Claire Park

Ahead

 Posted by at 2:34 pm  No Responses »
Aug 202014
 

In conversations of late, there’s a topic that my friends and I won’t broach. References to it with words like “thesis” and “eighteens” terrify. Someone informed me yesterday that the new freshmen would be arriving on campus this Sunday and suddenly the number sixteen did not strike me as a particularly nice number. Time is a funny thing at Dartmouth, seemingly going along at an average pace until you’re standing in line at Novack at 12:30 AM in the morning, refilling your cup of tea for the third time that night because you have 1294890 words to write in three days and finals on the same day and you have to pack and move out of your room and work on that group project and prepare that presentation and figure out what you’re doing for interim or how to maximize suitcase space for your study abroad next term. Until you are walking across the Green at night and you are shaking in the cold because temperatures have dropped and leaves have begun to change color. Time has taken away the claim you had on being a sophomore. As one of my friends stated, “Sophomore summer is the hump day of college”. While I am not so pleased about the prospect of falling action, I can’t say this hump day has been bad. There have been quite a handful of beautiful people, places, moments, my go to running hill in Norwich being one such beautiful place:

IMG_1265 blueberry picking at SuperAcres and the Norwich Farmer’s Market:

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sprawled across a bed in a room with some friends and a flipboard, sitting in front of the VAC at dusk, making sunbutter&J sandwiches for the Fifty, or just walking home alone and looking at Baker Tower, already nostalgic for something that hasn’t ended yet.

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Jul 222014
 

I’m now four weeks into my sophomore summer, a term commonly considered as some sort of golden time, the last term to make the most of my youthful vigor before I’m officially a junior in college and all that’s left for me is the tribulations of the real world (or grad school, which is like half-real world). Summer term certainly differs from other on terms. There is a lot of physical freedom that seems to translate well into the free spirit of summer. With 3/4 of the undergraduate population off, there’s more campus land available per person. I can actually walk normally in Collis after 11s, and save Sundays before a week of midterms, each floor of the library is inhabited by maybe ten people. With less students, Dartmouth feels less like an academic institution and more like an academic summer camp. Provided, of course, that you have a less strenuous course load. This has unfortunately not been true for me and most of my friends, but despite the work, I’ve managed to do something somewhat interesting every week. Programming Board sponsored a trip to Maine this past Saturday, thus allowing me to fulfill my longtime dreams of vacationing in Maine:

Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. dreamy

Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. dreamy

Programming Board also provided us with a free towel and 14X tank top apiece, which was a truly delightful surprise! We were only there for five hours or so, but it was nice to decompress and be in a completely different landscape from campus.

The previous week, my friends and I went to the Andrew Bird concert at the Hop. Students pay a flat price of $10 per ticket for all visiting artists, and $5 for student ensembles. The first time I saw Andrew Bird, I paid around $35 for my ticket. If you’ve never seen him perform or even heard of him, it’s high time you did. He’s simply amazing, creates many of his songs through layers of looped tracks of whistling, violin playing, singing… If I had been at Northwestern 20 years ago, I would have insisted on marriage.

in love.

in love

Before that was Fourth of July weekend. My roommate and I went to Boston and ate a lot. We were supposed to have gone to the Red Sox vs. Orioles game, but it was raining VERY heavily that day and the game was postponed. So instead we ate pizza, walked around the Harvard area, ducked into a used bookstore, and had frozen custard.

And before THAT was STRIPS weekend! STRIPS is the sophomore summer version of First Year Trips. It runs from Friday to midday Sunday, and you can choose what sort of trip you’d like to go on. I went on a moderate hiking trip that encompassed part of the Appalachian Trail. There was a really neat moment coming back to campus on Sunday when I ran across a hiker we had met somewhere on the trail in Vermont the previous night. He and his friend had just graduated high school and were hiking the Vermont Long Trail, part of which coincides with the Appalachian Trail. They wanted to get to Hanover by 3-4 ish the next day so that they could get food in town and spend the night at Velvet Rocks shelter (Velvet Rocks is a great hike just a little off of Main Street). We told them that we would be coming back from Moosilauke Lodge around that time, and my STRIPS leader offered up his phone number, suggesting that they call if they wanted a ride from Norwich, VT (the town just a bridge away) to Hanover. It was kind of surreal to see the boy in the basement of Robo, refilling his water bottle at the tap when just ten hours before we had all been filtering water from the stream, swatting away the mosquitoes, eating our delicious non-perishables (snacks provided by the Dartmouth Outing Club are usually great, we just didn’t have much left besides raisins and granola). I will have fond memories of adding an entire block of Cabot cheese into our three courses of Annie’s mac and cheese.

