The Oberlin Review

Innovation, Inspiration Nestled in Rajasthani Village

Kushagra Kar, Production Editor

February 7, 2020

 Imagine living in a village in the Amazon, three days by canoe from the closest city. Imagine a group of people, foreign in looks, speech, clothes, and ideas, turning up on your shores and asking you to travel with them. Travel – which for you would likely be the first time you’ve seen your capital city, been in a car, heard this alien language of English – to a completely different country to be trained in solar engineering. Stepping out of your door would require some serious courage. At the same time, the people asking you to do this would have to be either really brave or just naively optimistic. They would need to have real guts to ask you to take that risk, and be so certain of their ability to deli...

Diverse Language Offerings Vital

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

December 7, 2018

During this time of financial crisis at Oberlin, students understandably feel an urgent need to defend their interests against potential budget cuts. Everyone wants to save programs from being cut, and everyone has programs and classes they want to be added to the Oberlin experience. A frequent complaint from Oberlin students is about the lack of diverse foreign language options. Problems cited include a drastically underfunded Arabic language program and a lack of any African language or Hindi language programs. Overall, I agree with the general arguments in favor of adding more foreign languages to the Oberlin curriculum. These languages are useful for many post-grad careers, and Oberlin does currently offer a...

Oberlin’s Foreign Language Offerings Fall Short of Demand

Ananya Gupta, Managing Editor

November 16, 2018

Despite the availability of an annual Winter Term project, two Shansi opportunities for graduates, and two study abroad programs in India, the languages of Hindi and Urdu are left out of the Oberlin academic scene. Over half a billion people speak Hindi globally, second only to Mandarin Chinese. While this number is largely concentrated within the Indian subcontinent, it is also spoken in countries such as Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Nepal, and among immigrants in the U.S., U.K., and Australia — to name only a few. This figure surpasses the number of global Spanish, Italian, Russian, French, German, Japanese, and Arabic speakers — all languages which are, at least to a certain...

Accessibility to Philosophy Will Positively Affect Field

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

November 10, 2017

The role of college students in the Oberlin community has long been hotly debated. So, too, has been the lack of the diversity in the field of philosophy. Though these two issues may seem unrelated, the new Philosophy in the Schools Practicum has made a great start in addressing both. Spearheaded by Chair of the Philosophy Department Katherine Thomson-Jones, the PHITS class is a course in both philosophy and education. Every week, the 16 Oberlin students enrolled in PHITS go to Eastwood Elementary School in Oberlin and teach three classrooms of second graders and one of first graders. There, the college students read a children’s book, like Morris the Moose or The Giving Tree, to the class and then facilitate a phi...

Guns, Not Bears, Threaten Ohio Schools

Amber Scherer, Columnist

February 10, 2017

In the first confirmation vote to ever require a tiebreaker, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary Tuesday. DeVos was one of President Donald Trump’s most controversial cabinet nominees, provoking intense opposition from Senate Democrats and teachers’ unions. During her confirmation hearing, DeVos was asked about her stance on firearms on school campuses, which is particularly relevant to states like Ohio that allow concealed carry on school campuses. “I think probably there, I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies,” she said, further stating that she believes state and local authorities have jurisdiction over firearm policies in school...

Restorative Justice Requires Rehabilitation

Nick Bassman

September 16, 2016

Content warning: This op-ed contains discussion of sexual assault. To Judge Aaron Persky: This is not the first open letter or protest you’ve received on this topic, and it won’t be the last. Convicted rapist Brock Turner was released from prison Sept. 2 after serving three months of the six-month sentence you gave him. He was in prison for the length of a summer break and has returned to his family home in Dayton, Ohio. During the sentencing in June, you expressed the opinion that Brock Turner “will not be a danger to others.” It’s impressive to me that you trust a man who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. The basis of your faith is unclear. Of course, your shared affiliation as ...

After Paris, Education Remains Critical

James O’Leary, Contributing Writer and Frederick R. Selch Assistant Professor of Musicology

November 20, 2015

A close friend and colleague from Paris sent me a dispatch from her university. She wrote: “I’m just coming out of the Sorbonne, where the French president and members of the government had come to participate in the ‘silent minute’ with us and our students (we lost three students in the attacks, as well as colleagues and students from other universities, so the Sorbonne was chosen as a symbol for the national ceremony). It was so moving to sing the national anthem together. And I was proud of my students for showing up to class, even though we were all crying when we tried to talk, but it’s important to keep teaching.” Her final phrase — “it’s important to keep teaching” — struck me as pecul...

Hobbies Unveil Interconnection of Various Disciplines

CJ Blair, Columnist

April 3, 2015

As students at a liberal arts college, we should be familiar with what a liberal arts education is supposed to entail. Rather than admitting students who specialize in a single area of study, colleges like Oberlin seek out applicants with a broad range of knowledge and skills that span various disciplines. While this aim certainly sounds noble, it’s easy, in a time where progress is equated to making the next best cell phone or curing major diseases, to question the value of this approach. While it’s hard to argue that a broad base of knowledge won’t benefit you as a worker, it seems like the people who make the greatest impact on the world are those with a single focus they pursue wholeheartedly. Instead of...

Ray Young Brings Strong Experience

John and Diane Adams

October 31, 2014

To the Editors: Ray Young would make an excellent State Board of Education member for our district. We have known Young and his family for 17 years. In that time, he has been a teacher, a principal and a college professor. Not only does he hold a master’s degree in education, but his experience is in all fields of the educational spectrum. Young’s two daughters are certified teachers; he has been a good example for his own children, as well as all of the students he has influenced throughout his career. Young and his wife Dolly have four grown children and ten grandchildren ranging between the ages of 1 and 10 years old. Young is a committed father, a husband of 38 years and grandfather who offers a wealth of...

Open Letter: Co-op Savings Essential

Bob Weiner, Class of 1969

October 31, 2014

Dear President Marvin Krislov: You must be flooded with everything, but as a co-Clinton administration official with you, I do want you to know that I’m an old Oberlin co-oper (I was the system treasurer!), and I agree that the savings for co-op members need to stay to help them with college. They helped me in a critical way. My father, who was covering my tuition, died between my freshman and sophomore year, and my uncle picked up the family wish to get me through school with tuition. But that was it for money. So I joined a co-op my sophomore year. I had to pay for all expenses other than tuition and room, and the savings from being in a dining co-op — and working to earn them, first as the meat buyer and then...

Ray Young for State Board of Education

Julie Torrence

October 31, 2014

To the Editors: I am a special education teacher and a mother. In both of these roles, I have had many questions and concerns with the function of our education system. I have sat in countless staff meetings and listened time and time again to the new plans laid out by our political leaders. I have heard the grumblings of teachers and administrators asking: Why the changes? Things are fine the way they are. Do these politicians know anything about teaching? Have they even spent one day in the shoes of an educator? Do they remember how difficult it was to be a student and carry the weight of the world? While I don’t doubt that most politicians strive to make better systems for our schools to achieve a brighter tomorrow,...

Reforms Improve Literacy and Academic Achievement in Northeast Ohio

February 28, 2014

Franklin Elementary School in Elyria is locally notorious for its low test scores. But beginning next fall, the school will embark on a 5-year program to enact experimental education reforms. A grant from the locally based Stocker Foundation, Franklin plans to extend the instructional day by 45 minutes, as well as increase the use of technology, incorporate more art in the classroom, raise parental involvement and implement a preschool program. Franklin teacher and intervention specialist Cynthia Boyd said she believes that the extra time will positively impact the students’ learning. “I think they’re going to do a great deal of good for our kids at Franklin,” said Boyd. “Forty-five minutes is a long...

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