Oberlin Blogs

The Hibernation Begins

November 22, 2014

Molly Gorin ’16

Do you ever have one of those moments when you say something, and then there's just a long awkward pause, and then you realize suddenly you've been completely wrong about that thing your entire life? For example:

•When I was ten I was at a friend's house and we ordered a pizza and I asked where their scissors were. And that was when I found out that not everyone cuts up pizza with scissors.
•A year ago I casually mentioned how on the beach you can dig down to the water under the island. In the resulting silence I put it together that water sits in holes on the earth, islands don't float on the big ball of water. I maintain that on some level I definitely knew that. I just hadn't really thought about it.
•A week later when I thought that reindeer weren't real animals, everyone was like You can't swim under the island.
•Recently, somebody told me that bears in fact don't sleep solidly the entire winter. They get up and move and stuff. They even poop. I know. I was like They poop? That is not what I pictured. This is a crazy island and I can't swim under it at all.

Then I looked it up and sources are very divided, especially on the pooping situation. I think I might have been right.

Regardless, I have decided, as the first wave of snow and cold hits Oberlin, we are getting ready for hibernation. That's right, I brought it back to Oberlin. You didn't think I could do it.

Ways that Oberlin Students Are Like Hibernating Bears in the Winter:
*Disclaimer: I know very little about bears. But I do know a lot about Oberlin students.

We learn how to move as little as possible. In between sleeping we find all of the inside places and stay in them, moving quickly in big LL Bean boots and knitted scarves between cozy study spots.
We sleep. I'm not sure if this is true for all Oberlin students, but in the winter my free moments are all about the naps. Half hour between classes? Nap. Half hour after dinner? Nap. Sitting in the library? Library nap.
We nestle together. The library, the science center, Slow Train, the Local, all the spots are completely full when the snow hits. A new bakery opened just in time. I'm there right now.
When we walk across Tappan we look just like bears. Bears do not walk across Tappan, but this seems like a correlation. Personally I wear a very large hat with flaps that fly up and make me look exactly like a bear. Again, I don't know that much about bears.
We still poop. This is true.
We are mammals. This is also true.
We build forts. This is just for fun. For bears it is not just for fun. It is for survival purposes. Also I think for bears it is caves (can anyone confirm this? I should have brushed up on my bear facts).
We have snowball fights. Actually this is just us, not bears.
We drastically reduce our body temperature. Actually this is just bears, not us.
We become aquatic. Actually this is neither us nor bears.

As the months progress and the weather goes from charmingly chilly to truly cold, I know I will start complaining and run out of bear analogies and curse every negative degree. But then I will look out my window, and see this:

And I will walk out onto Tappan Square and I see this:

And then I will be the happiest bear around.

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