Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spider Man

Spider Man?  On Broadway?  Yep.  That's what Bono, the Edge, and Julie Taymor, OC '74 thought when they created their new Broadway hit.
Check out the official website, a feature on 60 Minutes, or some pictures (like this one) taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Scientific Ohioan

Nearby Cleveland, although not as widely known as New York or Washington, D.C. for its museums or for being as "brainy" as Boston or San Francisco, has wonderfully rich cultural landmarks.  One of these is the Museum of Natural History, where a paleontologist has recently discovered a new kind of dinosaur.

And from right here in Oberlin, Felisa Wolfe-Simon, '00, an Astrobiology/Exobiology fellow at NASA has just found that yes, there could be other forms of life in the universe (or at least in highly undesirable places here on Earth).   While at Oberlin, Dr. Wolfe-Simon majored in Biology, Chemistry, AND Oboe Performance.  She then went on to Rutgers for her Ph.D. in Oceanography.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Since 2002, Oberlin has hosted the Credo Chamber Music Summer Program, one of the most intensive pre-professional music programs in the country.  Every summer, hundreds of talented teenage string players and pianists from all over the world apply to attend the rigorous 3-week music workshop.  In addition to their practices and performances, the students spend a significant portion of each day volunteering.
Impressed?  So is everyone else: through the Pepsi Refresh Project, Credo received $25,000, or full scholarships for 8 lucky students!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Because the vast majority of energy on college campuses is used by dorms (here at Oberlin it's 92%), students across the country are competing to reduce their energy and water usage.  Check out our real-time monitoring website: dorm energy competition and the homepage of the Campus Conservation Nationals for more information and to see who will be crowned the winner on November 19th!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Vote: check.
Turn back the clocks: check.
Honor our veterans: check.
Eat turkey: check
Grow a mustache: check.
Support LIVESTRONG and men who grow mustaches: check!

This month, watch as the men in our athletics department grow mustaches ("mos") to raise awareness and funds for men's health. 

Read an article here.  Donate money here.  Watch week one's progress here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autumn in Oberlin

The pumpkins have been carved.  There's a chill in the air.  Students just returned from a much-deserved fall break.  The women's cross country team won the conference championship again. And the beautiful reds and oranges of trees around campus are beginning to carpet the sidewalks.  Ah.  It must be autumn in Oberlin!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Slow Train, Good Times

Oberlin (both the College and the town) were featured in this Saturday's Plain Dealer for an article on the new East College Street project, an environmentally friendly apartment and shopping center.  Developed by three Oberlin graduates, one of the first tenets in the development is The Slow Train Cafe, a coffee shop owned by our men's soccer coach, his wife (an Oberlin alum), and one of his former soccer players.
As Bob Dylan once said, "On the slow train, time does not interfere." Stop by for good coffee, good times, and good friends!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday!

What a great week!  The AJ Lewis Center for Environmental Studies turns 10 today and Megan Widmer clocks in an important year as she will celebrate her 21st birthday on Saturday.  While the environmental studies building has been called "the most important green building constructed in the last 30 years," Megan can be considered the best first baseman at Oberlin in the last 30 years.

Happy birthday Megan and AJLCES!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Muggles Among Us

So this whole semester I thought Katie Baldonieri was studying abroad in Amsterdam.  It turns out I was wrong...she's been studying at Hogwart's!  I wonder what Kristen Dix has been up to........

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Year In The Life

Ever wonder what it would be like to go to school at Oberlin?  By taking a photo a day, senior cinema studies major Ma'ayan Plaut is able to tell you.  From dorm life, to concerts, to sporting events, to Oberlin weather, behold a year in the life of Oberlin College!

Since it's well past dinnertime for me, I decided to include one of Ma'ayan's pictures of food.  Yum!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running Wild

Congratulations to both our men's and women's cross country teams for being ranked nationally!  The men's team (#31) is ranked nationally for the first time and are also ranked fourth in the Great Lakes region.  The women's team (#28) is no stranger to the national ranks, as the team is the two-year defending conference champion and senior Joanna Johnson was Oberlin's first-ever NCAA Cross Country All-American last season.  

Stay up-to-date with all Oberlin sports by signing up for our text message updates or becoming a fan on Facebook!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Resourcerer's Apprentice

Remember the Disney movie Fantasia?  One of the segments features Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice (it uses Paul Dukas' music based on the Goethe poem).  Mickey is a little bit lazy - but very ambitious! - and believes he can use spells and magic from the Sorcerer's spell book to complete his chores.

