As a farm girl from the South trapped at a rowdy party school I have approached my past four years of college much like a roller coaster: close my eyes and hope it’s over soon. Unlike other students, the place I know I’ll look back on with nostalgia when thinking about my college town isn’t a bar or a burrito place, it’s a fishing spot.
It’s true that many students visit Strouds Run State Park at some point during their stay in Athens, Ohio but what many of them don’t know about–or maybe just don’t care about–is a more secluded section of Strouds Run that is the core of Dow Lake. The dam built in 1959 that sits in a little off-set pocket right against East State Street.
While the north and west sides of the lake are typically occupied on warm spring and summer days, this little haven remains scarcely populated. Parking, boat rentals and beaches are located on the north and west sides of the lake so to the typical collegiate friend group deciding to embark on an outdoor pursuit this is where they end up. Yes, these city slickers and Midwest rurals are bonding over the great outdoors and it’s wonderful! However, I go to the water for exclusion.
A few times I have been sitting cross-legged on the bank securing my reel to my arrows, a meditative act I enjoy doing to prepare to bow fish, when a stranger suddenly joined me. My dog lets me know if someone is approaching before they could possibly see me. He isn’t a hunting dog by any means, just an overly loving goober who is particularly adept at tracking down hands to pet him.
These visitors are usually middle aged men who grew up here. “Townies” as us students like to call them. They always apologize for interrupting me because they came here to be alone too (after getting over their complete and utter surprise because a student knows this spot), then the bow sparks some interesting conversations.
One morning I was there and had no intentions of fishing. I brought the dogs to swim and to get some fresh air while I tinkered around with my bow. A younger gentleman came walking up (with my dog prancing beside him. Traitor.) and started setting up his spot to fish. He actually was a hobbiest archer himself and we sat and worked on my bow together. He had a set of archery wrenches (tools used to adjust a bow) and when he left he told me to keep them. It was simple and meaningless, yet I wouldn’t trade that wrench set for a million Court Street Snapstories.
For the most part it’s just my dog, the fish and myself over at the dam. Isolated. Not “experiencing” Athens. Occasionally, I get to listen to fishing stories or see pictures of last bow season’s buck though. It’s times like those that make me feel like I’m not the one missing out but instead the one actually experiencing Athens.
The NBA is a spectator’s event. The league’s athletes achieve incredible athletic heights every night. However, just because a player plays with flash doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best. Here are five of the NBA’s most entertaining below average players.
1. Nick “Swaggy P” Young
(via Google Images)
Swaggy P can stroke it as well as anyone… when he’s feeling it. When he’s not, that doesn’t stop him from hogging the ball like he is. There has yet to be a coach able to get him to commit on defense, and he frustrates some of his more competitive teammates. But man is he fun to watch when he is feeling it.
2. Javale McGee
(via Google Images)
Javale McGee is as athletic of a seven-footer as you’re ever likely to see. He blocks shots by grabbing them out of the air and never saw a poster he didn’t think he could emulate. However, part of his entertaining quality is how spacey he can be on the court at times.
3. Marcelo Huertas
(via Google Images)
Huertas is an electrifying maestro of the pick and roll off the Lakers’ bench. He makes passes most players wouldn’t think of attempting, and if they did they’d be benched for turning the ball over. The problem is that pesky other side of the court. He can’t stay in front of a parked car and often ends up on the wrong ends of highlight reels himself.
4. Brian Scalabrine
via (Google Images)
An honorable mention. Scalabrine, aka the “Red Mamba” was a lifetime NBA benchwarmer that warmed the heart of every fan of every team he played for. Scalabrine will live on forever.
5. Gerald Green
(via Google Images)
Gerald Green is maybe the greatest in game dunker of all time. He sports a highlight reel unlike any other. He never developed into much of an NBA player, however. He’s been a role player most of his career and his jump shot has been come-and-go. Like most people on this list, he cannot guard a soul, but you better stay out of his way in transition.
My favorite place is in Athens wasn’t built by the university. It isn’t fiscally supported by the student activity fee, it isn’t on campus, and it isn’t even on Court Street. Probably about 99% of the student population doesn’t even know my favorite place exists.
I know it sounds absurd, a hardcore house named after an 83-year-old Supreme Court Justice? It probably will more sound more absurd to you when you discover it is my own personal rental home off-campus. In addition to being the place I sleep, shower, do homework, and prepare my meals, it’s also a performance space for poets and artists from Athens, OH to Alabama to Brooklyn and more.
I probably should walk you through how I got here, seeing as you’re thinking about coming to Ohio University or have already enrolled, and I’m telling you that my favorite thing about OU isn’t even mildly campus affiliated.
