Oberlin Blogs

The Answerer is in, Part I

March 29, 2012

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

Once upon a time, when Ida was a young blogger, she began this new habit: when she was wondering about things about Oberlin, she would send me an email with a question, and I would find the answer. I don't even know when it started — perhaps when I received an email asking what sort of fun things one could do in Oberlin over fall break (that turned into an Oberlin blog post on fall breaks for me, and a fall-break-in-action post for Ida) — but after a while, I realized: my super hero alter ego is that of The Answerer. I actively punch question marks in the face on my quest for the truth.

All super heroes need a cool graphic, right? This one was made by Bridget VanBreeman '14, and it is quite possible the sweetest thing ever. Shirt: that's gonna happen.

With my super hero self now emblazoned on your mind... I'm going to try something new here on the Oberlin blogs: this is The Question and Answer Blog Post. How it works:

You have questions. I have a comment box and I have answers, or the ability to find them. Write a question in my comment box (you don't even have to put your name!) and there will be an answer. I highly encourage anyone who has visited the blogs before but never commented before to do so with this post!

To get the ball rolling — and so you don't think that your question is silly; the only silly questions are ones you don't ask — here are some sample questions I've received in the past few weeks alone, both online and in person.

Where is Albus from?

Albus lived at the Carlyle Shop in downtown Oberlin before he came into my life. Sometimes he has family visiting, and when they're in town, they're hanging out at Carlyle, too!

(Usually the follow-up question to this one is "Can I hug Albus?!" The answer is yes, but that's hard to demo over the internet.)

I was just wondering if you could tell me how Oberlin is in terms of LGBTQ friendly aspects, such as how accepting/tolerant are people? Are there any LGBTQ centers/clubs around campus?

The Multicultural Resource Center is an absolutely fabulous resource for LGBTQ students and allies on campus. In terms of LGBTQ clubs and organizations, we have the following chartered groups (this is as of this year; there are more groups popping in and out every year depending on interest and members):

  • Lambda Union
  • Queer Jews and Allies (QJews)
  • Queers and Allies of Faith (QuAF)
  • Transgender Advocacy Group (TAG)
  • Oberlin Queer Wellness Coalition

It is commonplace to be asked your preferred pronouns in most every student-run meeting or discussion, and I was in a number of classes that encourage it during introductions. Oberlin folks tend to be very accepting and supportive of whatever personal identity choices you make.

And if rankings and such are important to you, Oberlin has been given highest scores in the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index for the past few years.

What is the font Oberlin uses in official flyers around campus and the Oberlin website?

Oberlin's official fonts are Trade Gothic and Minion Pro. We really like 'em too :D

If you want to talk more about Oberlin's style guide, I recommend getting in touch with Megan Harding, the brand manager, to talk more. She knows what's up!

Do you have any information on the marching band at Oberlin? I'm really interested in applying next year, and marching band is one thing that I would like to continue after high school.

At Oberlin, marching band is considered a student organization, an ExCo (Experimental College) class, and a club sport. The band performs at varsity and club sports games, in the Big Parade, and more.

The last time I saw the marching band in action was at a women's rugby game last fall. There were around a dozen people, and they did an awesome job of getting the fans pumped up. It's not at the level of the marching bands of my former high schools, but all members of the band have a blast playing and it's great to have them at our student events.

Their website hasn't been updated since the fall, but it has all the information I noted above, and more. They would probably welcome an email from you if you have any additional questions.

Theoretically, how does one ascend to the gloried position of being an Oberlin blogger? (Sidenote: this is my favoritest question EVER!)

A very not theoretical answer:

- Our blogging application is released in early September. (Last year's is here if you want to know what it might look like.)

- In the meantime, blog! Blog lots! We emphasize good writing, but we love it when folks incorporate other mediums (photo, video, art, audio, etc.), too.

- If you use Tumblr as your primary blog and want to submit it as a part of your blogging application, consider using a tag (#my writing, #oberblog, something like that) so we can easily find your original work when it comes time to review your blog.

- Be yourself. The whole point of the Oberlin blogs is to give our student writers a platform to share their lives with the world, and we like to see your personality, interests, and life. When it comes to your personal blog that you submit to us, we invite you to write about whatever you'd like, but continue to be yourself. (You know the old adage "write what you know"? That's a good mantra for what we'd like to see in your blog.)

Okay, GO! Ask me questions below in the comments, and I'm on it.

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