Oberlin Blogs

Senior Spring

March 8, 2022

Megan McLaughlin ’22

Alright fellas, it's my final semester of undergrad. Due to the fact that I took a very full course load the past four years, I don’t have very many courses I need to take to complete my majors, so I’m taking it easy and having a lot of fun this semester.  Unfortunately, my senior fall crashed and burned in November and did not ever have a comeback, so this senior spring has to be good enough to make up for it. Fortunately, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about that happening. Here are the things I’m doing in my last semester:

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Ballet

This is my last college class ever and my first class in the dance department. I did dance for a very little bit in middle school, and I thought this would be a fun, low-stress class to take in my last semester. This class meets Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:30am, and it’s a wonderful way to start my day. I’ve always liked morning classes because they give me a reason to get up early, and when they’re over I feel like there’s still so much of the day left. 

One of the funniest things about ballet class is the music. All of the dancing we do is to piano covers of songs that are either showtunes, a 1980s-2010s pop or rock hit, or a song that was on Glee at some point. Frequently the songs fall into more than one of these categories. A lot of the time these covers are redone completely differently than the original, so I’ll be dancing for a while before I notice that the song is “Cake by the Ocean.” Music aside, so far I’m really enjoying revisiting something I haven’t done in a long time. It’s fun to stay active and dance with a group of people who are at a lot of different skill levels. The class is open to non-majors, but there are quite a few dance majors in the class who are way better than me. However, I don’t feel intimidated, because I decided to take the class to learn and have fun, and now that’s exactly what I’m doing. 

 

Lessons and Large Ensemble

As with every other semester, I’m taking private lessons with my studio instructor, Professor Jeff Scott. Right now I’m gearing up for my Senior Recital, which is in a few weeks on March 27th. It’s been over two years since my Junior Recital, which was in October of 2019. A while ago, I decided to push my Senior Recital from my fourth year to my fifth year in the hopes that the Conservatory’s Covid protocols would change; last year, audiences weren’t allowed for recitals, but thankfully that’s changed and my family will be able to come see me later this month. I picked repertoire I like, I’m enjoying preparing for the recital, and I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also very glad that when it’s over, a huge weight will be lifted and I’ll have two months of next to no responsibilities before graduation. And, as of today, I’ve officially turned in my program to be printed! In addition to preparing for my recital, I’m also rehearsing in orchestra for our weekly concerts. My first concert of the semester is going to be March 18th, and it’s going to be the first time I’m playing in a section with my best friend (who’s also a horn player) since the spring of my sophomore year.

 

ExCos

I’m taking two ExCos this semester: MythCo and CultClassixCo. All of the ExCos I’ve taken thus far have been practicum-based, which are more hands-on and involve doing an activity or learning a skill, but both of these ExCos are academic, which involve more discussion of material. CultClassixCo is a course on cult classic movies, including The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Room, Donnie Darko, and Heathers. For most of my life, the vast  majority of movies I’ve watched have been animated; I love animated movies and musicals, and it’s always seemed like a big commitment to sit down for a two to two and a half hour film. Somehow, since the pandemic started, I have grown a longer attention span, and I now find myself interested in watching a bunch of classic movies that I might not have the motivation to watch if I weren’t enrolled in a class about them.

The other ExCo I’m taking is MythCo, a class about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. Funnily enough, my wonderful former roommate of three years, Emily, researched and designed this course for her first Winter Term project, and began teaching it soon after. Sadly, I didn’t get to take the course with her, but I’m happy to continue her legacy and take the class with the student instructor she passed it off to. I read this book series so many times growing up, and I’m excited to reread them for the first time in a while, and discuss them with a group of students who are as enthusiastic about them as I am.

 

VIBE Tap

Not a class, but I’m super excited that I’ll be continuing my tap dancing escapades in Oberlin’s VIBE Dance Company this semester. I certainly think it’s never too late to join a student organization, and I’m really looking forward to tap dancing more and making new friends in this group this semester. Auditions were last Saturday, and rehearsals are now underway— my Tap ExCo was my favorite thing I did last semester, and I’m really happy I get to keep doing it and perform in the Student Dance Showcase again. I wish that I had taken the Tap ExCo sooner so that I could have been tapping for most of my time at Oberlin, but even if I didn’t start as soon as I wish I did in hindsight, I’m still glad I made it here in the end.

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Here’s to finishing strong and getting those degrees.

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