{ Hello }

Hi there, didn't see you come in. Have a seat, would you like a grilled cheese? Not the sandwich, just a cheese that's been grilled. I'm Joe, an Oberlin biology/engineering student. I'm a senior, heading off to engineering school next year to make something of myself. I hope to one day be an eccentric inventor. An eccentric billionaire inventor would be even cooler.

If you're wondering what that big 'B' word under the Interests heading is; 'biomimetics' is engineering inspired by designs and mechanisms in nature/biology, and I'm way into it. And as you can see from the Majors heading, it fits in well with what I'm studying. The Hometown heading betrays my state of origin, which is hopelessly Midwestern and never ever pronounced "Missourah". If I may direct your attention now to the Name heading, you will see that the letters in my name can also spell "Wood Jeans," an invention idea I once lost a lot of money on. If only I had thought of hinged knees before Levi's did!

I'm more than a little bit nerdy. I came to grips with this long ago, and it's paved the way for me to have nerdier and nerdier conversations as I progress through college. I would love to share more with you, but my cheese is burning. Thanks for coming!

{ Entries }


Farewell to Oberlin, Part II, AKA 'Unlisted, Part II'

For now, gather round the campfire for the last of Uncle Joe's Story Times.

Farewell to Oberlin, Part I

I like stories much more than I like lists, so here are four of them in two installments.

On the Run

Oberlin doesn't have ideal running weather all the time, but there are truly beautiful days, usually in the fall or early spring. We had a string of these last week and I decided to document my Sunday jog with a camera.

Just Visiting

Some memories and advice about visiting campuses.

Sex and Editing

In which my hesitancy in both precludes me from a career in either.


Contents: Everything you ever need to know.


My girlfriend called to see if I was doing better, and I forgave her for her bodily functions.

The Secret

What need I with pants?


With some pretty provocative pictures inside...

Stay Cool, Bra.

Brought to you by a card-carrying member of the cool committee.

The Plan

I wondered what literally burying my head in the sand would get me.

Sinus Pressure?

Do keep in mind that during this whole exchange Jacob and I are running at a pace of 3 to 4 minutes per mile, stripped to the waist, pectorals gleaming, swatting away the female delegation from the class of '61 with other members of the class of '61. Impressed?


One needs laser sights attached to their clown wigs. Am I trying to do too much?

Musical Theater, Brought to You By Oberlin Cross Country

Now the main event of camp has my old friend sex appeal in spades. It is the Musical, and it is guaranteed to give you what you need.



Summer Rap-up

Entry may or may not include a sick freestyle!

Who Moved My Compass?

WARNING: contains metaphorical language you may not yet be prepared to handle.

Long Distance

All about Long Distance Relationships! With visual aids from animal friends and medical anomalies! Also, some kind of sobering words about your prospects for success! YAY!!!!

I Like to Think We Grew Up a Little...

First off, we became an unofficial SexCo...

Oberlin Secrets

Quick, name Oberlin's school colors. If you said crimson and gold, you owe me $5.

No Sweat

Throw in stress for something that actually matters, like finals, and I'm toast. I'll be in bed at midnight, eyes open until 1:30, and awake when the sun comes up at 7.

Chicago, Part II: Days 5-7

We assumed that the men, dressed in breeches and tunics would be doing an improvised version of a well known Shakespeare play, but no.

Days 1-4

We have been staying up late, eating mostly home-cooked food, drinking a little, and seeing a terrific amount of improv in the last four days, and our trip is only about halfway over.


I get up off of Matt's lap, there's guilt and often a little weird silence, and someone will say "Jesus, what was that?"

You got a friend in me

My college friends are truly great. Really. Plus they could totally beat up your college friends.

Snow busy-ness

Things got a little hairier at this point, if I remember right, and I found new uses for my simple tools. The flat head screwdriver could be easily used as a pry bar, I found, pulling up pieces of the tape player whose screws wouldn't yield to my five year-old hands.

