The Oberlin Review Nov. 18, 2022

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The Oberlin Review November 18, 2022

Established 1874

Volume 152, Number 9

Universal Free Lunch Waivers Expire for Oberlin City Schools Ava Miller Senior Staff Writer

A recent Lorain County Public Health inspection found three health code violations in the Rathskeller kitchen. Photo by Abe Frato, Photo Editor

Lorain County Public Health Reports Health Code Violations in Rathskeller Alexa Stevens News Editor On Oct. 1, an anonymous complaint was submitted to Lorain County Public Health alleging that several individuals had fallen ill with food poisoning as a result of dining in the Rathskeller. On Oct. 6, LCPH moved up its routine biannual inspection of the facility to follow up on this complaint and found three health code violations — two critical and one non-critical. One critical violation was a repeat violation from LCPH’s prior inspection on April 26 of this year. “Direct connection between the sewage system and a drain originating from equipment in which food, portable equipment, or utensils are placed,” the inspection report reads. “Observed the drainage line for the soda machine and the ice machine inserted into the drainage plumbing for the building. Adjust the plumbing to ensure there [are] air gaps present between the equipment drainage lines and the sewage system plumbing.” The recommended plumbing adjustments were not made between April 26 and the Oct. 6 inspection. According to LCPH Environmental Health Supervisor Greg Putka, failure to rectify this issue can carry significant ramifications. “Certain pieces of equipment have to have an indirect plumbing line from the piece of equipment into the drain,” Putka said. “Basically, they have a line that’s going from the piece of equipment directly into the drain. So the thought process there is that they don’t want any potential backup of sewage into those lines, because what’ll happen is that that sewage travels its way back up the line and potentially contaminates the ice.” In an email to the Review, AVI Foodsystems Director of Retail Sarirose Hyldahl explained that the appropriate repairs have been made. “This issue has been rectified,” Hyldahl wrote. “When Pepsi does a fountain installation they do not follow OH Health Code regulations so we needed to get a campus plumber to properly fix the drain.” It remains unclear, though, whether this was the issue that could have caused the alleged cases of food poisoning. According to Katie Bevan, program manager of LCPH’s Health Promotion and Chronic Disease

Prevention program, there typically exists an extensive protocol for food poisoning complaints. “When people do contact Lorain County Public Health about suspected food poisoning or suspected foodborne illnesses, we follow up with those individuals — as long as those complaints are not anonymous,” Bevan said. “Then our epidemiology team … conducts an interview with them, and part of that interview includes, ‘What foods have you eaten in the last 70 or in the 72 hours leading up to you becoming sick?’” Because the complaint — which cited instances of food poisoning experienced by multiple unnamed students — was submitted anonymously, LCPH was unable to follow up with the complainant and verify the alleged food poisoning cases and their origins. According to Putka, food poisoning can originate in a variety of ways. “With regards to food lines, … basically you’re looking at if … the food staff isn’t properly washing their hands — there’s cross-contamination issues there,” Putka said. “If they’re not properly cooking products, potentially that way there’s also cross-contamination issues. If you’re not storing things properly — there’s a certain way to store meats in your refrigerators.” Putka also mentioned that incorrect food storage temperatures can allow pathogens to grow and thus cause foodborne illness. The risks of cross-contamination Putka outlines were flagged in the report issued after the Oct. 6 inspection, which included a critical storage error: “Food not properly protected from contamination by separation, packaging, and segregation. Observed raw eggs stored above a box of lettuce in walk-in cooler #3.” This error was corrected by the Person-in-Charge during the inspection to prevent potential contamination. According to Hyldahl, AVI prioritizes student health and safety. Hyldahl was present during the recent inspection and worked with staff to correct violations. “Complaints regarding illness are taken seriously and we begin an investigation by collecting information from the student which we then pass along to the health department for an ad hoc inspection,” Hyldahl wrote. “I work alongside our health inspector directly during these inspections, providing her with any necessary documentation and giving her access to any areas that are of interest for any given inspection.”

Federal funding has provided waivers allowing schools to give students free lunches regardless of income since the beginning of the pandemic. Congressional funding for the waivers expired in late June, and free school lunches in Ohio will no longer be available to all students. However, Cleveland and Akron public schools will continue to provide free lunches to all students. “Our meals in Akron will still be at no charge under the Community Eligibility Provision, as we were prior to the pandemic waiver,” a spokesperson for Akron Public Schools said in a statement released toward the end of the summer. “Our parents will not be required to do anything differently here in Akron, but this does affect many other school districts.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service’s Community Eligibility Provision allows schools serving many high-need students to provide all meals without cost or an application process. “To determine eligibility of a school for the CEP, calculate the number of identified students as a percentage of school enrollment,” reads a fact sheet produced by the Ohio Department of Education for the Community Eligibility Provision. “The percentage of identified students to enrollment must be 40% or greater.” However, Oberlin City Schools do not qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision — despite the fact that 50–70 percent of students in the district qualify for federal support. As a result, the district is no longer providing free lunches to all students as of this 2022–23 school year. In an email to the Review, Oberlin Board of Education President Anne Schaum noted the importance of families submitting applications for support. “We have been working to get all parents/ guardians to submit the free- and reduced-lunch applications to maximize the federal support that is available for families who qualify,” Schaum wrote. This announcement comes as Oberlin City Schools increased menu prices in August. Effective for the 2022–23 school year, Oberlin Elementary School lunch prices rose from $2.75 to $3.00, and Langston Middle School and Oberlin High School lunch prices rose from $3.00 to $3.25. Price increases can be attributed to the supply chain issues also faced by Akron Public Schools and Avon Lake City Schools. In response to high food prices, President Joe Biden signed the Keep Kids Fed Act, which provides schools with “an additional temporary reimbursement of 40 cents per lunch and 15 cents per breakfast, and child care centers with an extra 10 cents reimbursement per meal” and equips the United States Department of Agriculture with “additional flexibilities to support schools, as needed, based on their local conditions.” Despite the end of Congressional funding, Oberlin City Schools vows never to let a child go hungry — whether or not a student has funds available in their lunch account, the student will be able to eat a full meal. “While we do reach out to families when balances See Oberlin, Page 2






02 ASA Invited to Yale African Innovation Symposium

06 Budget Cuts to Libraries Limit Crucial Academic Resources

08 Winter Clothing and Gender Expression

10 Repatriating Benin Bronzes Requires Intentional Conversations

15 Oberlin Athletes Grow Their Public Image

04 Mailroom Prepares to Implement Electronic Lockers

07 Navigating Course Registration Frustrating, Competitive


11 Families Create Art in AMAM Community Day Event

16 Football Season Concludes with Senior Day Loss to Wooster

The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

13 ITPR: Stephanie Manning TWITTER @oberlinreview INSTAGRAM @ocreview


Ne w s

ASA Invited to Yale African Innovation Symposium Nikki Keating News Editor

The Oberlin African Student Association was recently invited to participate in the Yale Africa Innovation Symposium held Nov. 11–12. This twoday conference aimed to deconstruct traditional views of issues affecting Africa and produce actionable resolutions pertaining to various African industries. This was ASA’s first time being invited to the symposium. The symposium aligns with ASA’s mission statement, which describes one of its goals as enhancing “education by providing a network for prospective African students abroad and in the United States.” It was also the first time since the begining of the pandemic that the Yale symposium was held in person. “A student who knew another Yale student that was organizing the event told us about it, cause the student was trying to get other schools involved other than just the usual Ivy Leagues,” Nyakwea Ndegwa, College second-year and treasurer of ASA, said. “They told us about the conference and then got us in touch with Yale, and so we emailed them and found out what it is about.” ASA sent out a form to its members urging them to apply and attend the conference over the weekend. The conference was open to both international students from Africa and students born in the U.S. After going through a selection process, five students were chosen to participate. At the symposium, they had the opportunity to attend different seminars and conferences on topics that interested them, ranging from economics to fashion. “Yale’s symposium is talking about innovation, particularly in Africa,” Omukoko Okoth, a secondyear College student who attended the symposium, said. “It seeks to encourage Africans, the diaspora, and people of African descent to go and invest back in Africa.” Attendees came from colleges across the U.S. One of the goals of the event was to unite the entire African diaspora, including anyone who is of African descent. “I felt the need to build important connections and get to know how I can not only give back to my community, Africa, but also critically analyze and strategize innovative channels that can be put in place to bring this into fruition,” College thirdyear Norman Mwangi said. “The experience was fantastic. It veered my attention to things that

The Oberlin African Student Association particpated in the Yale African Innovation Symposium last weekend. Photo Courtesy of African Students Association

never crossed my mind. They influenced me to invest in Africa.” The symposium invited speakers who had contributed to addressing African challenges in different ways. These speakers have contributed to overall culture in different parts of Africa; for example, Mphethi Morojele shed light on the architecture innovation. Morojele is the owner and founder of MMA design studios, which is involved in multiple architectural and urban projects in various African countries, including South Africa, Ethiopia, and Burundi. “It was bringing to light the numerous opportunities that we have in Africa that many people have not taken advantage of yet,” Okoth said. “That is part of the reason why we had the symposium — to just talk about how we could connect people in the USA with people back home in Africa and invest.” One of the main highlights of the event was innovation labs that targeted a specific topic and had experts come in to present their studies and research. For example, Wilmot Allen, an entrepreneur and economist based in Nairobi,

presented his talk “Making Dashiki Economics Work: Addressing the Challenge of Creating Structured Pathways for Shared Prosperity for Africa and her Diaspora.” “The end goal is for our experts to take the solutions back to their businesses, organizations, and communities and set them in action,” Abigail Ndikum, YAIS founder and executive director, wrote in a letter to the attendees. “Moreover, we hope that the work in the labs will provide all participants with the foundation to turn their innovative ideas about African development into realities after the conference.” Overall, students were brought together to form connections and strengthen their knowledge of African development. Through this process, presenters at the symposium and African students from Oberlin and other colleges got to learn about deconstructing African challenges and proposing solutions. “It was a pleasure to be involved and invited to the Yale Conference Symposium,” Ndegwa said. “We look forward to participating in similar events. This is our first time, and we had a fantastic time.”

Oberlin City Schools Contend With Meal Price Increase Continued from page 1

go negative, we don’t let that interfere with the daily nutrition we feel is critical to educational success,” Schaum said. However, when outstanding balances reach a certain level, Oberlin High School graduates are unable to receive their diplomas. On May 27 of this year, when the graduating class still owed a collective $2,100 in unpaid fees, one community member contributed $1,000 to ensure that seniors with an outstanding balance could receive their diplomas.

The Oberlin R eview

P ublication of R ecord for Oberlin College November 18, 2022 Volume 152, Number 9 (ISSN 297–256)

Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as second-class matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123

Oberlin College second-year Jimena Granados visits Oberlin Elementary School five times a week to teach Spanish as a S.I.T.E.S instructor and English as a part of the America Reads program. “As an Oberlin College student, I recognize that there is often an unawareness of issues such as these that involve the larger Oberlin community, despite the fact that students are living here for a significant amount of time,” Granados said. During her time at Oberlin Elementary School, she Editors-in-Chief News Editors Opinions Editors Arts & Culture Editors Sports Editor Cont. Sports Editors This Week Editor Conservatory Editor Operations Manager Photo Editors Senior Staff Writers

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has noticed the importance of all students receiving regular meals. “I know that students should always be able to have access to a meal, as this affects their ability to stay focused in the classroom and their overall wellbeing,” Granados said. “Many students could possibly be affected, and with such an amazing student body like that of OES, it is important to ensure that all students are at their best each and every day — including what they eat.”

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Correction: Last week, the Review published an op-ed on the limited number of courses available at the College which offer a comprehensive study of Africa as a continent (“Oberlin’s Curriculum Lacks Any Courses on African Continent,” The Oberlin Review Nov. 11, 2022). The original headline implied that Oberlin lacked any such courses. In fact, the College does offer some courses focused Africa as a continent. The Review regrets this error.


