Chapter Ten

The best mazes are those with complicated, drawn out dead ends where the imagination must fetch up, bang into walls, and turn back towards the right way out. So it was in the summer and fall of 1974, as I careened through two more quarters at the College of Marin, that my bruised mind full of antidepressants and alcohol conjured up the idea that I could go back to Real University right across the Bay.

I wrote a paper to apply for a scholarship for one term at U.C. Berkeley - something about "black and blue", having to do with the civil rights movement from my perspective as the white mother of a biracial child. It was good enough for them to grant my wish, and by December we had renested in a tiny second-floor apartment in the Berkeley flats six blocks from campus. In 1968, the City of Berkeley school board had created the nation's first non-court-ordered busing plan for desegregating the schools and it stayed in effect for 25 years. This meant that Jane and Josh boarded buses each day to separate schools. In a burst of hope, all three of us started in new classrooms but our brave beginning faltered almost from day one.

Next page