"I learned a lot about organizing while I was at Berkeley. As teacher's assistants, a small group of us organized a student strike in order to fight for reasonable wages. We held teach-ins and thousands of students skipped their classes. I realized then that a few people could really make a big difference. It was an exciting time. So much was going on there. I remember when the police tear gassed the campus. I was teaching a class when it started to come into the room. I had to be evacuated.
"The sixties was also the era of my own sexual freedom. I had asked the doctors in the hospital whether I would be able to have sex or not and they told me that I wouldn't. It was a heavy blow to a kid who was only fourteen. While I was at Berkeley, I had a girlfriend. At that time, I used a push chair.
Now, it became extremely inconvenient to have my attendant there pushing me around while I was with my girlfriend; so, needless to say, I was highly motivated to find out how to drive a power chair. I started working with an engineer on it, and we discovered that if the controls were turned around I could drive a power chair. I can pull towards me with my left hand, but I can't push away. So we set up the switch and I spent a couple of hours bouncing off of the walls until I got the hang of it. Then she jumped onto my lap and we rode off into the sunset together or to the nearest motel.
"I finished everything but my dissertation for my Ph.D. The Dean of Berkeley thought that I was going to get my doctorate and go live in a nursing home for the rest of my life. I broke out during the early 70s and decided that I didn't want to be an academic anymore. I went and taught at an all-black school up in Palo Alto for a while.