Greetings, children of the night! Today's entry is a series of snapshots of my triumphant return to Oberlin. I feel like I've been back a lot longer than six days.
The weather the past few days has been great--jeans get hot--I think this is what is meant by "an Indian summer." Today, though, it was chilly again, properly Halloween-y.
Today I had a quintessential Oberlin experience: I went to the Local Foods Fest. This was a combination farmers' market, fall fair, and food competition--the all-OSCA cookoff was held there. Student musical groups were performing. I enjoyed the Acapellicans and the Obertones, but my favorite group was a small band--one guy, two girls--whose name I didn't catch.
I had volunteered at the gourd-painting booth. That was actually a lot of fun. Only one little kid came by while I was there, but many Obies did and their creations were often inspiring. I particularly admired someone who turned a long-necked, fairly smooth gourd into a swan. When my shift was over, I wandered around. I eventually returned to my room with a baby loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, a gallon of spiced apple cider, and four ounces of chevre. Mmm.
I had another very Oberlin experience earlier this week when I attended a lecture by one Bernie Mayer, an OC alum (1968), who was very active in all kinds of protests, on campus and off, during his time here. He told us a few "war stories" about blocking railroads to nuclear power plants and mobbing a recruiter to stop him from reaching campus, after which all 200 demonstrators marched to the police station to be arrested. (He was very funny during this part of the speech!) Then he moved on to discuss some of the flaws in their approach then--how the student activists tended to vilify those who disagreed with them. This segued into how he stumbled into conflict resolution work, and the process of finding a balance between instincts toward activism and compromise. It was exciting!
Another major part of Oberlin is long, intense conversations about either Deep, Serious Issues or totally random geeky stuff. (They tend to veer wildly back and forth between the two, as well.) I had one at lunch yesterday that was a lovely mix--I listened to the plan for a serious science-fiction story, complete with global warming, continental drift, biological warfare, evolutionary timescales, and relativistic travel, in which the main characters are furries. I offered to help write it. In fact, the subject began with the plot's mastermind asking me, "Can you write stuff?" (My reply: " . . . . yeah . . .")
Other non-sequiturs this week:
(during a discussion of the nature of space-time) "Not to change the subject, but Scooby-Doo would make a great anime."
(on Japanese music) "Japanese people don't need to get high. They're just crazy. Like people in Barnard."
(a friend and I quoting xkcd in unison) "Science. IT WORKS, BITCHES."
There was also a circulation of the first minute of Castle, in which Nathan Fillion wears his costume from Firefly as a Halloween outfit, and of the most recent episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which is a musical featuring Neil Patrick Harris as the villainous Music Meister. These are terribly exciting events to a certain segment of the population, although not by any means to everyone.
To return to Halloween, however--there is a group going trick or treating later and then a party, complete with food and movies, at Barnard. It'll be a fun night. But for now, I need to take a walk and do some homework. Whatever you're doing, have fun!