Well, here we are. It's already year two of my Oberlin adventure! In all honesty, sophomore year has been a little weird so far. I'm living in Fairkid near the Conservatory, so I'm spending time in a totally different part of campus. Since some of my friends have joined co-ops or live around North Quad, I don't get to see some of the people I hung out with last year very often.
Don't get me wrong: I definitely missed Oberlin over the summer. Being back is comforting in many respects - I know my way around now and lots of people say hi to me! But this year has been a bit isolating as well. Over the summer, I got used to being close to my family and relying on them for encouragement every day. I miss them so much, even though my awesome sister just visited (look out for a blog post on that). But I have a good feeling about the next few months - there are so many wonderful first-years and I'm excited to keep making new friends!
By the way, my summer was pretty fabulous. I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack basically every day. And after going to Washington D.C. for a reproductive justice conference and cutting most of my hair off, I went to Costa Rica with my family! So cool! I spoke Spanish with many different people, went zip-lining (terrifying!) and snorkeling, and narrowly avoided a few monkeys who were trying to steal my lunch. I can't wait to go back to Central America sometime soon.
I'm adjusting back to school now, and it's starting to feel like a home again. This school year has surprised and delighted me in lots of ways. For example, I recently discovered that I really like rainbow sherbet (thanks Stevie!). And when I'm not doing homework, I've been practicing self-care by taking Arb walks and watching The L Word, which is SO GOOD. I'm also happy to say that I continue to find a home in Students United for Reproductive Freedom during my second semester as co-chair. Everyone comes to our meetings with such kindness and passion for our discussion topics. I feel so lucky to be part of this group!! We meet Tuesdays at 9pm in Wilder, if you want to come check us out.
But one of the best aspects of sophomore year so far? Academics! My classes are incredibly engaging and difficult - I feel myself stretching and pushing myself to new limits, and I love it. What's a better first blog post than a rundown of my new classes?
CAST 200 - Theories and Methods with Gina Perez
Did I mention that I'm going to declare a major in Comparative American Studies? That's another blog post I need to write! Anyway, Theories and Methods is a required class for my major. We read many American Studies articles and discuss the authors' methodologies and epistemologies, as well as the theories they use. To be honest, I didn't understand what methodology or epistemology meant prior to this course - clearly, I am learning a lot. Professor Perez is wonderful and makes the study of theories and methods very engaging!
BIOL 090 - Human Biology with Mary Teleha
This is the final class I need to fulfill my Natural Science and QFR requirements! Yay! This is primarily a lecture class and has about 40 students. I took AP Biology during my senior year of high school, but I'm happy to be learning a bit more about anatomy and physiology now. I think I forgot how to study for a science class after a year without it, so it's taking a little while to get back into the swing of things, but I know I can do it!
POLT 277 - Immigration, Refugee, and Asylum Policy with Kathryn Miller
Immigration is a major interest of mine, so I was very excited for this class from the beginning. We've been studying theories and US immigration policies throughout history, and connecting both to our current political moment. Professor Miller does a great job of diversifying the class; aside from lectures, we watch videos, read articles, and work in small groups! However, I've noticed that I have many of the same qualms about this class that I had with my last Politics class - namely, I'm not in love with political theory. For some reason, theory in Comparative American Studies has been much easier for me to understand. However, I'm eager to broaden my horizons and become comfortable in many disciplines.
HIST 331 - Race and Sexuality with Renee Romano
I LOVE THIS CLASS. It's making me want to minor in History! Our professor is one of the most dynamic, engaging, and sincere professors I've ever had. It's a small seminar of about 15 students, so I'm getting to know a bunch of awesome juniors and seniors. Plus, the readings are fabulous. For my final, I'm writing a twenty-page research paper on Latina service workers and sexualized violence since the 1990s. It's a ton of work, but I'm excited for the challenge. I look forward to this class all the time!!