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Friday, June 26, 2009

Berkeley Class Reunion

I got an email today from a friend I have not heard from in ages. It's quite exciting news. She and a group of our good friends from Berkeley are planning a 10-year school reunion. Let me backtrack a bit here. In 2001, I attended a year-long Marketing program at UC Berkeley. It was an international program which meant I was in a class of about 20 people who came from all over the world. Marketing was just one of the courses - there were several others - so we also got to hang out with other people who were there to study other courses such as Finance, IT, Business Administration, etc. It was a chaotic and fun time since there were close to a hundred of us from all walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds.

Living in Berkeley was an experience. That city will always hold very fond memories for me. It was an exciting place to be. There was always something happening and new things to see, taste, hear and explore. Plus meeting these friends was wonderful as well. We had such different personalities but were able to form real friendships pretty quickly. That year is probably one of the best I have had in my life. It was my first time to live away from home. I shared a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate. Our unit was situated in a building that housed other student apartments as well. Since we were all foreigners and were all away from home, we studied, lived and did almost everything together. Even after the program, we've tried our best to keep in touch.

I can't believe we are now planning a 10-year reunion. Actually we graduated in 2001 - so technically the reunion is not till Spring 2011. But since these guys are now located all over the world, I'm guessing planning this reunion will need a 2-year headstart.

Here are some pictures from that year. (Please note this was taken in 2001 - when I was younger and thinner! Haha.)

(UC Berkeley - Marketing Class - 2001. This shot was taken the day we were getting our yearbook pictures taken. We asked the school photographer to get an impromptu group shot.)

(My 3 closest friends: Jin, Ilkben (my roommate) and Carolina. I spent the most time with these 3 and really thought of them almost as my sisters. We have made a pact to visit each other and to keep in touch. This shot was taken in 4th Street. We were going to have lunch and Ilkben surprised us by getting us all flowers.)

(My closest guy friends Marco and Giacommo with Ilkben and our professor Mr. Prost - the guy in white. We just finished our Strategic Marketing presentation here. BTW, we got an "A".)

(Our neighbors Bashak, Mike, Irem and Andreas. This shot was taken in an ice cream shop in Tiburon. We were thinking of getting ice cream but the day had turned cold so we settled for coffee instead.)

So anyway, the reunion agenda is to meet in 2011 in Berkeley and to spend a few days there reliving the good old days - and then the reunion continues around the world where some of my good friends are hosting mini-reunions in their home countries: Brazil, Germany, Turkey, Japan and Italy. This is a group of people who really know how to have a good time. I am thinking we will need more than 2 years to plan for all this!

3 comments:

mom said...

It is lovely to reminisce the happy times in one's life. I am glad that your year in Berkeley was a very exciting and enjoyable part of your life. I am happier still that your dad and I were able to give you that chance to gain such an experience. Go for that planned reunion. I can only imagine how fun it will be for all of you.

Joanne said...

I will always be grateful to you and dad for encouraging and supporting me (and all of us) in doing what makes us happy. You guys have never let us forget that you are behind us 100%! Plus I am extra grateful to you and Atsi for accompanying me during my first few days in Berkeley. Nevermind if I was the only student (who was already 26!) who had my mom and my older sister with me during registration for classes! =)

leslie Ty said...

almost 10 years?!? gosh...time flies!!!

I love the photos Jo =) I never saw your pictures during your BERKELEY days...thanks for posting and sharing with us =)

I'm sure you'll have a blast in your reunion =) take lots of pics and don't forget to show it to me na okay? =)