Oberlin Blogs

Fall Break in Oberlin

October 25, 2008

Aries Indenbaum ’09

During Fall Break, there is nothing going on on campus. No concerts. No dining halls open. The libraries close at 5:00 PM, not 2:00 AM. Most people go home, take road trips, do service projects, practice...

Me? I love Oberlin when it's quiet. It's relaxed, and the sleep debt of midterms boils away into a well-rested calm. There are still a few scattered students around-- reading at Java Zone, doing research in the Science Center, putting books in the shelves, sipping cocoa at Oberlin Market, petting kittens at the Ginko Gallery... but mostly, it's a small town. And when it's so quiet, I enjoy my hard-won free time. I take up my whims.

After my tour yesterday, I had lunch with an air traffic controller and an airplane pilot at Agave. The controller lived in Medina and his daughter was interested in Music Education; the pilot had flown over Oberlin thousands of times and had always wanted to stop by. They were an interesting pair-- real friends, who went on adventures, taking trains across the country and seeing little slices of the world. When I "grow up," I want to still have voyages.

After finishing my coffee, I wrote a little bit for my Novella then walked to Baldwin. Sadly, not all dorms on campus have bathtubs. Baldwin has a nice tub. And though I had neither towel, nor soap, I decided to soak as long as I could. It was so quiet, just me in the big bathroom.

In the break periods, I work out until I'm exhausted and my arms are numb. I can chat with Elizabeth as long as I like, not having to worry about the paper, the meeting, or the class. Elizabeth is pretty amazing, one of the people who I would not have met but for blessed chance that her work hours in the weight room were in line with my work out times. I like being able to talk while I lift-- I like it when exercise isn't a chore, but a thing to be enjoyed.

I ran in the Arb the other day and took a break to dunk my feet in the chill water in the reservoir. I couldn't feel my toes for the rest of the run, but it was worthwhile.

I've worked every day this week for Admissions, from about 8:30 until 1:30. All of my interviews were wonderful-- the prospies were awake, interested and really awesome. It was a pleasure to talk to them. Saki was working at the same time as me, so in between answering emails, we chatted. I shot the breeze with Jen, my tour guiding boss.

Conversations happen, without worry for schedules. About 5 minutes ago, I ran into Michael and Sam, who were sharing rhymes. Michael is part of Citizens of Sleep, an Oberlin-based hip-hop group, who are now touring Germany, and soon California, spreading social conscious dialogue. Amazing performers, and Michael just showed me an amazing new rap about his stage persona, Dunce. It's imaginative, really visual hip hop; it told a story, it forced feelings.

I got a bit tired of the daily tour question--
Prospie: Where is everyone?
Aries: It's Fall Break. Most people go home or have adventures.
Prospie: So there's no one here except except for boring people?
Aries: ... I'm going to talk about the architecture of Mudd Library now.

But overall, it's my place. I've been able to have long, long talks with my friends, decompressing from the semester's half. I've been able to sit in bed and dream. I've read plenty: Stoppard's Arcadia, a book of Bukowski, the new "Flight" graphic novel. I feel so comfortable here. I'm excited for classes to restart again, but sometimes, there's nothing better than a break like this.

The other question that I only get sometimes:
Prospie: Why didn't you go home?
Aries: This is my home.

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