Oberlin Blogs

The Heart Collector

February 14, 2011

Christine Chang ’13

All through this first week of spring semester, I was reminded of the brief summer term that comes before the actual semester in Taiwan. When I was studying there, I remember my dad joking that its purpose was to "collect students' hearts," to bring them back to focusing on academics. I kind of wished I had that interim period when, on Monday, my insurrectionary brain was still in winter break mode and not wanting to come back from greedily lapping up leisure books.

they capture hearts and string them on necklaces. kidding, kidding. this is from etsy. happy valentine's day!

I made myself a deal: finish homework, reply to letters that need replying, and do some much-needed laundry - then read for fun. And some of these things happened (the letters, not so much; sorry). I finished A Long Way Gone, which I had been meaning to read even before going to see Ishmael Beah speak at a convocation at the beginning of fall semester. In part, I credit a lot of the free time I had, and the reading I got to do because of it, to not having my computer charger (the internet being my main conduit to time-leeching activities, clearly). This was due in turn to a lost/delayed luggage fiasco, which has since been resolved (thankfully), but not before causing a) all my electronics to die slow, painful deaths and b) me to look like a homeless waif because the shirts I wore were starting to look suspiciously similar from day to day.

i admit i'm partial to uk covers...

At the end of this slow spiral into an analog, tech-less life insanity, [redacted; but it rhymes with "pelican"] Airlines deigned to actually bring me my luggage, albeit for a fee. Safety and Security's Officer Tuck went to great lengths to try and save me that fee; chivalry is not dead. At random times, random people at Oberlin have tended to catch me off guard with genuine, all-around niceness. Case in point: when I joined Old B last year, I didn't know a single person, but co-opers would come up to me and say hi or invite me to eat with them.

This semester I'm eating in Pyle, which is incredibly convenient because I live just upstairs from it. I was going to take a few pictures of the food (there was some amazing focaccia a little while ago, and chocolate cupcakes, and coconut cake with lime icing) but it tends to disappear before I get around to it. In any case, it's always a plus to eat in a dining hall that is reminiscent of Hogwarts' Great Hall. At the front, instead of Dumbledore's podium, there is something that looks rather like Dumbledore's beard. I am informed that it is a mushroom slowly devouring a large meal of paper.

yes, it looks kind of like that. no offense to Dumbledore.


Coming up next: more on classes, once add/drop ends and my indecision resolves itself.

Responses to this Entry

For inquiring minds that want to know, that growing mushroom mass was a winter term project of Darrin Schultz '13. You can read more about it here.

Eventually, Pyle (and other co-ops!) will have edible gourmet mushrooms from compostable products!

Posted by: Ma'ayan on February 14, 2011 10:51 AM

Hurrah, more posts! And I'm glad you got your luggage back! A temporarily tech-less life can be suffocating or liberating depending on how you let it affect you. :)
That mushroom is pretty cool, though I find the choice to put it at the front of a dining hall an interesting one.

Posted by: Gloria on February 24, 2011 1:42 AM

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