Oberlin Blogs

A Bang and a Whimper

May 10, 2019

This moment has been coming for a long time.

It comes in different stages of realization.

Last fall was just like any other semester – but even better somehow. I knew myself and Oberlin more than ever before, I had a wealth of great relationships from three years here (and I started new ones!), and I took more worthwhile risks. I knew that I was graduating, but it was something far away. Other than intense sessions of stress-applying to jobs every few weeks, it didn’t feel real. I had another winter term to go, and the entire spring semester left.

Then, I had my injury, my surgery, and my winter term. I had so much time to recover, figure out my future, and apply to more jobs. I could think about what finishing school and my final semester would look like, start to emotionally prepare myself, and plan out some sort of bucket list. The end was looking more real, but I still had time. I had months left.

Before I knew it, Spring Break rolled around. I stayed in Oberlin. I relaxed. I didn’t apply to as many jobs as I could have. But I started to plan on giving myself closure on certain aspects of Oberlin – I organized lunch meetings with some of my favourite professors, I reflected on the most significant parts of Oberlin for me, I wrote down every major thing I still had left to do. But I still didn't need to really worry. I had seven weeks left.

Today, I finished my last classes at Oberlin College.  

Wait, hold on a second. What happened to those seven weeks?

April flew by. As the last true month of the school year, and with the weather finally starting to improve, April gets busy.

I premiered my Senior Dance Recital (more in-depth blog coming!), which I had been choreographing and working on all semester.

It was perhaps the most meaningful and vulnerable performance I have ever done.

Clown Teague gets lost in the aerialists
Clown Teague lost in the Charivari

 

Abigail and Teague approaching each other, with a couch in the middle
The Couch

 

Teague helps Abigail walk on the back of the couch
How did we get here?

Photo credit: John Seyfried

I helped organize the OCircus! Spring Show. And dare I say it - it was one of the best I’ve ever done. It was Fairy Tale themed, with the neat little narrative structure being me as a grandpa telling my insolent grandson/the audience fairy tales. It was a ton of fun.

Teague telling Solomon/The Audience a story
Old man Teague telling Solomon/The Audience a fairy tale

 

Cyr Wheel!
Thumbelina in a Cyr Wheel!

 

Hannah in the silks
Mighty Malificent! 

 

Teague dive rolling over an object
Now we've got beards. How'd that happen?

 

The cast takes a bow
Our wonderful cast!

Photo credit: Emily Fiorentino 

Finishing off my final semester with two incredible shows – it was quite the bang.

But then… it was the same old. The last few weeks of class went by without incident. I kept thinking to myself “Am I doing this right?”

Sometimes, the big moments feel way too normal.

As I walked out of my last class of undergrad, I didn’t really have any big emotions. The sun didn’t shine brighter than usual (it was even cloudy!). No trumpets blazed triumphantly.

I went home, my housemate and I looked at each other and said “that’s it, dude.” And we went back to normal.

The moments that feel special are always the little ones.

Looking back at my senior year, I’m struck by how random the moments were when I really felt existential, when I really felt like I was graduating.

It didn’t happen today, during my last day of class. 

But it happened when hanging out with my friends, in a random dorm room, at a random party. And during a circus training session, just like any of the ones I've had in the last few years. And walking through King, in the middle of the semester, late to some class.

Life is made up of these moments. And in the words of Ferris Bueller:

“If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

But I’m not graduating yet.

To be fair, I still have three finals to complete, 'senior week', and then walking across that stage to get that piece of paper. There’s loads of time left, right?

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