So the mystique of sophomore summer? A bit of a ruse, really. Occasionally I  hear about Masters games, weekend visits to the copper mines or to the original KAF in Norwich, other traditional sophomore summer things I have no clue about, but as for me, I’m not sure I’ve found Camp Dartmouth yet. Less people, fewer course selections, no Hop café, more construction, all offset by more sun: that’s really 14X.

Jun 082014
 

I suppose the title of this post is a bit of a turn-off since it refers to this period of time in my life as “pre-”, but in some ways the entirety of college is pre, and I couldn’t really think of a better title for interim that didn’t include the word interim.

I suppose I should recap the last bit of my spring term! There was this:

10272630_650716094983945_5687268962227919694_owhich went marvelously, I thought! A bit of a struggle with the death toll chimes in the Berlioz, which had me literally rolling my eyes on stage, but it was a great time regardless. I woke up the next morning with a nice little nacho belly from post-concert Murphy’s and the prospect of catching up on all the studying I had missed for concert week (four, 3 hour rehearsals that week plus the concert itself, and then not being able to do any work the evening of the concert), which was not so marvelous. I spent the following Monday getting trained to be a First-Year Trips leader, which sucked up another 9 hours (three, three-hour sessions back to back) of study time. The training was quite useful, though, seeing as I did need to learn about reading maps and wrapping ankles, and there was also a component called, “Community Building” that I found quite engaging! It was another opportunity to talk about some important features of identity that can come into conflict at Dartmouth, and the trainers also prepped us for different moments of Trips, from the moment that new students arrive at Robo lawn to when they’re back on the lawn after Trips. Anyway, after 9 hours of talking about Trips, I’m very very very excited for this thing to happen. Potential trippees, think about signing up for Section H cabin camping for some quality time in the woods!

 

Other than literally living at a KAF table studying for finals, which for me constituted a test on Friday morning, a test on Saturday morning, and an essay due immediately following the test on Saturday (this was, suffice to say, THE worst finals schedule I have ever had a Dartmouth), some actually tolerable moments in pictures:

deer crossing during a lunchtime run in pine park!

deer crossing during a lunchtime run in pine park. yes, I was frightened, but then I remembered this happening all the time back at home

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evening at the farm

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DSO end of the year brunch/senior send-off, this year replaced with a dinner instead

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and pancake breakfast on my last full day on campus, featuring that maple syrup I’ve been going on about for so long!

Signing off to read more (for leisure! what a novelty!)

Baffling

 Posted by at 2:13 am  No Responses »
May 192014
 

14S: There was contra-dancing the second (?) weekend of term when it was still snowing (in the context of our current weather, this is ridiculous), crashing birthday parties and meeting some great new people through them, meeting people in general, SO many new people, hosting three students for Dimensions, orgo, midterms, getting very sick, SUN, the end of sugaring season and actually having a bottle of syrup we made sitting on my desk, farm, running outside again, good breakfasts, totally confusing stats class situation, more sun, Green Key. In two weeks it will have been a year since my freshman spring term, two years since graduating high school. How did it get so late so soon?

Finals period is actually next week, so here’s a hefty posting of pictures before I wither away for a bit.

Campus looks like this right now (some of the time):

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overdone but I can’t help it, so beautiful

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lush patch feels like home. seriously, socks and sandals are very important in Oregon

Boring but exciting to me, One Wheelock has new mugs:

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Been going on some short runs, here’s Occom Pond! I cannot run around it without seeing at least one couple walking along the path, but I guess love is also beautiful (sorry no pictures though, will work on creeping)

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Funky tree on the way to Balch Hill, going underneath it makes me feel as if I’m adventuring in the wilderness which I guess you could say is pretty lame but I grew up heavily influenced by The Hobbit so now it should make sense:

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In the midst of multiple midterms, meaning orgo, I suddenly found that it was Green Key and there was good music everywhere. Seriously, Collis and Programming Board REALLY stepped it up this year. I met a ’66 (50 year connection, bb, best classes ever) when Reckless Breakfast (folk-y band very well loved in this area) was playing on Collis Patio and we nodded our heads to the music together, most chill interaction I have had with a Dartmouth alum, it was great. There was Block Party on Friday afternoon (turnout amazing considering that it was definitely starting to sprinkle), Lupe Fiasco on Friday night, an event at the Farm and Lawn Party on Saturday, Chainsmokers on Saturday night…

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shoddy picture but tall heights on the patio at the Hill Winds Lawn Party. Free food too!

Despite having all there is good to life available to me this weekend, I spent my days and nights at the library this weekend. My roommate and I were in KAF during the Lupe Fiasco concert (yes, judge, go ahead) and the guy managing took pity on us and told us to take as much food as we wanted out of this treasure-trove of a paper bag. So we did:

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i ate it all

Speaking of kaf, I am now the last person working here tonight and therefore am going to sleep (also the library closes at 2AM so I guess I don’t really have a choice).

 

Next up: ???

 

Emails, Midterms

 Posted by at 1:23 am  No Responses »
Apr 232014
 

Last week was probably the most traumatizing week I have ever experienced at Dartmouth. It was also the most humanity-affirming.

In short: Tuesday morning I woke up and basically couldn’t stand up straight without feeling like collapsing on the floor. I ended up sleeping through both my x-hours, woke up sometime midday with a violent fever, and made the bright decision of emailing my orgo lab prof to inform that there was no way I could stay standing, let alone for lab. She graciously let me miss lab, and I used up any remaining physical strength to email all my professors about missing their classes on Wednesday and writing a SERIOUSLY desperate email to both my orgo and gov profs about rescheduling my midterms. Seriously, so desperate, “I basically can’t stand without feeling like toppling over…”

Wednesday morning I woke up trying to swallow my spit. It felt like I was swallowing large arrowheads. So Saint Marg (my roommate) called S&S to ask if they could drive me to Dick’s House. The nicest officer in the universe picked me up in front of my dorm building and drove me to the nurse, who told me I had something viral and needed to miss class until I got better. I e-mailed this exciting news update to my orgo prof, who finally excused me from the midterm, and then got a ride back to the dorm by S&S. THANK YOU S&S FOR THE RIDES. I slept all throughout that day, with some brief conscious stints for soup, provided by Saints Esther and Marg. Guardian saints, seriously.

Thursday I got better by sleeping more in my room. Friday I had to make up all my midterms. I am still making up lab. I think I sent about 20 blitzes in the span of two days last week. The amount of work I have to catch up on is…

But life must go on here. Some exciting news! Sugaring season is officially over, I missed the final stage of boiling our basically-syrup-sap and bottling it thanks to that terrible illness that befell me, but apparently we’ll be having a bottle-labeling party soon. I’m psyched cuz the syrups looks GEWD. Here’s a picture from the boil we had going at the campus-wide sugaring event two weeks ago (which was, by the way, loads of fun. Get involved in sugar crew next year!!! Did I already talk about this event?):

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Here is something exciting I received that Monday before I was sick:

best care package yet. Biscoff is a drug, basically (but not really, they're cookies, also known as Speculoos cookies)

Biscoff is a drug (but not really, they’re cookies, also known as Speculoos cookies)

Receiving a care package makes you feel so special. Anyone reading this who doesn’t get a care package his/her/ze/zer freshman fall, I will send you something through Hinman. Honestly. It is so uplifting to get mail.

The weather has been getting so beautiful, I went on a run (again, before last Monday) to Balch Hill, here’s a picture of the view of the top:

IMG_0574I maybe got a little lost on the way back down to campus, but after getting into some deer poop patches, I was home free. For those runners out there, there are a plethora of great running trails in the area here, some short, some average, some long, and you can keep up running with a group of people called the Dartmouth Endurance Running Team, DERT for short. You can also get PE credit if you attend enough DERT practices. I found myself to be unfortunately a little too slow for DERT, but I don’t mind because I still can explore trails on my own or with some other friends!

The best adventure of last week, disregarding getting sick, was probably the Friday Night Rock concert! Friday Night Rock is this super campus organization that invites little-known artists to perform at Dartmouth. My freshman year they brought in Marnie Stern, adore her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtwZp2gjN4c&feature=kp

recently, Delorean, also amazing: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/18468-delorean-apar/

and last Friday, one of my new favorites, very up and coming, featured on the NPR sampler of the music at SXSW… Mutual Benefit!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imjD7ogpKCs

After they played, I was freaking out about getting the setlist* from them and one of the FNR organizers/booking manager said, “This is FNR. You can just go talk to them, you know.” I’m a total noob so no, I didn’t know, but now I do and you all do too!