Shuming Chen

Assistant Professor Shuming Chen Receives $55,000 in Grant Funds for Chemistry Research

Photo courtesy of Thieme Chemistry

Alexa Stevens News Editor Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen was recently awarded a $55,000 grant from the American Chemical Society for her project “Probing Complex Post-Transition State Bifurcations in Reactions Between Boroles and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons.” Chen is conducting this research in collaboration with College students. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. I’d love to hear a little bit more about the project itself, as well as how undergraduate students are involved. My project is called “Probing Complex PostTransition State Bifurcations in Reactions Between Boroles and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons.” There’s a lot to unpack there, but basically, these reactions between boroles, which are compounds containing boron, have an interesting structure that makes them particularly unstable and reactive. These boroles react

with unsaturated hydrocarbons, which are present in natural petroleum sources. These would be alkenes and alkynes, both of which are major classes of organic compounds that are important to the petroleum industry and all of the industries related to it. These reactions, then, have the potential to generate novel materials for many uses, such as optical electronics and ion sensing. However, these reactions are also pretty unpredictable because they have the potential to generate many, many different products — and people haven’t been able to get a really good handle on them. They cannot really predict what these reactions would generate. Even just a small difference in the structure of the starting materials often results in a dramatic difference in the structures of the products. That makes them very difficult to control, to predict, to engineer — which, in turn, makes it difficult to employ these reactions in a more targeted way, in a more efficient way, to get what we want out of them. My research looks into why exactly this difficulty exists. With my group I’m working with — Oberlin undergraduate students — I found that one very important reason that these reactions are difficult to predict and to control is that they’re capable of generating multiple different products from the same high-energy structure called a “transition state.” This makes them unique, because most chemical reactions generate just one product from one transition state, which makes them a little bit more predictable. But these reactions can generate so many different ones from the same transition state, and that requires using a different kind of thinking to predict what we’re gonna get. It exceeds the current understanding of chemical reactions. So, I’m venturing to use a combination of different tools — both experimental and computational. Could you tell me a little bit about the process of applying for the grant that you received from the American Chemical Society? So the process is pretty much the same as every other grant. There is a solicitation for these grants and you write a proposal of the projects that you are hoping to fund with this money. So, yeah, I prepared a roughly 10-page proposal and submitted it before the deadline. Are there any dangers in doing this research? We do use chemicals that are super reactive. For example, they cannot be exposed to water — or to air, really. So we conduct our chemistry inside what’s

called a “glove box,” where you can maintain an ideal atmosphere there to easily combat chemistry that is sensitive to water and to oxygen. There will inherently be very active chemicals involved in this process, but we also take safety super seriously here. And I will be present to supervise anybody who’s using reactive chemicals. That was actually a necessary component in my proposal as well. What drew you to Oberlin as a community? It’s the culture of research here. It’s very strong, very vibrant, and the participation rates are also very high. We do have state-of-the-art research facilities, which is very attractive for a faculty member, of course. But Oberlin students are very research-minded. They really want to get involved and they want to find out what research holds in store for them. It just feels really good to be able to mentor the students’ research techniques and have them walk away having learned something new. Where is the research being conducted? My lab is right here on the third floor of the Science Center. At Oberlin we are very well-equipped, in terms of doing computational research, because we have a supercomputer cluster, located in the basement of Mudd Center — which is unusual for a liberal arts college. And that’s something that I’ve felt very privileged to be able to have. Are you the only one working on this project? A few undergraduates have already worked on this project. And I actually currently have an honor student in the Chemistry department working on this project as well. And I hope to be able to support more undergraduates’ work in this area with the ACS fund. How do you find a balance in your schedule between serving as a professor and working on research? Every one of the professors at Oberlin are asking themselves the same question. I think Oberlin helps by setting aside periods of time in the year where professors can work intensively with students on research. We have Winter Term, which is an excellent time to get a project off the ground because you work so intensively with students over that time. We also have a very intensive and even longer summer research period. I would also note that Oberlin students doing research during the academic year are very dedicated — and that is super unusual. Students use what they learn during Winter Term and during the summer to build up that research.

Kahn Hall Pilots Campus-Wide Compost Program Nikki Keating News Editor Kahn Hall now has compost bins located on the first floor and two additional bins will on all other floors. The program is sponsored by the The Office of Environmental Sustainability and the Resource Conservation Team. “The Kahn Hall composting pilot program is the first residential collection spot on campus but will be expanded to other residential buildings in the coming months,” Sustainability Manager Heather Adelman wrote in an email to the Review. “The Office of Environmental Sustainability and the Resource Conservation Team started this pilot with the intent to gather information over the next few months on what works and what needs improvement before expanding to other dorms.” The compost bins will serve as a way for students to discard food, compostable materials, and other scraps. These will then enrich the campus’ soil after the items are broken down into soft materials. The Office of Environmental Sustainability is thinking about potential concerns such as issues with the physical collection and removal processes for custodial staff and possible contamination. “Contamination is a big deal,” Adelman wrote. “If we have too many non-compostable items in our bins, we run the risk of losing service! As such, we want to be very diligent to only put items in the compost that we are sure are compostable. A good The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

motto is ‘when in doubt, throw it out.’” Barnes Nursery’s Huron Compost Facility, a local commercial composting company, will pick up and process the materials, allowing the facility to compost a large selection of items. Unlike a regular compost pile, students are able to place items such as greasy pizza boxes or waxed papers as they are going to a facility that can handle a large variety of items. This flexibility will permit students to compost at a higher rate than they would otherwise be able to. The Office of Environmental Sustainability is keeping a close watch on how the program in Kahn runs, specifically charting how much contamination is in the bins and how students respond to having the bins. Kahn houses a student population particularly dedicated to composting and sustainability. “They added compost in Kahn, and honestly, I didn’t expect it to be there, but I am happy to see it,” said Abby Fiedler, a first-year College student living in Kahn. “I am happy because it’s at least one more thing that is a little bit eco-friendly in the dorm.” The compost bins are one of the many commitments the College has implemented to reach its overall goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. The Office of Environmental Sustainability is looking for ways to rescue waste from landfills. The Office also hopes to expand into other dorms starting in January during Winter Term.

Kahn Hall now features compost receptacles, which students can use to compost accepted materials. Photo by Abe Frato, Photo Editor


Ne New wss

Mailroom Prepares to Implement Electronic Lockers

The new locker system will begin operation in January of next year and digitize the mailroom system.

Yendi Kai Foo The mailroom recently placed electronic lockers next to the Rathskeller. The lockers, scheduled to start operating Jan. 2, 2023, are a result of the Sustainable Infrastructure Program, which will implement a geothermal HVAC system in Wilder Hall and use the former mailbox space for its mechanical and networking systems. “The current student mailboxes are being eliminated due to some construction in Wilder Hall,” Kris Weber, facilities operations business manager, wrote in an email to the Review. “The lockers will be used to distribute letter mail and small packages to students once the current boxes are taken out of service. Not all packages will be able to go into the lockers because of varying size or available lockers, therefore, some will still have to be picked up at the mail room window.” To access mail, students will receive an email from the mailroom with a one-time-use barcode or six-

digit number. Students will be able to scan the code or enter the number onto the electronic locker interface, at which point a locker containing their package will open. Upon closure, the system will revoke the students’ locker access and a student worker will replace it with another’s package. This new system is expected to reduce the mailroom’s footprint and decrease mailroom traffic. Weber notes that there is the potential for mail backlog in reducing letter space from over 3,000 mailboxes to a mere 348 electronic lockers. Considering that the vast majority of letter mail comes from checks, Weber strongly advises students to opt into direct deposit instead to alleviate the mail influx and reduce backlog potential. “I would say that if you are ordering packages from a vendor like Amazon, and they ask if you want items shipped all together or in multiple packages, please choose all together,” Weber said. “This will cut down on the number of packages that we receive and in turn will take up a lesser number of lockers once

Photo by Abe Frato, Photo Editor

packages arrive. Students will be able to pick up mail or packages anytime that Wilder is open. Although, if you are receiving packages that do not fit in the lockers or all of the lockers are full, you will still have to come to the mailroom window during our hours to claim packages.” Some students have expressed concerns with this change, especially the removal of individual mailboxes. “We have mail slots already, and I really like them,” College third-year Abigail Harris Crowne said. “You don’t need to use technology to open them. They’re very simple and easy to open. While I like the idea that you can use these electronic lockers for packages because then you don’t have to wait in line, you can already get your letters at any hour of the day, and everyone has their own. It doesn’t really make sense to make this change because it’s less convenient and takes up double the space for letters.” Weber said that more information about the locker system will be forthcoming before its launch in January.

Sustainable Infrastructure Project to Transition Campus Heating to Geothermal System by 2024, Faces Challenges Sofia Tomasic Senior Staff Writer

Central Heating Plant operates and distributes heating to dorms. Photo by Abe Frato, Photo Editor


As part of a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, the College aims to transition building heating systems from steam to exclusively hot water for a more energyefficient geothermal system, this change should be in place by 2024. According to Chief Facilities Officer Kevin Brown, the temperature systems at Oberlin are undergoing large-scale transformations because of the enormous impact they have on Oberlin’s energy use. “Heating is approximately 70 percent of our total energy use,” Brown wrote in an email to the Review. “Oberlin College takes this very seriously. The College remains committed to carbon neutrality by 2025. That is why we are investing the time, money, and significant effort into a new carbon-neutral heating and cooling district energy system.” In the interim, multiple different heating systems are being used across Oberlin’s campus. While some dorms and Village Housing units use standalone heating systems, most campus buildings are still heated using the district energy system, which uses steam and hot water as heating mechanisms. During the fall and winter, the Central Heating Plant, which operates and maintains the College steam plant and steam distribution system, is monitored by roundthe-clock operators licensed by the state of Ohio. “The temperature swings during the time following the start-up cause many calls to be placed to Facilities operations,” reads the Central Heating Plant Department webpage on the Oberlin College website. “Please be patient because the temperature will probably change

the next day.” According to Brown, there shouldn’t be too much inconsistency in heating and temperature within a building unless occupants tamper with the temperature systems. “If an occupant impacts a thermostat’s effectiveness through use of a space heater or covering it up, that can cause temperature variations in other spaces within the same building,” Brown wrote. “Often, a single thermostat or temperature sensor can control multiple rooms or even an entire wing of a building.” Heating in the buildings is triggered by the temperature outside. For buildings on the district steam system, temperatures must be below 50 degrees fahrenheit for several days for the heat systems to turn on. For buildings not connected to the district system, heating is triggered when the temperature falls below 55 degrees fahrenheit. Students in certain buildings, however, not had to their heating turned on at all this semester. Despite temperatures reaching the 30 degrees fahrenheit range and snow coming in, students in Langston Hall do not have heat circulating through their dorm rooms. “I am in Langston on the second floor, and we have no heat and that really sucks,” first-year College student Ella Bruzek said. “My bed is right up against the window, and I’m freezing all night. I am losing sleep because of this, which is making me perform worse academically. I have woken up in the middle of the night freezing. I even have four blankets, and I’m having to try to hang them against my window for insulation.” Langston’s heat was shut off in early August, and residents are still waiting for it to be turned back on as the winter months approach.