Smooth Move

My friend Tino and I debuted our 'Single Ladies' dance, and Twister didn't rehash awkward puberty memories, ending the party with my tears and cries of emotional pain, like it very easily could have.

West Coast/ Winter Term

Although not a Winter Term on the West Coast, unfortunately.

Love Letter to the Oberlin Cross Country Team

At least the people on the treadmills aren't deluding themselves. They know that they're going to end up right back where they started, sweaty and out of breath.

Why College is Different From High School

College is not practice like high school is practice.

Getting Involved

If I know anything about Oberlin freshmen, you're not too preoccupied worrying about what to pack and what classes you want to take to worry about other activities at Oberlin.

The AJLC: Lean, Green, Educatin' Machine

Although I have written before about my favorite places on campus, I left out one very important building.

The Coz!

If this entry had audio, it would definitely have me doing a KILLER Bill Cosby impression: "My WIFE Camille, with the Jell-O pudding pops..."

Hey roomie

Well, no. I'm not actually going to talk about sex. Not no never. I've always been a believer that sex is sort of like music. You don't talk about making it. If you're good at it you don't talk about it. If you talk about it, you're not good at it.

A time for...

This week, no matter how it manifests itself, is worth missing sleep.

Major IMPROV'ment

Out of the stress of the earliest parts of the meeting was born an uneasy sense of confidence that we could make the audience that night laugh, either for us or at us.

Major Improvement

What be the ferocious and intangible 3-2 Engineering Program, you ask? Aye, for one as young as you, it is a thing most mysterious and, again, intangible. Sit down, children, and I'll tell you a story that would burn the hair right off your chest to hear.


I started out this semester with the idea that I would declare Biology or Engineering as my major and get cracking on the classes I needed to fulfill the major requirements. This was to be my buckling down semester, full of sciences and maths of various shapes and flavors.

Prospie Perspective

So, applicants to Oberlin will be notified of their acceptance in about a month, right? Gosh I'm glad I don't have to worry about that crap anymore.

Just a thought

A wordy and rambling entry rife with thoughts. There's also a picture thrown in to break things up.

Missin' You

I've been haunted in my sleep, you've been starring in my dreams, school I miss you...

Give 'em a Hand-uary

(I know I've mentioned my difficulty with titles before.) Who knows that this won't be incredibly valuable later in life? Or that it won't be, and I'll just be thankful I did it anyway? Or that I'll regret it and it will serve as motivation for me to get going and choose a major, since time for me to do so is rapidly running out?


"My manager told me, Mitch, don't use alcohol as a crutch. I can't use alcohol as a crutch because a crutch is something that helps me walk. Alcohol severely f____ up the way I walk. It's more like the step I didn't see." --Mitch Hedberg


Finals are all over, all praise due to NoDoze. My biggest hurdle was the paper for English I wrote on The Tempest.

Re: Newt Trim

Interest piqued? The title is an anagram for something pretty awesome at Oberlin.


I spent last Saturday afternoon planting trees. 'Planting trees' sounds like a euphemism for something dirty. But it's not. I actually spent the afternoon planting trees.

Busy, dizzy, rode a Tin Lizzy. Got to school and had a pop quizzy.

Nothing about the title actually describes the content of this entry. Except 'Busy' and 'got to school.' Sorry, but titles are tough, dudes.

Get Excited!

I can deal with the fact that on my list of things I am excited about I included "classes" and "renewable energy sources" because I have come to grips with the fact that I am a huuuuuuuuuge nerd.

Essays and Sunshine Scouts

Setting: Science Center Atrium, Thursday, October 15, Midterm week. Joe begins typing his 5th page of a roughly 6-page paper...


The class, and the Environmental Studies department, is not Environmental Science, which is the big mistake in assumption that I made going into it. I'm glad I did.


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... Oh, hello there. I was just thinking about some of my favorite things here at Oberlin. Oh, I delight in hairless monkeys, Cathy comics, putting rubbing alcohol in my eyes, and above all, some great places to hang out in Oberlin.