Coming up: Sustainability and social justice dinner, Dimensions, maybe dish on my prospies? Kidding, you can all meet them in person when you are ALL 18s at this school.

 

*setlist currently on my wall of various tokens. Still fangirling. Whadda college win.

Found

 Posted by at 10:11 am  No Responses »
Apr 102014
 

Some people, places, odd bits I’ve found or re-found this term:

1. Campus in the early morning light: I’ve been on this new life plan in which I go to sleep instead of staying up until my eyes burn, and waking up early in the morning to do whatever I need to do. For the past three weeks that’s meant going to the gym around 6:30 AM and getting a small workout in before the start of my day, which has really energized me. This schedule has made me markedly more positive and feel very awake for much more of the day than I usually do. The greatest thing about this routine, though, is that I can walk along the Green when the streets and campus are pretty empty, and there’s this gorgeous orange glow to the whole place. I can order real eggs at Collis (what I consider fake eggs being that pasteurized egg stuff they use for omelets at Collis and Foco) and then do work, sometimes admiring the daily bustle of people getting ready for the day. I love it.

2. Old friends and hopefully new ones: Some oldies have returned from their wonderful off terms doing fabulous things at home or abroad and it’s been SO nice having them back on campus. From an old floormate to my darling LSAers (LSA= language study abroad. LSAers= people who were on my German LSA last summer), to my stand partner in DSO, my life here is so much greater with them than without. Here’s a picture from one of our last Exkursions to the Potsdamer Stadtschloss:

beautiful friends in beautiful place

beautiful friends in a beautiful place

I’ve also been meeting some new people, which has also been really great! I crashed two birthday parties within the last week, meeting friends of friends who are part of different communities on campus. This past Saturday I went contradancing in Montpelier, VT (HIGHLY recommend this activity, like, can we all think about what grinding really accomplishes?) and met some susty folks in the car ride to and back! Susty being short for sustainability, which I didn’t even know because I’m not really one of them, I guess, but I do care about sustainability regardless of whether or not I’m a member of a recognized green group on campus. There are other ways to be environmentally aware, basically through just living your life with that mindset, since we’re all inhabitants on this earth.

3. Places: One Wheelock has continued to be a great place to study in. Look, here’s a mug picture:

IMG_0373I mean, free tea/coffee/hot chocolate/froth after 3 ish? Why would I ever study elsewhere??? Last term a ’17 introduced me to this recently refurbished place in Russell Sage, a dorm which I have been in all of three times in my entire Dartmouth career: IMG_0369There were these funky stove boiler plate sculptures on the walls, along with some obscure mural. It’s a little dark down there, and there was no table when I went, but I’m sure they’ve added more stuff by now. The sofa area was great regardless. ’18s, this place could be just the place for you! Basement of a freshman dorm, how convenient is that?

I also studied in the Hornig Environmental Studies library for the first time. The desk there is HUGE! Been finiding solace at the farm, particularly at the Sugar Shack. I was there late at night last Tuesday with some farm people and sugar crew members, replacing our leaky sap tub. After we finished all our work, we laid down in the snow and looked at the stars. The night sky was so clear and dark, you could see so many of them… It was gorgeous, I really could have fallen asleep there.

4. Good soil: Speaking of farm, lame plant metaphor: I’ve been spreading and digging my roots into opportunities that I think would be rewarding for me in some manner, whether that’s socially, for personal growth, whatever. There’s no guarantee that everything I find will work out for me, but I think it’s good for me to try things out nonetheless! This term I joined America Reads, which is run through the Tucker Foundation here at the school (the Tucker Foundation organizes and offers a lot of social, volunteer, spirituality, etc opportunities). Every Monday I get in a car with three other students (one of the students being also the driver), travel to Samuel Morey Elementary School in Vermont, and read to a new second grader each week. It’s been rewarding so far. I love getting off campus to read with the kids, who have all been really nice to me. I also joined this fairly new Tucker program  called Journey Inwards, Journey Outwards, which is co-led by an old floormate of mine. We had our first discussion last night and I’m already excited for the next meeting. The general theme of the group, to my understanding, is that we turn our inner selves out to the world, make our selves equal. It’s going to be great.

