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 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