The damsel of Ohio

Pup peeves

Cleveland can be a fickle mistress. At times She blesses us with 70-degree mid-April days, and then plunges the last week before May down so low we see snow. Her neighborhoods at times actively welcome and yet distrust outsiders. Case Western Reserve University kids, in the hours spent in classes, dorms and exams, never fully get to meet Her before they must leave.

As you settle in for the long haul of exams and eagerly tell all your friends “I’m leaving Cleveland in a week,” take a moment to think on just what this city offers you, especially over the summer. Festivals, beer and, of course, food!

But more than that, CWRU robs us of a true meeting with Cleveland. She is continuously sidelined by the school. Not just through a massive workload dumped on us, but through CWRU’s utter non-integration with its surroundings. CWRU isn’t just a bubble, it’s an island.

Events like Wade Oval Wednesdays, Walnut Wednesdays and Uptown Thursdays are just some highlights of Cleveland’s busy social schedule. Visiting her farmers markets shows you just how deeply food is ingrained in Her culture. And these are the major events. Smaller community and neighborhood gatherings happen nearby continuously.

The complaint that “nothing happens here” quickly seems silly in the face of overwhelming counter evidence. But, the protesting student says that all of these are summer only. And most students are long gone by then.

True, much of Cleveland’s bounty occurs during Her warmer months. But that’s not to say nothing happens during the school year. As this one draws to a close, many live music events, festivals, food and more passed CWRU by. They were there, attended by massive crowds. Cleveland even plays host to surfing on Lake Erie every winter. If that’s not making good use of frigid temperatures, I’ll eat 40 pierogies in one sitting.

What then, is the point of me pointing out even more riches you may very well be unable to experience? Part of it is personal. I’m deeply romantically involved with Cleveland. But the other part of it is educational. CWRU should indeed teach you about all Cleveland is, but in this instance, CWRU has failed its own final exam.