When I arrived as a freshman, I was eager for something new. Laid at my feet was a fresh start, but I wanted to use my fresh start to experience the things I loved already in a new way. Music was a primary passion of mine, and I was already five+ years deep into a devoted relationship with DIY music, as I’d been playing and booking shows all through high school. I knew a little bit about Athens music scene through creeping the Athens, OH tag on Bandcamp, but I became fully immersed in it once I joined ACRN Media, OU’s student-run college rock radio station and media collective. The group of us headed out in droves to catch shows in living rooms, at bars, and in basements.
(Full disclosure, I became the General Manager aka head honcho of ACRN Media February of my freshman year, 3/4 because I am incredibly passionate about radio, 1/4 because I am an insane person who loves having no free time or sleeping.)
DIY and ACRN provided a space away from the sporty party culture that bombarded me when I first moved in. I lived on West Green, a hub for student athletes, and I often found myself feeling a little isolated. A place to feel less isolated was surrounded by push moshing sweaty bodies in the basement of Castle Genesee. Standing on the sliver
of counter to watch bands in the kitchen of the Wolf Haus. Peering through the stair banisters to watch folks rip gigs at the Lodge. All of these house venues became transient homes.
The Lodge was especially important, as the people who lived there became our fast friends. While we went to lots of shows there, it became a destination on event-free week nights. My partner and I would trek over to the house with fresh groceries to make family dinners, and we’d all sit around and listen to music and laugh in good company. There was a family aspect, a community feeling that I really loved. I tucked that feeling in my pocket and saved it for later when the tenants all graduated and moved and the Lodge was no more.
It took me a long time to admit it, but the first two years of Athens DIY were a little frustrating for me, as many people around me were deeply focused on partying, and it got old quick. I got sick of watching people drunkenly disrespect each other’s personal space and safety, houses were getting trashed, things were getting stolen. It was a mess. I was drowning in an environment surrounded by peers who did not understand what it was like to work 25 hours a week while being a full-time student, who could bring six-packs of craft beer to a gig but not $5 to donate to the bands performing. I was getting burnt out on the one thing that made Ohio U feel like a place of adventure and promise, and I needed to do something about it.
(Reality Check: While everyone talks about the Bobcat Family and how they never want to leave OU, it is OKAY to feel unhappy here. There’s may be occasional moments where you just don’t know if you made the right decision or you are itching to graduate and move on to the next thing. This is normal, okay, and presents a chance to do something creative with your time here!)
It was at this time when I had reached my breaking point that we began planning for our move to the RBG. We had plans to have shows, but we started talking logistics, ideals, visions. The name came about because I’m obsessed with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I think she’s a bad ass. The hardcore edge came about because we liked hardcore music, but we also thought it would be funny to pair the two. Our logo represents the absurdity of such a name.
One thing that we all deeply cared about was having a strict “No drugs, no drinking, no exceptions” policy during gigs. We wanted the place to be as safe as possible for everyone, and any space that includes alcohol or drugs immediately becomes less safe. An unfortunate thing you’ll learn very quickly at OU that alcohol and drugs often reveal the nastier, scummier side of people, even within ‘alternative’ communities.
Grumpy jaded senior-citizen Meg comments aside, we really did want to create a space that was safe and intended to create community. I wanted to be somebody else’s Lodge. When we moved in and started facilitating performances, we were excited to see droves of kids coming to shows to hang out and make friends. I was starting to see students and community members I hadn’t known before, we were inviting poets to perform which brought in a fresh crowd of people to shows, and our home became synonymous with welcoming. We kicked off the year with a mixed CD/mix tape swap, and new Rock Lobsters crowded the floor and porch to share music. Bands started practicing at our house, we hosted shows for other people, we made friends, we gave people a place to go, and I think people have fun when they visit the RBG.
Booking shows and facilitating community events without ever having to leave my home gave me a sense of purpose and a positive space to grow. My confidence in the OU/Athens community restored itself, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people. It’s also something really cool and interesting to slap on a resume– “Events Coordinator at the Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” is sure to catch an employer’s eye! But let’s get real. I haven’t created this space and formed a sisterhood and music family just for resume-building purposes. The RBG was born because I needed it to exist in order to feel truly fulfilled in Athens.
Here’s the moral of my long-winded journey and this e-scrapbook of memories. If you arrive at OU or are planning on coming here and can’t quite figure out what you want or what you like or what feels like home, try not to worry. There is nothing stopping you from being the creator of the space that meets your needs, accomplishes your goals, and brings you bliss. Athens and Ohio University are your canvas, so get ready to create. Your space may not exist yet, and that’s a-okay! If you can’t find your space, make it.
