{ Hello }

My name's David Walker, and I'm a professor in the English Department, where I teach modern and contemporary literature, dramatic literature, and creative writing. I'm also an Oberlin graduate. I help to edit a poetry magazine and books for Oberlin College Press, and I've published numerous articles, reviews, and books in my field, but I think of teaching as my primary vocation. I've taught at Oberlin since 1977, and have never had the urge to look for a position anywhere else. I hope my blog will begin to suggest why.

I've been involved as a volunteer in the admissions effort for some time, so I have a sense of the sorts of questions that can loom large for prospective students and their parents. I know it can be a stressful process, and the other bloggers and I are here to provide perspectives that we hope will be genuinely useful to you as you take charge of your college search. I'll be checking in here from time to time to help you get a sense of life in Oberlin from a faculty point of view, but I hope to take most of my cues for blog posts from questions from you, so please feel free to let me know what's on your mind by commenting on my blog.

{ Entries }


The London Program goes to the movies

Now you can see what all the excitement's about.

Mrs. Dalloway's House: The London Adventure

London is such an inexhaustible city that there's never going to be enough time to feel you've seen it all.

The Adventure Begins

You know the feeling when something that has existed only in your imagination suddenly starts to take shape in reality? Well, that's exactly what the past week has been like.

Time off for good behavior

"So, like, you're on vacation?"


We're sending some new bloggers to the European bureau. Meet them here.

Endgame. And after.

In which a professor wrestles with time, flirts with an existential crisis, and wins the lottery.

Oberlin in London

Why the semester you don't spend in Oberlin can be the most valuable part of your Oberlin education. For one thing, it raises the stakes.

Dazed and confused

Since several students have written about the excitement and sense of anticipation embodied in the start of the school year, I hope I won't seem too cranky in saying that Orientation always leaves me feeling at least as disoriented as the first-years.

All the world's a stage

On theater, travel, and the Oberlin connection.

Admitted students--it's your turn!

Now comes the last but often unexpectedly difficult part of the admissions process: weighing your various options and deciding which of the colleges that have admitted you would be the best fit for the next exciting phase of your life.

Teaching chemistry

It seems only a few weeks ago that I was trying to get myself psychologically prepared for the start of the academic year, and now suddenly I'm in the last throes of paper-grading. (And no, I don't actually teach chemistry. Bear with me on this.)

Testing, testing

Hello? Is anybody out there?

Foreign adventures

Imagine someone handing you a check for $28,000 to go anywhere in the world to do whatever you'd most like to do in the year after college graduation.


The First Year Seminar model is quite simple: one teacher and fourteen students in sustained conversation about a topic that interests them.


If you're interested in a career in journalism, is it a mistake to choose a college that doesn't offer a journalism major? On the contrary!

Where are they now?

The overlapping events of commencement and reunion balance each other, since the inevitable melancholy of saying goodbye to the graduates is offset by the pleasure of reconnecting with old friends.

A week in the life

Spring means life in the fast lane for faculty as well as students.

"The middle of nowhere"

For some reason, people seem obsessed by the image of cornfields. Yes, it's true that in the countryside of Lorain County there are lots of small farms, but there are no cornfields visible from the campus, no cows grazing on Tappan Square.

First things first

Okay, time to introduce myself.

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