This film is an Oberlin student's adaptation: it takes place in our very own Mudd Library and features two other Oberlin students as the Resourcerer and the Resourcerer's Apprentice.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Fresh Perspective: Moving In

I couldn’t be more ready to pick up and leave, despite being surrounded by friends grieving over the fact that they are leaving their friends and family in our little town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Don’t get me wrong, I will miss all of my family and friends but quite frankly, I have been ready to go to college since my freshman year in high school. My brother’s room is a mess, filled with everything I could possibly need for my first couple months of college. Countdown clothes are mainly the last pieces of clothing in my drawers; my room looks empty!

Conveniently, I am rooming with another softball player, Melanie Budney. We’ve only spoken a few times over text message, but I think we’re going to get along just fine. We’re both huge Steelers fans (sorry Cleveland) and our birthdays are only one day apart (I’m older)! I think it’s going to be a great year! Play ball!

- Kelsey Steiner, (soon to be) #11

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dorm Life

When first-year students arrive on campus next week, 300 of them will live in Kahn Hall, the newest residence hall on campus.  While a brand new dorm is exciting in itself, perhaps more exciting about the building is that it will attain LEED silver certification.  Clotheslines in the laundry room, a compost tumbler out back, and a sophisticated air locking system (if windows in a room are open, the heat or a.c. will automatically shut off) are some of the sustainable components of the building.

If Kahn Hall is the newest dorm on campus, which is the oldest?  The Allencroft House, built in 1861, is not only the oldest residence hall on campus, but the oldest building owned by the college.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An All-Star Summer

To start off the summer, almost my entire family (about 60 people,) gathered at my house to celebrate my sister’s high school graduation. Pretty soon after we cleaned up the remnants of that party, we had even more visitors: Julia, Sophie, Kate, Katie, and Kristen from the softball team. We only got to hang out for a day, but it was fun showing them the sights of Vegas.
As part of my sister’s graduation present, we went traveled to Carson, California to the Warped Tour Concert. We spent all day at the concert, having fun and watching about 20 different bands play. As an added bonus, we visited my grandma and she ordered us pizza when we got back to her house totally exhausted. We also went to a concert at the Red Rock (a nice casino) and we got to see OK Go and The Cab (a local band) play while sitting in the pool.
A few weeks after that, we were back in California for the Futures All-Star and All-Star games. My brother, cousin and I had amazing seats on the left field line, and my dad had a seat in the press box directly behind home plate. And the National League won for the

first time in 11 years (approximately, I don’t really know, I wasn’t actually listening when my dad explained...) We also got tickets to Fan Fest, which is a huge convention-type thing for baseball fans. I got a mug signed by three women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League!
That same week, my whole family met up with my uncle and went to Disneyland! We had a blast at the Happiest Place on Earth, and we hit all of the regular spots, like the Jungle Cruise and Space Mountain.

The rest of the summer I spent working my old job, and then starting a new one. In between all the work and travel, I did a lot of shopping and hanging out with friends. And of course working out for the upcoming softball season…

- Megan Widmer, #12

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dream A Little Dream

Oberlin is a place where dreams come true, for students and staff. Kelsey Knapp, who for three years was our full-time assistant, pitching coach, and friend, has achieved her dream by joining the softball staff at the University of Rhode Island.  (Read the press release here.)  As part of Kelsey's first official duties at her new job last week, she aced (okay, nearly aced) an NCAA DI recruiting rules test on just her second day of work.  She will give those rules a test-run this weekend at her first major recruiting tournament.

Whether it was being named to the 2008 Oberlin College homecoming court (along with Constantine Ananiadis, our women's tennis coach), working out to her grueling P90X schedule, or coaching at practice, Kelsey was a real dynamo.  The newest member of the University of Rhode Island staff is also the best one.  Congratulations, Kelsey!  Keep being amazing!
The desk vacated by Kelsey Knapp.
Gone are the candy jar, the rubber duck,
and clutter that reminded everyone that
each day is a good day when Kelsey's around.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gearing Up

The Oberlin College softball online team store is now open!  Get your latest OCSB gear!

Through Kohlmyer Sports, you have the opportunity to purchase OCSB specific clothing from t-shirts to hoodies to beanies.  Enter OCSB11 as your sales code to start buying.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Me Dejado

I felt like a foreigner before I even left the US. I got off my flight from San Diego to Chicago and entered the Iberia Airlines hub. Suddenly, everything was in Spanish. The majority of the people on my flight to Madrid were obviously from Spain, and I, with my blond hair and blue eyes, obviously was not. It was the first time I felt nervous about my three week trip to Sevilla. I doubted my speaking skills and worried the language barrier between me and my host Señora would lead to many problems. All of these doubts left my mind as soon as I arrived at Hotel Bacquer for the CIEE Session III orientation. I was greeted by friendly Spaniards and a group of American students who were just as nervous and excited to be there as I was.

