Oberlin Blogs

My Oberlin Bucket List

December 31, 2010

Patrick Doherty ’11

I'm now halfway done with my senior year at Oberlin. On May 30th, I'll enter the world with my degree in hand, (hopefully) prepared for the challenges that I will face for the rest of my life. As this new year approaches, I've compiled my Oberlin Bucket List, which is basically everything I want to do before I graduate Oberlin. Or, kick my Oberlin bucket?

Anywho, here is my bucket list! Enjoy!

Participate in art rental: Yes, I have been an Oberlin student for 7 semesters and I have yet to do art rental. This is a complete fail. I've had incredible art at my disposal for three and a half years and I haven't taken advantage of this incredible opportunity. I will not let this opportunity go to waste. For more information on art rental, read this.

Play ObieGame: This is ObieGame. I have yet to play it. The people who do play it are super intense (and it basically takes over your life), but it's not like I have an honors thesis to write or anything...oh, wait....

Paint a rock: We have fun rocks in Tappan Square that we can paint as advertisements for events, as messages, or just for fun. I've seen some incredibly creative rocks in the past three years - including marriage proposals, creative advertisements, wonderful messages, and happy birthday messages - and would love to finally put my temporary mark on Oberlin. My lovely roommate, Jordan, was kind enough to make the following rock for me on my birthday last year. I was going to make her one for her birthday, but she will be in Nashville in January, so I'll have to come up with something else.

My awesome rock. Thanks Jordan!


Make Active Minds as incredible as I can: I've already professed my love for Active Minds in a blog post, and I will continue to do so for the remainder of this year. Jamie, our liaison from the fall semester, has graduated, and I've been elected to her position. Active Minds is slowly growing from a small, but mighty organization to a small, but very mighty organization. We have extraordinarily ambitious plans for this next semester, and I would love to see it all happen. I also have plans to help Active Minds retain institutional memory - something with which many student organizations have trouble - so I hope that will happen as well. The better we do, the greater benefit to the Oberlin community.

Complete my honors thesis: Though I have yet to blog about this in a substantial way, I'm writing an honors thesis in the history department. Tentatively titled "Modernity and the fin de siècle: British and French reactions to the 1900 Exposition Universelle,"* my thesis explores the attitudes concerning modernity throughout the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries in France and Great Britain through the lens of the 1900 Exposition Universelle. Or, I should say, will explore. I've just starting writing, so I have about 59 (out of 60) pages to go. Wish me luck!

Go to more events: So many incredible things happen at Oberlin all of the time. I've missed some awesome speakers, concerts, performers, etc., so I'm trying to make the most of this semester by going to pretty much everything that I can. I can do it! I can do it!

Continue to profess my love for Oberlin in every way possible: Fun story! Every year my family sits around the fireplace while burning our Christmas tree from the previous year. While we sit around the fire, we all take turns reflecting on the previous year, highlighting good and bad things that happened throughout the year. While we were sitting around the fire tonight, Sara, my youngest sister, was making s'mores. While my stepdad was getting Graham crackers, I thought I would entertain the family with *shock of all shocks* a story about Oberlin. You see, Graham is not only known for his cracker, but also for his advocacy of a bland diet. Oberlin adopted Graham's diet for a few years. When I completed my story, Sara pointed out that I haven't stopped talking about Oberlin this entire break. Half of her birthday present was The Princess Bride (the book, not the movie). Fun fact: William Goldman graduated from Oberlin in 1952. My other younger sister, Christina, received Ishmael Beah's memoir A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. And yes, you guessed it, Beah graduated from Oberlin in 2004. As much as my family may be sick of it, I will never give up on professing my love of Oberlin in every way possible.

Begin to let go: As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I'm nearly done with my time at Oberlin. I love Oberlin with all my heart, but I know that I need to prepare myself to leave. As easy as it would be to stick around Oberlin after graduating, I know that I need to move on. I may end up back at Oberlin (as many alums do), but, for now, I need to enter the real world and figure out the rest of my life. Oberlin will always be a part of me, and for that I am more grateful than I could ever articulate, but it's nearly time for me to leave the place behind.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot/And never brought to mind?/Should auld acquaintance be forgot/And auld lang syne!" - Robert Burns' "Auld Lang Syne"

*My friends and I have an ongoing joke that all truly academic works have a colon in the title. I can't remember the last time I wrote a paper that didn't have a colon in the title.

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