Staying committed to your faith may not be popular in college, but you don’t have to face it alone! Finding an uplifting community on campus is a great way to meet new friends and maintain your beliefs. Read this article from Tirzah Magazine for some tips on how to keep your faith in college and check out the lists below for resources available at OU!
Student Organizations: Get involved!
There are many spiritual organizations to choose from at Ohio University. Find one that works for you and meet students who share your faith!
1.Athletes in Action (AIA):
Student athletes with an interest in their faith can really benefit from AIA involvement. Feel free to visit the AIA house, located on the corner of Washington and College Streets across from the city parking garage. Interested in learning more? Check out this video from WOUB or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Campus Crusade For Christ (CRU at Ohio University):
One of the largest spiritual organizations on campus, CRU has over 400 student members that support each other in the Christian faith. CRU Community Groups are located on all greens across campus and focus on helping students explore who Christ is and what it means to live their lives for Him. CRU’s weekly meeting, 180, meets Thursday nights at 9 p.m. in Morton 201 for worship, teaching from the Bible and to hear how other Ohio University students’ lives have been transformed through a relationship with Jesus. (Want a sneak peek at a 180 meeting? Check out this article!)
A photo posted by Cru at Ohio University (@cruatou) on
3.Chinese Bible Study Group:
The Chinese Bible Study Group desires to glorify God by ministering to the spiritual needs of Chinese students on the OU Campus. Weekly praying meetings are held in Gordy Hall room 113 eachFriday from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., followed by a Bible study from 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. with Pastor William Hixson. Activities and services are also available to these students throughout the year, including hiking trips at Hocking Hills or free rides to the grocery store! (Contact John Swaim at 740-594-2783 to schedule a ride.)
Hillel serves the OU campus community in areas of Jewish culture, education, history, social service, Israel advocacy, and communal experiences. Through involvement in Hillel, Jewish students learn valuable leadership skills, enhance their Jewish identity, and diversify the religious and cultural campus community. Contact Rabbi Danielle Leshaw at her office: 740-592-1173, cell: 740-274-9265, or email: email@example.com if you’re interested in joining! Student work and internships are also available at Hillel for qualifying students. Get the info here!
5. Muslim Students Association at Ohio University (MSA):
As a student organization, the MSA provides OU students with the opportunity to come together as a Muslim community. As a Muslim organization, the MSA seeks to educate the Ohio University campus and Athens communities about Islam. All Muslim and non-Muslim students are welcome to join their religious and social events!
You can find the Islamic Center of Athens on 13 Stewart Street. Visit the MSA website, or contact by phone (740-594-3890) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details about their events.
6.Reach Out on Campus (ROC):
Reach Out on Campus is a community of people who desire to put a spotlight on Jesus Christ through words and actions in the Ohio University community. ROC members enjoy one another and love hanging out, serving together, and exploring the life Jesus has given them. The community is found all over campus. On Monday nights at 7:00 p.m., a small group Bible study meets in the ministry office, called the ROC House, which is located on the corner of Court and Union Streets at50 S. Court Street suite C (on the 3rd floor above the College Bookstore.) On Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., ROC’s Cross Walk group meets on campus in Baker Center room 231 for weekly worship, teaching, prayer & fellowship. Anyone is welcome to join at any time!
UCM’s mission is to engage the Ohio University and Athens communities in spiritual growth, fundraising, community service and work for justice, guided by socially progressive and interfaith values. It is a non-profit organization that was born out of the Ecumenical movement and progressive social action. All programs are free and open to everyone, regardless of who you are, what you believe (or don’t), or where you come from.
United Campus Ministry is located on 18 N College Street in Athens. Feel free to give them a call at 740-593-7301 or visit them on their website and Facebook page.
8. Young Life:
Young Life is an organization that allows Ohio University students to change the lives of young people across Athens County. Young Life leaders gain leadership opportunities at local high schools and log hours with those students by building relationships with them and attending events and activities, such as high school football games. Young Life believes in the power of presence and impacting young lives by sharing God’s love. Being a Young Life leader allows students to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.
Churches: Want to go a bit deeper with your faith?
Check out these local churches and find one that fits for you! All within walking distance (or a short drive) from campus. If you drive – all uptown parking is FREE on Sundays!
1.First Baptist Church
Pastor: Jim DiFilippo
Sunday Service:10:40 a.m.
Address: 336 East State Street, Athens, Ohio. Near Papa John’s Pizza.
First Baptist provides a friendly atmosphere that welcomes students, singles, couples, families & children. You may dress up or wear casual attire. Jeans are acceptable. Sermons are relevant and informative with practical application for everyday life. Multimedia with Power Point presentations of music and sermons enhance the worship and learning experience.