5. Some 18s! It has now been confirmed that one ’18 has read at least one post of mine on this thing, which is extremely flattering. She’s the first ’18 I’ve met, my first Dimensions prospie is coming in tonight, which will make it the fourth time I’ve hosted a prospie at this school! My main aim as a host is to facilitate a prospective’s own experience here, not at all to promote my school. I’ve had a very singular experience here and I don’t aim to misguide by making Dartmouth the Dartmouth that I’ve experienced. I don’t think this school is all good, nor all bad. Again, if you’re here for Dimensions this weekend, the next, or two weekends from now, feel free to contact me: claire.park.16@dartmouth.edu. I’d be more than happy to meet up for a chat! Even if you won’t be here, and you have some questions, I can also address any concerns through e-mail. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I promise honest responses, at least! And to encourage people to speak out, here’s the very last bit of “A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde my roommate sent out the first day of spring term:

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive​

Glückwünsche

 Posted by at 5:55 pm  No Responses »
Mar 282014
 

At 5PM EST yesterday, I was sitting in One Wheelock doing orgo problems as students across the world were receiving word about some of their college acceptances.

The most important relevant of these being Dartmouth. To all the ’18s, congratulations!!! If you haven’t decided yet whether you want to be an ’18 or not, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at: claire.park.16@dartmouth.edu. If you’re planning on visiting, I’d be happy to meet up with you for tea/coffee (on me, of course) on campus!

As for what advice I have to give, or anything I have to share about acceptances, just two:

1) Have an amazing senior spring (if you are in high school) and summer before college. Go crazy within reason and be sure to spend time with your people.

2) With orgo weighing heavily on my mind, I’m reminded of what Professor Aprahamian says at least three times a class period (literally), “If you don’t understand this concept, solve problems. If you do understand it, solve problems. Solve problems, solve problems, solve problems”. I’d like to say that wherever you decide to commit, I hope that you will take college as an opportunity to grow and be better prepared to solve problems. That’s what I look forward to from you ’18s. No evil, as one blogger put it, and much much good!

I’ll end with a froofy little picture of my friends and me after decorating our high school graduation caps, and congratulations again!

my friends were clever in decorating their caps backwards...

my friends were clever in decorating their caps backwards for the sake of our paparazzi parents during graduation…

 

Mar 052014
 

With just finals/studying for finals/complaining about finals/killing the soul for finals left for this term, I’d like to offer myself a brief reprieve from forming premature wrinkles to focus on something that’s provided me with what I like to think of as my main, my little bit of eternity, my “other”: music!

WOW. SO BEAUTIFUL (the violin).

WOW. SO BEAUTIFUL (the violin).

I held a violin for the first time when I was four years old (okay, more like a tinny wooden box with some holes and wires on it) and haven’t given it up since. Apart from a premature mid-music-life crisis when I was eight, during which I had to decide whether or not I really wanted to continue practicing and playing even when I didn’t want to (the ordeal was quite lengthy but was eventually resolved after a few hours of tears and compromising), playing the violin has been the one constant in my life. The violin in the picture and I are reaching five years of a happy marriage, which we’ve been able to further explore here at Dartmouth with our relationship counselor, Mr. Princiotti, in both private lessons and in the symphony orchestra.

If you play any sort of instrument, whether it be brass, wind, string, percussion, or your voice, Dartmouth offers a free Individual Instruction Program. Translation, free lessons if you just sign up! Here’s the link for more info: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~music/performance/

My freshman fall I didn’t enroll for lessons. I did, however, audition for the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and am now very enthusiastically involved in it. Here’s a picture to express my feelings on my musical group affiliation: 469253_10151388436716780_488359831_o

I’m the sigma, be jellin’. We had a great concert this past Saturday, our soloist played an amazing Tchaik (I would LOVE to be that good) and Mussorgsky’s Pictures was fairly awesome as well. You may not believe me, dear reader, but attending DSO concerts, or seeing any sort of performance in general, is really encouraged here. It’s a thing to frequent the Hop for a show on weekends, and/or go out to acapella and dance group shows at some frat on weekdays. I think it’s really inspiring to attend a school where young people, my PEERS and not just the old crogies I always see at classical music concerts, support the arts.

