This semester I was lucky enough to be a part-time student with just one credit hour thanks to my private reading with Professor Jed Deppman in the Comparative Literature department. My research topic that will eventually result in a Capstone paper is Ainu and Okinawan Literature that documents the struggle and transitions made by the Ainu (of Hokkaido) and the Okinawan peoples in the face of colonization and cultural erasure by mainland Japan.
Because I was able to remain a student, I was fortuitously able to obtain some fascinating jobs directly related to my interests that would have been closed off to me had I graduated as scheduled one semester early.
My first job is as “Shansi Associate”. This is a pretty fancy title for basically an intern position, but what I usually do is help poster events, arrange activities for Shansi Fellows (ongoing process), help in the office, and act as a replacement for the former Return Fellow, Nicole. Through this job I get a peek into the inner workings of Shansi, and I continue to be amazed and impressed with all it does- even if my work is merely to number 471 (x2) pages by hand!
My second job is as a researcher for the Oberlin Archives and Obie Alum ’71 Clyde Owan. The topic is Oberlin Nisei during the WWII period. This is fascinating, as I get to work in the fourth floor of Mudd surrounded by essentially the history of Oberlin in paper form, including yearbooks, correspondence letters, photographs, and student records! As I conduct my research I hope to find and become connected to Alums who were around during that time period.