My name is John West. I'm from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I'm a double-degree student, studying Historical Performance in the Conservatory and Philosophy in the College.
For my Historical Performance major, I play the recorder, and I specialize in late-Baroque music. I'm particularly interested in the way pre-Classical music can be updated and made relevant today.
But I was not content with only one degree that would make finding a job near impossible, so I added a Philosophy degree in the college. I especially enjoy epistemology and philosophy of science.
When I'm not in the library or the practice rooms, I work as a tutor in the Writing Center, as the Copy Editor for The Grape — Oberlin's alternative newspaper — and as the managing editor for Wilder Voice — a magazine dedicated to long form journalism and creative nonfiction. I also blog at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner, which, despite the name, has very little to do with Oberlin.
In this post: the pseudo-triumphant return of John blogging, how freshmen walk, atrophied vocal chords, dinner parties, what I've been doing, what other people have been doing, shameless self-promotion, and much, much more.
In this post: on-campus fall breaks, laziness, pan-seared steak recipes, Spike Jonze v. Spike Lee, Oberlin Levittown, a shameless plug for the Wilder Voice website, cornfields, yes, that's right, more on cornfields.
In this post: notes on being double-degree, funny looks, historical performance, me on a soapbox (figuratively), rants on authorial intent, more apocryphal stories, why I play the recorder, musical temperament, A440 Hz, the varieties of recorders, a picture, clips of my junior recital, and Tom DeLay dancing with the stars.
In this post: coffee mugs, unions (viz. Teamsters and AFSCME), near-death experiences, pictures I may or may not have incorrectly uploaded even though I've been given two sets of instructions on how to upload photos because I'm practically a Luddite, Oberlin vignettes.
This utter lack of warmth and sun, combined with the rampant insomnia and overwhelming amount of work, makes the campus seem less like sweet, pastoral, rural Ohio and more like a scene from Doctor Zhivago.
I think a die a little bit every time someone uses the word Obie to describe a person who goes to Oberlin (as in: We Obies love to hate things). I think The Grape--one of Oberlin College's many publications--described the word as (and I'm paraphrasing here) "used only by The Review and the Admissions Department."
There's something to be said for a small liberal-arts college in a backwater hamlet a charming slice of small-town America that has two newspapers. And there's something more to be said a college that has two newspapers (The Oberlin Review, The Oberlin Grape--for which I am a copy editor), three non-fiction magazines (Wilder Voice, Vox, In Solidarity), a literary journal (formerly The Plum Creek Review, formerly Enchiridion, now The Plum Creek Review--again), a genre-fiction magazine (Spiral) and doesn't have a journalism department.
So, yes, I'm eschewing that obligatory hello my name is John. I'm a blogger. I'm really cool. Here's some stuff about me post, at least for the time being. Bios are dreadfully difficult to write, and, though my fellow bloggers have been covering Oberlin's reaction to this latest election pretty darnwell, I figured I might as well add my two cents.