November 18, 2022

OPINIONS Established 1874

Open Letter to President Ambar Regarding Gibsons’ Suit Editors’ Note: This letter is an edited version of the copy initially sent to President Carmen Twillie Ambar on Oct. 12. Dear President Ambar: I am writing about what I see as the “canary in the coal mine,” with the College being the latter. I write as a member of the Class of 1970 who supported Oberlin for more than half a century, financially and otherwise, because of my deep affection and appreciation for the institution. These thoughts are rooted in my 30 years of experience as Associate General Counsel of a Fortune 25 company. I believe the College’s handling of the Gibson’s litigation demonstrated both a failure of leadership and of stewardship. People go to court to solve a problem. While law firms are designed to make money by approaching litigation as a win-lose contest, smart clients look beyond that binary model to first identify the problem the plaintiff is seeking to solve and then pursue a solution to that problem. Certainly, litigation did not solve the problem here. The College’s reputation and stature in its local community and the national community from which the College recruits students have been grievously damaged by this court case. And while the Gibsons might take some comfort in the judgment, the lawsuit caused them, as well as you and your colleagues, significant emotional distress and feelings of personal and institutional damage. Before the litigation, the College was engaged in a disagreement with one of its neighbors. As is common when neighbors disagree, both parties had hurt feelings and a sense that their side was the ‘right’ one. And as any good trial lawyer would tell you, there is always some validity to the other party’s view of what happened and usually evidence supporting both sides. That is why smart neighbors look for a way to resolve their dispute

without going to court. Truly understanding the neighbor’s point of view and reducing the level of animosity are key to achieving a compromise which embraces both parties and their respective dignity. There are some highly gifted mediators skillful in guiding parties through the emotional journey necessary to find a mutually acceptable resolution. Good lawyers know how to find those mediators. I know the College tried to settle the Gibson’s case, but you get no points for trying. You only achieve success when the case is settled. In my mind, the College not working out a solution with its longstanding neighbor was a critical failure of leadership. A key objective of any liberal arts education is learning how to solve problems. In Oberlin, students look to the faculty, the administration, and each other to learn how to solve problems. In the Gibson’s case, the College failed to do what it teaches its students. The College also failed to meet its duty of stewardship. The administration and trustees share a fiduciary duty to act in the College’s best long-term interests. This responsibility obligates those individuals to manage Oberlin’s affairs with an eye toward the College that will be here a century from now. While the Gibson’s dispute was underway, I’m sure people talked about how important it was to uphold certain principles and to support the deans and others involved. Principles are enduring values that help define an institution, and so I agree that they must be respected. But inevitably, there are additional principles at play which make the right path less black-and-white and more shades of gray. I understand the importance of supporting and not undermining the College’s leaders. Yet, every manager should be able to honestly say, “In retrospect, I could have handled that better than I did.” That doesn’t mean somebody was wrong, but it does recognize that each of us is an imperfect See Lack, page 6


The Editorial Board encourages anyone interested in submitting an Opinions piece to email the Opinions Editors at to request a copy of the Opinions primer. Opinions expressed in editorials, letters, op-eds, columns, cartoons, and other Opinions pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Oberlin Review staff. Submission of content to the Review constitutes an understanding of this publication policy. Any content published by The Oberlin Review forever becomes the property of The Oberlin Review and its administrators. Content creators retain rights to their content upon publication, but the Review reserves the right to republish and/or refuse to alter or remove any content published by the Review. It is up to Senior Staff’s discretion whether to alter content that has already been published. The Oberlin Review appreciates and welcomes letters to the editors and op-ed submissions. All submissions are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. All submissions must be received by Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Opinions email for inclusion in that week’s issue. Full-length pieces should be between 800 and 900 words; letters to the editor should be less than 600 words. All submissions must include contact information, with full names and any relevant titles, for all signatories; we do not publish pieces anonymously. All letters from multiple writers should be carbon-copied to all signatories to confirm authorship. The Review reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length, grammar, accuracy, and strength of argument, and in consultation with Review style. Editors work to preserve the voice of the writers and will clear any major edits with authors prior to publication. Headlines are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. The Review will not print advertisements on its Opinions pages. The Review defines an advertisement as any submission that has the main intent of bringing direct monetary gain to a contributor or otherwise promoting an event, organization, or other entity to which the author has direct ties. The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

Volume 152, Number 9

Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief

Kushagra Kar Emma Benardete

Opinions Editors

Elle Giannandrea Emily Vaughan

Trump’s Campaign Rhetoric As Scary as Potential Victory With former President of the United States Donald Trump’s recent announcement of a 2024 run, the bulk of the attention paid to his campaign will be on the very real possibility of a Trump win in 2024. However, in considering the possibility of a second Trump win, it’s easy to neglect another crucial part of the equation — what will another Trump campaign mean for the United States, regardless of whether he wins or loses? Whether or not Trump succeeds in his 2024 bid for the presidency, his campaign will likely have serious consequences. Running for president will give him and his dangerous political messaging a bolstered platform, something he has lacked since mainstream media attention has largely shifted away from him and he has been banned from various social media sites. Last time Trump ran, we saw him rile up his supporters with xenophobic, racist, Islamophobic, antisemitic, and sexist statements. From his declaration that he wanted to ban Muslim people from entering the U.S., to his open mockery of a disabled reporter, to being pressured into rescinding comments that resurfaced of his bragging about sexual assault, the things Trump said during his first presidential campaign would have been detrimental to the political climate regardless of the outcome of that election. His supporters loved him before he won, and they hung onto every word he said. His influence, even then, was undeniable. The danger of Trump’s rhetoric didn’t go away when he took office, or even after he left. At the beginning of the pandemic, his reluctance to wear a mask — and later on, to get the COVID vaccine — had massive impacts on the U.S. COVID response. Many Republican politicians followed his lead, and the subsequent refusal by large numbers of Americans to follow COVID guidelines exacerbated the effects of the pandemic and led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people. Trump’s referral to COVID as the “Chinese Virus” and the “Kung Flu” placed the blame for the pandemic on Asian people, contributing to a massive uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes. Trump’s denial of the 2020 election results and his “stop the steal” slogan have also had lasting impacts. Republicans have embraced his rhetoric and have contested the validity of the electoral system as recently as the midterm elections held last week. There are still many Americans who believe that Trump won the 2020 election, and a majority of politicians who have cast doubt on the results, like Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, won their midterm races. The problem is that fighting hatred with more hatred does not benefit the discourse or increase potential for positive change. Trump has already managed to reconfigure the conservative political landscape into a competition over who is most creative and zealous in oppressing others. His fellow Republicans scrambled to keep pace with his rhetoric, and in the years since his first campaign, inflammatory political speech has become altogether too standard. Trump’s 2024 bid will no doubt push the limits of indecency even further. These issues didn’t stem from policy choices — they stemmed from Trump’s messaging. His supporters believe his message and willingly ignore the very real consequences of continued faith in his ideas. This means that reaching across the aisle has grown exponentially more difficult, especially in a place like Oberlin where we have all but expunged Republican perspectives from our discourse. Unfortunately, ignoring the infection doesn’t make it disappear — it just leaves it to fester. We need to listen to and engage with people we disagree with if we ever hope to convince them of the harm of Trump’s rhetoric. Dreadful as it sounds, the only way to combat Trump’s message is to focus on its meaning and consequences, instead of on Trump himself. His words and ideas aren’t just his anymore — they have tangible impacts on the lives of people across the country. We need to fight the hateful messaging, because convincing each other that we’re all hurting for the same reasons is the best way to find common ground. The looming significance of the potential effects of Trump’s candidacy is particularly pertinent to us as the Editorial Board because of our relationship to the broader news sphere through Opinions reporting. Like all those privileged with the opportunity to take a formalized stance on politics, we should recognize that for a politician like Trump, the magnitude of his cultural impact goes above and beyond the content of his docket. Therefore, the publishing of opinions on Trump and the byproducts of his politics must consider both the outcomes of his policy-making, disagreeable or otherwise, and the results of his personality and dangerous messaging. Editorials are the responsibility of the Review Editorial Board — the Editors-in-Chief and Opinions Editors — and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.


Opi n ions

Winter. It Happens. Deal Budget Cuts to Libraries Limit With It. Crucial Academic Resources Emily Vaughan Opinions Editor

Henry Larson Columnist

Well, here we are again, staring down another cold Ohio winter. As the ground frosts over and the first flurries fill the air, it’s time that we all acknowledge something many have long known to be true: Oberlin winters actually aren’t that bad. Picture this: You start your day by putting on two shirts, two sweaters, leggings, pants, your winter coat, and of course, your hat, gloves, and scarf, in order to face the cold. Because of how hot your dorm is, you immediately regret it, but know that it’s necessary. When you begin your stroll down Professor Street to the King Building, you notice a man casually strolling into Stevenson Dining Hall wearing nothing but shorts and a hoodie. As you continue your walk, you speed up a bit because the amount of time it took to bundle up has made you late. All of the layers you put on earlier are making you a bit warm, but it’s nothing unbearable. At last, you arrive at King, and begin the epic climb up the stairs to your third floor Politics class. As you enter the stairwell, you’re hit with a blast of hot, stagnant air, and feel the sweat pool under your many sweaters. When you finally arrive in class, you look like a drowned rat from the combination of hat hair and sweat, and awkwardly remove your many layers as your professor begins to lecture. How good will finally stepping outside after a long lecture in a stuffy room in King feel? There just isn’t anything like it. Consider that many of Oberlin’s buildings are heated almost to excess. When all of the buildings are practically dry saunas, going outside for a jaunt from one to another feels like a delightful breath of fresh air. Sure, that air might be very, very, cold, but when some of the buildings on campus are so hot that they make you want to strip down naked as soon as you enter the door, it all balances out. The colder months also bring everyone’s favorite holiday celebrating colonization and genocide: Thanksgiving! What’s not to love about a whitewashed holiday where your family gets together and argues about the results of the midterm elections while getting awesomely drunk? This holiday provides you with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to listen to your uncle argue that he thinks reparations are unnecessary because he was born in the 1960s to a mother who wasn’t even born in the United States! And, sure, the weather can be a little miserable in late November, but a stroll in the drizzly cold to “help digest after dinner” provides a convenient escape from your grandparents’ condescending comments on your appearance or what you are studying at school. Winter also brings with it Christmas — a holiday centered around joy. ’Tis the season to celebrate all things capitalism! How can we be miserable in the season of the holiday that best glorifies American consumption and excess? Andy Williams sings an entire song about how Christmastime, which occurs in the cold winter months of November and December, is the most wonderful time of the year. He even gives us a whole list of things that we can do: host parties, roast marshmallows, carol out in the snow, and tell stories of Christmases past. These are clearly all activities that can only be done in winter. It would be absolutely ridiculous to even consider hosting a party or roasting a marshmallow in the summer. That said, there really are a lot of activities that can only really be done in the winter. Ice skating can be done year-round indoors, but it’s so much more fun to do outside when you can freeze your face off as well as your butt when you fall. If that’s not cold enough for you, you can just lie down in the snow and surround yourself in ice crystals to make a snow angel! If you’re really daring, you can do that thing where you faceplant into the snow and then take a flash photo of the imprint so that it looks 3D! What fun there is to be had in winter! Sure, Oberlin winters last for, like, five months and the temperature won’t be above 25 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks on end, but winter really does have its moments. As the season progresses, and you continue to see those guys who wear shorts outside and wonder, “Will they ever put on pants?” maybe you’ll realize that they’re just on a higher plane of thought: they have mastered the art of the Oberlin winter. If nothing else, you get bragging rights that you — yes, you — have endured a Midwest winter, complete with lake effect snow! And remember, it’s really not that bad. We could be in Minnesota, after all.

For about three months now, I’ve been working in the periodicals department of the Mary Church Terrell Main Library, a job which involves checking in and sending out or shelving periodicals for all four of the libraries on campus. As the semester went on, I slowly began to notice a disturbing trend. It started with the barren shelves of Azariah’s Café, not even halffilled with publications. Then came the growing list of journals and magazines for which we were canceling subscriptions. The words “subscription canceled” seemed to pop up on my screen at least once every day. When I talked to my supervisor about these observations, I got to the bottom of what compelled this shift: campus-wide budget reductions. According to Azariah S. Root Director of Libraries Valerie Hotchkiss, these shifts in funding have been in effect since 2019 as stipulated in the One Oberlin Report produced by the Academic and Administrative Program Review in the same year. “Most units on campus agreed to a 15 percent overall budget reduction,” Hotchkiss wrote in an email. The library isn’t being singled out or targeted with these cutbacks, but it is being significantly impacted. In the same email, Hotchkiss mentioned that “almost 90 percent of [the] acquisitions budget goes to recurring costs,” which include serial subscriptions, databases like JSTOR, and OhioLINK, a resource which facilitates inter-library loans in the state of Ohio. These subscriptions are only increasing in price — rising “at an average of 5-7 percent a year,” per Hotchkiss — meaning that in order to even keep the same diverse and expansive array of materials they already have, university libraries need all the funding they can get. It is easy to wonder why magazines and periodicals are so important in the first place. Naturally, books and other resources that involve a one-time fee are vital for research and academic enrichment, but with the availability of online subscription services, the breadth and accessibility of information is so much greater. Digital libraries and cooperative consortia allow modern libraries to provide students with so much more than can physically fit in their walls — as Hotchkiss put it, “No library needs to own everything, as long as many libraries work together.” Because many resources can now be accessed online, students can quickly find and peruse sources for a last-minute essay from their rooms. Even the physical periodicals are easier to access than the library’s books — one can go to Azariah’s Café and browse through the display, rather than trying to find a tome tucked away on some shelf on the third floor. Further, most serial publications are shorter than individual books, instead neatly packaging the information for readers to quickly digest. The type of information found in periodicals

