Reem Chamseddine

Jun 032014
 

Freshman Year: Check.

I am writing this final post on my way to Logan International Airport, to catch a flight back to Beirut, Lebanon. Although I am excited to be with family and among high school friends, I leave with much nostalgia at all the great memories and experiences I’ve had this year.

The last couple of days before Move-out Day, and after finals were over, everyone was wrapping up the year and enjoying the beautiful summer weather as they please.
My friends and I went kayaking on the river (the Connecticut River is a ten-minute walk from campus), visited the Dartmouth organic farm (totally run by students and only 3 miles off campus), and soaked in the sun on the Green. 20140603_163949 20140524_181414

For my very last night on campus, we stayed up all night to watch the sunrise from a fourth-floor balcony in one of the residential buildings.

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These last few days after the hectic finals period reminded me of what I love most about Dartmouth: the people. I am so incredibly thankful for the friends I’ve made here, and I can not wait to come back, get to know them even better over the next three years, and make new friends along the way.

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Happy Summer!

May 232014
 

Sun, music, and bbqs: this is what Green Key is all about! Green Key is the big weekend of the Spring Term. And as much as I enjoyed Homecoming Weekend and Winter Carnival Weekend, this weekend was even better!

 

A welcome break from a busy week with a few midterms, GK was a relaxing time with friends and most of it was spent outside enjoying the beautiful weather. The Big Concert was on Friday Night, and the artist was LUPE FIASCO, which is crazy that we all get to see him from free right on campus! Below is a picture of a classmate and waiting before he came on stage!

 

And then over the next 2 days, there are all sorts of fun events, from BBQs to comedy shows and outdoor dance parties and gatherings by the river and canoeing trips. Below is another picture of me and 2 friends about to swim in the river on Saturday morning.

So far, spring has been so much fun, but also going by so fast with classes ending next week. My freshman year at D is almost over, and GK was definitely a good weekend to reconnect again with friends and just have time to enjoy being here. lupe river

May 112014
 

Week 7 just ended! It’s crazy how fast time goes by here at Dartmouth.

This weekend was a perfect spring weekend. I had finals last week so this weekend was relatively easy in terms of work-load. And the weather was great!

There was a Relay for Life race, where you could run to raise money and/or awareness for cancer.  It was a 24 hour event and lasted throughout the night. Here is a picture of me and a teammate who did laps for Relay for Life.

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It was also Pow-wow, which is a celebration of Native American culture, and the Green was busy on Sunday with dancing, booths, and many students and community members celebrating this annual event. (Fun fact: Dartmouth was founded in 1769 to educate Native Americans in the region).

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On Community

 Posted by at 3:21 pm  No Responses »
Apr 272014
 

This weekend, I got to go to SIX FLAGS NEW ENGLAND for the first time ever. As part of the International Student Association which organized this trip, choosing to go was a no-brainer (Picture of the crew attached!).

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The reason I am writing about this, though, is to talk about community at Dartmouth- going on this trip made me think of the different communities I have here, one of which is the International Student community of course.

I thought of my first year floormates, my tripees, my chemistry lab group, my Link-up (women networking) friends, and my Tucker Leaders in Community fellow students.

The word community can be quite exclusive, I suppose, but this is not the case here at D. Communities change over time, to allow more people in and out, and communities form for the silliest reasons throughout your time here. Communities overlap, too, and the way in which communities happen is quite random and natural. I love being part of the different communities at Dartmouth, and obviously am proud of be part of the larger Dartmouth community.

Apr 212014
 

Hey all,
So it’s been a while since my last post and it’s all because of how busy this term has been, but also because of how much fun the Spring that everyone is always outside enjoying the warmth on the Green and in town!

A few weekends ago, I got to attend a bioethics bowl in Chicago, along with three other Dartmouth students. We had prepared for this conference for a few weeks, over spring break, and then headed to Chicago with our cases prepared and ready for debate. Bioethics is an event that happens under the Ethics Institute, which also organizes a lot of cool events and offers an ethics minor (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ethics/). It was a very great learning experience, and being there with many other students from other schools was great fun, too. It’s definitely nice to represent D away at a conference and to get to know fellow students. Finally, a picture of the team in the Windy City is attached.

Happy Spring!

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Apr 012014
 

To start off,
Congratulations to the great (potential) class of 2018! It honestly feels like yesterday that I was on cloud 9 thinking about Dartmouth and the future and it all seemed so faraway and too good to be real! I hope you all share these sentiments and are excited about the Big Green! We, “upperclassmen” I suppose, are psyched to welcome you all at Dimensions and to have you stay with us and meet us and contact us, and hopefully join us next term.

For those of you that did not quite make it, I am sure you must be frustrated- take the time to be upset/disappointed. Your feelings are totally valid. That said, Dartmouth is obviously not the only school in which you can enjoy yourself and have a great experience- and I wish you the best of luck! And please remember that not being accepted somewhere does NOT define you as a person! So many other factors – some outside your control- come into play and you should not take it personally.

