Oberlin Blogs

Smooth Move

February 6, 2011

Joe Dawson ’12

I should have written this a long time ago. In fact, I started to write this a long time ago, and got distracted by a particularly soft-looking scarf, then an extra-shiny spoon, and a super bendy straw, and before I knew it, I had been living with Nina for four months. I moved in with Nina in October. I love it. It's super. She was living with our friend and teammate on the Cross Country team Kathleen at the beginning of the year when Kathleen had to leave campus for personal reasons. Nina and Kathleen were scrambling for people to live with for a few hectic days before they asked me if I would move out of my single in Burton and into the lovely Asia House. Annndddd... I SAID YES! Oh, the ring was beautiful!

I had enjoyed living by myself for a year and a month. I didn't have a super duper time living with my freshman year roommate, and liked the privacy and freedom of living alone last year. Living with Nina came out of a panicked, stressful situation for both Kathleen and Nina and turned into something that I've really loved. Being around another person is not so bad, especially when you know the person well enough to be honest and respectful with them. Friends do sometimes end up hating each other after becoming roommates, this I know, but I don't see it happening at all with me and Nina. It works with the room being coed, and I know that it could be problematic, but it doesn't really ever come into play. Perhaps it's more important that the dynamic between the two people is open and egalitarian. Four months into it, and the worst thing that's happened is her putting my hand in a bowl of warm water when I'm sleeping every night. Among the many positives: I've been going to bed earlier since Nina sleeps like ten hours a night, and I've been super productive on the days when I've gotten a lot of sleep. Also, Asia House is pretty amazing:


Rainbow over the Asia House courtyard
View from the courtyard after a rain this fall. Not actually a double rainbow,
just a single rainbow hittin' you suckas TWICE AS HARD!



The Asia house library with tables and chairs and  fireplace


The library. A decidedly excellent place to do work. Contains lots of literature about
Asian people/places, organized by country.




The Asia House lounge with lounge chairs and a piano


The lounge. Another good room in which to study. Also houses musical performances, dances, meetings, and awkward conversations about how big the room you're standing in is. Oh! And a scene from a movie I made last year with my friend Tino. This movie. Watch for the wizard scene, which takes place entirely in this fancy lounge room. The wizard should be familiar (hint, it's not child star Jonathan Taylor Thomas).




Wooden pillars of the Asia House ceiling


Detail shot. Just because these ceilings are so cool.



Part of the reason I love the room situation so much is because it doesn't feel like a dorm room anymore. We have a bathroom, where we can play Ships in the sink and clean ourselves.


A dorm room featuring a couch, bookshelf, and a desk


We have a living room, ideal for entertaining small groups of friends. We took advantage of this fact the week I was moving in and had an intimate dance party/Twister game on the very carpet you see there. My friend Tino and I debuted our 'Single Ladies' dance, and Twister didn't rehash awkward puberty memories, ending the party with my tears and cries of emotional pain, like it very easily could have.


Small dorm kitchen


We have a kitchen, complete with cactus, which means we can cook real food whenever we want, but we also have to make sure not to sit on the cactus. Live by the sword, comrades. Communal kitchens are not in any way terrible, and I know people who cook their own lunches in dorm kitchens regularly. But it is much nicer to have a place where I can store food, spices, dishes, pots and pans near the stove and oven conveniently located in my own room. I made an egg and cheese sandwich on that stove you see there the other day that rocked my world.


Dorm bed


And we have beds, where we sleep. Sleep a lot, in Nina's case.

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