The Oberlin Review

A Little Bit is Better Than None: Teaching Self-Care in Ella Causer’s ExCo, “How to Be David Sedaris Himself”

A Little Bit is Better Than None: Teaching Self-Care in Ella Causer’s ExCo, “How to Be David Sedaris Himself”

September 21, 2018

A love of barn owls shared with a well-known humorist led College sophomore Ella Causer to develop and teach the ExCo “How to Be David Sedaris Himself.” “He’s one of the authors that can make me laugh out loud,” said Causer. She became exposed to Sedaris’ work relatively recently and has developed a strong appreciation for it. Causer once sent Sedaris fan mail, and he responded by complimenting the collage she’d sent along with her letter, as well as providing her with a list of...

ExCo Fair Showcases Community Interests

ExCo Fair Showcases Community Interests

February 9, 2018

Students attend the ExCo Fair in the Root Room of Carnegie Building on Wednesday night. ExCos, or Experimental College courses, are taught by students, community members, and faculty, providing the campus the opportunity to teach, explore, and learn about areas of interest beyond the college classroom. Students signed up for a variety of classes, ranging from “Alternative Schools of Economic Thought” and “Black Lives Matter: In the Sciences” to “ArmokCo: Dwarf Fortress,” “DisCo: A D...

ExCos Showcase Best in Liberal Arts Education

Emily Peterson

September 1, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features

You might expect to find some of the ExCo classes on offer this fall semester at any liberal arts college in America: “Understanding the Contemporary Politics of Palestine,” “Alternative Schools of Economic Thought,” “Debate and Public Speaking,” and a variety of language and dance classes. And then there is “DisCo: A Disney History ExCo,” “Spongebobology,” and, of course, “Beginning Dungeons and Dragons.” All these courses and more were on offer Wednesday night, when a steady stream of students milled around tables set up around the perimeter of the Root Room, talking to teachers and signing up for classes about everything from longboarding to Cyberbunk to representations of oppression in science fictio...

Broken ExCo System Disrespectful to Students

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

February 5, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Columnist Note: Some ExCos are taught by community members or College staff and faculty, but the vast majority are both attended and taught by students. I’m addressing the effect that the current ExCo system has on students. I’m also largely writing from the point of view of someone who’s been a student but not a teacher. Oberlin College officially admits that the ExCo system works to fulfill gaps in the College’s curriculum. “ExCo supplements the regular curriculum by offering classes not typically available in traditional courses of study,” the College website says — the page on ExCos, by the way, is listed under “Student Life: Student Organizations,” not academics — but those classes include l...

Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club

Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club

September 25, 2015

College sophomore Lilah Drafts-Johnson cradled her guitar as she prepared to perform for an audience at the Cat in the Cream last Friday. Before singing, she told the crowd she’d be performing her favorite original song, but that it was unlike many of her other pieces, which share similarities with Taylor Swift’s nostalgic love songs. Draft-Johnson’s song “Compliment” addressed the problem of street harassment, including lyrics like “With your legs you know you look fine,” and “Didn’t...

Student ExCo Teachers Aim to Fill Academic Voids

Rebecca Cohen

September 11, 2015

Filed under Uncategorized

Talented Obies are gearing up to lead their peers through the discovery of art forms and media genres in several new ExCos offered this semester. Several teachers — or facilitators, as some preferred to be called — expressed a desire not only to share their passion and knowledge with classmates but also to foster communities surrounding their topics of interest. Strong quee rand feminist-oriented themes connect several new courses, including Women and Television; GraphEx: An Exploration of Graphic Narratives (with a focus on artists and creators who are women and/or trans); Experimental Feminist Film; and Queer Women OnScreen. College senior Anne Buckwalter wants to expose her peers to comic books written by women...

Kid Business Struggles to Keep Up with ExCo Cast

Kid Business Struggles to Keep Up with ExCo Cast

December 12, 2014

Last Saturday night at the Cat in the Cream, members of the short-form improvisational comedy troupe Kid Business struggled to achieve the same level of humor as the up-and-coming talent of the 2014 improv ExCo class. Shortform improv requires audience input to guide the direction of each short improv game. Audience members seemed to revel in their ability to influence the direction of each improv game; each time the audience was given the green light, loud cries for different character roles or...

Student Takes Initiative on Legal Rights Education

Elizabeth Kuhr, Staff Writer

March 1, 2013

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

Standing in front of 50 Oberlin students in Craig Lecture Hall on Thursday, Feb. 21, College sophomore Katie Thornton gave an hour-and-a-half lecture titled “Knowing Your Rights.” An extension of her Experimental College class, the Power Point presentation reviewed people’s legal rights during run-ins with police in the United States. According to the ExCo’s syllabus, Thornton aims “to give people a comprehensive understanding of our legal rights in the United States of America.” In the simplest terms, her series of lessons and lectures hopes to educate people about remaining safe and distinguishing between fair and unfair legal treatment. “I’ve seen a lot of friends get into trouble with the cops,”...

New ExCos Attract Broad Range of Students to Unique Classes

Scott Hulver

February 8, 2013

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

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...

ExCo Project Traces “Oberlin Family”

ExCo Project Traces “Oberlin Family”

November 9, 2012

Members of the Social Media ExCo, informally known as SoMeXco, organized an “Oberlin Family” campaign over Parents Weekend in which they encouraged members of the Oberlin community to send postcards to friends and family members in order to demonstrate Oberlin’s connections to the rest of the world. “While it doesn’t look like social media, [this project is] using something that was created to make people connect more with each other,” said program coordinator and ExCo instructor Ma’ayan...

Snaps to That: The State of Slam Poetry at Oberlin

Abby Hawkins, Arts Editor

October 14, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

Despite the numerous readings, workshops and special seminars held for Creative Writing students, the department's curriculum is sorely lacking in nontraditional forms of poetry, including slam — this disconnect that prevents any sort of academic dialogue with the slam scene before it could start. In Creative Writing workshops, competition and unfiltered emotion are veiled in civility and academic jargon, but the raw heart of slam lies in the immediate, uncensored audience response. If you're good, the whoops and whistles of audience members let you know you're good; if nobody's feeling you, that will be made quite apparent as well. That being said, slams at Oberlin are much more supportive than poetry clubs at large...

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