Oberlin Blogs

Key Moments (a senior getting sentimental)

April 15, 2010

Alice Ollstein ’10

1. I was writing an essay in Mudd library last night, lamenting my fate, when I happened to get a Facebook message from a friend in the Conservatory reminding me to attend her orchestra concert. I looked up the program online and knew I had to drop everything and attend. Ravel! Prokofiev! Tchaikovsky! Then my concern became finding someone to go with on such a short notice. Surely everyone was too busy, as it's the beginning of crunch-time. Surely everyone interested in seeing an orchestra concert on a Wednesday night was IN the concert. But because it's Oberlin I sent out a mass text and found that several of my friends wanted to go with me. We sat in the balcony and let the music wash over us. Not only was it a fantastic performance but several friends of mine had important solos. I returned to the library glowing with admiration for my talented peers. Did the classical music help me write a better paper? Only time will tell.

2. As I might have mentioned before, I'm in a class on one of my favorite authors (Nabokov) taught by one of my favorite professors (David Walker) and accompanied by many of my favorite people. The bliss recently reached new heights when we started reading one of my favorite books of all time: Lolita. I've been discussing it with my friends as much outside of class as in class--at home, over co-op lunch, after class lounging in Wilder Bowl--thrilled to be surrounded by people who get as excited as me about an anagram or a literary allusion. I hope our dear Professor Darkbloom invites us all over for a party at his house at the end of the year (wink wink).

3. Last Sunday, some of us from the Nicaragua Sister Partnership Committee filmed interviews with local activist and Obie grad Brad Masi for a documentary he's making about food justice. Not only is Brad a key figure in local foods and sustainable agriculture in Northeastern Ohio, but we recently learned that he helped found the Nicaragua Sister Partnership when he was an OSCA member in the early '90s. We couldn't believe our luck! For the documentary, he interviewed us about our experience on the Winter Term trip to Nicaragua and how living with subsistence farmers changed the way we think about food. We discussed issues of free trade, big agrobusinesses and how to make people see local foods a global issue. Then we interviewed him about OSCA in the early '90s, how much more radical it was then, and how we can revive that same spirit today. We hope what we filmed will become an important tool for education in the coops and beyond. The real lesson was: Obies do great things while at Oberlin, then go on to do more great things in the so-called real world.

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