The Last Stand(up) at Helms Deep or Ol' Ed at the Helms - all of 'em!

Ed Helms did not show up, but I made a great impression on a guy who walked into the bathroom.

A milestone

I've had talks that involved intellectual topics sprinkled in among fart jokes, and discussions in class led by teachers about a particular topic of study, but no stereotypical smart talk with a lot of words like "neoclassical," "zeitgeist," and....


I'm the kind of person who enjoys anticipation. I do like getting new stuff and experiencing new adventures, but I also really enjoy thinking about them before they happen.

Helpful Hintz, Yo!

There is no required reading for freshmen at Oberlin, but a quick flip through Lord of the Flies could be real helpful.

'Undecided' P(h)art 2 (sorry, I'm incredibly immature)

Our trivia team name, which was a great source of pride, was Schindler's Bucket List, only narrowly beating Hotel Rwanda for Dogs.

Undecided no more!*

*Maybe not...


My team T-Spain feat. Young Portugueezy, formerly Urethra Franklin, formerly Hurricane Kathleena and the Mansoon, really turned up the heat.

Crossed up

Why is it a concession stand? What exactly are you conceding? Except common sense in what a slice of damn pizza should cost.

Allow me to kibitz...

You pick up some Yiddish at Oberlin, for those of you coming from places like Columbia, Missouri, or those of you too young to remember Linda Richman.

Back home

Speaking of funny, I wrote a joke: So there's this big wind turbine that meets Jack Nicholson. Jack says "Hey there, I'm Jack, good to meet you" and the windmill says...

The Post post

I love warm weather. Everything feels better when you can walk out the front door and realize you're wearing too many layers.

8 questions for 8 Oberlin alums - part 3

In this episode, our heroes answer questions about creativity in teaching and working with students.

8 questions for 8 Oberlin alums - part 2

So, who noticed that no less than three Oberlin professors cited 'girls' as their reason for coming to Oberlin?

8 questions for 8 Oberlin alums - part 1

What's better than a Brendan Fraser/Christopher Walken film named Blast From the Past? A blog post that features 8 blasts from the past! This one will be better. Guaranteed.

An Expo-tition

"Ha! Zeez are not musician's 'ands! Zees are scientist 'ands, for working in ze laboratory! Out! Out!"

"Most people learn by observation, and there are the few who learn by experimentation. And then there are those who actually TOUCH the fire to see if it's really hot." -Anonymous

I got my grades for my first ever semester in college back a few weeks ago, and I'm...pretty pleased, actually....

Vietnam 101

The second of two pieces I wrote during first semester about performances in Oberlin.


The movie centered on Darius, a 15-year-old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Darius' brother Mario died of the same disease when he was 19, and Darius talks about his brother occasionally during the film.

Pandas, Swiss Army knives, Sigourney Weaver, and of course, bamboo!

So visualize this: I'm in my basement this morning, working on my bamboo bicycle, joining the steel remnants of a child-sized bike frame to my bamboo tubes.


Aahhhhhh! (that's 'Ahhhhhh' like the sound you make after taking a satisfying drink of Coke Zero™, not like 'Ahhhhhh please don't lock me in that iron mask for years because I look like my brother the king')

Winter in Oberlin

That said, it's cold as crap here right now.

Midnight Mudd

I neglected to utilize the lock on the bathroom once, and it became uncomfortably non-private in the middle of my activities within.

Running Down the Dream (running down Professor Street, actually)

My running log for Tuesday, Nov. 11 says "cold run, 3.5 miles in 25:36. Ran through the Arb, ran to North Fields, back along Woodland." This is not the whole story.

Last Year

They have a velvet Last Supper hanging above the stairs leading to the exit. I'm serious.

Once upon a time in Stevenson dining hall,

We went back and forth for quite some time, coming up with quality lines for the ladies, and some lame ones as well.

Oberlin College & Conservatory | Oberlin, Ohio 44074 | 440-775-8121 | College Admissions | Conservatory Admissions