Seize Spring Days for New Oberlin Experiences

The Editorial Board

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The days are full of sunshine, the grass is growing green, and when the balmy breezes start blowing over Plum Creek, it’s hard not to feel like Oberlin is letting out a contented sigh. (Especially since the weather around this time last year was a nonstop mix of snow and rain.) As your editorial staff ponder our last issue before spring break, in the final year many of us will be on this campus, we feel a good amount of nostalgia, and we would like to try to put it to productive use with a list of things we think everyone should do at Oberlin before they leave.

Open observing on the roof of Peters the first and third Fridays of every month: Look at Jupiter, binary star systems and the craters of the moon from the observing deck, one of the highest points in Oberlin (not that that’s saying much). Plus you get the chance to talk about Carl Sagan and the Northern Lights with the incomparable, awesome Dan Stinebring of the Astronomy department.

Go to recitals: Right now is the thick of Conservatory recital season, which is why many of the Connies you see around campus have bags under their eyes and satisfied smiles on their faces. Everything from baroque organ music to cutting-edge modern jazz is on display, and with the Kohl Building having removed the cross-campus divide between Jazz Studies and the rest of the Conservatory, musical collaboration and experimentation are more alive than ever. No matter how many recitals you go to, looking back on Oberlin in 20 years you’ll kick yourself for not going to more of them — so do your future self a favor and attend!

Join a co-op: even if it’s just for one semester. Choose from Pyle, Tank, Old Barrows, Harkness, Keep, Fairchild, Third World or Kosher Halal. Eat elaborate and creatively themed special meals (Japanese food, fried everything or whatever else your culinary peers can dream up) have dinner outside in the grass! Jam to Stevie Wonder while chopping piles of onions! Scrubbing pots after a particularly messy meal may not be fun, but it’s all worth it for those cooperative feelings.

Art rental: Now that the Allen is open once again, art rental has returned in all its glory. Rent camping gear from the Outings Club, pitch a tent in the Art Building courtyard, and spend the evening playing board games, listening to live music, watching movies (and getting drunk). In the morning, trundle upstairs in your pajamas and go through a crisis of personal aesthetics as you choose the canvas you will open your eyes to every morning from your dorm bed.

Go to a convocation: There’s something about being in Finney with the lights dim, surrounded by other students and community members that fills you with warm, fuzzy Oberlin feelings. Also, intellectual heavyweights like Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison are worth seeing, if only for the bragging rights it will give you later on.

Have a bonfire in the Arb: Enough said.

In short, the list of things to do at Oberlin is as long as the list of talented, dedicated and creative Obies. It’s easy to feel too busy and overworked here to branch out into new activities, but the Oberlin bubble provides an ideal space for exploration and cross-disciplinary collaboration, a space you’ll miss when you’re out in the real world toiling away from 9 to 5. Be sure not to let this amazing environment slip through your fingers.

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