UCLA Tribute

From Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West: https://www.amazon.com/Alma-Mater-Vol-3-West-ebook/dp/B01CJYOA5A/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Alma+Mater+Vol+3.+The+West&qid=1570660289&sr=8-1


There’s nothing like the California sunshine to help see the world in a new light,
And wherever there is a face to be found in L.A.,
That light
Is reflected.

On the Pacific Shore are new Sons of Westwood
Who along with daughters have run away from home
And within hours see that they were missing
On a picture of happiness thought to only be captured on the Big Screen.

But no, you’re in it.
And it is inside two girlfriends who stroll the Bruin Walk arm-and-arm,
Both smiling cheek-to-cheek,
They have both landed their dream role in the nation’s top dream school:
It’s the California Dreams.

♫Don’t wake us up…Don’t wake us up if we’re dreaming♫

Just jump in. Pinch yourself if you must, but this is your new home.
Where that reflection never stops shining. Where the sun is timeless and life is golden.
You have made it to UCLA;
And now that you’ve made it…tell yourself that you’re gonna make it.
Now, let’s take it from the top…
This time, say it like you believe it.


Scene 1: The City

“I’m Gonna Make It!”

That’s it! That’s how it’s said by the Optimists,
The achievers,
The bohemian weavers who make their own breaks.
Contemporary voices who have earned the Bruin Gold
Then traveled until they went Platinum—
Into the Triangle of Bel-Air, Beverly, and Holmby.
These extensions of the UCLA Campus contain
Mansions with Playboys,
And attractions that appeal to both sexes,
Like a motion picture at Westwood Village,
Or the beachfront where excursions mingle.

This is what they came for.
They who are still seeking who they are and further,
Where they can go.

The scholars, the ballers, the wild spirits and ambitionists
All who, including you, have fallen into these
Palms of L.A….

And in these palms you can see your destiny.

Scene 2: The Grounds

Stand there. Right there. By the Inverted Fountain. Perfect. That’s money.

Bruin #1: “This campus is fucking gorgeous. Let’s go for a walk.”
Bruin #2: “I’m already ahead of you.”

And so they went. From this spot of hot springs they indeed took action.
To the Bruin Plaza, where not only the Bear, but concerts are held with the movements of undercurrents that
Nobody can see,
But everybody can feel.
Take notes. And carry them with you to a theatre show or wherever you go:
Through Murphy’s Sculpture Garden where you’ll Unbutton Flowers with Oval Forms,
Until the notes you’ve practiced take you to the Pavilion, and Bruins complete a final test of nerves and spunk at the annual Spring Sing. Put each note to good use. Let the undercurrents crash on the stage…and your reaction dive in the crowd.
Then go crash on The Hill:
The topmost harbor for dialogues as you lie down,
That always come up again the following morning.

Bruin #1: “This day is fucking gorgeous. Want to go for another walk?”
Bruin #2: “Does Franco have a man crush on Rogen?”
Bruin #1: “So that means you’re in?”
Bruin #2: “Not only am I in, but in the words of Rogen to Franco…I’m already behind you.”


Scene 3: The Library

This is where it happens. The envisioning prior to the action. The 800-plus student organizations found on campus already displays that Bruins work together, and in Powell we prepare for the classroom, and in the classroom we prepare to take off.

At one point or another, every influential Bruin has stepped inside Powell, to sit down at desks full of fluctuating ideas and press control to make an imprint starting from the desk then circulating to the rest. Prize-winning control freaks like Ralph Bunche who ensured persons of color have control of where they are going, shooting right past where they’ve been. This is where the control keys impressed enough to earn 12 Rhodes Scholarships, the emersion of desalination, stem cells that destroy HIV, the optimism to find the gene that leads to self-esteem…

And the fact that whenever the Internet itself hits “Home…”

It always backspaces to UCLA.

Scene 4: Bruin Café

It is a Friday night and Bruins are enjoying a dinner the quality of which is only found on the UCLA Campus. Four years after packing on the Freshmen 15, senior Bruins sit to share a meal and memories, to discuss the leftovers.

Bruin #1: “What will you remember most?”
Bruin #2: “Everything. The parties, the games, Sunset Strip… the food.”

Bruin #3: “I’m gonna remember the frat parties, and the football games.”
Bruin #4: “Fuck SC.”
The Bruins: “Fuck SC!”
Bruin #5: “I’m gonna remember the girls.”
Bruin #6: “I’m gonna remember the guys.”
Bruin #7: “I’m gonna remember Undie Run.”
The Bruins: “Undie Run!”
Bruin #8: “How awesome was Wednesday?”
Bruin #4: “Bro, You totally went balls out.”
Bruin #5: “Yes, as you and the Instagram world continue to remind me.”
Bruin #7 (To Bruin #8): “What are you gonna remember?”
A brief silence ensues as forks, spoons, and hands continue to appease eager mouths. The Bruin then responds.
Bruin #8: “Tomorrow.”

Scene #5: Graduation – The Pavilion

The world is waiting to be seized. After the formalities and the heartfelt dialogues, with this diploma cut right to the chase.

Scene #6: Bruin Day

At the admissions tent in Bruin Plaza, a future Bruin rings the Victory Bell. He is one of the winners who were admitted to the school that is more applied to than any other. It is the biggest accomplishment in the young Bruin’s life and he then seeks you out for advice. He just asked you what he should do when he arrives at The Hill. How can he be assured that he will find success. As a graduate student who has seen and done it all, deliver the line in a way that tells him that the dream gets even better…but he does have to work to stay in it.


“At the end of your trip, from the moment you arrive on campus…like the Bruins who came before you…

Follow the Wooden Blocks.”


Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Alma Mater, College, College Life, Poetry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: