Anoush Arakelian

Anoush Arakelian came to Dartmouth from Bedford, Massachusetts. A member of the class of 2014, she has certainly carved out a niche for herself. In addition to being a Neuroscience major with a theater minor, Anoush plans on completing the Teacher Certification Program and getting her teacher certification in the fall after her senior year. She sings in and is the business manager for the all-female a cappella group the Rockapellas, plays rugby, and is part of the Hill Winds Society, a diverse group of students who serve as ambassadors to the alumni body. Also, this summer, Anoush participated in the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD), a program for high school students from under-resourced schools, as a mentor. Additionally, Anoush led a Sophomore (summer) trip because she loved her Freshman Dartmouth Outing Club trip so much!

Nov 072012
 

The bonfire during the day. Organizations add their own board with names of their members. The ’16′s ran around this up to 116 times that night!

And as per usual, the term has flown by! We are now in the last week with finals looming overhead. Two weeks ago was homecoming! This is possibly the most fun weekend at Dartmouth because all of the recent graduates return to campus to check out the bonfire and go to the football game. My friends who were on their off terms all returned and it was quite an enjoyable reunion. The traditions surrounding homecoming are what make homecoming. Each year the freshmen class builds a bonfire with their year on top. Organizations add boards with the names of their members and a huge structure is erected virtually overnight. Then, at night, it is lit and the freshmen are supposed to run around the bonfire 100 times plus their year of graduation. So, this year it was 116 laps, the equivalent of almost a half marathon! Believe it or not, many of the students do complete the feat, while others opt for only a few laps.

This past week I have been working non-stop on a student play called “True American Love” written by Laura Neill ’13. It is a work in progress and will be premiering this weekend. It is so interesting to be a part of this senior’s artistic process and be one of four people to premier the piece! It has been an experience that has truly made me value the talent of the people around me. A ’15 is directing, a ’14 is doing costume design, and the cast is made up of all grades. I am constantly impressed by my fellow classmates! It has also been cool because professors have come in and out of our rehearsal process to help us as actors, help Laura rewrite the script, and generally just show us how things come together in the theater. The experience has been an incredible process!

As for fun things – this past weekend I ran my first half marathon! I came a long way from my first 10K this summer. My friends and I drove down to Manchester as a part of D.E.R.T or Dartmouth Endurance Racing Team to the Manchester Marathon and Half Marathon. We ended up competing with many people from the New York Marathon, as it was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy! After finishing this, I am unsure if I will ever be able to run a full marathon, but the training has been a blast! Especially when you get to see views like the one below on your run each day!My view of the green on homecoming Sunday.4 Finishers at the Manchester Half Marathon!

Oct 192012
 

A spontaneous photo in between classes. Look how pretty the leaves are (and Danny)!

It is the little things that can truly make your day at Dartmouth. After studying for two Neuroscience classes and spending the majority of my days in the theater department, it is nice to get outside and just enjoy the weather. It is easy to forget that people travel all the way to Hanover just to see the leaves turn, and we have the luxury of living right here! My runs into Norwich and Etna have gotten increasingly more enjoyable as the leaves have turned and the weather has stayed nice. My favorite thing to do is going on long runs every Saturday morning with my friend. It is a great start to the weekend and extremely beautiful!

I just got through working on the HOP 50th production called “Igniting Imagination.” Me and three other girls from my a cappella group – The Rockapellas – had the pleasure of introducing Aisha Tyler ’92 (from Friends and Archer) to host the evening. We re-wrote the lyrics to our traditional song as an introduction – Ella’s Song by Sweet Honey in the Rock, as Tyler was a founding member of the group. We also got to listen to performances by Rachel Dratch from SNL and Jennifer Leigh Warren from the original Broadway Cast of Little Shop of Horrors. It was even more amazing to be able to hang out with them after the show as we all celebrated the success of the two productions afterwards! We sold out the first show and the second show was filled almost to capacity. I have never had so much fun performing and being able to watch all of my talented classmates!

Me and many of the performers from Igniting Imagination!

I am also very excited about this upcoming week because my friend, Kelly, and I have been planning an incredible event for Women’s Forum! Kelly is on the women’s soccer team and really wanted athletes to start attending more of Women’s Forum’s events. She put together a discussion on Title IX and finding your feminism through what makes you passionate for this Monday, featuring comedian, Cindy Pierce. It has been incredible to collaborate with the administration and the Athletic Department and I cannot wait to see all of our work come to fruition!

