Oberlin Blogs

Emails and phone calls and physics, oh my!

April 16, 2009

Elizabeth Houston ’06

I'm the person in the admissions office who is responsible for sending out emails to large groups of people, so I recently sent out an email to admitted students who are interested in physics or astronomy from Dan Stinebring, the chair of the Physics and Astronomy department.

I mention this because I thought his letter was particularly nice. Not only did he talk about all the cool research Oberlin students get to participate in, but he also gave out his home phone number (!!) when encouraging students to get in touch with him.

Who gives out their home phone number to students? Isn't that just crazy? Actually, at Oberlin, it's more common than you might think. Certainly, not every professor welcomes phone calls from students at home, but some cheerfully add their home phone number to their syllabi and encourage students to call if they need help getting through difficult problem sets. (The professors who have done this before also usually add an admonition about not calling after their bedtimes.) I never took advantage of this extraordinary opportunity when I was a student, but several friends of mine did, and they would always gush enthusiastically about their professors' friendliness and helpfulness.

Also, here are Professor Stinebring's top three reasons why you should choose Oberlin:

1) vital and engaged students -- we have the best, honestly. Our students are intellectually curious and artistically expressive. Your student peers will have a bigger effect on your education than any other factor when you're selecting between the excellent schools that you are deciding between.

2) a vibrant campus -- There is SO much going on here. And, because it is all happening in an attractive small-town setting, it is easy -- and generally free -- to attend one of the more than 400 concerts or any of the wealth of artistic performances or lectures or coffee house performances.

3) the Conservatory of Music -- It has a profound effect on the nature of Oberlin life. Even if you are only mildly interested in music, you will find that it enriches your life greatly. If music is a passion, you'll love it here. There are so many opportunities to get involved at all levels of skill and dedication. And, we all benefit from the talent you bring to the college.

Interestingly enough, those are some of the top reasons I give for coming to Oberlin! It's always nice to have corroboration from other sources.

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