Oberlin Blogs

Fresh Experiences

October 11, 2009

Marsha Lynn Bragg


My name is Marsha Lynn Bragg. I am a member of the Web Team in the college's Office of Communications. I have a degree in journalism, and have worked as a beat reporter, assignment editor, assistant editor, magazine writer and editor, and a plenty of other titles to describe my various writing, editing, and project management responsibilities.

I have lived and attended schools in Ohio most of my life. In between I have traveled around the country and even spent time abroad. Yet, it seems I am wedded to the Midwest and my family's roots in Ohio.

Oberlin is a welcome change from the city and the hectic work environment that I had a few short months ago. I worked in University Marketing and Communications (or UMC) at Case Western Reserve University, a research university in the University Circle neighborhood, and a cultural hub in Cleveland. I now make a daily commute from Cleveland's east side; something I never thought I would do and for many years grateful my jobs were 15-20 minutes from my home. My drive is 45 minutes no matter which direction I travel. Most days, it's a straight shot from my door to the office, taking winding backstreets through three Cleveland neighborhoods to get on I-90 and westward to Oberlin.

With coffee in hand and perhaps a bowl of cheesy grits and eggs, I venture onto the highway that will lead me to my office on West Lorain Street, a space our office shares with the college's investment office and student health services.

Most days on the highway are thankfully uneventful. I may spy the occasional road kill, the CVS Good Samaritan van, the MD-80 overhead coming in for a landing at Hopkins International Airport, or the police officer standing near his cruiser parked in the all too conspicuous spot along I-480, armed with a radar detector hoping to deter drivers in excess of the 60-mile speed limit.

When I applied to write a blog as part of the blogs.oberlin.edu project, I did so because I wanted to contribute commentary from a unique perspective: as an outsider. I don't live in Oberlin nor was I raised here. I didn't go to school here nor received a degree from Oberlin. Nor am I a current student, an admissions officer, a faculty member, or an administrator. I am, however, married with teenagers, a staff member, and someone who's worked in higher ed communications for almost 12 years now.

Away from work, I enjoy attending varsity soccer games, going to concerts and plays, watching old black and white movies, journalling, walking, reading (mostly teen novels these days), teaching third- to fifth-graders in Sunday School, and listening to gospel, jazz, and inspirational music.

Each day in Oberlin offers a fresh experience that is not colored by memories of time or place. I hope to be able to share some of these fresh experiences.

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