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When Berkeley staffers leave campus, their lives get really interesting as they spend their time in such pursuits as off-road unicycling, beekeeping, choreography, and horse racing.
 

Off the clock, but not at rest

| 14 September 2006

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Being a Berkeley staffer already makes a person smarter than your average bear - but we're also a talented lot. Just scrape the surface and you'll discover colleagues whose off-hours are devoted to more than keeping tabs on Suri and Survivor.


The welder: Furniture designer and Library staffer Aisha Hamilton fell in love with MIG-welding five years ago. "It's an interesting process to figure out how to make something that's comfortable and beautiful," she says.


The costume-maker: Suzette Davidson is drawn to designs "heavy on detail and historical accuracy. Davidson, who works at Boalt Hall Alumni Center, will trek to numerous thrift shops to find just the right pair of gloves to complete a costume.


The unicyclist: Tom Holub spent about 15 hours learning how to get around on a single wheel. "If you really like your shins, it's probably not the thing to take up," advises Holub, who works in the College of Letters & Science Deans' Office.


The painter: Lin Salamo often hangs a completed painting on her living-room wall, then decides she's not done. "Sometimes my after-painting makes the piece less literal and more expressive of what I was trying to communicate with the color," says Salamo, an editor at the Mark Twain Papers.


The boat restorer: Nancy Schimmelman spends most of her free time on the water working on one of her two wooden crafts, volunteering for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and teaching other people how to sail. The boating life has taught Schimmelman, who works in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, an appreciation for life's simple pleasures.


The jazz singer: Since forming her band a year ago, Barbara Hadenfeldt of the Institute for Urban and Regional Development has been busy performing once and sometimes twice a weekend. For Hadenfeldt, who has sung rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues, tackling jazz has opened up a new outlet for her singing.


The trail rider: Ute Frey of the Haas School of Business has competed in the grueling, exhilarating 100-mile Western States Trail Ride seven times. She says the secret to riding over unlit trails is to "fight the urge to direct your horse, even if you think you know where you're going."


The dancer/choreographer: Jane Schnorrenberg says that her art offers her "a creative outlet and balance" to her life. Her attitude toward dance is very practical: "If your art isn't fully supporting you, then get a job," says Schnorrenberg who works in the office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration.


The beekeeper: Bees travel in a three-mile radius, explains Mara Hancock of Educational Technology Services. Sometimes when Hancock walks to work from her Berkeley home, she observes the insects swarming the princess flowers near the Tang Center and thinks, "Those could be my bees."