New ExCos Attract Broad Range of Students to Unique Classes

Scott Hulver

What better place to learn about cocktails than in college? Hundreds of students spent their Wednesday night at the fair to sign up for the slew of new Experimental College classes offered this semester, appealing to a wide range of interests, from Pokémon to origami to booze.

By 7 p.m., the Mixology class already boasted over 80 applicants. Taught by Jackson Meredith, OC ’12, the class focuses on the history of alcohol and its ap- preciation. Meredith, who graduated last fall, has been bartending for a year and half and wants to teach students and community members about different ways to serve alcohol. The class will not be entirely hands-on though: the midterm is a quiz and the final, a paper.

Down the aisle and in the corner of the room was the booth for the Radical Li- brarianship ExCo. College senior Hazel Koziol sat behind the table, talking to students about the importance of changing libraries. As an employee of the Clarence Ward Art Library, Koziol has begun exploring the opportunities that a library can offer a community. The course will consist of reading about and discussing how the library can function as a site of social change, and students will collaboratively create a publication.

Also working to bring people together are College sophomore Sarah Johnson and College junior Porter James. They are leading Cooperation and Cooperatives, a class that will be taught at Fairchild Co-op. The two say the ExCo is not only for students with experience in the co-ops, but also those who have never been in one before. Johnson and James plan to bring in guest speakers from the co-ops and connect to the world outside of Oberlin.

College sophomore Ryan Yates, who is teaching Pokémon: Competitive Battling, said, “The [ExCo] program’s there to be taken advantage of … this is something I re- ally enjoy, and I felt like sharing that with other people.” As a first-year, Yates wanted the opportunity to be an educator at Oberlin as well as to be educated. The class will focus on team building and battle strategies using an online simulator. Yates says he expanded the enrollment limit to 16 so that he can have a tournament among the stu- dents as the final for his course.

Students can even find a creative release through the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. College junior Kip Price, who started Origami Design and Creation, has been doing origami since she was a kid and led origami workshops throughout high school. She decided to impart some of her knowledge before she graduates this year. Her plan is to teach students the basic folds and traditional origami in the first half of the class, followed by more free form folding in the second part. Price’s favorite origami involves precise, mathematical folding.

On the opposite wall was Devorah Elkan, who participates in Oberlin’s Chabad group as well as Shabbat dinners. In the past, students have admired Elkan’s Jewish cuisine so much that she decided to start the ExCo Jewish Cooking Throughout History. Students in the class will eventually work in pairs to find, cook and present a recipe for the class. Elkan hopes to compile a cookbook of the students’ recipes at the end of the semester.

“My family’s half Jewish, and I didn’t learn any recipes growing up, but I want to know more about my heritage,” said hopeful ExCo applicant, College sophomore Owain Heyden.

Information on ExCos is available in the ExCo office in Wilder 302 and at www.