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April 9, 2009

Joe Dawson ’12

As you may have heard, admissions decisions have been mailed. I wouldn't care, except that this means the time is coming close when campus will be filled with 600 scurrying little... schmendricks trying to register for classes before registration time and asking me when the dining hall opens and being royal pains in my tuchus. (I love the word schmendrick because I have nooooo idea what it means. It's quite wonderful. Tuchus, well we all know about that little jewel.) You pick up some Yiddish at Oberlin, for those of you coming from places like Columbia, Missouri, or those of you too young to remember Linda Richman. I was having a little shemozzle (last one, I promise) with myself about grades, as midterm grades did come out today. I'm doing well, and I'm happy about it. I just don't really know if it means anything. I realized something, though. If you are an incoming/prospective student, and you're considering Oberlin, you're probably a pretty bright kid. You could do well here at Oberlin, which means you could do well at Brown, Williams, Grinnell, Moberly Area Community College, or even Oklahoma University, who offer completely free tuition, room and board plus a $1000 computer allowance to any National Merit Scholar who goes there ("No thanks, I'll pass on the full ride. Wait, I get a LAPTOP?!"). Maybe you wouldn't be a star at an Ivy League school. But there are C students there that get a diploma, and that ain't too shabby.

I visited one college, very similar to Oberlin, as I was making my college road trip, tragically sans Martin Lawrence.


This college was small, liberal, and had lots of money to give for scholarships and study abroad, grants and so forth. My sister went to this school, and I very well could be there instead of in my kickass dorm room (an overstatement) watching it snow (not really snow, what do you call it when it's like freezing rain, kind of like hail, but not quite snow? Not sleeting, oh, what is it? Oh yeah, sh*tting. It's sh*tting outside right now. The worst weather in April ever). Back to this school. I could have gone there. You could go there. I'm sure I would have done well, you would do well too, except for me there was one thing. One thing can change a lot. Your life, perhaps. If something really clicks or really doesn't, pay attention.

My thing was the Cross Country/Track coach. I met him during our visit, and he sat me down and we talked about training programs and what kind of times I had run and how well his runners had done at Conference and NCAC Championships in the previous years. The whole time, I had this weird feeling that he was trying to sell me something. I suppose he was, but it's weird to feel like it when you're talking to a coach. He did, in fact, sell me the book he had written about his revolutionary approach to coaching Cross Country, which made the meeting even weirder. My dad was with me, and he left the coach's office after a while so we could talk in private. Nothing shady happened, Dad just wanted me to be able to talk to him one on one. I left the office ten minutes later and found my dad. He didn't comment about the meeting until I said something like:

"Well that was weird!"

Dad said he was glad I said it first.

Responses to this Entry

A shmendrick is a mama's boy, or a wuss.

Your trusty jew,

p.s. Happy Passover!

Posted by: Alice on April 9, 2009 11:56 PM

"This college was small, liberal, and had lots of money to give ..."


Posted by: Anonymous on April 10, 2009 5:54 AM

Yeah, that dude was weird. if I knew the majority of my undergrad would be spent with him, I'd have reconsidered too. Luckily, the main theatre prof was a sassy New Zealander lesbian who ended every sentence with "...yeah?"

Posted by: Genevieve on April 10, 2009 7:32 AM

I loved my parent's thoughts on colleges. My mom's not from the states, and my dad was a less than stellar student, so the whole world of picking colleges was new. It was like that show on MTV where your parents watch you on first dates with prospective girl/boyfriends. I would hold hands with the prospective college, my parents would point out its shoddy style and imperfect haircut.

Posted by: Aries on April 10, 2009 9:04 AM

I wonder how many people walked into the theater to see College Road Trip expecting some sort of Tom Green project, only to be sorely disappointed.

(And, since we're talking about our experiences visiting schools, I'll point out that of the handful of colleges I visited I only applied to one. That's right: the experience of touring a college campus with my family usually proved so traumatic that I immediately removed the school from my list. Fortunately the 16-hour drive to Oberlin precluded me from visiting, because otherwise things might have turned out dramatically different. So, prospective students, please don't be dissuaded from Oberlin if your parents ask embarrassing questions on your tour. They're probably just doing it because they care about you, or something. And they don't get to come here next fall.)

Posted by: Will on April 10, 2009 11:09 AM

re: Will

PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS ON A TOUR. Really. Otherwise, I just keep talking. And you don't want that.

Posted by: Aries on April 10, 2009 2:56 PM

Alice: Thanks for the yiddish lesson, if you wanna drop any more useful phrases on me, I'm trying to slip them into general conversation whnever possible. Looks like I kind of got the usage right on shmendrick.

Anonymous: I was vague on purpose, I'm not gonna bad-mouth another school on my blog. But seriously, what the hell kind of mascot is a Pioneer? Why not just a guy with a sign around his neck that says "don't mind me?" Probably get more respect that way.

Aries & Will: I only took my dad with me on my visits, and my dad's pretty awesome, so it was cool to have him there. He was a question asker, and the guides always seem really grateful to know people are somewhat interested. I think my dad kind of wished he could go to some of the schools we visited, he was really excited about some of these places. Be tolerant of your parents, for they are a wonderful source of food and money to pay tuitions.

Posted by: Joe on April 10, 2009 4:26 PM

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