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  • Mom, PhD

Berkeley Powers Down

It has been an otherworldly week for us! Grandma ("Harmi" is our Korean nickname for her) came to visit us from the East Coast. We ate delicious homemade meals, went shopping, and had long play sessions with music and laughter. It was lovely.



The day before she left, we started getting news that there would be planned power shutoffs in Berkeley by local power company PG&E due to the potential risk imposed by high winds (hello, climate change). Classes on campus were cancelled on Wednesday, and then Thursday, and then again on Friday. We received emails explicitly saying to "AVOID CAMPUS during PG&E POWER OUTAGE" in all caps. Students and faculty alike were glued to their devices waiting for the next word from the administration.


Professors tried to reschedule classes to off-campus locations but that was tricky for me because childcare centers were also affected. We received an email from the Berkeley administration at 1 pm today saying that power was restored and the campus would be back in full operation tomorrow. It was a week filled with affect: joy, uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and relief. We're all still coming down from an emotionally heightened state.

Mom with Stroller

©2020 by Minhae Shim Roth