For decades, an underground hideaway at UC Berkeley’s Moffitt Library — better known as “The Cave” — gave rise to a generation of blind leaders, including Joshua Miele, a MacArthur genius grant winner who now builds adaptive technologies at Amazon.

The Cave was where iron sharpened iron, academically — tricks for surviving Berkeley were as much a currency as smart readers and cheap weed — but also personally. A rotating cast of characters, readers as well as students, created its unique synergy and chaos.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.