is also fundamentally distinct from a non-recurring publication. Not only is there a myriad of foreign-language publications across all the libraries, which helps reinforce diversity on Oberlin’s campus, but, whether it be a science journal or a copy of The New Yorker, periodicals inherently contain the most recent information, giving students up-to-date knowledge on whichever issue they might need or want to know about. Even with this in mind, I wouldn’t make the argument that Oberlin’s libraries should be exempt from budget reductions. As mentioned before, the recommendations issued in the One Oberlin Report were an agreed-upon path forward, and it’s not entirely realistic or reasonable to expect all major divisions on campus to adjust to the new budget plan while leaving the library untouched. Hotchkiss mentioned that there were several journals that were used fewer than 10 times per year, so there are instances where canceling subscriptions is advisable and necessary — especially when lack of use leads to diminishing returns. However, by and large, the College should be less stringent when it comes to regulating the expenditures of its libraries, especially considering that the 44-page One Oberlin Report is peppered with references to “long-term excellence,” and similar language. Surely a healthy, well-stocked library is crucial to such a goal. In the 2021–22 academic year alone, there were 130,573 total JSTOR full-text retrievals, 34,639 total Elsevier ScienceDirect full-text retrievals, and 995 total Early English Books Online fulltext retrievals attributed to Oberlin students and faculty, according to Associate Director of Collections and Resource Services Paul Heyde. 1,755 texts were borrowed using OhioLink. It’s more difficult to measure physical periodical use, but in my experience, whenever I go to shelve issues in Azariah’s, there’s always something out of order — a clear sign of use. More popular publications like Time or Rolling Stone must always be tagged to prevent theft. It’s clear that Oberlin students value their access to these resources, which makes it all the more upsetting that this access is being diminished. The long and short of it is that we need to be more lenient with the acquisitions budget of the library. I refuse to believe that with its billion-dollar endowment, Oberlin has no room for any sort of discretionary expenses. Hotchkiss mentioned in passing that “the lion’s share of these reductions has taken place over two years instead of five,” which suggested to me that the parties responsible for balancing the budget are being even more uncompromising than they need to be, forcing Oberlin’s libraries to make quick decisions about trimming resources or staff. Thus far, our libraries have tried only to throw the nonessential cargo overboard, but with the way things are going, more drastic measures may have to be taken that limit every student and teacher’s access to important information. Oberlin can’t let it come to that.

College Improperly Handled Gibsons’ Litigation Continued from page 5 human being. By embracing that perspective, the College should have been able to craft a solution which its key players could support. Stewardship of an institution also includes transparency with its stakeholders who, along with the institution itself, are the beneficiaries of the administration’s and trustees’ fiduciary duty. Oberlin’s stakeholders are broad and include its faculty and other employees, current and prospective students and their families, its alumni, the community in which it operates, and, in Oberlin’s case, people who benefit from the College’s history of social action, justice, and scholarly innovation. In the Gibson’s litigation, the College was not forthcoming with information about what it was doing, its intentions, or how much this was costing all


of us who have financially contributed to sustaining Oberlin. Litigation costs go beyond the jury’s award to include legal expenses plus the opportunity costs of diverting the College’s time and attention away from its primary mission of education. Insurance never covers all of those costs, yet the College’s public statements have been ambiguous at best about that. The College’s lack of transparency is more than worrisome. Does the relative silence about this litigation and failure of leadership reflect a significant change in how the administration and trustees have been exercising their responsibilities to Oberlin’s stakeholders? This is painful for me, as someone who loved Oberlin as a student and has been grateful for all the College did to help me become the adult and contributor

to society I am now. I fear these two failures constitute the canary in the coal mine warning me it’s time to get out. Therefore, I am asking you to explain why I should continue to support Oberlin College. Has the College been taking stock of its actions regarding the Gibson’s litigation and otherwise in an effort to define a better path that aligns with Oberlin’s historic values? Or is the College standing firm on how it has been handling things, convinced that these failures of leadership and stewardship are what we should expect to continue? Sincerely yours, Marc S. Krass, OC ’70

Tracking Applications Offer Users False, Unhealthy Sense of Control Elle Giannandrea Opinions Editor Last week, the Review ran a story about a new app being deployed by the Counseling Center to check in with and keep track of the mental well-being of students (“College Deploys Early Alert to Track Campus Mental Health,” The Oberlin Review, Nov. 11, 2022). The structure of this check-in, as reported in the article, is as such: each week, users are asked a question focused on one element of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s eight dimensions of wellness framework, with consistent reports of poor mental health being reported to the school. While I don’t have any firsthand experience using Early Alert, nor does the concept particularly appeal to me, it made me consider the way in which it is common to track, quantify, and organize various elements of our lives in an age of handheld tech. I’ve had what some might euphemistically refer to as a “personal habit” of logging various aspects of my life for quite some time, all on the shaky assumption that it might help me track the status of my various physical and mental states. An example of this compulsion was the time I had to buy a blood pressure monitor — upon dumping the con-

tents of the box onto my bed, I had to exercise mental restraint against my desire to start using the daily “blood pressure log” they gave me with my purchase. The apps available for this kind of personal data stockpiling are surprisingly numerous, especially when you consider real-world application vs. advertised intended use. For example, health apps such as Health for Apple iOS, MyFitnessPal, and the Fitbit app (when accompanied by the prerequisite hardware), are commonly used as a means of justifying tracking calorie intake, weight, and physical activity on a compulsive level, rather than a legitimately health-based one. What this ultimately amounts to is a cultural habit of control-seeking behavior rooted in a kind of quantitative journaling. For me, it offers an alternative to the ritual of keeping a consistent account of my day — something which I have tried to maintain as a habit perhaps a dozen times. But I always end up discontinuing it after a week or so out of boredom or a lack of desire to see a bad day written down in poor handwriting. Joan Didion writes about this same disinterest in keeping a fixed diary in her 1966 essay “On Keeping a Notebook,” but to a vastly different end. “The point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have

been doing or thinking,” Didion writes. “That would be a different impulse entirely … my approach to daily life ranges from the grossly negligent to the merely absent, and on those few occasions when I have tried dutifully to record a day’s events, boredom has so overcome me that the results are mysterious at best.” I like this essay because what Didion reflects upon is ultimately that same desire to control that I see spread out in lists and cell phone notifications within the much more technically interesting routine of, in her words, “keeping in touch.” “The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one,” Didion continues. “Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.” If we were to apply this theory to the modern phenomenon of record keeping, the obvious question would arise: what loss? For Didion, that “loss” is made up of experience — as she puts it, the “dialogue overheard in hotels and elevators … [the] careful aperçus about tennis bums and failed fashion models and Greek shipping heiresses,” etc. But for us, that loss takes different forms. When it comes to logging health, the motivating factor becomes the act of “be-

ing better” than the day, week, or month before. There’s also a certain grounding element — in order to prevent oneself from becoming out of touch with their daily routines, software like this offers a calculated sum of the day’s activities. In this sense, one’s loss of well-being is supposedly obstructed by means of measurement. With social media, the motivation to impede potential loss is even greater. Memories captured through picture and video preserve fun had and youth well spent. Meanwhile, the general stream of consciousness online allows those who consider their thoughts worth preserving to import them into a space where they won’t be lost to the confines of one’s own mind or the relative obscurity of one’s own notebook. While I’m not arguing that these habits of record are completely meaningless, I would advise those who engage in this sort of filing to consider whether they have developed a habit which actually allows them to maintain control over their lives or if it instead represents a loss of judgement and ability to make decisions on their own. Although I don’t see myself abandoning these rituals any time soon, I recognize that there is a fine line between the practice of genuine introspection and something effectively akin to maintaining a record of one’s failures.

Navigating Course Registration Frustrating, Competitive Kayla Kim Contributing Sports Editor During my aimless scrolling sessions on TikTok, I’ve seen humorous videos of students at large schools such as Louisiana State University frantically preparing for course registration with a computer, a whiteboard, and an open notebook to plan out schedules in painstaking detail. They compared this process to predicting the NFL draft or competing in the Hunger Games. Unlike LSU, Oberlin does not have over 29,000 undergraduates, yet the obstacles in the current registration process, from glitches on the site to the difficulty of getting into introductory classes, make it feel like you’re competing against that many people. This observation begs the question: Why is this happening? We’ve heard over and over again that the classes of 2025 and 2026 have had the highest levels of enrollment in the College’s history and, despite first-years registering last, this has a domino effect on registration. For first-years trying to enroll, 100-level classes are filled immediately, and if you’re a second-year or beyond, these classes have a disproportionately large amount of reserved seats for first-years relative to seats open for registration. Essentially, the older you are, the harder it is to get into an introductory class, which all majors require. I’ve taken more 200-level classes relating to my intended major, minors, and concentration than I have 100s, solely because they were much easier to get into. Additionally, DegreeWorks received a new update this semester, and though the site is now much easier to load, the courses listed are inaccurate, adding to the difficulty of finding a class. For instance, it was surprising to me, as someone with a prospective Journalism concentration, to see Organismal Biology listed as a requirement for the program. Technological glitches aside, I don’t think Oberlin properly prepares students for the inevitable chaos of registration day. The Peer Advising Leaders program does a good job at establishing the basics of learning about different classes, teaching first-years how to find the prerequisites they may The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

need, emphasizing the need to meet with academic advisors, and showing how them to navigate DegreeWorks. However, the program does not go into enough depth on the process of getting instructor’s consent or what to do when put on a course waitlist. Most of the information I received about this was by word of mouth or social media. I think first-years could benefit much more from being taught this in person during PAL. Based on the article “PAL Program Feels Like Just Another Responsibility” published in The Oberlin Review on March 11, 2022, this could be a worthwhile change made to the program. The consequences of failure to complete course registration go beyond not getting into the courses you want. There is the potential of having to overload and pay extra in order to fulfill your requirements on time for graduation or taking an extra semester to finish. These experiences aren’t unique COMIC

to Oberlin, but because of the disorganization of registration and the large size of the classes of 2025 and 2026 throwing off the balance, this could be happening a lot more in the future, causing an extra amount of financial and academic stress for many. This semester, after 10 alarms, a hastily written note detailing my plans and backup classes, and a prayer, I finally got into all my first choice classes — but it should not have taken this long for this to happen. While there were certainly faults on my end, such as my tendency to oversleep the day of, the College’s negligence in regard to course registration has played a significant role as well, and there needs to be more support and guidance provided for students navigating course registration to ease the competition and frustrations that have come with the process.

Turkey Gives Thanks

Holly Yelton, Staff Illustrator


T h is We e k

Winter Clothing Presents Opportunities, Challenges for Gender Expression Cal Ransom This Week Editor Illustrations by Holly Yelton, Staff Illustrator

As the weather drops down into frigid temperatures, everyone pulls out their coats, hats, and gloves and waddles about their day looking like the Michelin Man (except that one guy named Kyle who always wears shorts). The androgyny of the season’s clothing can be a blessing for individuals who like their style to be perceived as genderless, and many transmasculine students take advantage of the opportunity to cover their curves and cut a more masculine silhouette. “I dress in varying levels of masculine,” College third-year Newt Pulley said. “I don’t particularly like things that fit close to my frame. I like things that are looser and more baggy and hide my shape a little bit more. I also like layering things over one another.”

College second-year Salem Holter, who likes to blend masculine and feminine styles, spoke about the difficulty of expressing femininity in colder months. “I like to joke with my friends that I’m femme in the summer and masculine in the winter,” Holter said. “I’ve been trying to incorporate more femme clothes into my winter clothing and vice versa, but it’s always really hard because I feel like the more layers, the more gender ambiguous you can be. I find myself dressing more masculine for comfort in the winter, because those are my warmest clothes.” College second-year Cassidy Spencer expressed a preference for tight-fitting clothing for the same reason that transmasculine individuals shy away from it — because it accentuates their feminine features. “A lot of being perceived as feminine is in body shape and curviness, and baggy clothing, in a lot of ways, serves to hide that,” Spencer said. “I really enjoy wearing tight-fitting stuff. I do not enjoy baggy stuff at all, and it’s because it doesn’t show off my body shape in a way that I like.”

