Friday, November 6, 2015
Road Trip: Side Trip to Oberlin
When Rick made his bike ride from Lansing to Cleveland (a three-day ordeal) his second night was spent at Oberlin, a small college town about an hour from Cleveland. He was so impressed by the town and college that he wanted to show it to me so we stopped on the way home.
And he's right. The town is charming, though typical. It's a cute college town with a great mid-century modern hotel (that is being torn down for a modern redo) and the typical shops and restaurants you might see in a small town.
But the campus was really special. It's very small and there would be no trouble getting from one class to another in a short period of time! And of course it looked beautiful in the fall on a sunny, crispy, orangey day!
I thought this was interesting. Oberlin was founded in 1833 by Presbyterian ministers (it is a private school). It was the first higher learning institution to regularly admit women and African Americans, beginning in the 1830s. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music was the first of its kind in the U.S. and is internationally renowned. We scouted around the conservatory building trying to find a musician who was practicing but most of the students were on fall break. This is mid-October. I do not understand fall break. Who needs a break after two months of class?
This particular installation greets you outside on the quadrangle. The concept is to look at the world and people from all perspectives and to see the college as a place where those coming from all perspectives can live and work together.
It is a concept that seems ingrained in Oberlin the college and in the town. Although we didn't visit any of these spots on our outing, the town played a key role in abolitionism during the Civil War and was an Underground Railroad site. Today the university carries a progressive reputation and one active in civil, environmental and human rights issues.
The campus is primarily composed of traditional architecture.
However, the music conservatory definitely had a modern twist -- and a very nice concert hall!
And of course, on a lovely day like this, ivy covered halls and changing leaves made for great eye candy! This pretty impressive group of Oberlin alumni probably enjoyed this campus as much as the education!
Then it was back on the road, headed toward home.
A good holiday, fun to see family, discover new places and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. But it's good to be home!
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