Oberlin Blogs

Hello Goodbye

September 10, 2011

Ida Hoequist ’14

Dear Reader,

I have been blogging for a straight year now, and it's becoming increasingly plausible that some of you will see me around campus (FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL, YEEEAAAH), so I thought I would write a post with some essentials about myself. This way, you can pretend we aren't strangers when you see me, and won't be afraid to say hi! (Tip: when my friends and I were getting to know each other last year, we all made a pact to tell each other our life stories; you should totally do it with your friends, because you find out the most incredible things that way.)

To start out, here are some scattered facts about me: I adore books but am slightly put off by libraries. My toes get claustrophobic when I wear shoes for too long. I enjoy excellent bread like most people enjoy excellent desserts, and shabby bread depresses me. I prefer making gifts to buying them and will often go to mildly extravagant lengths to craft a present (I get carried away sometimes). I wear vests and neckties at every possible opportunity. I would like to be your friend! If we do meet, you should endeavor not to mangle my name, please - I like my name, and I wish Americans wouldn't insist on changing it. For your edification: it's pronounced EE-duh. Generally, Americans who haven't heard my name spoken assume it's pronounced like Ida B. Wells' because it's spelled the same way; the flaw in their logic is that my mother is German and Ida B. Wells' mother was decidedly not. So don't make that mistake.

This is Ida B. Wells. I am not Ida B. Wells. (Photo cred: thesavvysistah.com)

I say that my mother is German; in the interest of accuracy, I will add that she was born in France and is also quite French, but that's slightly less important to me because she did not raise me speaking French. She did, however, raise me speaking German, so my earliest clear memory is of being intensely frustrated in school because I couldn't remember the English word for cardboard and I really needed to ask for some cardboard. Thanks, mom.

Me and my mother. For the record, the German word for cardboard is Pappe.

As it turned out, that wasn't even the tip of the iceberg - when I was seven, my family moved to Denmark because my dad got a job offer there (and it was much closer to my mom's family than North Carolina), so I added Danish to my list of languages to not remember words in. Thanks, dad. And then I took French - from my mother, no less - in high school, further muddling things in my head. Thanks, self. And then my friend Clay Riley, who you may remember from this post, convinced me to explore Hebrew with him one summer. He is now a devoted student of linguistics at Northeastern; I am now a perennially confused polyglot. Thanks, Clay.

Besides wrestling with languages, I have also wrestled with music all of my life. (I wrote about how that got started in this post.) Somehow, my parents have found the means to give me weekly private flute lessons since I was four years old, for which I am profoundly grateful. (Actual thanks, parents!) They also funded my piano lessons starting in eighth grade, and watched bemusedly as I brought home a string bass my school had lying around in eleventh grade, and then a bass clarinet as well. I even fooled around with my father's guitars for a time (he made me re-string his twelve-string for him before he'd let me borrow his Ovation, which I think is quite a fair tradeoff).

Photo cred: the best Ma'ayan Plaut in the world!

Those are the two things I have held dear for so long that they have become cornerstones of how I define myself: multilingualism and music. Of course, I keep myself busy with much more, including, but not limited to, school. I've often thought to myself that if it were possible to make a career out of learning things, I would do so in a heartbeat. Then I have often reminded myself that it is well nigh impossible to ever stop learning things, thank goodness. (I won't rattle off my extracurricular pursuits here because most are represented in my other posts; for a quick laundry list of interests, I invite you to take a gander at the short bio on my page.)

So there she is: a busy, scatterbrained but organized, voraciously curious, barefoot lover of good music, good food (French cuisine, om nom!), and good friends, who enjoys making things with her hands and occasionally referring to herself in third person. She hopes you have been entertained by this insight into her identity, and that you will say hello if you see her. Don't be a stranger!

Yours Truly,


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