Oct 032012
 

And to no surprise it is midterm season already. I am a junior and I am still not used to how quickly these terms fly by! My time has been mostly devoted to the Theater department this term, which has been awesome. I am currently stage managing “The Lifers” by Maia Matsushita ’13. This is the same writer as the play that I stage managed this summer! She was granted a “Your Space” through the Bentley Theater. This means that she gets funding from the theater department to get props, rent the space, publicize, and put on a two night production! I was also cast in a student written show called “Contract” which will be produced in early November.

Another student organization I am involved in is called the Hill Winds Society. This is a group that was created to act as a liaison between alumni and students. I am also a connection student for the class of 1992 through HWS. Along with a current member of Hill Winds, I meet with the class of 1992 every time they come up to campus. This past weekend I met with the Class Officers who were up for Class Officers Weekend. The excitement that these alums have when they come up each year is just a testament to the fact that Dartmouth never leaves you. That is probably one of my favorite parts of being in Hill Winds and going to Dartmouth. The legacy and community left behind is quite incredible.

Words of Wisdom brought together women across all classes for a night of dinner and discussion.

Women’s Forum got off to a great start with our first meeting this past Monday. The term started off with a big dinner called “Words of Wisdom,” in which all the women’s groups on campus came together for a lecture and dinner. Wise words were shared by upperclassmen and it was a great chance for the ’16′s to meet some inspirational women on campus. We are looking forward to hosting some influential campus leaders and students in the coming weeks to discuss everything from Title IX to the elections.

Junior Fall!

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Sep 142012
 

With little to no transition time from sophomore summer, it is now my junior fall! I trained to become a UGA (undergraduate advisor) or an RA for a freshman dorm during the interim. My freshmen are truly revitalizing my view of Dartmouth and getting me excited to experience new things this term. I had almost forgotten that each term at Dartmouth promises change, new activities, and new friends.

My freshmen at Matriculation. The time when students shake the president’s hand and become true Dartmouth students!

I am most excited about a few things this fall. First off is A Cappella auditions! My group, the Dartmouth Rockapellas are back on campus and recruiting like crazy. Tomorrow are our all day auditions. There are five groups that girls can audition for and the auditions go for three round and 24 hours. It is so much time, but so much fun. Our group has been raising money for the past three years to go on a service trip to Nepal. This year, our work has come to fruition and we are leaving in November to backpack across the country! Secondly, Women’s Forum is back in full swing. We are working on our upcoming weekly dinner and discussion series which will premier next week. Some of the topics include Title IX and a speech by Anne Marie Slaughter, author of the controversial article “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/) Lastly, I am SO excited about my classes. I am taking the Neuroscience of Mental Illness, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Costume Design. Each class has been equally as exciting and I cannot wait to dive further into the depths of my major.

The Rockapellas and Aires at an a cappella ice cream social.

 

 

Aug 162012
 

One of the things that I am so happy about this summer, is the amount of time I have spent outdoors. Many of my other terms at Dartmouth have been too busy or too cold to spend as much time exploring as I had hoped. This term, I have done a fair bit of hiking and adventuring in the Upper Valley and New Hampshire!

Last week, my Theater 65 class met in Lyme, NH to have a BBQ with all of the actors and directors from our program.

BBQ in Lyme, NH with the New York Theater Workshop

It was not only held at the one of the most serene locations I have ever seen, but it was an incredible experience to be able to hang out with professors, actors, and directors alike. When else will you be able to chat about your family and future plans over s’mores with a professional actor? Sometimes a nice break from campus is needed to just forget about school work for a few minutes and enjoy the fact that we are living in such a beautiful place!

The view from our dinner!

A few mornings ago, my friend Kelly and I decided to be spontaneous and watch the sun rise! We had heard about a good spot where a lot of people go from Dartmouth called the Gile Fire tower. It is basically a huge fire tower that you can climb to the top of and have a view over the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. After waking up at 4:50 AM and trekking about 20 minutes in the woods, we reached the fire tower. By 5:30 AM we were watching the sun rise over the horizon and all of the surrounding mountains…there may have been some singing of Lion King as well. The early wake up was so worth it for the view we got. And, when we got down, it still wasn’t even close to time for our classes or our morning team lift. So, we went to Four Aces diner in Lebanon to enjoy the “Early Bird Special.” I don’t think I will ever be up early enough to buy that again!

The sun rising from the top of the Gile Fire Tower.

Aug 042012
 

A spontaneous Thursday night at the lodge. Our delicious home cooked meal was followed by some swing dancing to a live band, "Reckless Breakfast."