That said, the two other goons you see in the picture above are my best friends who I got to know through DSO, and they successfully convinced me to ask Mr. Princiotti (DSO conductor) if I could take lessons with him starting winter term my freshman year. He agreed, and I’ve been studying with him since! I’ve found Mr. Princiotti to be much more understanding of my busy schedule here at college than all my old violin teachers were of busy-ness in my life, and I’ve really appreciated how relatively relaxing violin lessons here have been. The most stressful aspect of taking lessons, I would say, is performing at a recital appropriately termed, “End-of-Term Recital” because it occurs at the end of term and all violin students are required to perform the piece that they have been learning throughout the term (unless the piece is really difficult, in which case you can ask for an extra term to practice). Despite the fact that these end-of-term recitals are incredibly low key affairs, and the fact that I’ve been performing for years, I still get really nervous about performing. Thankfully this past Monday I played the first movement of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 4 with my friend playing the piano part, so performing was a lot more fun than usual.

I’m sorry that all my photos this time had my mug in them, I’ll try to post more interesting and coherent content next time.

Until then, FINALS!

 

*if at all curious… song referenced to in title is Amy Winehouse’s “Cherry”.

 

 

 

Exotic Dartmouth

 Posted by at 11:21 pm  No Responses »
Feb 262014
 

Every once in a while, when the temperature descends to some truly grim level, I will be informed of the fact that, “Super Cool Girl is off this term and she’s living it up in Fabulous Exotic Warm Place. Her Facebook photos make me so jealous of her because while she’s frolicking on Perfectly Sandy Beach, I’m on this winter, freezing my nose hairs in this sub-zero weather.” And yes, envy is a very rational feeling to experience when you have to wear three layers to walk to class every day and some of your friends are wearing -1 layers to la playa!!! Nontheless, there is nothing that I can do to change the fact that I am on this term, in New Hampshire, during a winter featuring a polar vortex. Hearing about the fabulous in extraordinary locations (mostly places with beaches) does not improve my own situation, and I don’t need to expend brainpower to produce ideas that are not beneficial nor productive for me.

So instead of imagining life being better in other places, which may be true but doesn’t matter because I haven’t mastered teleportation yet, I’m enjoying my calming places here in this frigid, challenging place.

My favorite, manmade Dartmouth locale is the Black Family Visual Arts Center. I can’t verbalize how wondrous it is, so here’s picture of it instead:

from the interwebs
http://www.american-architects.com/projects/42077_Black_Family_Visual_Arts_Center

As a student who is not taking any arts classes inside this building, I can’t access floors 2 and up, but sometimes the doors are open/kind people who have lots of pity for me open the doors to the upper floors and I can sit along those window/balcony areas you see in the picture (this description probably makes no sense, but the VAC is too modern and cool for me to write about it, so I guess you’ll just have to visit or attend Dartmouth to fully understand, ha). That said, I wouldn’t call the VAC an exclusive place. The first floor is plenty beautiful enough for me, with its large, red couches, snazzy student artwork, and these really great, tentacle-looking lamps that all construct a very evocative and yet peaceful milieu. Plus, artists are marginalized by society, so it’s nice to have a place just for them. Last Sunday, I walked over to the VAC after gorging myself on cheesy eggs at Foco and my butt stayed glued to a little red corner couch from 9 til 10PM. I took a short break at 2 to see Spring Awakening at the Hop. The performance was very well executed by Dartmouth students, accolades and applause to all involved! I thought the costumes and set were particularly marvelous considering what I would imagine are relatively limited resources for costuming and the small stage space.

All in all, I’m in love with the VAC and that’s where I hide when I have either a lot of work, or a small amount of work I would like to use as an excuse to hang out there and enjoy the place.

Coming next: A recap of the DSO concert and the violin recital, or how I managed to eek by in both without totally losing face onstage. Here’s a shameless plug for the DSO concert:

Horizontal Snow

 Posted by at 8:11 pm  No Responses »
Feb 192014
 

As I was walking out of my sociolinguistics class the other day, thoughts of my group research project for the class nudging gently at my conscience, I noticed that massive snowflakes, which usually fall from above, were now attacking aggressively falling horizontally into my eyes. A clever person would have understood this as an indication that the world was turning against him/her. Instead, I pressed on, refusing to bow down. By the next morning, however, there was at least two feet of snow in the ground and I was indeed bowed down, what with having to trek through the white stuff (fyi not a bad leg workout if it’s on the plushy side), go to work, actually finish problem sets for Bio so that I would be ready for the second midterm, attend the first workday for maple sugaring, cram practice for my violin lesson and have my violin lesson. Oh, and make time for Foco (our buffet-style dining hall) fondue because it was Valentine’s Day and yes, I was going to be there.

