Oberlin Blogs

A (my) Typical Weekday in Oberlin

January 22, 2013

Karalyn Grimes ’16

Note: This post was suggested to me by wanderlustfulxo via Twitter. You can find me there as KaralynLove and give me other topics/ideas/suggestions/comments!

7:30 A.M. Wake up. Eyes bleary, stumble down the hallway to the bathroom, run into Cria (who had the same 8 AM), brush our teeth together, stumble back to our respective rooms to throw on clothes.

7:45 Walk out of Harkness with Cria, through Harkness bowl, across Wilder Bowl, across W. Lorain St., and into the Science Center.

View of the Science Center from West College
This building appears to be a monster in the early morning.


7:55 Quick stop at the Science Cart for a yogurt and black coffee.

8:00-9:50 A.M. Politics 105: Who Will Win the 2012 Presidency with Professor Paul Dawson. This class was so worth having to wake up ridiculously early on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dawson is the type of professor who expects the best from his students and I always wanted to go the extra mile for him. In a large lecture class, we were encouraged to speak up, and he had a genuine interest in what we had to say. Also, he's a little quirky, so from having a live band play in the middle of a lecture to slathering peanut butter on a student's arm, we never knew what to expect. Dawson can be polarizing; he's one of the professors that you either love or hate, but I would recommend anyone take a class with him at least once.

10:00 A.M. Go to the Art Library to study. It has just the right amount of background noise necessary for my optimal studying, and the students who work there are super interesting and incredibly friendly. I like to sprawl and their big rectangular wooden tables are ideal.

A snowy art building
The lovely exterior of my secret study spot.


12:15 Walk back to co-op in time for lunch.

12:20 (exactly, every day) Co-op lunch! Gather in Hark basement for spicy lentils and rice or brazed seitan or beets and potatoes. Our Thursday head cook, like all of our head cooks, does an excellent job at creating satisfying, balanced meals. After lunch I mill around in the lounge just to kill time before my next class. Sometimes, I go for the post-lunch nap.

1:30-2:50 Re-envisioning Russia with Professor Arlene Forman in a small classroom on the third floor of Peters. I'm terrified of elevators so I always take the stairs and get to class huffing and puffing. This class was my First-Year Seminar, so it was very low-pressure and small. We had a lot of film screenings and by the end of the semester we all watched them together with popcorn in Dascomb's second floor lounge. I highly recommend all first-years take a FYS. It helps you figure stuff out and while you do so you make fast friends with your classmates that are in the same boat.

A view of a snowy Peters from Mudd
Peters is my favorite building on campus, even with all the stairs. All the stairs.


Photocred: Emily Wilkerson



3:00 Run over to Decafé and treat myself to one of these beauties.

Panini with tomato, mozzarella, lettuce, and pesto
Photocred: Ma'ayan Plaut


3:15-5:00 Work at the local Prospect Elementary School. I'm a fourth-grade math tutor to a great kid named Andrew. I got this job through the Federal Work Study program, and while it doesn't pay as much as scrubbing dishes in the dining hall would, I love being involved in the community outside of the Oberlin bubble. Spending my time at this elementary school has already become a defining feature of my education at Oberlin College. I've learned more in this school, outside of my own classrooms, than I could possibly have imagined. I may teach him about denominators, but Andrew reminds me to stay inquisitive about everything around me, which is just as important.

5:00-6:20 This is an hour that I could spend doing more homework in the library, running errands downtown at Ben Franklin's or Gibson's, taking a walk, having down time in my room with or without my roommate Becca, or going on some adventure someone somewhere invited me. More often than not it was spent studying or sleeping, but it's nice to have that free time scheduled into your day. At least, I always found it comforting.

6:20 Co-op dinner! Delicious!

Post-dinnertime time starts to become irrelevant. It's the evening and I could put in another hour or two of studying, and then (most fall Thursdays) head to the Arb with a group of friends. The Arboretum is spooky at night, but that's the point. We'd laugh and run around, engage in all sorts of tomfoolery, and ignore the hour of the night because the next day was Friday. It was a great way to end my weeks and start my weekends. I missed Arb Thursdays when the cold finally came.

Reliving my Thursdays last semester makes me so excited to see what I'll be doing Thursdays and (every other day) next semester! My schedule is going to be quite different, but no less busy, and I welcome that with anxious enthusiasm. I can't wait to get back to campus, see all my friends, debrief from Winter Term, and gear up for classes again!

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