Mar 022015
 

So I have a handful of beloved professors at Dartmouth. On the list are Vera Palmer and Colin Calloway, both from Native American Studies (NAS). I’ve already talked about my experience with NAS in previous posts so I’m going to try to branch out a little this time.

That leaves me with one of the coolest (and sassiest) profs around: Jason Houle.

I took Professor Houle’s Quantitative Analysis of Social Data (SOCY 10) in the Sociology department last term. This was hands down one of my favorite classes at Dartmouth. I’m probably a little biased because I really like math and critical thinking but I truly felt so engaged throughout the entire 10-week course.

He wasn’t afraid to lightly poke fun at the students in our class, incorporating various facts about Dartmouth into the class examples of problem-solving. He created problems that required us to calculate the variance in GPA between various fictional Greek letter organizations, utilized campus characters like our College President, and other aspects that made the questions more relatable. Over all it was just plain fun. I don’t think a lot of people say that college statistics is a very fun subject, but Professor Houle definitely made it so.

Honestly, I wish I had taken SOCY 10 with him sooner and could have known how engaging he can be. I would have loved to have taken his Sociology of Mental Health class.

Professor Jason Houle

Feb 172015
 

I think I’ve mentioned this in one or two of my previous posts, but the biggest reason that I chose Dartmouth was the large Native American community and esteemed Native American Studies program.

I’m Native myself, a member of the Chickahominy Tribe, but was raised in a conservative, predominantly white community in Southern California. My mom made sure that my sister and I grew up with a lot of knowledge of and ties to our culture. I was used to being the only Native kid at my school; it was all I knew. But once I got to high school, I felt extremely isolated from the rest of the student body. This was largely due to my school’s mascot: the Warrior. It was hard to see my culture be trivialized and essentially mocked for the enjoyment of a cohort of people that had no idea what any of the appropriated symbols stood for or how damaging it is to rely on stereotypes of an entire race of people. I knew that I needed a different experience in college. I needed a supportive community that would understand and share my same life experiences and perspectives.

I heard that Dartmouth had a large Native student population, now almost 5%, which is one of the largest statistics of any competitive school in the country. I started to research more and discovered the Native American Studies program. While I had already come from a strong cultural background, I knew that there was more I needed to learn. I want to work as a doctor in a tribal community and I thought that the best way to serve my people was to be sure that I learn more, especially since no two Native American communities in the United States are identical. As an interdisciplinary program, Native American Studies has allowed me to explore Native experiences through historical, political, cultural, literary, and anthropological lenses.

Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD) Grad

I was pretty set on Dartmouth after learning about all of the resources that would be available to me here as a Native student. And as I researched other aspects of the College, I started to idealize this place and fell in love. I saw satirical videos and articles published by the Jack-O-Lantern, the humor magazine on campus that Dr. Seuss once wrote for. I learned about the various famous alumni of the College: Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost, Mindy Kaling, Rachel Dratch, Shonda Rhimes, Aisha Tyler, and the list goes on. I read about all of the really quirky campus traditions: freshman bonfire, polar bear swim, human dog-sled race, etc. I wanted to go to a school that would provide me with opportunities to just have fun and enjoy my youth while I still have it.

Plus the fact that Dartmouth was ranked #1 in undergraduate teaching at the time was a huge bonus. I didn’t realize how important it would be for me to be able to have intimate classroom experiences with my professors and classmates, and to receive more personal attention to bolster my understanding and learning of the material. As my largest class this term has 13 students, I can say that I absolutely cannot imagine learning in a different (larger) environment.

I have learned and grown so much here. I can’t imagine having gone to another college.

Jan 282015
 

People are often surprised (and even confused) when I tell them that I’m double majoring in Romance Languages and Native American Studies, modified with Global Health.

What a mouthful.

The truth is, with a liberal arts education like Dartmouth’s you can combine any set of academic fields and make it work. I’m interested in working in Indigenous healthcare, both in the US and abroad. So my three fields of study really do overlap.

I’ve found a lot of flexibility with modifying one’s major at Dartmouth. Most majors require about 10 courses in the respective department. When you modify, you usually take about 6 major courses and 4 courses in the area of modification. In my case, I have taken predominantly Native American Studies courses and a handful of courses that pertain to Global Health.

Romance Languages was the perfect solution to a small problem I had my freshman year. I studied Spanish in high school but always wanted to learn French. But in the process of studying French, I didn’t want to lose my knowledge of Spanish. Catch 22.
Then I found out that you can major in both! When studying Romance Languages, you focus 2 of the 4 languages offered (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese). It’s really fun to be able to learn multiple languages, which is really easy to do here because of our unique Drill Method.

