Oberlin Blogs

A Color-Coded Guide to Life

March 6, 2015

Tom Cline ’18

Writing this post and looking over my calendar made me realize the sheer number of things I managed to get involved in this semester, and that’s definitely not uncommon for Oberlin students. It seems everyone is busy rushing from meetings of student organizations to rehearsals to classes to concerts and recitals to shows to work, and at some point trying to find time to study. I’m lucky in that everything I’m doing this semester is something that I enjoy, so I hardly realize that I haven’t spent more than 15 minutes in my dorm from 10:00am to 10:00pm most days, and that I’m starting my homework at 11:00 (and finishing a blog post at 2:30am).

I tried to break up my calendar by the different categories of activity I’m involved in, and then the more specific activities I’m doing in each category. With no further ado, they are…


Breakfast Crew (Monday):

Monday mornings at 8am, I make the long trek down a a flight of stairs to the Harkness dining space and begin cleaning the kitchen. I chose (for some reason that has long since escaped me) to do my hour of crew for the dining co-op early on Monday. As much as I hate the wake up, I really enjoy being in the kitchen before almost anyone else. The early wake up also means that I never sleep through my 10am!

Co-op Discussions (Every day!):

This week was during interim, which is why the co-op discussions are packed as tightly as they are. Interim, a tumultuous time when almost every position in a co-op is elected and policies are decided, takes place at the beginning of every semester and lasts (hopefully) just about two weeks. As a DLEC (Dining Loose Ends Coordinator), I facilitate discussions and help make sure the co-op keeps running smoothly through the end of interim and the rest of the semester along with my co-DLEC. If you’re interested in co-op discussions, how a co-op functions, or modified consensus, let me know and I will happily talk about it with you!


THEA 236 - Scene Design 1 (Monday and Wednesday):

I took this class on a whim because I thought that a scenic design class would be useful, and I’ve enjoyed it much more than I thought that I would. The class is fairly introductory, which has been really nice, and is taught by the set designer at the college, which means I can learn from him in class and then see his work in shows put on throughout the semester.

ECON 211 - Money, the Financial System, and the Economy (Tuesday and Thursday):

If you can get past the dry name of this class, and are interested in economics, it’s a great class taught by a professor who spent a long time working at the Fed and so has all sorts of interesting inside views and is incredibly knowledgeable. It’s also a LOT of math, which took some getting used to after a month off school, but now that I’ve gotten back in the swing of things I’ve started to enjoy it more.

ECON 209 - Economic Development (Tuesday and Thursday):

During scheduling, I thought that two Econ classes back to back would be fine, but after doing it for a little over a month I would suggest otherwise. By the middle of this class I usually have hand pain from my furiously scribbled notes. This has actually been one of my favorite classes this semester, since it is as type of economics not talked about at all in intro classes and provides a new perspective on how we define “rich” and “poor” countries, and what might determine why some countries are able to get rich and others are not.

THEA 212 - Stage Management (Tuesday and Thursday):

One of the most applicable classes to what I actually intend to do with my life, stage management is a class that feels less like work and more like a chance to have fun. It also takes place in the same room I rehearse in five days a week, so I have become very accustomed to doing lots and lots of paperwork surrounded by the eclectic furniture and forgotten belongings littering Studio 3.


Work (Monday, Wednesday, Friday):

Three days a week I have work in Hall Auditorium, which I’ve blogged about quite a bit, so I won’t talk about it too much, but I really enjoy having a few hours a week to spend in the theater hanging lights.

Rehearsal (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday):

I’m currently Assistant Stage Managing the Theater Department’s main stage production Caucasian Chalk Circle (opening on April 16th! Tickets at CTS soon!), and so spend a lot of time in rehearsals. This is the first department show I’ve worked on, and the first time I’ve done any stage management at Oberlin, and I’m very glad that I was able to get involved in the department main stage as a first-year.

Production Meeting (Friday):

A weekly check-in with the director, designers, musical director, and stage management about the status of the show and how everyone is progressing with the show. This is one of my favorite parts of the week, since I get to hear about all of the awesome things the designers for Caucasian Chalk Circle have come up with for the show.

OMTA Meeting (Thursday):

I sit on the board of the Oberlin Musical Theater Association as a Technical Coordinator, and once a week we meet to talk about the status of the shows we are funding for a semester, as well as talk about how we can spread the joy of musical theater to more students, and what new stuff we want to buy when/if we eventually have enough money.


ExCo (Monday, Wednesday):

This semester I’m co-teaching an ExCo, “Women in Television”, with my friend Sophie. Anyone can teach an ExCo, and they offer a chance to take or teach a class not offered by the college. There are lots of different types of ExCos, many of which are offered for credit. In our ExCo, we watch 30 Rock, The Office, Girls, Sex and the City, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and more, and then discuss the ways women are portrayed and the themes addressed in the shows, and get college credit for it.

Free bowling (Tuesday):

One of the most under-used resources on this campus, College Lanes provides a wonderful stress relief from 3:30–6:00 on Tuesdays in the form of free bowling. This semester I have become a regular with a group of my friends, and while our scores may not be improving hugely, it is a great way to unwind early in the week.

Laundry (Only when I have to):

Your laundry schedule in college will be determined largely by how much underwear you have, so start investing heavily now - laundry is pricey and always inconvenient to do. I’ve now gotten to the point where I schedule it into my calendar just so the alarm shames me into doing it.


While this is my schedule during the week, the weekends offer a whole new dilemma with the number of events, shows, and more going on each day. On any given night you might have to choose between the main stage show that just opened, a friend’s recital, a show at the Cat in the Cream, or a punk show in Harkness basement, and there’s always something else awesome going on you only find out about at the last minute. And at some point there's always homework to do as well...

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