Transgender individuals often take great care to curate their presentation, with the goal of finding comfort and confidence in the way others perceive them. For many trans people, the frame created by the clothing on their body works as a gender cue that increases the likelihood they are read as either masculine or feminine, whichever they prefer. “As an athlete and a swimmer, I’ve always looked very rectangular, especially with my shoulders, so I often will try to avoid things that will make my shoulders look bigger,” second-year Nora Holder said. “I’ll avoid things that just make the fabric around my shoulders a lot tighter, and go for things that are looser and kind of avoid definition [around the shoulders] but then bring out definition again around the hips and the waist. For instance, with the outfit I’m currently wearing, I have cinch[ed] the sweater … and the pants kind of extend out, so it gives my body more of a focus around my hips and helps add more of a shape. … With being transgender, being able to control the way your body looks can really help you feel comfortable, especially in the winter.” For trans people, accessories often work side by side with the clothing they select to create the looks they want to achieve. “I found that some days, [I’ll wear] an outfit I wouldn’t feel particularly feminine in, but once I put on a little bit of makeup — it could just be some eyeshadow, it could be some intense eyeliner with the glitter and the mascara and everything … even the small bits and pieces help express yourself better,” Holder said.

Others’ perceptions of a person’s gender are not the only factor they weigh in deciding what to wear to best express themselves. Certain items, despite their gendered associations, can help an individual embody traits important to their sense of self. “A platform shoe is, what I like to say, my instant form of power,” Holter said. “Platform shoes, especially my really colorful ones, are often perceived as very feminine. When you dress femme, it’s always like the stereotypes [of ] feminine [people being] submissive. And for a while I very much was that. My easiest way to come out of it was when I bought my first platform shoe, and I walked around my high school ... I was looking all of these guys who had been homophobic to me and transphobic in the past ... straight in the eye. I was taller than most of them, [and] it was that power moment. It makes me remember that I’m not meek in that way.”


November 18, 2022

ARTS & CULTURE Established 1874

Volume 152, Number 9

Oberlin Co-ops Take Part in Annual Iron Chef Cook-Off Dlisah Lapidus Arts & Culture Editor Photos by Abe Frato, Photo Editor Last Sunday, the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association hosted its annual Iron Chef competition. Named after the television cooking contest, the event invites all of Oberlin’s dining co-ops to compete against one another and invent a meal that must include a particular secret ingredient. This year’s secret ingredient turned out to be ginger, which was revealed Saturday at noon, giving the co-ops 24 hours to prepare their meals. The co-op chefs prepared the meals in their respective kitchens, then designated drivers transported the dishes to the Root Room in the Carnegie Building, where OSCA members filed in to try all of the dishes and await the announcement of the 2022 OSCA Iron Chef champion. After much deliberation, the team of Iron Chef judges made their choice, and Pyle came out victorious.

AMAM Discusses Process of Repatriating Benin Bronze Pieces Leela Miller Senior Staff Writer With the recent launch of the Digital Benin archive and the repatriation of 31 Benin Bronzes by multiple American museums, the treatment of “Uhunmwun-Ekhue” — the bronze currently housed in the Allen Memorial Art Museum — deserves particular scrutiny. At this point, it remains to be seen where the work will ultimately end up. However, according to AMAM staff, thoughtful dialogues are being had about its ethical display, and repatriation to Nigeria is a very real possibility. “I think all of us in the museum world are grappling with the problematic histories of many of the works in our collections,” Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles director of the AMAM, said. “There are special issues around cultural property when you are working at a museum like the Allen with collections that are so global and span 6,000 years.” Derstine mentioned that the thorny history of the work has been a topic of ongoing discussion among museum employees ever since she began working at the AMAM as a curator in 2006, and likely before that as well. “[The fact that the work was looted] is something that we’ve made a concerted effort to put on the laThe Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

bels for the work and to put prominently in text on the website,” Derstine said. “It’s definitely something that we’ve been talking about with colleagues from other institutions.” It’s easy for well-intentioned people to urge museums to simply “return” art that was looted by colonial powers to their countries of origin. However, the process of transferring ownership is far from straightforward, and it requires grappling with complex questions. “For many years, [the entity that should receive the artwork] has just been unclear,” Derstine said. “Is it the Oba (the Nigerian sacred king)? Is it the royal court? Is it the government? Is it the people building the new museum?” Although each of these entities claims ownership of the bronzes, they aren’t necessarily equally qualified or well-equipped to receive these works. The Nigerian government, for instance, has a history of mishandling these artworks and failing to protect them from theft. “It’s only been in the last couple of months that it has become clear to whom museums should speak about repatriation, [which is] Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments,” Derstine said. To complicate matters further, some organizations

actively oppose the transfer of the Benin Bronzes. The Restitution Study Group, self-described as a non-profit with goals to “examine and execute innovative approaches to healing the injuries of exploited and oppressed people” through “litigation, legislation, genealogy and DNA research, and direct action,” filed a lawsuit against the Smithsonian in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stop the repatriation of the bronzes in their collection. They argued that the bronzes should stay in the U.S., where they can be viewed by descendants of enslaved populations. “We believe you voted under misleading circumstances — deliberately made unaware of the fact that most of the bronzes were cast with metal manillas the Benin kingdom [paid for by selling people] into the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th century,” Executive Director of the RSG Deadria Farmer-Paellmann wrote in an open letter to Vice President Kamala Harris, Chief Justice John Roberts, and other Smithsonian Board of Regents members. Debate over the rightful ownership of these works is tricky and multi-layered, but Derstine made clear that both she and her colleagues are deeply committed to making decisions about what See Oberlin’s, page 10


A r t s & C u lt u r e ON THE RECORD

Issa Okamoto, College First-Year, Social Media Influencer

Photo courtesy of Issa Okamoto

Issa Okamoto sings at her high school graduation.

Celia Perks College first-year Issa Okamoto is a social media influencer who has gained 370.1 thousand followers on TikTok and 22.3 thousand followers on Instagram. Okamoto has been involved with music for the majority of her life, specifically in opera and theater, and has hopes of being in the Conservatory for her second year. Her content demonstrates her day-to-day college student life from dining hall options to opera classes. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. What led you to Oberlin College and Conservatory? Four of my most important mentors pointed the way to Oberlin! My vocal professor, who coached me through competitive opera in high school, shared how incredible the Conservatory is, which was reinforced by my experiences and conversations in national music intensives at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Boston Conservatory, and the Washington National Opera. Then, while exploring colleges, I discovered that two of the most impactful,

thoughtful, and creative adults in my high school are Oberlin alumni: my literature teacher and my school’s Director of Equity and Diversity, who is also a screenwriter. Over the course of college applications, and with the isolation of COVID, I lost a bit of my passion for performance and found myself nervous to put all my eggs in one basket. I grew afraid of pursuing the artist’s life completely, and I really lost my dedication to classical music. So being able to explore the liberal arts in a place so historically committed to intersectionality in the context of the world-class music community became really important to me. I am still excited by the opportunities here at Oberlin to explore other ways of thinking, learning, and living in tandem with worldclass music training! What is your favorite aspect of Oberlin? Throughout my early life in Portland, Oregon, which is the whitest major city in America due to deeply problematic hidden histories, I constantly dealt with microaggressions and racism, even unintentionally from friends. And as the daughter of a struggling single mother working through family challenges, I often felt socially iso-

lated. While I was extremely nervous to continue my education at a predominantly white institution, I have been so surprised to find an incredible sense of affinity and dedication to community here between BIPOC. The past few months have been truly pivotal for me personally in discovering what it feels like to have a feeling of connectedness and belonging in a place with others. Are you potentially interested in transferring to the Conservatory, and where did your passion for music and singing begin? News travels fast! Yes, I would love to be a full time Conservatory student next year. I’ve been making music and singing all my life, doing renditions of High School Musical, Hairspray, and so many other musicals with my sisters. My first official “gig” was when I was nine, singing “The Power Of Two” at our “guncle’s” wedding. I started classically training five years ago. When the pandemic hit, I was on my way to regionals for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, had just performed solo at Carnegie Hall, qualified for programs in Boston and DC, and had “chosen” music. But as ev-

erything began to shut down, I pulled back a lot — I hated performing over Zoom from my room! My mom was always super supportive — she drew little people on sticky notes and hung them behind my computer and screenshotted audiences for me to focus on. But I realize now that I thrive on the energy of the relationship that builds with a real audience, the heart-connection with people in person. Without that, I really struggled. Since arriving here, I’ve met people who really did choose music, especially voice and opera, and have committed to performance. After seeing the oneact operas, I realized I wanted to develop my voice, learn to connect and perform, and be onstage too! Also, my family has a legend that when I was born, the midwife almost dropped me because I screamed so loud. Throughout my childhood, I could empty subway cars, make neighbors move, and my mom had to wear construction headphones when changing my diapers. For many years, screaming was my only outlet to escape the chaos and fear that I grew up around. Learning how to control my voice has been one of the most important lessons of my See Okamoto, page 12

Repatriating Benin Bronzes Requires Intentional Conversations Continued from page 9

to do with “Uhunmwun-Ekhue” thoughtfully, with transparency, and while prioritizing cross-cultural dialogue. “I will say we haven’t been approached by anyone about repatriating the bronze,” Derstine said. “However, given what is happening at other museums in the country — [the Rhode Island School of Design], the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art — we are certainly looking at connecting with the entity that they are working with on the repatriation. … It is so complex, and yes, people can say, ‘This was looted in 1897. It just needs to go back.’ That may well be what happens for all of these works. I would say, though, that it is more complex than just that … Until recently it’s been unclear, among multiple


entities in Nigeria, which is in charge. Then, there is a group in America who’s filing a lawsuit. Then, you’ve got the fact that the people in Nigeria who are dealing with the restitutions on their end, you know… you want them to have some degree of agency as well, and not be overwhelmed by the process.” For now, the AMAM is able to safely house the bronze in its collection, and the work can continue to serve as a centerpiece for scholarly criticism on campus until the appropriate course of action is decided upon. “I do think that one of the good things that has come about since 1955, when the museum purchased [the bronze], is the fact that generations of Oberlin students have been able to study it, to see it in the context of other African artworks in the mu-

seum,” Derstine said. “There have been scholarly articles published on it. It has engendered this dialogue, which I think is a good one. So, I think that having some of these works remain in the United States … would be a good thing for scholarship and for understanding these works. But that would be something to be decided on in collaboration with Nigerian colleagues.” After correspondence between the AMAM and Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments, “Uhunmwun-Ekhue” might transfer hands, but it will likely be a slow process. In the meantime, the work will continue to be displayed along with clear indication of its violent history, and hopefully it will continue to spark conversations about ethics, colonialism, and cultural ownership.

Rocky Horror Shows Revived with Love, Laughter, Latex Eloise Rich The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been tradition at Oberlin for nearly as long as audiences have participated in bringing the film to life. The production, which is more of an event than a show, is perfect for Oberlin, a community not afraid to go all the way and participate in song, dance, dress-up, and the general pandemonium that ensues at midnight showings of the cult classic across the globe. Prior to the pandemic, the Apollo Theatre brought in a Cleveland-based troupe called Simply His Servants, who have been performing Rocky for over 30 years. They return tonight for a show that will start at 10:30 p.m.; entry is $10. On Saturday, Dec. 3, Hales Gym will host a free performance of Rocky Horror at 11:30 p.m. put on by Oberlin students. Both performances will be a shadow cast for the film, meaning the film will play as actors act out the scenes. For directors and College third-years Julia Maskin and Sadie Wilson-Voss, who play Magenta and Dr. Scott respectively, their production of Rocky Horror is a labor of love, not only for the show itself but also for the Oberlin community. “I think it will truly be a showcase of students’ talent,” Wilson-Voss said. “It’s going to be a lot more rowdy than what traditional shows have been like because there’s going to be so much more connection between students and the cast, so we hope as many students as possible get involved and see what it’s like for them.” Maskin and Wilson-Voss had no trouble getting student engagement even in the early planning stag-

es. The student show was initially conceived as a DIY production in which Maskin was set to control lighting and sound while also being part of the cast. Since then, the show has blossomed into a collaboration of passionate individuals ready to put on a display of “gorgeous, unbridled, raw passion and sex,” according to Wilson-Voss. “We love the movie, the show, and it’s also just so fun,” Maskin said. “We were also aware that it used to be kind of an old tradition that was lost … almost entirely due to COVID, so it felt like a perfect way to create something that would be fun and exciting and silly on campus.” Although Maskin and Wilson-Voss’s expectations were initially modest, their idea developed into something larger. “We started making posters and got really excited about [them] and printed like a million posters,” Maskin said. “Then from there, we were like ‘Okay, now what?’” After putting up the posters, the co-directors were met with an immense amount of interest from students, prompting them to hold auditions. “We had a certain cast member who had auditioned, [and] we put him in a gimp mask and a leash and dog collar and had him sitting outside of auditions,” Maskin said. “We put a lot of our thought into the aesthetics of the auditions and what would make us laugh and hopefully get more to laugh. A lot of the earliest planning was going around that, and then once that was done it was like ‘Okay great, next’ and ‘Now, the show.’ It definitely built momentum.”

