Oberlin Blogs

It's the end of the year. No, really.

May 9, 2009

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

This year, the end of classes really snuck up on me. My creative writing class had a reading during the final class, and afterward a few of us hung around chatting. "Zoë," one girl said, "You're halfway done with college." It didn't seem possible. It still doesn't. And, of course, it's true. At this point, it's time to stop thinking, Oh, there's still time before finals, and start actually studying.

I had my first study session for bioorganic chem on Friday with my two lab partners. We went over almost all the questions on a practice test, but even after that things didn't quite seem real. I still had applications for creative writing classes next year to finish before I could really focus on studying for chemistry.

In the middle of revising a short story for said applications, I was interrupted by one of the girls who lives on my hall, asking if I'd take her brownies out of the oven. I said, "Of course," but also wanted to know why she couldn't do it herself. She told me she was going to Zhu Laoshi's going away party, so then we had to find someone else to take care of the brownies, because I wanted to go too.

Zhu Laoshi is the fantastic student teacher that the Chinese department has had for the year. At first glance, it may seem a bit odd that I know her at all, since I only took one class from the Chinese department, and that was first semester last year. Granted, I do live in Asia House, but Asia House is definitely not China-specific. I could just as easily be interested in Japan.

Somewhat ironically, Zhu Laoshi and I actually first met at Shansi's Diwali celebration, which is an Indian festival. After that, though, we've had several encounters. I went to Chinese table for lunch a couple of times, and though the most advanced thing I could say was something along the lines of "I can't speak Chinese, but I like this food" (speaking about the dining hall food that in reality I may or may not have liked), it was still a good time. She also taught a workshop on paper cutting at Asia House and lately we've been running into each other at breakfast.

This all basically goes to show you that a student who doesn't take Chinese classes can still frequently find herself in a room where people are asking her - in Chinese - what kind of cookies she's eating and other people are giving sentimental speeches - in Chinese - where she can only understand the words "Oberlin has good students." Still, it makes for an awesome time, even if the sentimental speeches remind me that the year is drawing to a close and that I haven't quite found a job for the summer, yet.

Similar Blog Entries