Oberlin Blogs

My Winter Term to-do list.

December 29, 2009

Alicia Smith ’10

For my first three years at Oberlin, I spent Winter Term on-campus. Many complain about the snowy, freezing tundra that is the Midwest during this month. I will admit that I am among the complainers. Those that know me well know that I am ALWAYS cold. Literally. After I drink a glass of ice water I'm shivering, so you can only imagine my discomfort when I leave my house.

The weather and opportunity for change of environment is enticement enough for many Obies to do projects off-campus and delay their return to Oberlin until February. As for myself, I have decided to make it four for four and spend my last Winter Term in the same town as the previous three [except for a few days in the middle of the month. See item #4 in the list that follows].

I've already done three projects, so my Winter Term requirements for graduation are fulfilled. I could spend the month watching the entire series of Sex and the City on DVD or catching up on Facebook stalking, but instead I have decided to take advantage of this class-less month to be as productive as possible. So, here is my to-do list for Winter Term:

1) Reporting internship at the Chronicle-Telegram.

- I came across this opportunity using ObieOpps, a vast online resource of job and internship postings provided by the Office of Career Services. I'm not exactly sure what I will be doing, but if I had to take a stab in the dark I'd say I will be doing some sort of reporting for the Chronicle-Telegram.

2) Finish graduate school applications.

- Being accepted to Oberlin early decision allowed me to skip the stressful experience of spending every waking moment writing admissions essays and nervously running to the mailbox every morning. I guess I am getting the experience I never had now. What a joy. If only my OCMR [college mailbox] was as close as the mailbox at the end of my driveway in East Lansing.

3) Help coach basketball at Oberlin High School.

- Last semester, I took an ExCo called "Practicum in Community Service." For the first half of the semester, I volunteered at City Fresh [a program selling local produce to Oberlin residents at cheap prices], but the program ends at the end of October due to the weather being unfavorable for most crops. As I was trying to decide where I wanted to complete my service for the second half of the semester, the varsity basketball coach at Oberlin High School asked me if I'd like to help with the team. I would definitely have said yes even if I wasn't in the ExCo, but it was convenient that I was able to use the experience for my ExCo as well. During the semester, it was hard to get to as many practices as I would've liked due to my other commitments, but January should hopefully be the perfect time to get more involved.

4) Journalism adventure in Washington, D.C.

- I'm taking part in another Winter Term project that will take me to our nation's capital city for some hands-on experience in urban reporting. Here's the official description of the project:

We will "spend eight days in an intensive journalism workshop, including two days working in the Washington Post building in Washington, D.C. Students will meet with government officials, think tank experts, and public relations professionals. During the workshop, the students will write and edit news and feature stories on deadline. These stories will be critiqued by their fellow workshop participants, visiting alumni journalists, and workshop instructor. After returning from Washington, students will rewrite their stories as needed. Completed stories will be published on the Oberlin College website."

I'm really excited about this. I went to the mall with my mom to get some professional apparel, and I must say I look pretty darn spiffy. There's no way Obama can turn me away when I show up at his doorstep for an interview.

5) Sociology honors project.

- I have been pursuing an honors project in which I am exploring correlations between Oberlin students' religious behaviors/identifications with their health behaviors. First semester was spent doing the grunt work, i.e. doing background reading, getting approval to do my research, etc. Winter Term will kick-off my actual study.

6) Bowling league.

- My friend Liz and I are teaming up for the Winter Term bowling league. Liz took the "Bowling I" course last semester, so she actually knows what she's doing. I am merely an amateur. This should be interesting.

I would also like to informally add "Watch the entire series of Sex and the City," as a 7th item of business. I would add it as an official goal, but I felt it would bring down the impressiveness of my list, and I'm unsure of what time will allow. I'll probably just start with seasons 1-4 for now.

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