During rehearsals, the cast of about 12 watches the film, then goes over specific scenes, acting them out repeatedly. “We were very upfront with people at the beginning [that] we’ve never directed a show, let alone a movie [with a] shadow cast,” Maskin said. “We didn’t really know how that was going to work, and so we’ve been working it through with actors [and] seeing what kinds of rehearsals are working more than others.” Rocky Horror isn’t only for its cast, though. Much of its national recognition is a direct result of the audience’s involvement with the live performance and the screen, with traditions ranging from an array of calls and responses to props like rice, toast, newspapers, and rubber gloves. “People should expect a very silly, fun, but also put-together production, [and] I think we have been able to strike that balance,” Maskin said. “There’s a moment in the ending sequence that has been quite literally breathtaking for me to watch. Get ready to be drenched, in every sense of the word.” Maskin and Wilson-Voss plan to work with the Oberlin Doula Collective or another organization to arrange a fundraiser with a suggested donation to abortion funds. “We plan on [the show] being pretty risqué,” Wilson-Voss said. “Whatever there might be in a typical Rocky show, we plan on taking that and [going] above and beyond, so we hope that we have enough to offer that will inspire people to want to come. In every scene, we’re thinking about how to make it overtly funny and slap-sticky.”

Families Create Art in AMAM Community Day Event Dlisah Lapidus Arts & Culture Editor On Saturday, the Allen Memorial Art Museum hosted its semiannual community day event. The program aims to provide an educational and artistic introduction to the museum to families in Oberlin and beyond. “The community day event, prior to COVID and now that we’re relaunching it, happens twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring,” Eric and Jane Nord Family Curator of Education at the AMAM Jill Greenwood said. “It is open to everyone, and we try to reach out to various community groups and organizations throughout Lorain County, not just here in Oberlin. These events typically draw a really diverse group, which I love. … We have a number of programs for K-12 as well, so we are constantly reaching out to the teachers to see if we can get them to come into the museum. That weaves together with our gallery guide program, which is made up of Oberlin College students who are learning about museum education by giving tours to K-12 kids and the general public.” Families, community members, and students stopped by for a number of activities, including an art scavenger hunt around the museum and a crafting activity inspired by Ahmet Öğüt’s conceptual work, Bakunin’s Barricade. The work was selected largely due to the interest it garnered during tours. Materials such as popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and stickers were available for visitors to use in building their own barricades. College fourth-year Gillian Ferguson mentioned how excited children were to be engaging with the art. “I was responsible for having the families fill out feedback forms, so while the parents filled out paperwork, I got to ask the kids if they ever made any art like this before, which

The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

Allen Memorial Art Museum community day visitors constructed miniature barricades.

most of them hadn’t,” Ferguson said. “[The kids] were super excited to point out all of the elements in their barricades; they were all so interested in the materials they used and the materials used in Bakunin’s Barricade.” Oberlin resident Suzanne Jenkins attended AMAM’s community day with her family and remarked on the benefit of having indoor activities available for children during the winter months. Although Jenkins had never brought her children to the AMAM before, this event served as a good introduction to the space. “I think a lot of kids, ours included, are very tactile — they want to touch everything, which isn’t ideal in an art museum,” Jenkins said. “Craft activities for kids are great because their

attention spans are limited when it comes to talking about art and what it means. Here, the ideas are introduced in a way that is digestible, as opposed to talking about a painting for 30 minutes. [My kids] both love crafts and building things, so it seemed like a fun thing to do and a way to get them into the museum in a way where we wouldn’t have to be chasing them around and telling them not to touch everything. This is the kind of event that can safely get kids in here, get them interacting with the art and the materials in a way that they can relate to and that is kid-friendly.” Aside from community day events, the museum has many other approaches to reaching children and families, as well as expanding acces-

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Clark

sibility to art and the museum. One of these methods is its in-school programming, through which gallery guides bring the AMAM’s collection into classrooms. “Going into schools is a big way we get families into the museum,” AMAM Curatorial Assistant Ellis Lane, OC ’22, said. “Kids hear about the museum in school, then they have the chance to bring their whole family here. Many of the kids I saw at this community day I’ve met in past tours and in-school events, which I think is really special. Having that multi-faceted programming, where we are both out in the community and bringing them in here, I think is a really powerful way that those connections are being made.”


A r t s & C u lt u r e

Okamoto Juggles Social Media, Academia, Singing Continued from page 6 life. A few days ago, my first-year seminar professor said that school is not meant to weed out the gifted, but is supposed to help everyone in just finding their gifts and expanding on them. I realized that I’m happiest when I’m singing, and if I could study music full time, I would be pretty okay. How do you balance your social media presence with school? It was pretty difficult to balance making content, making friends, and starting classes at the beginning of the year, espe-

cially as I was adjusting to being in college and meeting a lot of new people. I initially struggled to find my voice online. I would script out videos and only do sponsorships or contracted videos. But then I realized that I had more fun, I felt more myself, and that people were more drawn to the videos that I didn’t plan out, that were just authentic to my college transition, showing what delights me or annoys me or just how I feel and what I experience every day. Since then, it’s been a wonderful journey building a community of people who are

going through the same things as I am, who can share what works for them, and who can give me advice. How did you become involved with social media, and is this an aspect of your life that you are looking to turn into a career? As cliché and influencer-y as this sounds, I really didn’t expect anyone to be interested in my life online. I only started to build a following when I began to not care about people’s perceptions about me and instead

worked to promote positivity and share my experience as a young Asian-American woman living in white America, as a college first-year, little sister, and daughter. I see my followers as a community — people I can talk to and confide in — and I think they do, too. Social media has really supported every aspect of my life, especially as I develop and evolve. It’s also opening the door to some amazing life explorations and helping me pay for college. I’m excited to explore how music, authentically and organically, can do that, too.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Tackles Colonialism, Expands on Complicated Historical Narratives

(Left to right) Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Danai Gurira pose in character for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Nikki Keating News Editor It has been four years since Black Panther first appeared on the big screen. The week it came out, I remember going multiple times, and each time, I would stay until the last credits rolled. Black Panther gave me a sense of pride that I didn’t know could exist. Even today, I carry it with me, from the songs still being at the top of my Spotify on-repeat playlist to screaming “Wakanda Forever” at my sister before throwing something at her. So, it is no surprise that I rushed to the theaters for its sequel. I even had the opportunity to go with my community, as ABUSUA, the Black student union on campus, had worked with La Alianza Latinx to rent out the Apollo Theatre on premiere night. I sat riveted through the entire film as its show-stopping cinematography, stellar acting, and moving score left almost nothing to be desired. Unlike the first movie, however, I was unsettled when the credits began and unsatisfied as I left the theater. But why? On all accounts, it really was an amazing film, but I couldn’t help but feel like the true villain was still out there, and the real conflict was left unresolved. I wasn’t thinking about Namor. I was thinking about the people who started the entire conflict in the first place — the Western powers trying to steal vibranium. The movie opens with France being caught trying to steal vibranium from Wakanda. It then shows the U.S. trying to do the same thing and failing only because Namor and other members of the underwater civilization of Talokan intervene. The movie then reveals the main conflict as the Talokanil and Wakandans battle over how to handle the theft of vibranium and how to deal with outsiders trying to take their resources. On all accounts, there was a conflict and resolution in the movie. The Talokanil


and Wakandans fight, and in the end, they find themselves in a reluctant truce, choosing to cease fighting rather than cause more bloodshed. Why, then, did it feel like everyone still lost? The true villain was never brought to justice. Two of the strongest nations in the world fought against each other without realizing until the end of the movie that in starting a war with each other, they would both lose. The real victors were the Western powers who were trying to steal their resources in the first place. If anything, the movie left both Wakanda and Talokan in a more fragile state than before. The most unsettling part about this, though, was that it felt so familiar. Historically, Western powers have maintained their dominance by taking their unentitled share of others’ resources. Take France, for example. For almost a century and a half, France oversaw a substantial colonial empire in Africa and siphoned resources from territories including present-day Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Algeria, and Niger. These countries only achieved independence in 1960. That was the year my grandma turned 19 — the same age I am now. Where does that leave those countries in the modern day? They are free, but not without the repercussions of colonialism. Now, many of those countries are struggling both economically and politically. For example, Algeria is still dealing with the repercussions of French occupation, the effects of guerrilla warfare, and the fallout of war crimes stemming from the Algerian War of Independence. Just last year, France ruled against issuing an official apology for its part in colonial violence in Algeria. The villain gets away with it. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the good thing is that our heroes have a decent amount of power. Vibranium is a resource that Western powers haven’t taken. It is left in the hands of the Wakandans and the Talokanil. In

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios

the film, you can see the greed of the Western powers and the lengths they’ll go to have those resources for themselves. However, the movie doesn’t make that the main focus, and I don’t know how I feel about that. On the one hand, I disagree with Namor. Although I understand why there was a conflict between him and the Wakandans, he wanted to take over the entirety of civilization alongside Wakanda. He believed that they should rule as the strongest nations in the world, but conquering the conquerors wouldn’t have solved anything. However, I can’t fully disagree with his first point of stopping the exploitation of resources by any means necessary. I would never condone violence, but leaving resources with the potential for military use in the hands of countries with histories of colonial violence would be disastrous. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had me questioning what decision I would have made in the position of the people of Wakanda and made me even more frustrated because we don’t see any progress in the movie made on addressing the theft of vibranium. Once the fighting stops, the movie leaves only time to grieve and process the battle itself, not its cause. The only insight we get is Namor revealing he intends to fight Western powers anyway; he knows that it will be only a matter of time before one country crosses a line, and both Wakanda and Talokan will have to act. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was terrific. It left me thinking not just about the film but about the actual issues of the real world. That is a credit to every actor and member of the cast and crew who put on a performance that moved me once again and taught me more about myself, my culture, and who I am in this world. I carry this film with me, differently than the first, but just as strongly. I recommend — no, I urge you to see this film. It speaks the very real truth about the world and colonialism. So watch it and ask yourself what the film is trying to say.

November 18, 2022



Music Journalist and Bassoonist Stephanie Manning

Established 1874

Volume 152, Number 9

Oberlin Orchestra and Choir Prepare for U.N. Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall

Gracie McFalls Senior Staff Writer Stephanie Manning is a fourth-year Conservatory student pursuing Bassoon Performance with a dual concentration in Arts Management and Journalism. She is a frequent reporter for Cleveland Classical, an online publication that aims to support classical music in northeast Ohio. She plans to continue music journalism after Oberlin. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Could you start by talking about your journey with music journalism and how you started writing professionally? I sort of came to journalism by chance. In 2020, I chose to learn from home rather than come back for the fall semester. As a result of that, I needed another class to fill the orchestra slot and happened upon Introduction to Music Criticism, taught by Visiting Teachers of Music Journalism Mike Telin and Dan Hathaway. I just fell in love with it. I never really considered myself a writer, but writing about music rather than writing an academic essay suddenly made it so fun. So I took that class and the follow-up class, and then the teachers asked me if I wanted to do a Winter Term with them working for their website, Cleveland Classical. That then turned into a job, and I’ve been working for them for a little more than a year and a half. I write reviews and interview musicians, composers, and conductors who come in for concerts around the area. When you go to a concert, are there things you’re listening for ahead of time? I’ll do research about the history of the pieces or the composers, especially for big pieces. I want to be knowledgeable enough that my audience can walk away with something from my work. When I go to a concert, I bring this little notebook with me that I scribble on throughout. My priority is being engaged in the experience, but I use the notebook because all these ideas are firing off in my head — if I can write them down, then I don’t have to think about them anymore. Do you feel like doing this has helped you become a better listener? I wouldn’t necessarily say that I listen better than any other person who goes to a concert. There’s this negative association with the word “critic” and the idea that critics go to a concert with the intention of dunking on it, or that they have some sort of egotistical attitude. I don’t want that at all. I sometimes feel hesitant about using the word “critic,” even though by the strict definition of the word, that is what I do. I am a music critic not because I’m looking for the bad, but because I’m making an informed judgment. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are like, “You just know so much, I wish I knew as much as you do.” I always listen to that really carefully, because the truth is I’m trying to write for them. I’m writing for the people who weren’t there and can’t make it out much but want to live vicariously through reporting. Or I’m writing for the people who were there but didn’t have background knowledge and just thought it sounded really cool. Is there anything else you’d like to add? The great challenge of music writing is taking music, which is this formless entity that is unique to certain players at a certain time and place, and trying to communicate it in the written word. I think that’s what I enjoy about it. It’s hard, but it’s very satisfying when you can put into words something that can give someone else a sense of what the performance was like. The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

The Oberlin Orchestra and Choir rehearsed in Finney Chapel Wednesday night.

