Grad Housing

Melinda de Jesus

I had just moved from Pennsylvania to do my PhD at UC Santa Cruz. On my arrival at SJO, Prof. Mary Kay Gamel, whom I stayed with as I searched for housing, told me to stand in a doorway should an earthquake hit. She said I’d never forget that tip as it was shared at my very first moment in NorCal.

Three weeks later, I found myself in the doorway of UCSC grad housing, clinging for dear life. I remember thinking, “How do people live like this?” as I assumed the Loma Prieta was merely an everyday kind of earthquake. Lol. I also thought I’d never finish my lit degree, would have to leave CA altogether…And there I was last week, in the doorway of my Oakland bungalow, riding out the Napa 6.0!…