Oberlin Blogs

There is Nothing Depressing in this Post

April 14, 2009

John West ’10

I just got back from our monthly blogger pizza party, thrown by our generous, handsome, and intelligent bosses. It sounds innocent enough: pizza, chit-chat, hobnobbing. But, I've got to tell you, six hours of rhythmic chanting and ritualistic animal sacrifice really takes its toll.

I'll leave the specifics of our "pizza" party to your imagination, but I came away with some good feedback from my fellow bloggers: apparently my recent posts have been somewhat depressing. Now, I think that my prediction of the coming Mad Maxification of the United States will prove prescient, but I don't want to leave you with the impression that we Oberliners just jump from one existential crisis to the next, pausing only to rearrange our black turtlenecks, revel in the misery of the current economic conditions, and reread The Bell Jar.

No, no, no! Look at these exclamation marks! We are a generally merry bunch! Honestly, my jaded exterior is but a façade, built to hide my emotions and inability to relate to potential sexual partners.

The fact of the matter is that--while my fellow bloggers do an admirable job of it--writing about Oberlin is hard, and, in the absence of things to write about, my default writing voice is similar in tone to Crankshaft.

But I can change! Here are some happy Oberlin things:

(1) I recently discovered that, if you get there early enough, you can get some of the most delicious pastries you've ever tasted in the Science Center. They have a little cart that they put out each morning at 7:30 AM, full of warm croissants and Danishes, pockets and hand pies, scones and muffins. Good god, just thinking about it makes my mouth water and my soul sing.

(2) I got an A on my last paper. What up.

(3) This Saturday, at a poker game, I got taken to the cleaners by a professional clown and the father of one of my friends. I haven't had this much fun losing, well, ever. Also, can you think of any place in the world, other than Oberlin, where someone's dad--a clown, literally, and a poker shark, figuratively--would come to and enjoy a student poker game? I can't.

Obviously, I could go on. There are at least a couple of moments each day when I shake my head, smile, and think to myself, ahh, Oberlin. All of my fellow bloggers, I'm sure, know what I'm talking about. Whether it's seeing Harkies doing contact improv in Wilder Bowl, or hearing the sounds of bagpipes from Tappan, or catching a glimpse of the famed Albino Squirrel, Oberlin is full of these little pleasures, and, if I really wanted to, I could write blog post after blog post detailing them.

But it's hard to explain these moments if you're not in Oberlin. I can write about how awesome it is that, in one night, I saw a recital by one of the best historical countertenors in the country; went to a dance concert featuring students performing modern lyric, Israeli folk, and break dancing; and still had time to lose money to a clown. But that's hard.

So, I'll make you a deal, readers, (and I know you exist, because I look on Sitemeter, and plenty of people read this blog), you let me know when I'm getting to depressing. Let me know when you want a fun Oberlin story; I've got plenty. We have a comments section; tell me what you want to hear, and I'll do my best to oblige.

Responses to this Entry


Posted by: David on April 14, 2009 7:59 PM

No! Continue the depressing posts! Your jaded world view serves as a balance to this merry blogosphere.

Posted by: Anonymous on April 14, 2009 8:03 PM

Oh I don't know if you did a mix of the two, I think it would be fine. I have a question though, what's contact improv? Oh yeah, the Albino Squirrels; I visited Oberlin for three days and I never saw one!

Posted by: Harriette on April 14, 2009 9:31 PM

My favorite part of this is your excerpt on the main blog page. Allow me to paraphrase:

"There is Nothing Depressing in this Post
In this post: ...The Bell Jar"

Of course, upon reading the whole entry, it makes sense - but upon my initial precursory glance at the excerpt, I couldn't help but wonder, "Wow, I wonder how he's going to explain this one-"

Great entry, as always :)

Posted by: Yitka on April 15, 2009 3:06 PM


Sorry it's taken me so long to answer you question. I wish I could say I've been stewing on it all this time, but, you know, that'd be a lie: I'm extraordinarily lazy.

Contact Improv is, roughly defined, a kind of improvised dance form where people have to be touching each other or something. I don't really get it, but it looks fun (if somewhat hippy-ish), and, were it not for more my WASP heritage--and my resulting dislike of human contact--I might partake.

For a real definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_Improv

Posted by: John on April 21, 2009 10:12 AM


I like to think that I've got a pretty good irony meter (going to Oberlin helps with that), but I didn't catch the "nothing depressing"/"Bell Jar" conflation.


Posted by: John on April 21, 2009 10:15 AM

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