Kushagra Kar Editor-in-Chief The Conservatory of Music Orchestra and Choir will be performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Friday, Dec. 2. The concert is a closed event for members of the United Nations General Assembly, but members of the Oberlin community can experience the full program on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in Finney Chapel. This concert will serve as the inaugural event in the recently announced partnership between Oberlin College and Conservatory, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and the Global Foundation for the Performing Arts. This is the first time a non-professional orchestra has been featured at the U.N. Gala Concert since its pilot in 1949. For Director of Oberlin Orchestras Raphael Jiménez, the opportunity for Oberlin Conservatory students to perform on this occasion is an incredible honor. “During the pandemic, what happened is [the U.N.] couldn’t have a full orchestra concert, but more important than that is this gala has been traditionally played by a professional orchestra,” Jiménez said. “We feel honored that they are inviting us to perform at this event. It’s an exciting challenge for a conservatory of music to present this program at this particular venue.” Given the historic nature of this concert, the U.N. requested that the Conservatory include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the program, a piece that was also played at the first U.N. Gala Concert. Jiménez spoke about the value of performing the piece for the U.N. and the challenges of assembling this program. “One of the biggest, most important pieces in the repertoire is the monumental Beethoven Symphony No. 9. This is a piece that is special in so many ways, especially because it brings a message of brotherhood and joy, and we are bringing this message literally to the entire planet, at the United Nations,” Jiménez said. “So it’s a phenomenal opportunity for the orchestra and for the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Very often, this Symphony No. 9 is performed by itself in a concert, occasionally with a short opener. Here, we are playing “Fanfare on Amazing Grace” by Adolphus Hailstork, followed by Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninoff, and then the entire symphony. So it’s a long and challenging program.” Beethoven’s No. 9 is also the only piece in the program that requires a chorus. The Nov. 29 Finney concert will have a 150-person choir, bringing together community members, Conservatory faculty, students from College Choir, Musical Union, and Gospel Choir, in addition to Voice majors who are no longer required to perform in ensembles. The main U.N. Gala Concert will have a smaller chorus, comprising 79 student singers plus a handful of New York-based Oberlin alumni for an approximate total of 100 singers.

Photo by Erin Koo, Photo Editor

Due to the number of ensembles collaborating on this performance, Visiting Director of Vocal Ensembles Ben Johns mentioned that some groups, like the Musical Union, have had less time to rehearse than would be ideal. Despite that, he believes the chorus is on track to be concert-ready. “Even though the rehearsal period was way shorter than is typically optimal, I think things are going very, very well,” Johns said. “I think it’s because we happen to have so many singers involved that it just becomes easier the more folks are around singing. So from that standpoint, there was a big challenge that we expected coming into it. I think the singers have met that challenge and are beginning to exceed expectations in terms of their level of preparation and how they sound.” Given the size of the choir, rehearsals were divided until this past Monday, when all choir members came together for the first time in Finney Chapel and were conducted through the program by Jiménez. The full choir and orchestra performed together for the first time Wednesday night. Double-degree second-year Lily Bronson, a violist in the orchestra, highlighted the joy of playing alongside the choir. “It’s wonderful to hear how the choir can highlight the piece and provide an entirely different texture to what I’m used to experiencing in just orchestral music,” Bronson said. “Just having everyone packed up on the Finney stage just creates a level of excitement that I’ve never experienced in any other context.” Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen was in the Finney pews during the first joint rehearsal and was excited by the quality of performance. “It was absolutely thrilling to hear the choir and the orchestra together,” Quillen said. “They have been working incredibly hard, and to hear the sounds coming together for the first time is thrilling beyond words, and I couldn’t be prouder of the students than I am right now. We are greatly looking forward to the performance.” With the first performance of the program less than two weeks away, Jiménez feels that orchestra rehearsals are gaining momentum and noted that preparations for this concert have been among the best and most productive of his time at Oberlin. Jiménez did, however, acknowledge the impact felt by the passing of Maura Olivero on Friday, Nov. 4. Olivero was a Conservatory fourth-year and trumpet player who would have performed at Carnegie. “With the tragic loss of one of our members a few days ago, the ensemble’s energy suffered a great deal,” Jiménez said. “The ensemble has been going through a difficult time trying to regain the focus for this project. But, fortunately, we have music and we have wonderful music, and music is helping us regain focus and enthusiasm.”


S p or t s

Pep Band Builds Hype at Men’s Basketball Home Game

Avery Ghose, Arman Krakirian, Harrison Fink, Henry Newquist, and Oliver Smith perform as members of the Oberlin Jazz Band.

Delaney Fox Conservatory Editor Andrea Nguyen Sports Editor The men’s basketball team started its season swingin’, making a notable first impression at its home game last Tuesday against Ohio Northern University with the support of a pep band, consisting of eight musicians from the Conservatory Jazz department who played popular tunes throughout the game. The idea began with Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Nate Smith, who wanted to unite athletics and the

Conservatory, with the added benefit of improving the in-game atmosphere. However, the undertaking was more challenging than expected. After unsuccessful attempts to reach out to Conservatory professors, Smith tasked third-year guard Henry Lieber with pitching the idea to his Conservatory classmates. Luckily, second-year jazz saxophonist Harrison Fink was enthusiastic and assembled a band. Instead of going for a more traditional pep band setlist, the band decided to play popular songs like Meek Mill’s “Ima Boss,” which is the men’s basketball team’s unofficial anthem and has a melody that makes for a great horn section solo.

Reflecting on the experience, Fink recognized the perks of playing for the team. “It’s a lot of fun to engage with the team and have a part in the energy that the audience has,” Fink said. “On top of that, we get to watch the games, which is always fun. So it’s just a fun experience.” The basketball players also enjoyed having a pep band. While the team lost to Ohio Northern University 62–58, players had positive things to say about the presence of the pep band. Third-year basketball player Anastasis Spyroglou commented on the spirit they created in the gym. “I really like our band,” Spyroglou

Photo Courtesy of Suada Duvette

said. “I like the positive energy they send to the crowd and players as well.” Smith also expressed gratitude and appreciation for the pep band. “Our players have really loved it so far,” Smith said. “All the feedback that I’ve gotten, that I’ve received from the players, has been super positive. I think they really enjoy the little riffs and just the music in the gym. … There’s an element of getting the crowd involved through music, so we’re very fortunate to have ’em. They’re a bunch of really talented individuals, and we’re fired up.” The band will make their next appearance Saturday, Dec. 10 at a game against Hiram College.

Sports Editors Decide Everything: Thanksgiving Edition Andrea Nguyen Sports Editor Kayla Kim Zoe Kuzbari Contributing Sports Editors

The Sports Editors are back again, and we’re here to decide any questions you have related or unrelated to the Thanksgiving season. Whether you’re flying home to see 29 family members whom you haven’t seen in over 10 years or you’re staying on campus preparing to scavenge for food like a hungry raccoon — if you need any advice on how to get through the holiday season or would like to know our personal opinions on everything from Taylor Swift to football, you’re in the right place! Is water wet? About two years ago, Sports Editors Zoë Martin Del Campo, OC ’22, and Khalid McCalla, OC ’21, answered the same exact question (“Khalid and Zoë Decide Everything: the Free Foot Debacle,” The Oberlin Review, Nov. 13, 2020). Their verdict? It depends whether you’re a humanities major or a STEM major. We revisited this question asked two water experts for their input: third-year swimmers and scholars Anika Kennedy, a Biology major, and Audrey Weber, an Anthropology and Hispanic Studies major. Anika’s take is that water makes swimmers wet after getting in the pool, but that’s because the liquid (water) is making the solid (swimmer) wet; water cannot make itself wet, only other objects. However, Audrey disagrees — to make something wet involves getting water on it, and water is just water molecules with more water molecules, so of course it is wet. If you pour water into juice, would the juice be wet? We don’t think so, but if you pour water onto a block of cheese, the cheese would be wet. Also, a block of ice itself isn’t wet unless it is liquified. In summary, “wetness” is defined in terms of the solid. You don’t just touch a pond and think, “Oh, it’s wet.” It’s because your hand is wet, not the water itself. Looking at this from a grammatical point of view, water cannot be described as dry. We’re (mostly) STEM


majors here and cannot provide an unbiased, aqueous solution, so the verdict of 2020 still holds true to this day.

What constitutes the definition of a ball? Is a bead considered a ball? Is something such as a badminton birdie a ball? Is Earth one giant ball? We asked third-year women’s basketball player Jaedyn O’Reilly these questions. Her answer? Yes, no, and no. She believes a ball has to be able to be thrown or bounced, and it has to be an inanimate object. Third-year men’s basketball player Anastasis Spyroglou claims that a ball should be a sphere. Our answer? We really don’t know. Swim and dive is in need of divers. Which Review staff member should step in? Maybe our Editor-in-Chief Kushagra Kar, only because he needs to get more involved with the Sports Section and was featured in an article about his skill for swimming (“The Review Gets Fit With Kushagra Kar, Editor-in-Chief,” The Oberlin Review, August 20, 2021). Or maybe Otis, the Review dog and our newest, unofficial contributing sports editor who would get in a ton of flips considering how small he is — though going off the diving board isn’t necessarily healthy for him because he’s also quite elongated. Our Arts & Culture Editor Juju Gaspar is probably the most qualified, having grown up in the Cayman Islands with easy access to swimmable water. Not only is she well acquainted with many on the swim team, we also heard she does backflips in the stands at swim and dive meets (source: trust me bro). What Thanksgiving football game are you most looking forward to? Ohio State University vs. the University of Xichigan is bound to be exciting. Ohio State has had an electric season so far: the team is second in both the Big 10 rankings and the AP Top 25 poll and led by players such as C.J. Stroud, a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. After Xichigan’s embarrassing halftime score of 17–14 to Rutgers University of all teams, we can say with full confidence that the Buckeyes will bring it home this year. Also, we’re residents of the

beautiful state of Ohio, which means that we’re required to pray for That Team Up North’s downfall. All we’re saying is: Everybody Bleeds Red! Which song should the Oberlin Jazz Pep Band play? More Megan Thee Stallion would really go a long way. Other good songs are “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame and “After Party,” also known as the “Ok I pull up capybara song” by Don Toliver.

Best and worst Thanksgiving desserts? The best desserts are anything with apples in them! Apple cobbler, apple pie, applesauce, apple muffins, the list goes on and on. The worst are anything with pumpkins, a fruit (weird, right?) that should be used for Halloween decorations only. Contributing Sports Editor Zoe Kuzbari does NOT agree with this, but alas, majority rules. What do you do if you’re still sad about not getting the tickets for the Taylor Swift tour? Taylor Swift’s music is already the embodiment of Christian Girl Autumn, a time of hayrides and spiced lattes (think “Red” and “cardigan”). Doing fun fall activities will help you not only take your mind off the nine hour wait on Ticketmaster you sat through but also the inevitable FOMO you’ll have next year when all eight billion people on the planet will be posting about it on social media. When’s an appropriate time to start celebrating Christmas? There is only one answer: absolutely no winter holiday songs until after Thanksgiving. The only exception to that rule is if your family is having a Thanksgiving debate over topics such as the best Costco Black Friday deals on air fryers, basic human rights, or where they think your cousin Steven is applying to law school. At that point, stick in your earbuds and blast “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. What are we most thankful for? The Review (sometimes).


