Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Liberal Activism Limited by Narrow Scope

CJ Blair, Columnist
December 9, 2016
Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As soon as I arrived at Oberlin my first year, I knew I had entered somewhere special. I was drawn to this school largely because of its activist culture and willingness to challenge the status quo. After three years, though, I’ve realized that while Oberlin students are earnest social activists, w...

Election Results Challenge Language of Politics

CJ Blair, Columnist
November 11, 2016
Filed under Columns, Commentary, OPINIONS

In the three years that I have been writing this column, I’ve rarely discussed politics. I always found political op-eds to be pretentious and impersonal, as though the writer spent so long digging for facts that they never considered the emotional significance of their story. But now, in the wake o...

Bob Dylan Showcases Radical Innovation in Art

CJ Blair, Columnist
October 28, 2016
Filed under Columns, Commentary, OPINIONS

It has long been rumored that Bob Dylan could win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but when the Nobel Committee announced his win two weeks ago, literature enthusiasts and laypeople alike were shocked. New York Times columnist Anna Smith wrote, “When the Nobel committee gives the literature prize to ...

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Mirror Oberlin’s Anti-Pipeline Campaign

CJ Blair, Contributing Writer
September 16, 2016
Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

The federal government’s request to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline was met by cheers from the thousands of Native people gathered in protest at Standing Rock last Friday. This order, however, coming on the heels of a ruling that dismissed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s anti-pipeline...

Lack of Hands-On Experience Stifles Activism

CJ Blair, Contributing Writer
September 2, 2016
Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

When I landed a job catching butterflies with the Forest Service, I didn’t expect to fall in love with toads. Yet as I worked all summer to restore a butterfly habitat in Michigan, I found myself looking for them under every rock and at the bases of trees during long days in the field. While this summer...

Video Journal a Chance for Reflection

CJ Blair, Columnist
May 6, 2016
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

When I left to go to college, my mom made a simple request. She told me to record a one second video on my phone every day and send it to her. She said these videos could be of absolutely anything, from the most exciting events to the most mundane. What mattered was that I sent them consistently so my ...

Adopting Realist Worldview Helps to Cope with Depression

CJ Blair, Columnist
April 8, 2016
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Over the past year I’ve started to notice a feeling that I have never before experienced. It comes after periods of high stress or depressive episodes and disappears before I can make sense of it. It’s similar to the feeling I had while reading William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, a novel...

Tinder’s Appeal Lies in Ambiguous Use

CJ Blair, Columnist
March 4, 2016
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Nothing captures the vexing emotional landscape of college better than Tinder. It’s an app that’s elegant in its simplicity, but its effects are totally scattershot. It is awkwardly situated between the realms of online dating and hookup culture and it never settles on either side. Maybe this ambi...

Poetry Promotes Honesty, Reveals Feelings

CJ Blair, Columnist
February 26, 2016
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

“Poetry is more than just words in a strange order, CJ.” These were the words of my uncle, a well-known poet in my hometown, after reading my earliest attempts at poetry. I had written a handful of poems in high school but didn’t start writing in earnest until I decided to try and enter Oberli...

Expectations Prove Damaging to Emotional Health

CJ Blair, Columnist
February 12, 2016
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Too often it’s easy to think that what you hope for and what will happen can be the same thing. Everyone is guilty of placing hope in a certain version of the future, expecting to make it real. Expectation sounds pretty ridiculous described this way, but somehow very few people see anything wrong w...

Self-Insight Can Be Gained from Solitude

CJ Blair, Columnist
February 5, 2016
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Washington, D.C., is a metropolis of history, politics and tourism that has become one of the most popular residences of Oberlin alumni. Yet despite the draw that D.C. exerts on Obies, I felt out of place when I spent my Winter Term there studying invasive plants. While I left my internship with a wea...

Naked Run Helps Students Face Insecurities

CJ Blair, Columnist
December 11, 2015
Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

If there’s a better way to relieve the stress of finals than streaking through a library, I have yet to find it. Of all the strange traditions at Oberlin, the Naked Run is not only one of the most outrageous but also one of the most polarizing. This isn’t surprising, but those who say it’s too sh...

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CJ Blair