Oberlin Blogs


April 5, 2010

Joe Dawson ’12

I am enjoying myself now. It is Spring Break, I am somewhat stress-free after a frantic couple of weeks, but I am feeling good about starting the second half of Spring 2010. I've been sleeping and reading books that I want to read, and watching many lectures on Ted.com. Life is good.

I started out this semester with the idea that I would declare Biology or Engineering as my major and get cracking on the classes I needed to fulfill the major requirements. This was to be my buckling down semester, full of sciences and maths of various shapes and flavors. I didn't get to take ANY Biology courses this semester, and the first Physics class I need for the Engineering major isn't offered second semester, so that was a great start. I am still getting the requirements out of the way, and cramming a lot of science- mathage into my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (Chemistry, Calculus, and Computer Science- The '3 C's of science nerdiness at 9, 10, and 11 AM), but none of it is exactly what I want to be doing, so classes are a bit of a challenge this semester.

As Add/Drop period progressed and I nailed down my strictly conventional academic schedule, I forgot that I would actually have to do some work for these classes, so I also got involved with some spectacular Excos and a pretty super student film, to boot. If you don't already know about Excos, here's a million and one entries on the subject: EXCOS! But really, if you don't know about them by now, how do you expect to be one of the cool kids? Seriously. Not seriously. I am involved with a newish improv group on campus called Obehave! (and we members called Obehaviors) through the Advanced Improv Exco. Apparently the group started well after the Austin Powers fever was past, so don't ask me about the name. I am building a kick-arse battlebot, like from the TV show, in the Combat Robots Exco, as well. The student film was kind of a fluke thing. I saw signs advertising auditions for roles in student films, and I just kind of decided to see what it would be like, going in with very low expectations, but still pretty excited and nervous to see what would happen. I got cast as a good looking A-hole in Jacob Coburn's senior project for his Cinema Studies major (a bit of a stretch, acting-wise. To be good-looking, I mean). The film is going to be a werewolf movie, of all things. We've already filmed a couple of fight scenes with me and the hero/possible werewolf role filled by freshman Robert Salazar, and we are going to get to the real hairy, bloody stuff next week. It's pretty great.

The result of all of this curricular and extra-curricular activity is an extreme lack of free time for things like reading books that sound cool or a little parlor game I like to play with myself called 'couch time'. As a result of declaring myself as an Engineering student, I have been made aware of the GPA requirements of each of the partner schools (if you are a little confused, just wait for my forthcoming entry on the Oberlin 3-2 Engineering program. Then you'll be really confused, Ha ha!), and like it or not, those numbers are floating around the back of my head now whenever I forget to study for a quiz because I was busy designing robot weapons the night before or some such nonsense. The student film I'm acting in involves a number of night scenes, so I've been staying out until midnight or later rolling around in parking lots or pretending to know how to do Aikido on a number of occasions. I must admit I have more respect for people in the Cinema Studies department after working on this movie a little. Not that I thought any of them were just fooling around with cameras before, but after seeing all the planning and work that go into makeup and camerawork and getting locations, not to mention the writing beforehand, I realized I never again would make fun of my friend Mike (a Cinema Studies major) for taking under-100 level classes in science or math. So you see, a fella really can change.

At any rate, I'm starting to live the life of a real Oberlin student. Overscheduled and under-sleeped for the past few, I certainly was thankful for this week of laziness.

Similar Blog Entries