Tag Archives: Orientation

F+L’s Annual Orientation Guide: 2014 edition – Looking Forward

September 3rd, 2014

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ExCo Fair
Carnegie Building, Root Room

What they say: “The Experimental College (ExCo) is a student-run organization that sponsors 0-2 credit courses taught by faculty, students, administrators, and townspeople. Each year a list of subjects not found in the regular curriculum is offered. At the fair, students learn about courses offered during the fall semester and obtain consent to register in PRESTO for an ExCo course.”

What we say: Everyone should go to the Exco Fair. It is the easier way to learn about and sign up for Excos. Every Exco will have a booth and you can talk to the teachers and see if you’re interested. You can often sign up or fill out the application then and there. Go early; some Excos are first come, first served. Continue reading

F+L’s Annual Orientation Guide: 2014 edition – Days 5 to 7

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Day 5
Saturday, August 30th, 2014

9:20 am to 3:20 pm Day of Service
Finney Chapel Steps

What they say: “Oberlin College has a long-standing commitment to community service, activism, and making the world a better place. Join us to get to know the local area, meet returning student leaders, and play a part in building Oberlin’s history.”

What we say: Everyone does it. You take a yellow school bus like as if you’re on a fourth grade field trip. Take a good look outside because if you’re not generally service inclined, this may be the last time you see this part of Northeast Ohio. You make friends doing light labor and stocking and cleaning. Everyone’s very nice and the first whiff of competitiveness of the new first years might break through. “That’s not where that goes—let me do it—I got this, please.” Continue reading

A Tale of Two Dorms

The weeks leading up to the beginning of my freshman year were traumatizing, to say the least. I was stressed out about being behind in my classes; certain that I wouldn’t make any friends; worried that I’d hate the food (I was a mess). Pretty much the only thing that I felt okay about was my new living situation.

The way I saw it, I’d been preparing for dorm life essentially my whole life — for as long as I could remember, I had shared a (tiny) room with my younger sister in an apartment in New York City. I knew how to share a small space harmoniously. I told everyone that would listen that my new dorm was considerably bigger than the one I’d spent eighteen years in. My new roommate and I talked a few times before meeting in person, and it was promising — we had similar taste in music, and we seemed to get along well. I printed out a hundred and twenty photos of my friends from home to hang on my wall and purchased a new duvet cover, because I was determined for my room to be my perfect sanctuary in the event that the rest of my college experience come crashing down around my ears (again: I was a mess). Continue reading

F+L’s Annual Orientation Guide: 2014 edition – Day 4

Day 4
Friday, August 29th, 2014

8:00 am to 1:15 pmCourse Registration
See Day 3.

Various times throughout the day, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Library tours
Mudd Library (10am-2:30pm), Conservatory Library (11am-2pm), Art Library (1-3pm), Science Library (1-3pm)

What they say: “Get a running start on your first semester by exploring all that Mudd has to offer. Pick up your passport at the Mudd Center ramp to begin your journey. Follow the footsteps to earn stamps for your passport. Along the way, scope out the best study spaces, explore the media center, discover how to get tech help, and learn about the variety of resources available to you. Afterwards, enjoy snacks in Azariah’s and pick up some awesome finishing prizes. It all takes about 20 minutes. Drop in any time after 10 a.m. Last departure is at 2:30 p.m. Highly recommended for all students in the arts and sciences.”

What we say: Although they ‘highly recommend’ the Mudd Library tour for all College students and the Conservatory Library tour for all Con (and double degree) students, it really isn’t the end of the world if you miss it. But free snacks and freebies along the way are always nice. Regardless of whether you go on any of the library tours, it’s a good idea to start learning how to locate books on the shelves using Mudd’s shelving system and catalog. Pro Tip: even though Mudd Library has an online service in which you can request library staff to locate a book and hold it at the front desk, do not become a frequent user of this service. They will send you a tersely worded and rather nasty email about finding books yourself. Use the service only if you’ve looked and cannot find a book yourself. Continue reading

Freshman Year in Sondheim Lyrics

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Into the Woods zoe madonna

Oberlin Musical Theater Association’s Dec. 2012 production of “Into the Woods.” Photo by Zoë Madonna

There are few—if any—musical theater composer-lyricists as prolific, brilliant, respected, and gifted as Stephen Sondheim. He is an outstanding and peerless composer of complex, incredibly diverse, and unique scores, but he is also universally acclaimed as a lyricist. Good theater explores and exposes the human condition through compelling, human characters. And there are few lyricists who have accomplished this as superbly as Sondheim. Continue reading

F+L’s Annual Orientation Guide: 2014 edition – Day 3

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Day 3
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm—Course Registration
Science Center, Mudd Library
[Perhaps the most important part of freshman orientation!]

What they say: “Appointment time and location are noted in your advising letter, which is in your advising and registration packet. In order to register, you must attend the advising sessions described above. Plan to arrive a few minutes before your assigned registration time and be sure to bring your advising and registration packet. Staff from the registrar’s office and student academic ambassadors are available to help you.”

What we say: You don’t have to go to the assigned places; you can register fine from your dorm if you can access Presto and if you’ve gotten your advisor’s code. Registration will be a crushing disappointment for most of you. Students will throw their computers in irate fury. “What the fuck? How is Intro to Psych already full!?” You’ll discover the Intro Creative Writing classes have yard stick long waiting lists. Why are only 8 a.m. classes empty? You realize what they meant when they said you’d be lucky enough to take classes you never imagined taking before college. It looks like it’s 8:30 am Introduction to Sociology (…no disrespect; great class.)

Try ratemyprof, Prestissimo. Ask your parents, if you like them. But, it will be a happy time too. A new world awaits you, far more fascinating and engaging than the one of Orientation. Continue reading

Factual Correction: A Response to “Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA): A Radical Queer Perspective”


The disorientation zine published and distributed during new student orientation contained a wealth of information and critiques of Oberlin’s history and culture.

However, the zine that most people saw was not what its creators intended it to be.

Continue reading