Everyone I know has some flying rituals. Little things they think about -- places they get milkshakes or coffees. Stretches they do, people they call. Me, I always stay up too late packing the night before and spend much of the airport experience in a half-dead daze. I sleep on planes, curled up like a little child.
Once we land at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport, I wake up and race for the LCT stop. After waiting outside for 10 minutes, I huddled indoors and discovered I had missed the last bus by 15 minutes. Gahhh.
The LCT, or "Lorain County Transport," is a cheap bus running between Oberlin and Cleveland Airport, as well as other points in the area. The LCT runs seven times a day normally, and more so during special days (i.e. end of semester). If you can make the LCT, life is easy. If not, you're stuck with a taxi with a flat rate of $64 before tip & tax. Again: gahhhh.
If you've missed the LCT, it's customary for Obies to hang out at the airport to find someone to carpool/taxipool with. It's a nice way to make friends and save a bunch of money.
This time, I ended up meeting Lucas, a freshman from Oakland, who's really cool. He deferred for a year, taking a job for half the time and spending the rest of the year on Amtrak, seeing the country. He had spent his WT writing up and editing his journal from the travels. It was really interesting to see how his trip had differed from mine -- while Lucas went solo, I've normally had companions when exploring new areas. While I can be by myself without a problem, having company gives me a lot of perspective.
Right now, Yoshi and I are at home, on Pleasant Street. Oberlin is snow-covered, the college officially closed down for the day. It's good to be home, too. We notched the thermostat up and are putting away candy from Theo Chocolate, the only free-trade and organic chocolate-makers in the US. It's tasty chocolate. We just had dinner with the "Harkness Foodship," a group who stayed in Oberlin for Winter Term.
Everyone summed up their Winter Term in five words or less. I remembered these: "Herodatus was a badass." (Greek Language Intensive) "Playing with Legos." (Child development) "Hip-hop is a one-word contraction." (Music and Spoken Word Readings)
Eliza wrote a limerick on her neurophysiology research:
A neuron, E1, had a mission To excite all its neighbors' condition Except, on occasion In retaliation 'Twas paralyzed with inhibition.
... Though I forgot the words, I remember the other projects -- technical director for a play, building a super-computer, and Ma'ayan's Story Pirates.
As Ma'ayan can do a better job explaining the Harkness Foodship, I can sum up: it's an unofficial, Winter Term dining co-op where friends break from their projects to cook delicious meals. Last night's dinner was shish kabobs, cucumber salad, and couscous, with chocolate dipped fruits for dessert. The shish kabobs were either made of lamb or seitan, depending on preference. It was all very, very tasty.
The company was also wonderful to have again. To have a full table of people, happily eating a home-cooked meal... my heart shudders with fuzzy good thoughts.