2. Athens Catholic Community (St. Paul Church & Christ the King Parish)
Pastor: Rev. Fr. Mark Moore
Mass Times: Christ the King Parish: Saturday 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Daily Mass is held in the chapel of the Holy Family Center, Tuesday through Friday 5:30 p.m. St. Paul Church: Sunday 8:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m., Mondays 7:15 a.m. and Monday through Friday 8:15 a.m.
Address: 75 Stewart Street, Athens, Ohio.
The Athens Catholic Community comprises part of the Southern region of the Diocese of Steubenville. St. Paul Church is located about 2 minutes away from Christ the King University Parish, where the parish offices are located. Both churches exist as one parish to serve the local communities of the Athens area, as well as the needs of Ohio University students.
Learn more at the Athens Catholic Community website. Call 740-592-2711 or 740-593-7822 and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Denomination Not Specified:
3. Brookfield Church
Pastors: Aaron Kuhnert, Lead Pastor; Kenny Basnett, Staff Pastor; David Carter, Staff Pastor
Sunday Service: 10:00 a.m.
Address: 5 North Court Street, Athens, Ohio. Across from Pita Pit.
Brookfield is a church plant of Vine Community Church in Carbondale, Illinois, that moved to Athens at the end of June 2011. Most Sundays at Brookfield, the attendance is roughly half college students! If you are a student at OU or Hocking College, Brookfield will be a great church for you! Enjoy free coffee and bagels before or during worship.
Address: 1008 E. State Street, Athens, Ohio. Service held in the Athena Grand Movie Theater.
New Life in Athens, an Assemblies of God member church, is now almost 40 years old. It primarily serve the Athens County, Ohio, area with a focus on the Ohio University campus. Join them in the Athena Grand!
Sunday Services: 8:00 a.m. (no music) or full service with music and choir at 10:30 a.m.
Address: 64 University Terrace, Athens, Ohio. At the top of Morton Hill on College Green.
The Church of the Good Shepherd is not only for Episcopalians. It is here for everyone – with a prominent location on campus, Good Shepherd is a religious cornerstone of Ohio University. All are welcome to visit a Sunday service!
Address: 69 Mill Street, Athens, Ohio. Turn right off of College St. and head down the hill. Christ Lutheran is on the right side.
All students are welcome! A student brunch follows after worship each week. Meet downstairs in the Fellowship Hall for tasty meals prepared by members of the church. It’s a great time to meet one another and get to know each other a bit better over a home-cooked meal! Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m., Christ Lutheran hosts “Oasis Time,” where students take turns preparing a meal to share with other students of various faith backgrounds (or none at all). The cost is covered by the church.
Visit the website or give them a call at 740-593-3144.
7. First Presbyterian Church:
Pastor: Rev. Robert Martin
Sunday Service: 10:30 a.m.
Address: 2 South Court Street, Athens, Ohio. On the corner of Court and Washington Streets, across from Chase Bank.
All are welcome to worship and participate in activities at First Presbyterian Church. There is a free college lunch for students on Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Stop by for some delicious home-style cooking and a chance to relax with friends. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are prepared and dessert is always served. (Psst… for all you journalism students out there: E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Director, Robert Stewart attends here!)
Sunday Service: Regular services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Worship U service at Noon.
Address: 2 South College Street, Athens, Ohio. Next to the city parking garage.
Worship U is a new, modern worship experience at First United designed specifically with young adults, young families, and college students in mind. It is a blend of contemporary worship with traditional elements and meets each Sunday at Noon in the Chapel. Immediately before Worship U, at 10:30 a.m. in the first floor lounge, the College Fellowship study meets to discuss the topic of the day. At 11:30am (also in the lounge), students enjoy lunch together in an informal and friendly atmosphere, to discuss current events on campus and in their daily lives, as followers of Christ.
A photo posted by First UMC Athens (@fumcathens) on
9.Central Avenue United Methodist Church (Uptown Venue location)
Pastors: Paul Risler, Senior Pastor; Joe Graves, Associate Pastor
Sunday Service: 10:00 a.m.
Address: 29 E. Carpenter Street, Athens, Ohio. Down the block from Athens Underground.
Central Avenue worships with contemporary Christian music, updated hymns, and original songs. They desire to partner with the Athens community through faith, education, music and the arts. Many Ohio University students attend Central’s Uptown location, so feel free to join!
Ohio University has so much more to offer than just a party scene. If you want to keep your faith in college, there is a place for you! Find student organizations or local churches that fit with your beliefs and personality and get plugged in!