Wow! It's early December and the chill has officially reached "It's $*()@# cold out!!" levels, at least for me. I was born and bred in Minnesota, but I've spent the last ten years in the everlastingly-rainy-but-temperate Pacific Northwest and as a result have become totally wimpified. My friends from around here, as well as other cold places (Wisconsin, Michigan, New York), assure me that I don't have the slightest idea what cold is anymore.
Be that as it may, life here is still very busy. The advent of finals leads to some tense paradoxes as classes get either more intense or much less so. Those with final projects struggle to complete them properly according to their own standards. (Here, as anywhere, those range from "Get the damn thing finished" to "IT MUST BE PERFECT!!!") Those with large, scary final tests are experiencing an ominous lull. And those of us in the middle are alternately bored and overworked.
I for one have been very busy--not terribly productive, but doing well when needed. I like being ahead in class, and I'm not right now, at least not as much as I'd like (four chapters to read for one Econ lecture?!). I've also been lifeguarding and preparing for the next Sunshine Scouts show, which is Thursday, and preparing to bake cookies tomorrow. This is a large venture because the Barnard kitchen is filthy, and I refuse to cook in an unsanitary kitchen. I'm only giving cookies to those who help me clean it. But on top of that, I have to decide what kind of cookies to make, buy supplies, scrounge up a pan from somewhere, find a way to use up the extra eggs. . .
And that's just my life. The wider Oberlin community is even busier. So many junior and senior recitals, the Fall Forward dance show, the Intro Shorts (short plays put on by the Theater 101 students), "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," studio recitals, faculty recitals . . . Just have a look! http://new.oberlin.edu/calendar/
What's up with Swine Flu? The college said we'd get vaccines. There are no vaccines on campus. I know several people who drove to Elyria to get one, and I know several people who have had the flu themselves. For all the noise the College made about prevention--sanitizer and disinfectant spray in the mail! Big jugs of more hand sanitizer in the dining halls and the gym! Instructions about quarantines and flu buddies posted in the bathrooms!--the actual response seems to have been pretty mellow. I personally don't know how strictly quarantine is enforced, for instance. Probably this is to avoid causing a panic. Also, as far as I know the H1N1 virus hasn't caused any Obies to be hospitalized.
Still, I think it couldn't hurt to provide vaccinations to a large population of 18-to-23-year-olds living in close quarters, many of whom have questionable personal hygienic habits.
Fun stuff. I overheard two guys talking in line at Stevenson (the big dining hall) yesterday. I don't know what they were discussing, but it had to do with someone sayig something in person as opposed to on Facebook and how that was somehow odd. One of them said, without a trace of irony, "It was really weird...it was just so normal."
It took me a perplexed moment trying to decode the possible context in which this would make sense to realize it was ironic at all.
That's because Obies think like this. http://xkcd.com/222/