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Favorite Oberlin Memories Blog no. 2

February 6, 2020

Last week I wrote a blog marking the start of my new blog series titled “Favorite Oberlin Memories.” Well, I’m back at the airport waiting to leave for another graduate audition, and I have another memory in store for you all. Sticking with the winter theme, we are still evading the incoming onslaught of Valentine’s hearts, and going back to December time. I’m going to tell you the story of Bob. 

It was December of my sophomore year and the final day of fall semester. It was a beautifully snowy day, and all of Oberlin seemed to be glistening and sparkling. Most of my finals were done, except an aural skills project I was planning to record and send to the professor that night. I was with one of my closest studio friends Christine, and we were looking out the window at the snow, when I had a brainwave and said “we should make a snowman.” Christine looked at me with a sudden rush of excitement, and said “We should build a snowman for David Bowlin!” David Bowlin is our wonderful violin professor, who we cherish with a quirky mix of admiration, respect, and love. Naturally, I was instantly on board and we decided to build a snowman in the public plaza below his apartment where he could see our snowman from his living room window. However, there was a problem. It was too cold, and the snow wasn’t packing. 

Most people would end the story here, and it wouldn’t be a very good story, but Christine and I are two very serious and persistent individuals, so we started to research ways in which to build a snowman with non-packing snow. We stumbled on a website called howtobuildtheperfectsnowman.com or something like that, I can’t find it anymore, which went into the in-depth science of building snowmen in all kinds of conditions. We decided on the laundry basket method, and got a trash bag and both of my laundry baskets, all of which we filled with snow. The trash bag snow portion was shaped into a ball, and we put all the snow containers into Christine’s car with the heat going on high. Once the snow was melted just enough for it to stick, we drove to the plaza and started assembling our snowman. I had some nuts and an apple to decorate his head, and we used branches for his arms. The last thing missing was his name, so we decided to call him Bob, and texted Professor Bowlin to let him know that his friend Bob was now underneath his window, to cheerfully greet him in the morning. 

Bob the Snowman
Bob the Snowman

All of this research had taken so much time, it was quite late when I finally started my aural skills assignment. I had chosen the harder variation which included singing, and playing something different on the piano in a multiple step process, and it took me more than two hours. Finally, there was one component missing, but the conservatory building was closing, and obviously there was no piano in my room. My flight to Seattle was the next morning, and I didn’t know what to do. In my desperation I opted for the one thing that felt right, and told my aural skills professor, Professor Alegant, the truth. I told him I had lost track of time building a snowman for my teacher, and that it had taken much longer than anticipated due to multiple complications, that my flight was leaving the next morning, I was very sorry, and his name was Bob. 

The next day, Professor Bowlin told us how thrilled he was to see Bob the next morning, and what a coincidence, because his father’s name was Bob too. And Professor Alegant responded to my heartfelt email, saying that snow people are important too. I think my flight is about to board, so this is it for now. The end. But stay tuned, there’s more to come! 

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