Oberlin Blogs

Undecided no more!*

May 10, 2009

Joe Dawson ’12

I may have chosen a major. This is perilous. I've been resolutely undecided since last year, when I had to fill out a form for Oberlin indicating a major. 'NONE' I marked in pen, and then underlined it three or four times. I need to take at least one class in every department, perhaps two or three in the ones I like, then make a list of pros and cons for each possible major before I even start to decide. The major I declared would have to be the perfect major, and once I found it, there would be much harp music and flowers.

Then Al Gore spoke to me last weekend. I checked "An Inconvenient Truth" out from the library on Wednesday, planning to watch it Thursday. Thursday night I was in the mood for something funny, so I watched Eddie Izzard's stand-up special "Glorious" instead of the downer enviro-flick. Friday I worked with some of my teammates at the second annual Bob Kahn Track Meet, complete with Bobby himself! No time for old Al and climate change. Sigh. I raced to the library after I finished wrangling hurdles at the track meet (weird mental image of me with a lasso and a horse rustling hurdles on the open range) to return the movie and not incite late fees, and got back to my room to review some of the pictures I took and shower. After all this, I suddenly found myself in the mood to listen to a monotonous former vice president talk about carbon dioxide for an hour and a half. On Friday night, mind you. Yes, there were the sounds of revelers outside my window, and I might have joined them, but the combination of resting after working 7 hours at a track meet, letting lotion salve my impressive sunburns, and the siren song of one Albert Gore drew me to the Inconvenient Truth I had been avoiding for a year or so.

Al Gore somehow managed to amp the charisma up from 'dripping faucet' a la election season 2000 to, umm, faucet turned on a little bit. I felt compelled to wake up my advisor at 12:30, when I finished, and request a form to declare Environmental Studies as my major the next day. I turned off all the lights in my room, unplugged my cell phone charger, and took up guarding the paper towel dispensers to reduce waste.

"What are you doing?!"

"Drying my hands, bro. You mind?"

"You dry your hands on your pants! Did you know you just took 45 seconds to wash your hands? That takes five seconds AT MOST! Begone!"

After some thought, and a mild case of hypothermia from taking showers with only cold water, I came to another conclusion. I could be a Biology major, take Environmental Studies classes, and have the same job when I graduated, and probably like my major better. I could major in Politics and have the same job, and hate my major. That's a long time from now, and I don't particularly relish the thought of getting a job anyway. No more thoughts on declaring a major.

So I have not chosen a major. I am decidedly undecided. For now.

I've always been somewhat concerned about the alleged global warming, but, as we've been discussing in Biology class, it is the biggest problem facing scientists currently, and I'm actually kind of excited to try to help solve the problem any way I can. I get really excited reading about carbon sequestration and other new ideas for saving the world we have helped screw up. I'm quite the nerd.

And I'm not really done with this post, I just really have to write a paper for Educational Psych, and so I'm sorry, because I know how much I hate it when people say...

To be continued...

(Like really hate it. Hate it like Carlos Mencia. Hate it like people who like to slap sunburns.)

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Phoebe McChesney.