Oberlin Blogs

El Wilson ’18

Hi! My name is El Wilson, and yes, I am the kid in the wheelchair who talks funny. I have cerebral palsy, which means my brain was damaged at birth and communicates with my body a different way than yours does. Other than that, I’m your average queer. My pronouns are they/them/theirs, and I generally like to treat my gender like silly putty. I bend it in every direction.

I spend many hours a day drinking diet soda and working on creative writing and psychology homework. My two favorite things in the world are people and words, so I study both. On campus, I am on the book co-op’s management team and am a breadmaker in Pyle. I also spend a surprising amount of time reminding typical (i.e. not disabled) people that they have this thing called privilege, and they need to check it.

When I’m not banging my head against a textbook or trying to turn my scattered thoughts into stories, you can find me on the rowing machine at the gym or laughing with my friends. In fact, you may even see me wheeling along and suddenly burst out laughing for no apparent reason. It’s kind of my thing.

The day I received my Oberlin acceptance letter, I felt like an 11-year-old who had just been invited to Hogwarts. Despite the fact that I find this place magical, my true home is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. No, I don’t watch football (I still get quarterback and quarter pounder confused), but I can show you every used bookstore in the city.

As long as it’s past 11 a.m., I’m generally a giggly, friendly person. I’m as open as Mudd during finals, so say hello and ask whatever you want.

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