During our two day orientation we were introduced to Sevillan and Spanish culture. We also ate more tapas than anyone should in a two day span. After our orientation, I moved into my homestay with my host Señora,

Concha. She cooked me homemade Spanish meals everyday. It was incredible. I also took a class through CIEE called El Legado de Al Andalus. The class gave me a history about the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish cultures in Andalucía as well as the opportunity to take field trips around the city. I also got to take day trips to Córdoba and some provinces of Sevilla.

As if the trip wasn’t good enough, I was also in Spain during the World Cup. I got to experience Spanish fútbol at its finest when La Roja became los campeones del mundo de fútbol with their

World Cup win. I watched the game in a huge outdoor auditorium with my friends and the majority of Sevilla’s college aged population. People were in the streets all night long celebrating.

I also got to take weekend trips with CIEE to Málaga and Jerez. We tasted wines at the Tío Pepe factory, visited the Picasso museum in Málaga, went to beautiful beaches, and saw tons of churches. The one weekend I had free I went to Lagos Portugal with a group of friends. It was a fun beach town in the very south of Portugal.

I’m not really sure what my absolute favorite part of the trip was. After the first week everything felt natural to me. I had my frutería where I bought fruit everyday, a little market where I bought my Príncipe cookies, and a restaurant I went to on Wednesdays for a Euro jarra of tinto de verano and a bocadillo. I got a complete cultural immersion, made great friends, and visited amazing places. Did I mention I get 3 credits for all of this?

- Brittany Dawson, #4

Friday, July 30, 2010

Under Construction

Yep.  This is the weight room.  Although it looks more like a warehouse/skating rink now, it will be a thing of strength and beauty in a few weeks. 

Other athletics department projects include:
- New entrances to Philips Gym.
- A repainted and newly varnished gym floor.
- New administrative office space.
- Drainage pipes and tiles placed under the field hockey field.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Break

As Katie and Kristen's summer trip was coming to a close, mine was just beginning!  My trip began with a week-long recruiting trip to Colorado, where I watched great softball at three outstanding tournaments.

Here's a short photo journey of my trip after that point:

A beautiful mountain lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I ran into the venerable Sue Enquist on this hike, and I was shocked to learn that she didn't know who I was. ;)

My twin sister, Emily, is a park ranger at Grand Canyon National Park.  She is displaying a bit of nature's handiwork here.

Who knew that the desert has so much water?  This waterfall at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is part Phantom Creek, which flows to Bright Angel Creek, which goes directly to the Colorado River.

The only place to find the Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake?  The Grand Canyon!  A rare sight.  Even rarer was the fact that I saw TWO.   While this one slowly slithered across the trail in front of us, the one I had seen earlier actually rattled at me.  According to my sister, though, "it was just a baby and only being polite."

I hiked down the South Kaibab Trail, stayed at Phantom Ranch, and hiked up the Bright Angel Trail.  Many folks opt to ride down on mules.  This wrangler and his mule train are on their way to Phantom Ranch to deliver some supplies.

Because it gets so hot at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (it was a cool 104 when I was there), hikers must get an early start.  This is us looking happy and wide awake at 6am...three miles into a short (12 mile) day hike.

Although it is already mid-July and my summer vacation is over, I still can't help but agree with the words of Henry James: "summer afternoon - summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language."

Coach Davis

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action!

Hollywood is coming to Oberlin!  Filming on a movie starring Michael Shannon (who was in Groundhog Day, Vanilla SkyPearl Harbor and was nominated for an Oscar in last year's Revolutionary Road) started last week.  Dave's Army Navy is the first location in Oberlin to be filmed, and sites in nearby Grafton, Lagrange, and Elyria will also be used.  (Read an article here.)  The movie takes place in a cute and charming small town...just like Oberlin!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

On The Road

Like Willie Nelson, five softball players (well, two current softball players and three very recently graduated players) are taking a road trip this summer to places they've never been and seeing things they may never see again.  Follow the adventures of Katie, Kristen, Julia, Kate, and Sophie here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tennis, Anyone?

Oberlin College has the privilege of hosting the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships this week.  Starting tomorrow (May 25), the nation's top eight teams, as well as the top 32 individuals and top 16 doubles teams will compete for the national title.

