Notes Football Turnaround
a recent visit to the campus, I saw an Oberlin football game
for the first time in 30 years. Oberlin lost decisively. But
that isn't what drew my attention. For the first time in years,
the team had a full bench, thanks to 25 freshman recruits, many
from good football schools in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Oberlin made the kinds of mistakes you would expect from a team
top-heavy with freshmen and sophomores. But this team improved,
noticeably, with each quarter.
Alumni have waited for years for Oberlin's athletic fortunes
to turn around. Now it's happening, thanks to a commitment from
the top. (Acting President Clayton Koppes was among those in
the scores for a while; this turnaround will take several years.
There will be more losses, some by lopsided scores. But with
time and patience, the football program will produce the same
level of excellence on the playing field that now is found in
the college's labs and classrooms.
letter to the editor in the Fall issue refers to John Frederick
Oberlin (1740-1826), an Alsatian clergyman, as "the founder
of the college." Oberlin Collegiate Institute (later called
Oberlin College) and the town of Oberlin were founded in
1833 by John Shiperd and Philo Stewart and named in honor
of John Frederick Oberlin.
Jane Lose Eddy '47
enjoyed reading about Lawrence Siddall's experiences as
a teacher in Poland in the Summer issue. I, too, recently
taught English there at a public high school. It was a half-year
stint in Warsaw in 1998, sponsored by the Polish-Canadian
Congress. Like Dr. Siddall, I had a bit of trouble at first
fitting in, and had extra concerns as a Jew, although a
secular one. But the openness, friendliness, and energy
of my students, plus a few Polish adults who became very
dear friends, made it a wonderful experience in a dynamic
and surprisingly charming big city.
I would recommend some kind of combination volunteer work/overseas
travel to any Obies (or their kids over 18). If you aren't
able to take a whole year away, then consider a two-week
summer volunteer stint from Volunteers for Peace, a Vermont-based
organization. Over the last 15 years, I've done seven such
workcamps that have involved easy but helpful work, international
friendships, extra chances for travel, and immense amounts
of fun. I've planted sweet potatoes in Cuba, helped build
a Buddhist temple in Massachusetts, worked in a day camp
program for kids outside Glasgow, painted a peace centre
in Norway, and more.
information, see the Volunteers for Peace website at www.vfp.org,
and feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy K. Brown '75