Oberlin Blogs


October 24, 2010

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

I'd like to tell you that I did something other than thermo this week, but that would be a lie. However, I won't subject you to another tale of a late night in the Science Center, broken up by a trip to Fourth Meal. Suffice to say, there was thermo; it had to be done; it took a lot of time.

Really, though, I had a pretty normal week. All my midterms were two weeks ago, so I didn't have to worry about midterm week craziness and just had to focus on the day-to-day work. For most of my classes, this meant doing a lot of reading, which is different. I'm used to having semesters that are heavy on the science courses and lighter on the humanities courses, but this year things are reversed.

I don't want to imply that science classes don't require reading--because they do, and a lot of it. What I'm trying to say is that the way you read a science textbook is very different from the way you read something for a literature course or a creative writing course. It's even different from the way I read for my archaeology class. For me, at least, I see my archaeology reading as much more similar to the reading for my creative writing classes. I'm reading something that I'll then be discussing, as opposed to thermo, where I'm reading something to try to be able to get a problem set.

So I read and I wrote and I did my problem set and I got nothing else accomplished, meaning that a lot of things from my to-do list have now been pushed onto my "to-do over Fall Break" list.

Here's a sampling:

  • Shansi Application--I'm applying for the Shansi Fellowship. This is a program that sends Oberlin graduates to Asia for two years to teach English and to interact in other ways with a university. The application is due November 1st, and I am still not done yet.
  • Thermo lab write up--At least one time this semester, I will make the good decision and start this very early. I hope it will be this week.
  • Interview my mother about my grandfather--The next assignment in my nonfiction writing class is to write a profile of a person. As you know, I've been obsessed with Malaysia and World War II for a while now, so I plan to write about his experiences during that and in what ways he's shared those experiences with others.
  • Documentary poem--Documentary poetics is something that we've been learning about in my poetry class. The concept is still a little confusing to me, but basically they involve taking various source materials and juxtaposing them together. I'm planning on paralleling documents on the Mountain Meadows Massacre and passages from the Bible, or maybe the Gnostic gospels.
  • Readings--I plan on getting ahead on my readings for next week.
  • Absentee ballot--I take a long time researching before I vote on anyone. (Hint to those politicians who want my vote: submit response to the League of Women Voters' questions, especially if the people you're running against already have.)
  • Work on my LinkedIn profile--I don't know that much about LinkedIn, but I've gotten some pointers from Career Services, and I'm going to try to make the site work well for me. We'll see what happens.

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