On a rainy day, Cal Day provided jam-packed ark of activities
|Slideshow: Drenched but not drowned|
BERKELEY - An all-day downpour Saturday couldn't dampen the spirits of the thousands who turned out for Cal Day 2003, UC Berkeley's annual open house to show off the campus's wares.
Campus officials said crowds were probably a bit smaller than on sunny Cal Days past, but that was hard to tell at many events. Lectures, concerts, museums and other indoor venues did a land-office business. There were wall-to-wall people at International House for the SpringFest celebration of cultures. At one Dwinelle Hall lecture – Prof. Steven Weber's talk on pre-emptive military strategy – seats were so scarce that even Berkeley Nobel laureate George Akerlof temporarily had to find a spot on the steps.
The weather also made for some interesting juxtapositions. At a demonstration of antique keyboard instruments in Hertz Hall, university organist Davitt Moroney's delicate notes on the clavichord were nearly drowned out by the Javanese gamelan players who were relocated into the lobby by the rain.
Even outdoor events had their fans. Baseball, tennis and track and field meets were cancelled, but the women's water polo Big Splash against Stanford went on as scheduled – no worries about getting wet there. There were 953 trips to the top of the Campanile by Cal Day visitors, even though it was "a day you could not see forever," in the words of Media Relations Director Marie Felde. And on umbrella-dappled Sproul Plaza, a steady stream of visitors dodged the puddles to ask when the next walking tour of campus was leaving. Their printed programs may have turned to mush, but their enthusiasm was high and dry.