Oberlin Blogs

John West ’10

My name is John West. I'm from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I'm a double-degree student, studying Historical Performance in the Conservatory and Philosophy in the College.

For my Historical Performance major, I play the recorder, and I specialize in late-Baroque music. I'm particularly interested in the way pre-Classical music can be updated and made relevant today.

But I was not content with only one degree that would make finding a job near impossible, so I added a Philosophy degree in the college. I especially enjoy epistemology and philosophy of science.

When I'm not in the library or the practice rooms, I work as a tutor in the Writing Center, as the Copy Editor for The Grape — Oberlin's alternative newspaper — and as the managing editor for Wilder Voice — a magazine dedicated to long form journalism and creative nonfiction. I also blog at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner, which, despite the name, has very little to do with Oberlin.

Entries from this blogger

The Newsies

August 14, 2010

In this post: freshman rituals, changed names, sneaking out of windows, newspapers, The Review security notebook, and much, much more!



April 26, 2010

In this post: skunks, skunk orgies, band names unbecoming of Baroque ensembles, indescribable smells, the philosophy of Eeyore, the curse of the Obie, and much, much more.


Broken Spring

April 3, 2010

In this post: vegetable gardening, homemade compost bins, the anti-rot properties of cedar, sleep, Wilder Voice, inscrutable comics, the Coal River Valley, Obie activism, and much, much more.


The Life Pastoral (With Pictures!)

October 23, 2009

In this post: on-campus fall breaks, laziness, pan-seared steak recipes, Spike Jonze v. Spike Lee, Oberlin Levittown, a shameless plug for the Wilder Voice website, cornfields, yes, that's right, more on cornfields.


Hot Cross Buns

October 8, 2009

In this post: notes on being double-degree, funny looks, historical performance, me on a soapbox (figuratively), rants on authorial intent, more apocryphal stories, why I play the recorder, musical temperament, A440 Hz, the varieties of recorders, a picture, clips of my junior recital, and Tom DeLay dancing with the stars.


The Road Not Taken

September 27, 2009

In this post: the Montreal International Recorder Competition, recorders that look like plumbing, apocryphal stories, adorable taxi drivers, the death of punk, and Glenn Beck killing a frog.


The Secret Lives of Coffee Mugs

August 19, 2009

In this post: coffee mugs, unions (viz. Teamsters and AFSCME), near-death experiences, pictures I may or may not have incorrectly uploaded even though I've been given two sets of instructions on how to upload photos because I'm practically a Luddite, Oberlin vignettes.


I Disagree

June 4, 2009

In this post: potentially job ending disagreement, politics at Oberlin, liberal ironists vs. liberal revolutionaries, debates to stay up late for, Fox News, and please don't fire me .


The Annals of Blogging

February 18, 2009

In this post: sub-standard writing, naval-gazing, other people's impenetrable prose, my impenetrable prose, private readings, A-List magazines, and burnt mouths.


On Rejection

January 26, 2009

In this post: rejection letters, romantic rejection, my petty impulses, The Kenyon Review , and children's publishing.


The Last Week

December 17, 2008

This utter lack of warmth and sun, combined with the rampant insomnia and overwhelming amount of work, makes the campus seem less like sweet, pastoral, rural Ohio and more like a scene from Doctor Zhivago.


It's a Problem of Nomenclature

December 9, 2008

I think a die a little bit every time someone uses the word Obie to describe a person who goes to Oberlin (as in: We Obies love to hate things ). I think The Grape --one of Oberlin College's many publications--described the word as (and I'm paraphrasing here) "used only by The Review and the Admissions Department."


Doing the Layout

November 25, 2008

There's something to be said for a small liberal-arts college in a backwater hamlet a charming slice of small-town America that has two newspapers. And there's something more to be said a college that has two newspapers ( The Oberlin Review , The Oberlin Grape --for which I am a copy editor), three non-fiction magazines ( Wilder Voice , Vox , In Solidarity ), a literary journal (formerly The Plum Creek Review , formerly Enchiridion , now The Plum Creek Review --again), a genre-fiction magazine ( Spiral ) and doesn't have a journalism department.


Notes on an Election

November 7, 2008

So, yes, I'm eschewing that obligatory hello my name is John. I'm a blogger. I'm really cool. Here's some stuff about me post, at least for the time being. Bios are dreadfully difficult to write, and, though my fellow bloggers have been covering Oberlin's reaction to this latest election pretty darn well , I figured I might as well add my two cents.