Oberlin Blogs


December 4, 2010

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

Thursday was a busy day. I had an oral presentation to give during thermo, and when I woke up in the morning, it was still thirty seconds to a minute under the required duration. I forgot about this problem for a couple hours, though, when I went to my poetry class, where we had an amazing woman visiting. She performed some of her pieces for us, playing with language and improvising on the spot. One of her pieces involved using the names of plants in such a way that they produced a whole new, logical meaning. That piece also began with her pushing our professor into a chair and ended with her running out the door, at which point our professor said, "I don't know if she's coming back..." She did, though, much to our delight, and performed more of her pieces for us, along with talking about her journey to this point.

Once class was over, I made my way to the Science Center and started reading more articles on organic solar cells, hoping to find something interesting to add to my presentation. In actuality, what I ended up adding was more about the amazing applications of organic solar cells. Because they're more flexible than inorganic cells, they can be used for really cool things like shingles on a roof or part of a curtain. They can be sewn into a backpack to charge your computer.

The presentation, in the end, turned out okay. I was incredibly nervous, despite my attempts to try to trick myself into thinking that it was just a ballet performance. Because of this, I talked rather rapidly, so I might have been under time even with my added material. But at least it's out of the way now.

After the presentations were over, some of us remained in the Science Center to work on our problem set. This wasn't what I'd planned--when I was eating lunch and reading journal articles, I'd also proclaimed that I wasn't going to do work for the rest of the day once I'd finished with the presentation--but it was nice to get some of it out of the way.

Then it was time for dinner, after which I went to a talk that I'd been anticipating for weeks: Queer Biblical Interpretations, sponsored in part by Queers and Allies of Faith. I didn't actually learn anything new, since this past summer I developed something of an obsession with the early Christian church, how the Bible was compiled, and things of that nature, but it was still interesting to hear someone discuss how one would go about proving that Jesus and the Beloved Disciple had a thing going on.

The talk lasted over an hour and a half, so that, when it was finally over, I had to book it to the CSA meeting. We continued planning for our New Year's banquet, which is our biggest event of the year and requires more organization than I will ever truly appreciate. This year, we're trying to collaborate with the Oberlin Korean Students Association and the Vietnamese Students Association, meaning more food and more fun. This meeting, one of OKSA's members came, and she had a lot of ideas on decorations, food, and entertainment, which was exciting. I got a little overzealous and started talking about action items for the people who are going to stay at Oberlin during Winter Term. My co-chairs very quickly shot me down and said we'd figure that out later.

Which, really, was just as well, because then I had to book it to orchestra rehearsal. Rehearsal was fun, because we got an unarranged version of the Academic Festival Overture by Brahms, meaning we got to sight read a bunch of thirty-second notes. My stand partner was unamused when I said that we should play it again.

After rehearsal, I went to Fourth Meal with my stand partner and a cellist, where we met up with another member of our Fourth Meal band. We again ate mozzarella sticks, although this time there was no talk of evenly dividing hexagons.

So, all-in-all, a good day, though I'd like to posit that this is just the calm before the storm finals.

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