Cleveland was chosen as one of six cities across the nation to serve as a member of the NCAA Championship City program.  Over the next few years, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and other area colleges will host NCAA championships: this year our nearby rivals Baldwin-Wallace College (cross country and outdoor track) and John Carroll (volleyball) also hosted championships.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hakuna Matata

Tony-award winning director and costume designer Julie Taymor, OC '74 will be this year's commencement speaker.

Perhaps best known for directing the Broadway smash hit The Lion King (which celebrated its tenth year on Broadway this year), Taymor has also received accolades for her films Frida (starring Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo) and Across the Universe, which features 35 songs by the Beatles.

Look for her newest movie, The Tempest, to be released later this year.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


On May 1st, I had the unique and amazing opportunity to hear the great Stevie Wonder perform here on Oberlin College's campus in beautiful Finney Chapel.  Wonder's concert was the official dedication and opening of our new jazz studies building, the Kohl Building.

The day before, Bill and Camille Cosby were also on campus to celebrate the new building.  All three received honorary Oberlin College Doctorates for their contributions in music and philanthropic causes.

While the Oberlin College Jazz Studies Department has been in need of their own building for quite some time (they've been practicing in an old gym since 1972), the country has an ever-increasing need for "green" buildings. Environmental stewardship is central to Oberlin College's mission and the Kohl Building's goal is to be the first LEED Gold rated music building in the country.

The building will also be home to the country's largest privately held jazz collection.  And to honor Oberlin's newest PhD in music, the Kohl Building's piano recording studio will be named after Stevie Wonder.

Read a recap of the events from the Oberlin Review, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Congratulations to Sophie Schacht and the softball team for their success at Dr. Seuss Day!  Dr. Seuss Day is an annual event put on by America Reads tutors at the public library to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday.  Because of Sophie's organization and the team's participation, they all won the prestigious Bonner Center's Student-Athlete Award!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Senior Day

A big congratulations to our five seniors!  Julia Chauvin, Lauren Luther, Kate Phillips, Sophie Schacht, and Jen Sees ended a wonderful - but very short!- college softball career this afternoon against the Kenyon College Ladies.  

To highlight just a few of their career accomplishments: 
- Sophie Schacht is the career leader in games played and games started, having started every single game of her career.
- Julia Chauvin ends her career with 15 school records.
- Lauren Luther has the 3rd most at-bats (behind Sophie and Julia) and 2nd most career hits (behind Julia) of anyone in Oberlin College history.
- Jen Sees finishes her career as the program's third best pitcher.
- Kate Phillips holds the single season record for putouts and is 2nd in career putouts.

The day was made even more special with the attendance of our family, friends, and top fans: Ross Luther (who attended 119 of 129 games over four years) threw out the first pitch, Jessie Ullman (an honorary member of the softball team) shouted our team cheers from the sidelines, and Rocky (our newest mascot!) brought his boundless energy. 
Thank you to our seniors for making this another wonderful season! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Peace Out

For the tenth consecutive year, Oberlin College has made it to the Peace Corps' list of top schools in producing volunteers. With 16 alumni currently serving, this places Oberlin 15th among small schools and universities.  Since the Peace Corps began in 1961, 510 Oberlin alumni have followed their passion for helping others by volunteering for the Corps.

2009 was a record year for the Peace Corps, as they received over 15,000 volunteer applications, the largest amount of applications ever. There are 7,671 volunteers currently serving in 76 countries.

See the full list of schools from the Peace Corps' website.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

15 Minutes of Fame

- the number following 14 and preceding 16.

- the 4th Bell number.

- the atomic number of phosphorous.

- the age of a quinceanera.

- the retired number of Yankee great Thurman Munson.

- the number of Oberlin College softball season and career records held by senior Julia Chauvin.

Read a recent interview with Julia from the Oberlin Review.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish...

