You can park at the Golden Gate Garage just west of Telegraph between Channing and Durant. They're not that expensive, and you can get the price cut in half you validate (ie get a slice at Blondie's pizza on your way out). Just look for the public parking signs once you get close to campus and Telegraph starts being one-way.
You can take your chances with street parking. At least it'll be free, though it'll be tough to find around there.
Hey, noticed you said you work in the east bay, come by after work on Thursdays for our session in Berkeley if you can. We're not specifically a beginner training session, but the sessions are usually pretty small so we'd be able to devote attention to whatever anyone wants to work on (and we love to help beginners).