possessions in a shopping cart at my side. That seems to be the thing to do, for people with things to say.

I’m going to ask you all to briefly examine your values. Do you love Berkeley? Do you think yourself extremely lucky to attend such a prestigious university? Okay, but don’t you hate Berkeley sometimes, too? Like those ridiculously late Telebears appointments? That annoying person in your section who won’t stop talking?

So do I. In fact, I have a deep-seated dislike for a lot of Berkeley things. I used to quietly seethe about these things to myself, so much so that I think it’s put me in a constant state of passive aggressiveness.

I’d love to have the chance to share with you the things that most get under my skin—many of which may even bother you just as much, if not more, than me. Just think: maybe through this process of expressing our feelings in a healthy way, we’ll all begin to heal. Perhaps we might even place flowers at the chancellor’s house instead of throwing flaming torches.

With your help, I can get a few things off my chest—and I think my roommates will thank you for a reprieve from my ranting. Join me for a semester in which we complain, hand in hand. Except, don’t intertwine your fingers with mine, because I really hate that.

"You're an interesting person, Patrick."

I've heard that from quite a few people. But my column wouldn't just be about me. It would be about Michael Bay, the role of religion in American society, my pathetic inability to get laid, or whatever I've got on my mind this week. What I'm saying is that I have no limits. I'll talk about anything that seems relevant, and I'll do so with all the wit and pathos that I can work into 800 words.

Admittedly, I'm also writing this because I like the sound of my own voice. But you might like it, too. I've found myself surrounded at parties by people who just like hearing my opinions. Those, however, matter less than the analysis. Anyone can explain why the Twilight books suck, but I'm more interested in whether or not they teach girls to fall in love with stalkers, and why they devour those books rather than a good romance like Pride & Prejudice.

I began by telling you that I'm interesting. I'll close by telling you that I'm sincere. I apologize if I seem a bit pompous, but even if I come off as self-indulgent, I'll mean every word I write.

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