Oberlin Blogs


March 4, 2024

Thorin Finch '26

Dining Hall Haikus

If you’re here on a tour, or looking at a map of the campus, and you happen to wonder what tragic accident caused the massive E-shaped building on North Campus to fall over, don’t worry. That’s Stevenson Dining Hall, and it was probably supposed to look that way.


Anyways, Stevenson is the main dining hall on campus, and as a North Quadder (Northie? Northumbrian? Northoberlin?) I eat there at least once every day. Stevenson’s main appeal is its variety; there will always be options, even if some of them aren’t great or even good, and it can be a little overwhelming at first glance. So if you’re currently standing in Stevenson and reading this, save yourself the trouble of finishing it and look around for an odd fellow in a grey overcoat. Yes, I know it’s April and you’re here for All Roads and it’s 70 degrees out, just trust me. 

No luck? Ah, well, you just missed me. I guess you’ll just have to settle for this brief tour through the medium of Haiku, starting with the beginning of every Stevenson visit:


Melodious chime,

Thank you for your warm welcome

To Stevenson Hall


Stizza, a portmanteau

Of Stevenson and pizza

Long live the Stizza!



A good idea when meat

Is sometimes malcooked


Soup, what a grand thing!

When all else fails, Stevenson

Has trustworthy soup


The barbecue place,

Once I got a sausage there

It was okay I guess


The forge of salads

Transformed from the mundane with

Balsamic dressing


Next is the place where

On serendipitous days

Pierogies are found


And finally, fish

I do not prefer fish flesh

It seems quite fishy


Heading for the door

After mediocre meals

I pause for brownies


Thank you, Stevenson

I will return to you soon

Because I must eat


Slow Train Sonnet

A styling on one of the Bard's classic forms


On winter mornings, early do I wake

And slothfully I don my daily garb;

My coat and scarf and mittens do I take,

To seek caffeine and break my fast of carbs.


Across North Quad, past Sev’rance standing tall,

Through Tappan Square, my weary eyes behold:

The drooping limbs of trees bent with snowfall,

And squirrels seeking morsels in the cold.


Inside the station hall, I join the queue

And wait my turn to have my ticket checked;

This train has scones, croissants, and coffee too!

And while in line there’s time to read some Brecht.


The train conductor passes me my scone,

And then I wrap my scarf and head for home.


Stopping by Doors on a Snowy Evening

A parody of the classic poem by Robert Frost


Whose boots these are I think I know.

Their name, I have forgotten though;

And while they work, or read, or sleep,

Their boots make puddles out of snow.


My neighbors must not think it queer

As winter comes, and boots appear;

At every door, in every size,

On days when slush and mud adhere.


And over time, I realize,

Though thieves might find these boots a prize;

Within these halls, no burglars creep

My trepidation proves unwise.


These halls are lovely, dark and deep,

But I require eight hours of sleep,

So after braving snowdrifts deep,

My boots a doorstep vigil keep.


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