Oberlin Blogs

Lake Oberlin, and Other Places One Should Discover

November 3, 2013

Andrea Allen ’17

I have had the pleasure, during the past few weeks, of exploring Oberlin by four different means:

1. By land, on foot, indoors
2. By land, on foot, outdoors
3. By sea (suspend your disbelief)
4. By CAR!

Sometimes it got spooky. Sometimes it got bizarre. So here we go.

1. After being prompted by Ma'ayan to find the rooms in Wilder that end with double zeros, I made it my mission to go roaming through the entire building, because why not? It was raining outside and I had just completed my umpteenth hour in Mudd and I needed a change of scenery. Wilder was quiet and deserted, the norm on weekends at five PM.

I didn't find room 100, but I found 200, after poking around corridors and sticking my head into rooms and offices. Somewhere high above me I could hear somebody's band practicing, and they were good. (I have yet to hear a band at Oberlin that doesn't sound good). If you haven't taken le grand tour of the upper floors of Wilder, you should. Some of the walls are pretty rad and I kind of wish it was still a dorm, as it apparently used to be some time ago.

After a circuit of the second floor, I slipped back inside Room 200, which took me to 300. (If you haven't figured out what these "rooms" are yet, and are under the impression that I removed ceiling tiles or sheetrock to reach the next one, I suggest you go figure it out for yourself.) The music was getting louder, so I went up one more level. I refrained from opening the door and instead put my ear against it to listen.

There are lots of great things that go on in Wilder and it's also nice and warm. It is a little eerie when the halls are silent and deserted, but it adds to the charm. I also would totally want to live there. And despite the eeriness, at least I didn't encounter any bats like I did in Burton during my first week here.

AAHH! PHOTO! IT WORKED! I feel so technologically savvy. My friend Olivia captured my goofy self enjoying Fall outdoors.

2. The Oberlin Arboretum is a magical place. Walking through the pretty neighborhood to get there is nice, too. I made an extended visit to it one day when it wasn't too cold out so I could sit on a bank and read a book. I would include photos, but my laptop is currently being incredibly stubborn and I think photos in blog posts are going to have to wait a while.

But actually... if you're at the point where you're taking the Arb for granted by now, just think about it. There are ponds with really gorgeous trees and some serious peace and quiet just minutes from campus! Of course the ponds are a little buggier than desired, but still. It's accessible and free (just think how many parks and preserves around the country have entrance fees and would be completely not handy for broke college kids) and it's just a wonderful place to take a few minutes to breathe.

The Oberlin Arb in all its glory.

3 and 4. In anticipation of my first Halloween at Oberlin, I borrowed a car from a friend so that I could make a little trip to the far-away land of Walmart to buy some last-minute items to perfect my costume. Little did I realize how befuddling it would be to leave the half-mile radius that marks the invisible border of my quotidian doings around campus and town. As I passed the Mickey Mart, I felt a true affinity for Sam from the Lord of the Rings (this is the unveiling of my incredibly nerdy subconscious).

"If I take one more step [pass one more traffic light] it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been."

And then I really did drive off alongside a cornfield. I guess Ohio and the Shire have a little bit in common after all. But really, driving a car around and beyond Oberlin felt rewardingly strange. Being inside Walmart was an exercise of self-control... just because a lifetime supply of Oreos in a single, low-priced package exists does not mean that one must purchase said package.

Halloween was quite enjoyable, even the part where I was caught in a torrential downpour that resulted in a long night of wading through Lake Oberlin and a red feather boa that has yet to dry completely.

Le damp feather boa and some VW buses from the poster sale.

What odd things have you all encountered around here? ("You all" being my readers, in the vain hope that they exist.)

Seriously, if anybody has weird stories, hidden spots, or places I should investigate, please comment below!

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