Oberlin Blogs

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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.

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