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Sophomore Summer: A Term of Their Own

G. Emily Ghods-Esfahani
G. Emily Ghods-Esfahani

Ryan Yuk '09 is celebrating Sophomore Summer by lining the walls of Collis Café with candid photographs of his classmates. "We're here with the people who have helped shape who we are," he says. "Our class is a fine group of people, and I wanted to document that."

Summer at Dartmouth is an important time for sophomores and the entire class is here, enrolled in over 160 different courses ranging from Methods in Ecology to Twentieth Century British Fiction. Students learn quickly that, despite the warm weather, the classes are just as demanding as classes in other terms.

"By talking with their peers, students have learned to expect the same academic rigor in the summer term as in any other term," says Bernard Gert, the Daniel P. Stone Professor in Intellectual and Moral Philosophy. This summer Gert is teaching 10 students in his Philosophy of Human Nature class, which draws on the writings of Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin. "Just as in my Philosophy and Medicine class in the spring, I require students to submit two papers six- to eight-pages long, and a final paper eight- to ten-pages long."

As students are taking classes, they are also making decisions that will shape the remainder of their academic experiences at the College. "It's an exciting time," says Cecilia Gaposchkin, assistant dean of the faculty for pre-major advising and adjunct professor of history. "They've just declared their major, and they're beginning to think about how that will connect to their long-term goals. We stress that majors don't dictate careers, but they may present opportunities that should be considered."

Many students use the term to plan internships, prepare to study abroad, or explore an extracurricular activity that they've never tried before. "We want students to be mindful of all the opportunities available at Dartmouth," says Gaposchkin.

Colin Treseler
Colin Treseler
Lense Gebre-Mariam and Michelle G. Dunn
Lense Gebre-Mariam and Michelle G. Dunn (Portraits of members of the Class of 2009 by Ryan Yuk '09.)

But students and faculty alike also find time to enjoy the unique pleasures of summer. "I take my work outside," says Alessandra Necamp '09. "I go to the Green, the river, or to any number of beautiful spots. Dartmouth students are pretty good about knowing when it's time to work, and time to play."

By STEVEN J. SMITH

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Last Updated: 5/30/08