At Green Oaks, the students do all of their own cooking, dishes, cleaning, and household chores. Three groups, of four students each, rotate weekly through a cycle of cooking, cleaning, and dishes.
I thought it would be nice to be able to share with people outside our community a little about what it’s like to be in our community. So I asked the dishes crew to tell me what their favorite part of living in a community is and to name one thing that surprised them about Green Oaks.
Here’s what they said:
Alyssa Kennamer ’14 — Everyone here has such gumption to get things done. It’s tremendous to be able to work together with such a capable, inquisitive, fun-lovin’ bunch of college kids. Oh, and goofy — the silliness here can make any gritty chore like sweeping floors a real dream sweep.
I’ve always valued family dinners as an integral part of communal living. So I’m always itchin’ to hear the –DONG!– of the triangle (or Jim’s wolf howl) that signals DINNERTIME.
It’s a great part of the day, where everyone is together — sharing both food and the day’s adventures. Our family dinners are also steeped with traditions (already), whether it’s waiting for everyone to be served before eating or our after-dinner talent portion.
Hannah Totchtrop ’14 — I was really impressed with how well we have all bonded. Within a few short weeks, our entire group has gotten close enough to tell jokes and share secrets.
I am so happy to be at Green Oaks with the group of people that ended up being here.
Julia Ohman ’12 — My favorite thing about being in a community like Green Oaks is there’s always someone to collaborate with — on drawings, meals, building projects, whatever you want to do, you have a partner, or many.
I’m most surprised that I’m going to leave Green Oaks and college with 16 new close friends I barely knew or had never seen before three months ago.
Jamie Ruml ’14 — I’ve enjoyed the ability to engage richly with others that comes from living in a small community, as well as the sense of personal responsibility.
I’m surprised and enthralled by how much opportunity is afforded for reflection within the context of an involved academic experience.
In reading through all of their responses, it becomes very apparent that a huge part of this experience that we are having is the development of connections between people, work, and play.
Honestly, it becomes really hard to tell if you’re working or playing because usually whatever you’re doing is fun and enriching because you’re sharing it with at least one friend.
Today, Jesse Sindler ’13 and I sat in the rain for a couple of hours, lashing sticks together in an attempt to build a geodesic dome at the site I selected for my art project. It may have been rainy and a little cold, but the two of us working hard together building something was a really rewarding experience.