Heather Benway, Soccer Forward, Track Jumper really increased. Everyone has fun at practice, and we all try to hang out outside of practice too. It’s a little different now out of season, but I think just having those connections is really important. If you see anyone on the team on campus, you always say hi to each other. Especially coming in as a first-year, having that foundation of friends was really important. My roommate now, second-year Zoe Garver, was one of my first friends on the team last year. If I didn’t have the team, my experience would obviously be a lot different here.

Heather Benway dribbles in a game against Denison University Photo Courtesy of Lex Escobedo

Andrea Nguyen Sports Editor Second-year women’s soccer player Heather Benway was named North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year on Nov. 10 for her outstanding performance this season. In addition to soccer, she is also on the track and field team. Though undecided, Benway is planning to major in Neuroscience and minor in Cognitive Science. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

When did you start playing soccer? I think starting when I was five, I did a lot of recreational stuff until fifth or sixth grade, then I started doing club and eventually was a part of my high school team. I think I might technically be a walk-on for soccer at Oberlin, because I emailed the coach after I got into school. How has your team impacted your time and your experience here? It’s made it a lot better. With our new coach, I feel like the team morale and just how close we are off the field has

When did you start track? I started doing track in middle school, and then I did it freshman and sophomore year of high school. Junior year, I had decided not to do it just because of the junior year workload, and then COVID-19 hit. Senior year I only did soccer — because of COVID, that got moved to the spring season, so I picked soccer over track. Were you a walk-on for track? I joined at the end of the soccer season last year because the jumps coach had seen some of the soccer games. He had also talked to former Women’s Soccer Head Coach Dan Palmer last year, and he could tell from my running form that my hamstrings were messed up. Basically, he said he could help me improve my running form. I definitely have since joining the team, and I think I improved some of my time so I could get faster for soccer too. I also did long jump for track, which I think is my favorite event. For indoor, I did long jump and the 60-meter — basically the

shortest sprint — and then for outdoor, I did long jump and the 4x100-meter relay. What are you looking forward to for track season? Track is much more individual; I really love the track team, and there’s usually a team aspect to all the track meets to get points, but I think sometimes it’s nice to kind of have that time to focus on my personal improvement. I’m just looking forward to getting a little bit better, especially in long jump — I did it in high school, but because we didn’t have a long jump coach, I didn’t really improve that much. Last year, I improved a lot over the season. We had a lot of fourthyears last year who were really good at long jump, then the relay was three fourth-years and me. It’ll be interesting to kind of rebuild that as a second-year, but also as the oldest person on the team for some of those things. There’s thirdyears who do long jump, but at least for the relay, I’m gonna be the only person who’s done it before. Do you think that you’ll explore new events, or are you just going to stick to the ones you have been doing? In terms of jumps, I’m pretty sure I’m only gonna have one just because all of the jumps involve really different types of technique, but I know the coach talked a little bit about expanding what I would do in sprints. I’m not sure if I wanted to do that just because I did the 200-meter in high school, again with not much training. But I think it would be interesting with good training and practice to see how that would go.

Oberlin Athletes Grow Their Public Image Jim Fixx OC ’57 Zoe Kuzbari Contributing Sports Editor Student-athletes at schools like the University of Alabama, Clemson University, and Duke University often find themselves idolized by younger sports fanatics thanks to massive brand deals, especially thanks to the new Name, Image, and Likeness regulations passed by the NCAA. Although they often do not receive as much recognition as Division I competitors, Oberlin student-athletes are navigating brand deals and a public image as well. Second-year men’s basketball player Yuuki Okubo has an online presence that has been growing since he was in high school. “As a DIII athlete, I would say I have a little online following,” Okubo said. “My following grew from my time in high school, where I played with famous NBA player Shaq’s sons Shareef and Shaqir.” Okubo says that with the popularity and following of Shareef and Shaqir, there was always a huge social media presence at every game he played. “Being the short Asian dude playing with them — which you don’t usually see — people started noticing me, and my following grew,” Okubo, who is five-foot-nine, said. Okubo’s audience, primarily on YouTube and TikTok, likes to see anything basketball-related. He enjoys having people follow him online and being able to say he has his own “fan base.” “Even though I am quiet and like to be lowkey, mostly just doing my own thing, I think it’s amazing to have people from around the world supporting me and watching me,” Okubo said. “Also being able to be an inspiration to younger kids, especially kids that have been counted out or told they wouldn’t be able to [do something], I am proud but grateful to be in the position to do so.” Okubo thinks that his identity as an Asian athlete has put him in a unique position to inspire others and also serve as a form of representation for other AAPI basketball players. “The sport [of ] basketball has one of the biggest social media presence[s] already, so it definitely The Oberlin Review | November 18, 2022

helps, but being Japanese and undersized contributed to my following because you don’t see that every day in American sports,” Okubo said. Other athletes like Gina Lombard, a third-year on the women’s basketball team, and Aidan Loh, a third-year on the men’s lacrosse team, have found themselves in unique positions as brand ambassadors. In the past year, both had reached out to Liquid I.V., an electrolyte drink mix company, to see if they could be sponsored. The company agreed, and now Lombard and Loh each have their own code that works on the website. When someone makes a purchase on Liquid I.V.’s site with that code, the athletes earn a portion of the profit. Loh never thought he would be able to make money through something like this, but he wanted to take advantage of the many opportunities being a Division III athlete can offer. “I’d been using Liquid I.V. products for years,” Loh said. “When the opportunity to become sponsored came up, I jumped at the chance.” He considered growing his “brand,” when the option to do so became available, but he was unsure of where to start, as it is still a new concept for all college athletes. Lombard, on the other hand, never really thought about it until she learned how easy it is to get certain sponsorships. “It was pretty simple,” Lombard said. “I filled out a form, and then they emailed me and asked for a couple of other details. Once I was approved, they sent me my first shipment.” Loh now believes that he is known more for brand deals and athletics, but doesn’t want that to be the sole aspect of his identity. “I’d consider myself as an athlete in the public eye, but I don’t like to think of it as my entire identity,” Loh said. “I am involved in many organizations on campus, and I would like to also be known for my involvement on campus outside of [athletics].” Although DIII athletes are often counted out and underestimated, these Oberlin student-athletes have recently found themselves in positions where they can grow their brands and online presence.

Revolutionized American Running

Continued from page 16 Americans began to win marathons — Frank Shorter won in the 1972 Munich Olympics, and Nina Kuscsik was the first official female winner of the Boston Marathon that same year. All of this set the stage for the popularity of Fixx’s book. The Complete Book Of Running was number one on The New York Times bestseller list for 11 weeks straight. In 1978, when the book sold over 500,000 copies, 100,000 Americans finished a marathon that year, the largest number at the time. Fixx continued to write more about running, despite tragedies such as the death of his father, a divorce, and a controversy when former President Jimmy Carter collapsed in a group run that he led. Ultimately, Fixx’s genetics and unhealthy lifestyle before running caught up to him. In 1984 at the age of 52, he had a fatal heart attack while, ironically, on a run in rural Vermont. Though his name has been all but lost to history, Fixx’s legacy and message continue to inspire others. More than 300,000 Americans competed in marathons in 1994, ten years after his death, including Oprah, who publicly documented her progress on her show. Especially during 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns, fitness was highlighted as an essential part of quarantine life, from Chloe Ting’s ab workouts to virtual races held across the country. As at many colleges, running has become a quiet staple of life at Oberlin, whether that be going for a quick jog on the bike trail, partaking in a running course held by the athletics department, or training for a 5K held by organizations from Obies for Undocumented Inclusion to the Heisman Club. So when you see signs reading “The rats don’t run this city, you do” at marathons, take part in YeoFit’s running programs, or notice joggers outside even in the dead of winter, remember that you have a very influential Obie to thank for that.


November 18, 2022

SPORTS Established 1874

Volume 152, Number 9

Football Season Concludes with Senior Day Loss to Wooster

Photo Courtesy of Lily Jurman

Football concluded its season in a game against The College of Wooster.

James Foster Staff Writer Oberlin’s 2022 football season concluded Saturday, Nov. 12 in a 56–13 defeat to The College of Wooster. Wooster, seeded fifth in the North Coast Athletic Conference, was one of the top teams Oberlin football faced this season. However, the Yeomen initially rebounded well from resounding defeats in the two weeks prior, keeping the game within reach offensively in the first half and shutting out Wooster in the third quarter. Although the Yeomen had a rough start to the season, losing by only a few points to Kalamazoo College and Alvernia University in their first two contests and blowing a halftime lead to Kenyon

College in a 28–21 loss, they still fought valiantly before a large crowd of families, students, and Oberlin residents, many of whom arrived to celebrate the graduating seniors and stayed until the end of the game despite the snow and freezing rain that fell. Before the first kickoff, the team took the time to honor their graduating players Chris Allen Jr., Brian Colarusso, Matt Siff, Hulan Edward, Bobby de Luna, and Brandon Davies. Allen Jr. and Colarusso especially stepped up for the team,. The former snuck in Oberlin’s first touchdown of the day, following first-year Solomon Brennan’s impressive 73-yard kickoff return. Allen Jr. found the endzone again in the second quarter, this time through the air. Colarusso caught Allen Jr.’s beau-

tiful 36-yard pass for his 12th career touchdown, finishing the game with eight catches for 125 yards and three rushes for 28 yards. Siff came in as Allen Jr.’s backup in the second half, finishing the game with 61 yards off four completions. Edward, de Luna, and Davies were injured, so they did not have the opportunity to compete. Oberlin football is losing only six graduates, and therefore has time to develop the young team. First-year players like Brennan give the team plenty of reason to remain hopeful and confident going into the next few years. Although they finished with a 0–10 overall record, their worst since 2016, and now a 49th consecutive season without a winning overall record, the football team will strive to break the streak next season.

Oberlin Alum Jim Fixx OC ’57: Forgotten Father Of Running Kayla Kim Contributing Sports Editor On Nov. 6, the world watched over 40,000 runners compete in the prestigious New York City Marathon, an event that exemplifies the impact running has had on American culture from the sheer number of participants to the crowd of enthusiastic supporters holding up creative signs of encouragement. What few may know is that an Oberlin alum had a significant role in helping running gain this much attention in the first place. James “Jim” Fixx, OC ’57, did not initially start out as a runner. He came to Oberlin on the G.I. Bill and served as the publicity director for a magazine called The Forum. After graduation, Fixx continued to write, serving as an editor for magazines such as The Saturday Review, McCalls, and Life and Horizon, and later married his college sweetheart Mary Durling, OC ’57. A number of factors led Fixx to start running. He sustained a calf injury while playing tennis with a friend and was concerned about his family’s history of heart attacks, with his father, Calvin Fixx, suffering from one at the age of 35. After his first run since training in the army, a half-mile down his neighborhood, Fixx continued to run and reflected on his experience in his journal. “What did I learn from this run? 1) it’s harder to run alone than with someone 2) and slower 3) three tootsie


rolls seemed to help, but only a little,” he wrote. Slowly, Fixx began to run some more and soon noticed remarkable improvements. He transformed from a man who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and finished dead last in his first race to one who ran 10 miles daily and weighed 61 pounds less. Impressed by the effects running had on his life, Fixx began to compile his experiences and advice into a book called The Complete Book Of Running. Rather than seeing it as a sweaty and disgusting punishment, Fixx described running as a liberating activity that tested one’s physical limits, pushed people to be the best they could be, no matter what level they were at, and could even lengthen a person’s lifespan. “It is here with my heart banging against my ribs that I discover how far beyond reason I can push myself,” Fixx wrote in his book. “Furthermore, once a race has ended, I know what I am truly made of. Who can say how many of us have learned some of life’s profoundest lessons while aching and gasping for breath?” Fixx published his book when running was slowly becoming more popular among Americans. During the ’70s, there were smaller-scale opportunities for amateur runners. Only hundreds, not thousands, of runners came out to races, women were not allowed to compete, and prize money was banned. Slowly but surely, however, See Obie page 14

Jim Fixx goes on a run.

Photo Courtesy of AP News