Posted by: katelyninfrance | September 30, 2010

Ohio tempests, Super Smash, and the joy of housemates

Tuesday I woke up at 8 in the morning to walk in the pouring rain to pee in a green paper Gatorade cup and get felt up by a rather handsome doctor, before damply trudging all the way back to the conservatory for an hour of music history in which I nearly fell asleep multiple times learning about the wonderful world of Mozart’s opera. Obviously my day could have started better.

If there is one thing to know about Oberlin, or living anywhere near a large lake for that matter, is that it rains. A lot. And in the winter it snows. A lot. I was aware of these things, painfully even, and yet what did I not bring to campus? An umbrella. And what did I not buy while on campus despite there already having been at least three rainstorms? Yup. I think this must be a result of what I like to call the “short-term memory effect.” After spending a year in the south of France where it hardly rains, and then spending the summer in my hometown where it certainly didn’t seem to rain much more often, I seem to have forgotten that yes, rain does exist, and yes, it is wet. And requires an umbrella. Perhaps after today I will have thoroughly ingrained this life lesson into my skull after plodding back home from French class awkwardly with my professor (who also happens to live in French house, who knew) for the third time. Perhaps not.

One thing that I did not forget to bring to college, however, was the TV I bought with all of my hard-earned Bat Mitzvah money, our out-dated purple Gamecube, and a shiny copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee. What is this mysterious long-titles game, you ask? Well first off, you should know what this is and thus not have to ask. Shame on you. However for those sad souls who are not already familiar with this wonderful piece of electronic entertainment, I’ll be a kind soul and enlighten you. Super Smash Bros. Melee is the second installment of the popular Super Smash Bros. fighting series by Nintendo. The game entails pitting various Nintendo characters against each other in epic battles with special attacks, items, and interesting stages. The cool thing about this game is that while you can get fairly far just button mashing, there is real strategy to be garnered and used here. And once you master the game, you can be the envy (and hated) of all of your friends by crushing them with an iron fist! It almost makes up for the fact that you’ve spent hours controlling an electric yellow rat-like creature who can do nothing but say his own name!

Also known as Cheap-a-chu.

Over the summer I played tons of Smash. (My main is Marth although I sometimes deviate to Kirby, for those who are interested. Which is probably no one. Oh well.) And after a while I began to realize the positive bonding and social aspects of playing this game with friends. You could say, “Katelyn, what the hell are you talking about this is a video game,” and I could say, “Shut up and go back to your non-nerdy activities games are awesome.” Likewise I could tell you about how sitting hunched around the TV in my quad at French house has helped our whole floor become closer. It can be surprising how much people who hardly know each other bond when shouting profanities and cries of “God dammit Peach STOP THROWING TURNIPS WITH WEIRD FACES ON THEM!” Our RA even played with us once, and there’s talk of a tournament sometime in the future. As another French house resident says, “It can be a really great way to de-stress. I’m honestly really glad you brought it. You’re so amazing Katelyn, people should really look to you as an example.” Okay so maybe he didn’t exactly say those words. But the thought was in there, trust me.

Our quad has become what we like to call “The Party Quad”, aka the room where people just tend to stop by, play some smash or make tea, and mooch off of the Dominos pizza we order when too lazy to walk across the street to Stevie. And it’s really a wonderful thing. The thing about college, and Oberlin especially, is that you can meet so many interesting people and make lifelong friends without even realizing it. Although studying is certainly important, having a social life is as well. Except when studying for a gigantic biology exam. Then they can be kind of distracting. Good friends at college can be there for you when you’ve had a bad day and can laugh with you when you’ve had a good one. Sappy thoughts aside, they can also be guinea pigs for trying out your new Samus combo on.

Then again, you can also get said combos used on you.

We’ve all become really good friends quite quickly, which I’m going to naively attribute to video games. Because it’s common knowledge that if there are video games involved, it must be good. Amen.

While I’m on the topic of my fellow French-house residents, I guess I’ll go a bit into what the hell French house actually is. French house, aka Bailey, is conveniently located right next to East, which means we can give a full-hearted laugh while walking by, ready to enter a house that does not smell like an odd mixture of catfish and peanut butter. Nah, honestly East seems like a cool place to live. I mean, the people there are nice, right? But not as nice as the people at French house! …Okay, house rivalry aside, French house is a place where those who have an interest in French culture and language congregate. We’re all at various levels of fluency, and there are two French TAs who live on the second floor, so the idea is to speak as much French as possible. There is also a really shady library that is probably used for sex, a bunch of magazine racks, and a French TV. We have movie screenings, a Mardi Gras party (which is apparently pretty bangin’), and best of all, French breakfasts with delicious wonderful flaky buttery tasty heavenly croissants, baguettes, and pains au chocolat. Can you guys tell I like French pastries? Oh how I have missed them. Oh dear.

Yes, that is a giant-headed Napoleon statue in the background.

We also have a table at the dining hall called “Chez Nous” where one can go if they are in the mood to speak French. It’s also really handy when Stevie is crowded because there is always space at French table and we don’t have to play the awkward “oh hey where are we sitting” game! Yay!

All in all French house is a party, and if you guys want to check it out, please do! All of the movies are subtitled in English and the breakfasts are open to the public (I think?) so we’d love to have you. We’re super nice people! Definitely!

See how welcoming we are? 😀

Well that picture was quite a bit larger than I expected it to be. I suppose I’ll finish up this post with that, as a sort of open-door welcoming omg yay Oberlin ending. Yup. Well, I hope everything is going well for all of you reading this, thanks so much! Till next time!



  1. How you effectively capture the essence of college life, the friends, the food, and the weather is great. Any college student should know about Super Smash Brothers (more so the original than Melee though! :P), quite frankly, is a great socialization tool and you demonstrated it clearly. It settles disputes, reveals the aphla-male/alpha-female in the strongest,

    Plus having fun and having quality time with like-minded (and the opposite!) folks is also an enjoyable way to spend your time. And besides, all libraries are used for sex..that’s a simply has that certain atmosphere to it. xD …and it’s also a given that Pikachu kicks serious ass. Just sayin’. ;D

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