Oberlin Blogs

Good places to work

March 16, 2009

Chris Gollmar ’10

Sunday is my day to compose. After lunch at Fairkid, I usually head over to Mudd, where I park myself at one of the large tables on the fourth floor for a few hours. I like working there because there is a lot of natural light and the tables are large enough for me to spread out. It is also absurdly quiet, even for a library.

My ideal environment for studying or composing is quiet and wide open. It must be well lit and neither too hot nor too cold. And I like working at a table, not a carrel, desk, or booth. Mudd’s fourth floor fits these criteria perfectly. I think I get more composing done there than anywhere else.

Nevertheless, I decided I would take a few moments to share some of the other places I like to study around town.


Azariah’s is the café on the main level of Mudd. This is the only other part of the main library that I ever study in, which is probably because there are tables and natural light. It’s usually not quiet between 11 a.m. and midnight, though.

Conservatory lounge

This is an interesting space to work in because there are always people walking by. The movement keeps me alert (or distracted). Oh, and there’s a table and natural light.

My house

I live in Fuller House, which is an off-campus house owned by OSCA Properties, a non-profit organization that is related to the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. It is by far the quietest place I can study in. The loudest sound is the furnace. I am also blessed with a very comfortable, spacious room that gets—you guessed it—a lot of natural light.

Review office

The office of The Oberlin Review is arguably the worst place to try and study. First of all, it is very cluttered. It is also in the basement of Burton Hall, meaning the only light the place gets is fluorescent. During the winter, occupants are subjected to strange banging noises coming from the heating pipes that run along the entire ceiling of the space. Still, I study there occasionally. Sometimes, it’s a good way to escape all other people.

Science Center atrium

Lots of light. I think it smells like the primate house at the Milwaukee County Zoo, though. However, there are tables. And potted plants.

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