The Oberlin Review

Jazz, Jasper, and Jeremiah cuddle as they nap in the backroom of Ginko's.

Ginko’s Gallery Making Efforts to Reduce Stray Kitten Issue in Oberlin

October 23, 2020

The craft store Ginko Gallery & Studio’s back room is usually filled with people, eagerly waiting to cuddle a newborn kitten. Petting a kitten lowers a person’s heart rate to provide stress relief, as well as releases serotonin and dopamine, two feel-good hormones in the brain.  “I never anticipated the symbiotic relationship between students and kittens,” Liz Burgess, the store’s owner, said.  Visiting the kittens in Ginko’s is a well-known activity for current and prospect...

Keep Fighting for a Better World Despite COVID

Ella Pike

October 21, 2020

People materialize onto the screen for my 9:00 a.m. Greek History class. Connecting to audio, they turn on their cameras, heads bowed within seconds to stare at their phones. By 9:05, two people have turned their cameras off, and the black squares stare tantalizingly at me. I could turn my camera off right now and get my crumpling load of unfolded laundry out of the way. More faces transform into black squares, and by 9:30, half of the class is probably doing their laundry. In breakout rooms, my professor pops in and asks John, a silent black square, a question on the reading. I attempt to maintain a respectful facial expression but the situation is just absurd. “John? Can you hear us?” my professor asks. John ne...

What Does A Trump Victory Really Mean?

Booker C. Peek

October 21, 2020

"Trump Has Won A Second Term!" will read the headlines in America and throughout the entire world some time after Nov. 3. If that becomes our world, all Americans should rejoice over the fact Trump won’t task our National Guard, police forces, and, above all, our armed forces to face off against or kill American citizens. Yes, if Trump is elected there might be a challenge in our courts, as there was in 2000 with the eventual election of George W. Bush, but we can be sure that throughout the process, peace will reign everywhere. Trump's victory will ensure that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, will be abolished. The act does have many flaws, but it is perfect compared to nothing. And meanwhile, Cong...

Toxic Masculinity and the 2020 Election

Walter Thomas-Patterson

October 9, 2020

The most recent presidential debate was a case study in the desperation of a losing president and the perils of toxic masculinity. The debate was roundly and rightfully criticized for having little substance — yet it provided the American people with an unvarnished and relatively unbiased look at what happens when an alpha-male mentality clashes with the realities of the year 2020. Trump’s ability to promote his distinctly alpha-male personality was an asset while he operated as an outsider candidate in 2016. He was not constrained by the general sense of decorum and emotional restraint that defined successful American presidents. Trump had spent decades developing a mix of narcissism, recklessness, and impuls...

First Presidential Debate Favored Spectacle Over Substance

Kate Fishman, Managing Editor

October 2, 2020

We’ve all learned a lot about spatial relations this year — I think, by now, most of us can measure six feet by sight. During Tuesday night’s trainwreck of a debate, though, I was thinking about spatial relations in a new way. There was just so much to see — Joe Biden continuing to turn to speak directly to YOU, the American people, his gaze trained on the camera; Donald Trump squared off against Biden, or pouting down into his podium. And of course, moderator Chris Wallace, seated many feet away from the candidates standing and fighting far above him.  Most people who have done any sort of teaching or mentoring work know the importance of spatial orientation in communication — literally getting on someo...

Radical Politics as an Approach to the November Election

Julia Guenther

September 25, 2020

The unexpected wins of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Presley in 2018 are evidence of growing support for democratic socialism. Support for policies like Medicare for All and free college is on the rise as left-leaning, so-called “radical” politicians gain popularity. All of this begs the question: What does it mean to be “radical”? In mathematics, the word “radical” refers to getting to the root of a number, and in the case of radical politics, the root of a problem.  Radicals attempt to understand the root of a problem, the complexity of social phenomena and beliefs. When Bernie Sanders was criticized for not being proactive on the issues that mattered to Black people, it was because he was pre...

The College has a variety of mental health resources available to its students, including the Counseling Center, Peer Support Center, and SHARE.

Mental Health Resources on Campus are Here to Help

September 23, 2020

Editor’s note: this article mentions self-harm, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. As college students in a pandemic, times are tough right now. Our community is fractured, our social lives are dead, our extracurriculars are cancelled, and our classes are emotionally-exhausting. I know it’s taken a toll on every one of us, and feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, and grief have overwhelmed us in the last eight months. That’s why discussions around mental health are necessary now...

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a prairie located on Hamilton Street, just west of the Oberlin Recreation Complex.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy, a Haven of Nature and History

September 23, 2020

When I enrolled at Oberlin, I was excited to get out of the city and spend more time outdoors. Growing up in New York City, I never had a backyard or a nearby hiking trail on which to spend my afternoons; I rode the MTA and walked city blocks instead. When I saw an internship available for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy last fall, I quickly applied for the position and soon found myself immersed in everything I love.  My mornings and afternoons — really any time I wasn’t in class or doi...

A “Mono-racial” Perspective on Junior Practicum

Nasirah Fair

September 18, 2020

“Pls, Ain’t nobody reading all that,” I typed with tired fingers gliding across my keyboard. A white person had typed a whole thesis on why my opinions on gentrification and racism were wrong. We were a week into Junior Practicum and this was the first of many exhausting interactions I was to have with white students through a digital wall, and I am officially done. As someone who grew up in Southeast Washington, D.C., I have not only read about social justice issues such as racism and gentrification but also experienced them firsthand. I sat in complete rage as I watched the chat fill with arguments about whether gentrification was a class or race issue — or both. Someone even went so far as to say racism is...

AVI Fresh has opened a variety of new dining locations including Umami at Fairchild, which specializes in East Asian food.

After Bon Appétit’s Negligence, AVI Fresh Off to a Promising Start with South Asian Cuisine

September 16, 2020

After a year of college life in the U.S., making do with Bon Appétit’s occasional and mortifying excuse for Indian food, it was a breath of fresh air to walk into Stevie and find a genuinely tasty preparation of cauliflower and potatoes, with a side of chickpea curry (gobhi aloo ki sabzi and chole). AVI Fresh has swooped in to redeem my impression of college dining options. The problem with Bon Appétit was never simply the lack of “good Indian food.” I do understand that the manner in whic...

Tips for Effective Communication During the Pandemic

Sophia Garcia

September 16, 2020

Attending on-campus classes and maintaining a sense of community — all while staying safe — is a complicated endeavor. We are learning to live, socialize, and communicate in our beloved Obieland in a new and potentially-uncomfortable way. This begs the question: How do we approach talking about safety on campus during COVID-19? While it is necessary to have these conversations about community care and responsibility, we must also be careful to facilitate a supportive and inclusive environment where all student voices are heard. According to techniques from a counselling method called motivational interviewing, open communication is more powerful for inducing behavioral changes than shaming, yelling, or lecturing. ...

Working From Home During COVID

Donnie Harris

September 9, 2020

It’s Saturday, September 5, 2020. Picture me in all my glory, wearing yesterday’s scruffy clothes, not-so-elegantly sprawled across a too-small yoga mat trying to maintain my balance. My eyes are glued to the screen as I study the instructor’s highly coordinated, swan-like movements. I try to match her pacing and technique, but of course, I flounder (as yoga is suited best for those who actually have a sense of equilibrium). “How in the world did I get here?” No, you aren’t reading the story of a washed-up man enduring a mid-life crisis, you’re reading about an 18-year-old man-child’s experience of working from home during COVID-19.  As someone who thrives off of face-to-face interaction, I have t...

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