As the Fall 2016 semester drew to a close, Berkeley Connect students were invited to share their favorite Berkeley Connect moments. All three posts that were selected for publication focus on a moment of connection. Here, Sahil Sheth describes how his Berkeley Connect in History mentor helped him and his classmates see that the divide between undergraduate students and advanced graduate students may not be as large as they imagine.
My favorite Berkeley Connect moment occurred in my History 98BC class. After splitting us into groups, our mentor passed out several academic papers she claimed were written by “previous undergraduate students” and instructed us create a pros-cons list and then award each paper a grade. My group and I discussed the paper we received and there was unanimous agreement that this paper had several errors regarding grammar, content and organization. Basically, my group attempted to tear the paper to shreds (apparently as a result of midterm stress) and gave the paper a B minus. My suspicions grew as we began to talk about the paper and I could see my mentor suppressing a smile every time someone from my group listed yet another issue. “I KNEW IT!!” I blurted out before I could contain myself, and saw my mentor smiling at me. That one paper, the one my group gave a B minus? The one written by a “previous undergraduate student?” It was written by none other than Julia, my mentor herself. My shell-shocked group looked back and forth from the paper to Julia who did nothing but laugh and reassure them that there would not be any grudges held.