Every year on the first Sunday of March Oberlin’s chapter of America Reads throws a “Dr. Seuss Day” celebration at the Oberlin Public Library in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Over 200 kids from Oberlin and the surrounding area come to the library to enjoy free music, performances, activities, and food and this year I spent my winter term organizing the event. Of course, my first order of business was to recruit the entire softball team to have a booth at the event and to help with its preparation. I immediately invited the Black River Belles, the team’s favorite student bluegrass trio, to perform and the team was convinced that they had to attend.
Needless to say, the softball booth was the most popular activity. We set up a beanbag toss right next to the popcorn machine, gave away a free tattoo to every kid, and offered them some water and a wash cloth to apply the tattoo right then and there. While we hung out with the kids in the activity room, a whole other group of kids watched performances on the “stage” that Kate and I set up in the main library. The Obertones, Round Midnight, OSteel, And What!?, the Black River Belles and OCircus all performed between Dr. Seuss readings by prominent community members.
The activities and music were a lot of fun, but by far the most entertaining part of the afternoon was when Katie, Megan and I dressed up in the costumes we had rented for the event. To my complete surprise, Megan volunteered to dress as the Cat in the Hat and she roamed the library, delighting children with her Seussian wit the entire afternoon. Because the usual costume shop that rents out Elmo and Blue’s Clues costumes is temporarily out of business, Katie and I ended up taking turns navigating the library in a giant, old, particularly pungent St. Bernard costume. It was hard to be a loveable mascot in the tattered suit and we almost knocked down more than a couple of toddlers that ended up in our blind spots, but we managed to attract some fans and at least one little boy was teary-eyed when it was time for the puppy to leave.
After Julia ran all around town looking for temporary tattoos not of princesses or butterflies (gender is a social construct), and Kristine, Kristen and Kate lovingly applied them to countless hands, arms, and faces, the softball team probably spent more time, effort, and money on the event than anyone else that helped out. When the last kids had left, most of the America Reads volunteers went home, but of course the trusty softball team stayed behind to pick up the mess, load up the cars, and transport everything back to the Bonner Center. Thanks team!
Sophie Schacht, #5

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taming the Tigers

For the first time in our program's history, the softball team beat conference rival Wittenberg University! We made the Tigers look like cranky little kittens in our easy 5-0 victory. Senior Jen Sees held Wittenberg to just three hits, while fellow senior Julia Chauvin was 2-3 with an RBI. First-year right-fielder Brittany Dawson had a two-hit, two-RBI game and her classmate Cheryl Lindsly was on base a perfect three times. Read the re-cap here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Students of the Game

National Student-Athlete Day recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who excel in the classroom, on the playing fields, and in their communities. To honor this day, Oberlin College student-athletes participated in a "sport swap:" all student-athletes met at the track for warm-ups and then dispersed to different "clinics" held by each coaching staff.

The softball players participated in and excelled at volleyball, lacrosse, tennis, and soccer. Only Cheryl was not able to participate, as she had music rehearsal. (I wonder if they swapped instruments for the day?)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Break II

Well, if there is one thing that all of the seniors have learned in all of our four years of going to Florida for Spring Break it's that at Planet Hollywood you are only paying for the atmosphere. In some obscene lapse in judgment we decided that going to Pleasure Island (a part of Downtown Disney) was a good idea on one of the busiest weeks of the year for tourism. Needless to say after my last two sentences, there were a great deal of people and long, long waits at the restaurants.

Okay, okay, okay, it wasn't necessarily a lapse in judgment that brought us to Downtown Disney. It was this dinosaur-themed eatery. It was too good to resist, well, at least until we got there and realized there was an hour and a half wait....as well as designated stroller parking. So maybe too family friendly for us, which is how we came to pick the taste-bud disappointing Planet Hollywood. And even though the one in Orlando is the largest of all the Planet Hollywoods (it's capacity is about 781, I think our waitress said, on all four levels) and it held a Rockford Peaches uniform from the movie
A League of Their Own, it was still a highly disappointing eating experience for us all.

Of course our sad restauranting certainly did not mar our entire week. It was just one unfortunate evening for the seniors and coaches, is all. We went to a number of delicious restaurants as a whole team (Sweet Tomato, Panera), played pirate mini-golf, watched UCF vs. Florida (Florida won 4-3 in the 9th!), hung out by the tiny-tiny frigid pool at the hotel, watched some life-changing Animal Planet, about seven of us went to a wonderful Amos Lee concert...oh, and we played some softball and stuff, whatever.

In all seriousness, though, I really think that these games in Florida have been particularly excellent. I mean, of course we've had our good games, our bad games, our okay games, but the team this year has been more offensively ready than any other team in the past four years by this time. We've really stepped it up at the plate. Hopefully this exciting energy and fun-having will carryover into our conference games. Why am I saying "hopefully?" It will. We
will be ready for teams in conference this year. Besides, this has to be our best season ever because there's five seniors. It's just a fact.

Alright folks, it's about dinner time, and time to go into the unpredictable Ohio weather....which has changed in the last two hours from sunny and warm to weird, windy, and rainy-ish. Oh Ohio.

Julia, #9