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best type of store-bought cookies ever. Red-sprinkled for Valentine’s Day, green-sprinkled for St. Patrick’s Day, orange-sprinkled for Thanksgiving…

I had underestimated the snowflakes as weaklings that, “dreamt of being in my world/Don’t forget it, don’t forget it/Respect that, bow down” (Beyoncé, “Bow Down”). I’m no Queen B (Queen C doesn’t even work), but I’m not sure if even she could handle my world. As much as the media revels in portraying this institution otherwise, life here at Dartmouth IS difficult. It’s hard being young and figuring out how to balance your activities perfectly, only to have your schedule change in another 9-10 weeks and have to adjust again, it’s hard being unable to identify your passion, it’s hard to decide what to do in the real world post-college, it’s hard being in young society, and it’s really hard to deal with the fact that you feel bad about yourself because you may be squandering time and resources away trying to “find yourself” and blogging about how hard life is here when you are privileged enough to go to this school and there are people out there who literally have no clean drinking water.

So instead of reconciling any of this, I listened to a lot of Ke$ha and One Direction* these last two weeks (sorry I’m behind!) and did these five things:

1. Winter Carnival: On Friday, I went skating with a friend at Lake Morey, this crazy gorgeous locale a little ways away in Vermont that has 4 miles or so of solid ice to skate on. I was a legitimate horror, but once I started pretending I was vacationing at a ski resort in the Alps, I forgave myself for falling any time there was a small dent in the surface of the ice. Later that night I went to Programming Board’s American Authors concert (Programming Board is the student group that organizes, well, programs for students like discounted trips to New York, massages, and concerts like this one). I am not a groupie of the band specifically, but I find live music exhilarating, and it was a good opportunity to display my teeny-bopperness in beat-bobbing glory. Another one of my friends asked me to fill in an empty spot in her human dogsled team for the annual race on Saturday of Carnival, and I readily agreed. We lost, but it doesn’t matter because my zebra spandex finally made its Dartmouth Flair Debut… and I got to spend time with some people I hardly ever see outside of class or the library.

proposing in flair to my friend atop the winter carnival sculpture

proposing in flair to my friend atop the winter carnival sculpture. she said no, don’t worry.

2. Deutsch Backen: I signed up for a baking workshop with a German baker on a whim. German Club was hosting the event, and seeing as I hadn’t been able to make any of the club events all term, I figured this was a prime opportunity since it meant I would be learning how to bake really good cake and then eat it too. The baker had high expectations for buttering the pan, but it was more hilarious than stressful and the quark cake turned out quite nicely. Yum.

3. Sugaring!!! I’m on maple sugaring crew, meaning I go out once a week to work our little sap forest across from the Organic Farm. Almost everyone showed up for last Friday’s workday, and we had a lot of fun deciding what and how to fix the maple sugar taplines. There was at least two, maybe three, feet of fresh snow that day, so we snowshoed up our hill to the trees, took photos, and looked pretty. Oh wait, here’s a picture of us walking back down to the road after working all afternoon. No, we did work, and apparently our system is half operational again, just on schedule!

Model C, presenting a lean back for America's Next Top Maple Sugaring Model

Model CP, leaning for America’s Next Top Maple Sugaring Model. Check out the pack; I am in love with it.

4. XC Skiing, again! I  have become addicted to spending time outside, gliding on short pieces of synthetic material across super beginner-friendly trails. It was another DOC trip out to Hartlands, here’s a picture as promised long ago:

CPIMG_0139

5. Joshua Bell: Sex icon of the world of solo violinists. He performed last night at the Hop in his customary black button up. I listened to his Fritz Kreisler CD back in ’03, and even after all these years, I still adore him. Very grateful to Dartmouth for making it possible for world-class acts to perform here, though if it were up to me, I’d renovate the practice rooms at the Hop first. Keep your students classy too, you know? Still, Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata was na$ty. You keep doing your thing, Josh <3

Coming up: Home stretch of term, or how grim the library’s Orozco murals are at 1AM in the morning (they’re pretty interesting already)

 

*linear relationship between the number of plays these two artists get on my Spotify and the extent to which I am struggling with life. If life’s not too bad, Haim and Disclosure are pretty great.