Oberlin Blogs

Crossed up

April 17, 2009

Joe Dawson ’12

Lately I've wanted to do absolutely everything except register for next semester's classes and do this semester's classwork. I do occasionally think about movies for my Cinema Studies class focusing on Polish director (he's from Poland, he doesn't direct shoe polish. That always messed me up at concession stands when they advertised that their Polish cost like four dollars. Anyway, this Polish director) Krzysztof Kieslowski messes around with time a lot and uses destiny and fate in his movies. His name is also a beeyatch to pronounce (final score: vowels-6 consonants-13).

I keep trying to learn the piano, I've looked into trying out for improv groups and a capella groups on campus. I've taken some pretty cool pictures at night, spent free morning hours doing crossword puzzles in the Science Center Atrium with Kathleen and Thomas, but really not doing much else. Considering I had two tests this week and another coming Monday, as well as a presentation to work on for my Educational Psych class, this is not good. But I'm happy, which is good.

It helps that I've also been hearing really good songs lately just by pressing shuffle on my iPod, nothing fancy or indie, just Chuck Berry and Leela James and Lauryn Hill. I guess I haven't been at Oberlin long enough to get exposed to all of the wonderful funky unsigned talent in the world. Jonny B. Goode puts me in a great mood, though.

That crossword puzzle group is a great one. Every once in a while Nina will show up and pull some answer out of her ass that I don't even understand once it's written down in pen. Kathleen's great for a pop culture clue or anything musical (4 letters, Wife in '8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter'? 5 letters, Musical Milkman? Kathleen's on it). Kathleen will break down and use the internet for hard clues, although this has happened less frequently since I installed a padlock on her laptop as a little prank. She gets the key when she proves she is ready for it. I never did crossword puzzles before I came to Oberlin. Just goes to show you, you really can learn new ways not to do your work in a new place with new people.

Today's crossword was a Friday battle at the first table in the atrium. We started slowly, only getting three or four clues in the first five minutes, then we really put the hammer down. My friend Albert leapt in with a beautiful save - Coca-Cola product, 8 letters? Powerade, jeez - and then we started rolling like three Sundance Kids, shooting clues down like it was Tuesday. Okay, maybe Wednesday.

The puzzle was going strong, the band was starting to try new things, then it all came crashing down (Behind the Music's coming back!!!! I'm psyched). We got one clue in ten minutes, no clues in the next ten. Kathleen started doing the KenKen puzzle, Thomas was unresponsive. I contemplated chewing my elbow. All hope seemed lost. Our friend Robin came by and offered a Turkish phrase that would have fit in the top right-hand corner for the clue "no, no, this one's on me," and we had a breakthrough. It certainly wasn't the first time this had occurred to me, but this was the first time I thought that filling in the blanks with words that had no logical meaning or significance could be the only way to possibly solve the puzzle. With this realization, we finished the puzzle in the next fifteen seconds, and left with an expanded vocabulary, to boot. Who knew that a synonym for 'Crack' would be 'kyne'? Or that the Tet offensive was actually a 'Parisian possessive'? Amazing.

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