The Oberlin Stories Project

On the real breakfast club

Rose Guardino ’17

“Our crew is composed of varsity athletes, artists, intramural people, scholars, and scientists...We recognize that everyone has something to offer and deserves to be heard.”

Rose and a friend have fun carving a pumpkin.

On the night before the first day of classes, Augustsomething 2013, one of my Kahn hallmates and I arranged to meet at 8am to walk to breakfast. Little did I know that three years later, I’d still be starting my day in the same way.

Many things have changed since my freshman year. I’ve been through a lot of classes, (some excellent and some meh), played a lot of soccer, and interacted with an amazing mix of people through organizations and events. Through all the ups and downs, weekday breakfast has been a constant. Despite the magnificent qualities of dining hall eggs, this story is not about food. Rather, it is about people and connections.

Every weekday around 8am, you can find me at the same booth in Dascomb having breakfast with a bunch of my friends. Our group has grown organically over time as different people have introduced their friends to us. Some people can only come certain days because of their schedules, but there is always someone to sit with at that table. Everyone brings other friends occasionally, many of which end up joining the table often. We get up each morning because we love each other’s company and companionship and relish a slow start to the day.

Our crew is composed of varsity athletes, artists, intramural people, scholars, and scientists. But mostly it is composed of people—individuals with some overlapping interests and many peculiarities—who enjoy hanging out in the mañana as they wake up. Let me introduce you to some of my friends: “Finn” is a physics major and a cappella enthusiast who introduced me to contra dancing; “Rey” is a math major with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies who routinely creates the best RA boards on campus with great titles like “Peace Heroes of Faith"; “Luke” is a neuroscience major and cross country/track athlete who speaks Japanese and makes killer omelets at Stevie brunch. Of course, each of them is so multifaceted that my attempt at describing them truly does not do them justice.

Our conversations range from politics to science to sexuality to linguistics to whatever interests us. For example, did you know that some fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas as they ripen? This gas can then speed up the ripening process of other fruit. ABUSUA’s list of demands and the upcoming presidential election began many other interesting discussions this year. The table is a safe space to share whatever nerdy cool thing one of us has learned somewhere, and to cordially debate contemporary issues.

We recognize that everyone has something to offer and deserves to be heard. We also recognize that we won’t always agree on everything, but also acknowledge that that’s ok as long as everyone is respectful. This little crew has been one of my rocks at Oberlin, and I’m glad I found it.