Oberlin Blogs

Let's Begin With Why I'm Here

October 11, 2009

Tess Yanisch ’13

This is a stream-of-consciousness diary-type sampling. It's odd, writing sort of for an audience. I tend to be very honest in my writing, and yet, this will be public, on the net. I'll have to not reveal too much, to be entertaining but not too personal, to walk a fine line between simply recounting my day and talking to myself.

Let's begin with why I'm here. I journal pretty much every day, and I write e-mails to my friends and/or family on a nearly daily basis too, so this is very comfortable for me.

It was gorgeous out this morning--I sat and read from breakfast until lunch at a table outside the Science Center, glorying in the slightly humid breeze, the smell of clover, and the shrilling of cicadas (I think that's what they are--the bugs that don't quite sound like crickets). In Dandelion Wine they're called cicadas, and Ray Bradbury grew up in Ohio, so I'm just following his lead. Anyway, this morning, it felt like when I was little in Minnesota, at my grandparents' farm in the summertime, and I could almost lean back and feel the rough rope of the hammock they'd put out under a tree, where I'd lie and read or tell stories. I couldn't help but think, "I love Ohio." When it's forty below this winter, I might be changing my tune--but even now, with the thunder outside, I still am enjoying it.

I had meant to do homework, but I ended up reading about a hundred pages of Atlas Shrugged. Semi-socialist idealist that I am, I hate to confess it, but something about that book is as enlightening and uplifting--as exciting to read--as Lord of the Rings was when I was ten. I think it's the glorification of intelligence and fairness, the condemnation of incompetence, that does it. I get very impatient with arrogant people who have no idea what they're doing. Also, Ayn Rand has the ability to make workaholic billionaire tycoons very, very sexy in print, and I have a long history of getting crushes on fictional characters.

After lunch, I did my homework for my First-Year Seminar tomorrow (Staying Sane in a Crazy World). It's about how people cope with disasters; tomorrow, we're discussing Reading Lolita in Tehran. I had some difficulty posting on Blackboard (the online class database--professors post readings on it and students can respond to questions on discussion boards, only in this case, the relevant discussion board wasn't up yet).

I started reading and taking notes for Sociology--probably my favorite class at the moment; we're analyzing trends in baby names and how that reflects what is perceived as important in society at the time of naming. For instance, having the same name as many other people is unoriginal now--the most popular names today compose a smaller percentage of the population than they did in, say, the 1950s.

I finished my French homework last night, so Sociology and Econ readings are all I have left to do. I want to get to work on those after I finish this, though, because tonight I have an ExCo meeting--the Experimental College courses can be taught by students on virtually any subject, and this one is on superheroes!--and I'll be busy tomorrow with lifeguarding, the Sunshine Scouts (an improv troupe) and writing an article for the Oberlin Review.

I cannot believe I haven't even been here for two weeks yet. Oberlin is GREAT, but I am SO BUSY!

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