Oberlin Blogs

Obies Obies Everywhere

June 20, 2008

Alice Ollstein ’10

It's incredible how many people from Santa Monica decided that a little college in the middle of Ohio was right for them. This summer especially I've been spending my time with other Obies, some I knew before college and some I met on campus. And since Santa Monica is relatively small (though enormous compared to little old Oberlin) I run into these folks all the time. I was lounging at a café a few days ago with the new David Sedaris book (wonderful, but not quite as pee-my-pants as Me Talk Pretty One Day) when a fellow Obie who also went to my high school strolled past. It's amazing how deep a connection you can feel with someone just knowing they go to Oberlin. No wonder a freakishly high percentage of Obies marry other Obies, and not necessarily someone they met during their four years.

If you'll pardon me, I'd like to go on a short David Sedaris tangent. My existing obsession with his work shot through the roof when he came to campus to give a convocation talk in the spring of my freshman year ON MY NINETEENTH BIRTHDAY. While I usually shell out for pricey tickets in the nosebleed section to hear him read back in L.A., I got to sit in the third row of gorgeous Finney Chapel for free. And when I asked the last question of the Q & A, "What should we treasure most about our college experience?" he replied, "You are the most attractive you will ever be, so have as much sex as possible now, because things are only going to get worse."

Anyways, back to running into Obies. A surefire way to spot a classmate is to go to a museum. Any museum. I've run into multiple Obies in single trips to both the Getty in L.A. and the Met in New York, and once, while visiting the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City and gaping at a breathtaking Diego Rivera mural, I heard a tentative, "Don't you go to Oberlin?" This is true on a lesser level for concerts and plays. Where there's culture, there are Obies. Both in the audience and performing.

As for me, while I may not be performing, I am publishing. I've been riling up the local school board with some articles on access to advanced education for minority students, and next week I'll be interviewing the man who invented the Frappuccino. I bike to work (part of my environmental summer plan) and though I look sweaty and disheveled in comparison with the other interns, I have the last laugh when they have to go move their car every three hours and pay $4.50 a gallon for gas. Green feels good!

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