I cannot believe how much time I am spending in my classes this summer. But, honestly, it is so much fun. My Theater 65 class now meets almost every day of the week with a break on Thursdays and Sundays. Today I am seeing two shows by the visiting actors, directors, and playwrights of the New York Theater Workshop. This week the shows are titled “This Blessed Pot” and “Paradise Blue.” After the last performance, my class is staying to have a talk back with the actors and writers. It is so exciting that we get to critically discuss pieces of work that could go on to Broadway! Back in the 80′s, “Rent” was workshopped here.

For more information on NYTW at Dartmouth check out this website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~theater/nytw.html

We are on to Week 3 of Women’s Forum! Last weekend we had an alumni panel during Sophomore Family Weekend that featured mothers of our classmates who graduated from Dartmouth. It was so interesting hearing about their experiences at Dartmouth and post graduation. In the next few weeks we are going to be doing workshops on communication and public speaking and are hopefully having a screening for the Miss Representation, which speaks to the portrayals of women in the media.

My spontaneous adventure of the week was a trip to the Lodge with four of my friends for a night of dinner and dancing! We listened to the tunes of Reckless Breakfast, a Bluegrass band who have performed on the Green during the Farmer’s Market.

Jul 232012
 

Wow, it is not week 5…is it? They said it would fly, and it really is. I don’t even know where to begin. I have been taking a class called Theater 65, Drama in Performance, with Prof. Peter Hackett, which has turned into quite the experience. We don’t generally meet during our normal class periods, but rather we meet with performers, groups, directors, and unconventional thespians outside of class. We met Paul Binder, the creator of the Big Apple Circus, workshopped a play with Vox Theater Company, and last weekend at HopFest performed with Paul Marino ’04, creator of PopUp Shakespeare. I got to perform the Romeo and Juliet death scene in the middle of the Green in front a large audience that just had finished watching a live band. I have done a lot of acting and that was by far one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. I am also stage managing my first show called Higher Ground. This is a student written piece that was actually written by my good friend who is off campus this summer. It has been a great opportunity to not only see the inner workings of the theater department, but also to work with professors I never would have met!

Women’s Forum has also been going extremely well. We had our first meeting two weeks ago and the response was incredible. We had a good turnout of about 50 girls to listen to three alums talk about their experiences as the pioneering women of coeducation. Not only was it inspirational, but hanging around after and talking with the girls and realizing how much of an impact the program made was incredible. I am so proud of how far we have come as an organization! The next few weeks we are going to be hosting a forum with Mothers of ’14’s for Family Weekend and another two forums on communication and negotiation skills.

As far as adventuring goes, I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to try new things. Though, I did make a bucket list of fun things that I have been successfully checking off each week. Last week I ran my first 10K and this week I went to a Red Sox game with my best friend. Hopefully I will have time to finish my last few in the coming weeks!

My friends and I ran a 10K to support the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The fundraiser is called the Prouty and this year it raised over $2 million.

Jul 112012
 

Bunten Farm comes to the Farmer's market every Wednesday on the Green!

And Sophomore Summer started with a bang! Everyone told me not to get too involved and to spend more time at the River, the Farmer’s Market, with friends…and I intend to do just that (while taking classes of course). I did, however, get the incredible opportunity to be the Co-Director of a new organization on campus, Women’s Forum. Because it is only the second term this organization has been up and running, we have been given free reign to really design our own program. Even though sophomore summer is about having fun and bonding with classmates, I have found it to be the perfect opportunity to fall into leadership positions around campus. All the upperclassmen that I have watched and admired for the past two years are not here! It is now the ’14’s turn to run the show and I am so excited to see the changes we can institute this summer. As for the more “fun stuff,” I recently went off campus to a farm in Orford, NH called Bunten Farm. They bring their fresh produce to the farmers market every Wednesday on the green and they just opened their own restaurant. My friends and I tried it out and it was such a fun adventure up north! We’ve decided to make a little dinner club and try various restaurants in the Upper Valley and beyond. And this weekend I am getting prepared to lead a STRIP (sophomore trips). Essentially it is a re-do of Freshmen DOC Trips and I am SO pumped to meet some new ’14’s and lead my second outdoor adventure, as I lead a freshmen trip this past fall. The summer is going to be such an adventure and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!

My friends and I decided to drive out to Orford, NH to try their new restaurant, Ariana's.

The French-inspired cuisine was such a nice change from campus dining and it was really cool to eat all locally grown and prepared foods! I will definitely be taking my parents up their for Sophomore Family Weekend.