On another note, this is the second week of Spring Term. One thing I love about those first few days of the term is how easy it is to start fresh; make new friends, take new classes, and join a new organization! At the same time, the terms go by so fast that it already feels like we’ve been back for a while. This weekend, the Dartmouth Model UN club hosted its ninth annual conference for high school students, and it was really fun to be part of a big secretariat team and to spend all weekend together trying to pull off a successful event. So yeah, that was definitely a big part of my Spring Term (despite it lasting for just 3 days) that I wanted to share with you all. dartmun

Mar 132014
 

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Just as the weather was warming up a little here in Hanover, a blizzard hit and rendered Dartmouth Winter W onderland again. Say what you will about the cold, but snow- in good times- can mean adventure.

I say good times because the academic term just ended, and the snow storm hit while I was leaving my last final for the term.

Finals are stressful anywhere I suppose, but perhaps more so here because the terms are only 10 weeks long and it always feels like there isn’t enough time to study. That said, a lot gets done to ensure that you don’t get too over your head; study groups, study breaks, and q and a sessions are organized by various offices… My chem prof got us clementines during our chem final- so we won’t “get vitamin c deficiency in case we get stranded in the classroom!”.
In any case, back to my earlier point, being done with finals feels great! And then when the storm started, a few friends who were also done with finals and I headed over to the BEMA and then the golf course to sled. Super cold, snow was too thick, but was so great to be able to go outside and enjoy the nature that the Dartmouth campus offers.

Next post will be about spring term! They go by so fast :(

 

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Feb 252014
 

Dartmouth has consistently been ranked #1 for best undergraduate teaching. But with all the deadlines and midterms approaching, it is easy to forget this and complain about the pile of work left undone.

I was recently reminded of how great the professors here are, and I’d like to share that with you.
I realized that my science professor, who teachers 100 or so other students, knows the students in his class by name. I was asking a question in class and – I had never had a conversation with him where I formally introduced myself- he said, “Yes, Reem”. I was surprised, but then noticed that he went on to call all those who asked questions by their first names. If that doesn’t demonstrate how caring and attentive a professor is, I don’t know what does.

In related news, a classmate and I had lunch with our professor on Dartmouth’s dime a few weeks ago. Dartmouth’s Undergraduate Deans’ Office sponsors a “Take a professor to lunch” program, where they provide a voucher for a meal at the Hanover Inn. It is pretty obvious, I suppose, that Dartmouth wants students to build relationships with their professors outside of the classroom. The lunch was an opportunity for us to discuss the class, our academic interests, but also general life topics!

Feb 132014
 

This past weekend was Winter Carnival, one of Dartmouth’s better known traditions. Winter Carnival is the Winter Term Big Weekend, the same way that Homecoming is Fall Term’s Big Weekend. There is nothing like a 3-day weekend halfway through the term to remind everyone again of the great community that we have here at Dartmouth, and of the fun things winter brings when one goes outside!

There were many events happening at the same time, which is a little overwhelming, but the good thing is that any event you go to will be guaranteed fun. From the ice-sculpture building, to the Polar Bear Challenge (swimming inside a frozen lake!), to the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the many themed parties, Winter Carnival was a blast. This year’s theme was carnival of thrones, and so there was a student-build ice throne in the center of the Green. Pictures are attached!

 

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Jan 262014
 

 

Generally speaking, dorms do not sound like the most glamorous living arrangement. I have to say, though, that living at Dartmouth is as great as dorm experiences can get. I will focus on first year living communities, as I am a first year and some of you readers might be in the near future!

First year communities differ from upperclassmen housing because they provide your “freshman floor” support network, your chance to establish your lifestyle as college student, and perhaps your first experience with a roommate and your first time living away from home. Dartmouth has 6 First Year residential communities, and here’s a bit about each.
- The Choates: older buildings, close to center of campus and library, mostly made up of doubles.
-The River: newish architecture (glass walls), far from most of campus, but has really great common rooms and contains the climbing gym.
- McLaughlin: Newest of all dorms, very nice spacious rooms, very close to the Life Sciences Center (for those taking that 8:45 bio course)
- Russel Sage AND Fahey-Mclane: old school type of building, mostly made up of 2-room triples (3 people, 2 rooms), but rooms are very nice and have fireplaces for decorative purposes. Very close to campus.
- East Wheelock: This is where I live and it is my favourite, obviously. It’s a little far from center of campus, but right across from the gym. East wheelock requires a special application (after your first year) because it tries to foster an intellectual community, where artists, authors, and visitors to campus are invited to speak over dinner at intimate gathering at East Wheelock’s Dean’s House. Rooms are nice, spacious, and some come with bathrooms!

Most of the places I listed are not individual buildings, but rather 3 or 4 that are connected somehow. They are known as “Clusters”. It is important for the college that first years live ON CAMPUS, and in these well-connected communities. All floors in every building have a UGA (undergraduate advisor), who is an uperclassman/women who is there to provide advice, social opportunities, and establish general rules of conduct for the floor. PS: photo below is of my floormates and our UGA on homecoming weekend

As a first year, you do not choose where you will live, but you have some say in the kind of roommate you will get based on your habits such as sleep schedule, neatness, and study time. That said, I have yet to meet a person who moved out of their room because of roommate issues/floor issues/room size issues. Most freshmen end up enjoying their living arrangements no matter what cluster they end up in, and that is what matters the most about residential life at Dartmouth.

McLaughlin Cluster

McLaughlin Cluster