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December 17, 2008

Alice Ollstein ’10

All I have to do is fix my footnotes on my politics paper and I am done! In two days I fly away from the snow and the stress, home to sunny California. The only thing weighing on me now is the daunting task of moving out of my room, which involves packing and storing everything won't need while abroad next semester, including all my winter clothes. For you see, whilst Oberlin is freezing its collective arse off in February and March (by far the most horrific months) I will be on the Arizona/Mexico border studying immigration, living with a (I hope) wonderful host family and volunteering for various activist organizations and non-profits. Because the program starts in the middle of January, I don't have time to do an official Winter Term project, but I plan to spend my weeks at home preparing for my challenging Spring semester and applying for summer internships.

But back to Oberlin. I haven't left yet. I'm in Mudd Library right now, on the chatty first floor, surrounded by friends frantically typing away on their laptops, finishing up creative writing portfolios, theory papers on anarchy and last-minute cram sessions for astronomy. Because we know we're about to part, some for just a few weeks and some for six months, we've been procrastinating by reminiscing about the stand-out moments of the year: when my co-News Editor at the Oberlin Review mooned me in the office, when my best friend sustained a second degree burn from co-op pizza, when legendary food journalist Michael Pollan came to speak, when Ratatat played at the Sco... the list goes on and on.

It's weird to start having a series of "lasts." In each last class, we applauded the professor, and the longer the applause, the more popular the class. All the head cooks at Old B have been making their last meals extra delicious. The Review put out our last issue, with the help of cookies and Franzia. I've been scrambling to schedule quality time with all the friends I won't get to see until next fall, going out to dinner in town (I will miss the portabello burger with spicy tots) and maybe seeing a $2 movie at our one local theater the Apollo. So much to do and so little time!

Which reminds me of the packing and schlepping I have scheduled for tomorrow. So the College does let you store stuff for free, but only in a small number of boxes of a certain size and weight, and only during very narrow time slots. This becomes such a hassle that some students prefer to pay to rent a storage unit off campus, though these tend to be expensive and the 10 minute drive back and forth is annoying. I've found a happy medium by storing all my crap in my friend's attic in his off-campus house. And luckily I have another friend with a van--not many students have cars on campus, so those that do are hot commodities--who is helping drive my stuff the several blocks from my dorm to their house. Then I will truly be done with this semester. Wish me luck!

Responses to this Entry

Whoa, Alice, between you, John, and Joe, you're going to scare the prospies about winter! I mean, "horrific"? ;-)

Congratulations on getting your work done, and good luck storing your stuff. Happy holidays, and have a great semester away. I'll look forward to reading about it here.

Posted by: David Walker on December 18, 2008 6:45 PM

What can I say? I'm from California. To me, it's horrific. But I have a friend from Minnesota who wears tights in the snow, so who knows? Either way, Borderlands here I come!

Posted by: Alice Ollstein on December 18, 2008 10:53 PM

I'd like to reiterate a comment Aries made somewhere -- the cold weather is MUCH more conducive to studying than the gorgeous April/May weather. When the magnolia trees start blooming, it is much, much harder to study than when it's chilly and you can get cozy in Mudd. (No matter how many people I see with laptops or books or printouts in Wilder Bowl, I could NEVER get work done outside. Too many distractions.)

Posted by: Lillie Chilen '08 on December 22, 2008 10:11 AM

Alice, just wanted to thank you for this great blog. I'm applying RD to Oberlin, and have really enjoyed reading your entries. We have a lot in common; I'm from somewhat-urban CA (Berkeley), I'm passionate about social justice and activism, I'm an aspiring journalist, and I'd kill to see Ratatat (though that's hardly unusual.) You've definitely strengthened my excitement about Oberlin.
Have fun abroad!

Posted by: Natalie on December 27, 2008 7:30 PM

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