I know people who are combining Chemistry with Digital Arts and Economics with Arabic. College is the only time to be able to explore your passions. When you get there, don’t be afraid to study what you want rather than what you think you should. Why waste time with something that doesn’t inspire you?

Jan 212015
 

I primarily decided to come to Dartmouth for its large Native student population. I knew that I wanted to be part of a community that would support me academically, socially, and culturally – especially at a school that is so far away from my home state of California and tribal community in Virginia.

 

Founded in the early 1970s after the recommitment of the College to its founding principle (educating Native youth), Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD) has become the center of the Native life on campus. Officially NAD aims to provide a voice for indigenous experiences and concerns, as well as to facilitate relationship-building between community members. From putting on informal events like community dinners and study breaks to organizing discussions with faculty and visitors to campus, we really try to engage with one another in all regards. We have many students in our community who are non-Native and we welcome the opportunity to teach other Dartmouth students about our cultures and perspectives.

The Native American House is the unofficial headquarters of NAD. I can go there at any time of day to find friends, eat leftover food, or even take naps. And I’ve had many impromptu sleep-overs with friends and classmates there during finals and reading periods…

Native American House

NAD also hosts the Dartmouth Powwow that takes place every Mother’s Day Weekend (Saturday & Sunday) on the Green, a very central and visible space on campus. It’s the second largest student-run powwow on the East Coast and is, in my opinion, one of the most important events that takes place at Dartmouth. The Powwow Committee works hard all year-round to put everything together. It is definitely not something to miss!

Dartmouth Powwow

There are a handful of “sub-groups” within NAD that have special focuses like the Occom Pond Singers (drum group), Native Dancing Society (powwow dancing), Indigenous Living Languages (focused on language revitalization), First Voices (publication focused on indigenous issues), and many more!

Occom Pond Singers

NAD is essentially the glue that keeps the Native community together, providing forums to interact with each other and explore all kinds of areas (cultural, academic, political, etc.). It has truly given me a family and a home away from home. I cannot imagine my time at Dartmouth without this community.

Jan 192015
 
Dartmouth

Hello there, incredible smart and talented applicants!

 

In just a short time, you will be starting your college career at what I believe will be a great institution for you, Dartmouth or otherwise.

 

Luckily, I found a great home at Dartmouth, but the application and admission process can be quite taxing. It causes you to constantly wonder whether or not you are “good enough”. Trust and believe that regardless of the decision, you and your application impressed the Admissions Officers at Dartmouth. The fact that you even chose to apply to Dartmouth showcases your bravery, drive, and determination. Here are 3 tips I recommend for dealing with a declined or rejected offer of admission. Best of luck!

 

Kevin Gillespie ‘15

 

  1. When one door closes many more can open

 

Remember that you are very smart and very talented. You have spent your entire life thus far proving exactly the aforementioned. Many colleges and universities will be impressed with what you offer to their community and their incoming class. If Dartmouth says “no”, just think of how many more schools now have the chance to say “yes”. Talk to your counselors, friends, family, mentors, etc. about where you should apply now. While Dartmouth hones incredible leaders and intellectuals, many institutions do the same. New doors are now wide open for you–now you have to dare to enter.

 

  1. Remember that you are more than your application

Though your application may be a summary of your hard work, it is certainly not the end all. Scores, grades, and accomplishments are only part of your story. When you begin the process of applying elsewhere, be sure to showcase as much about you as possible. I often find that the students who tend to be admitted do well at this. Treat your application as a story you want to tell. Something compelling, heartfelt, and colorful. Crafting such an application goes far beyond the paper form itself. Show your inner picasso or einstein. You are truly incredible. Now is your time to shine even brighter than before.

  1. Have fun

 

 

Remember that elementary school you? Yeah, the kid that didn’t think much about college,  jobs, research, or Model UN?  Remember to be this person. College is so much fun! You are about to have what may very well be the funnest time of your young life. Dartmouth may have been the platform for said fun, but even if it isn’t, all hope is not lost. College is more than a new start to the awesome resume you’ll build in the next four years–it’s the place where you’ll make new friends, interact with incredible professors, and build an incredible you! More so, don’t forget that you are finishing your last year of grade school. Create memories that will last a lifetime and remember that the college admissions process is only part of that.

Well, I hope these few tips help you to relax and recall how epic of a human being you are. The answer from Dartmouth may be “no”, but the fun, crazy, and overly engaging moments you hope to have are still straight ahead!

Dec 172014
 

Although I never want to admit that I’m getting older, I can’t deny that a new class is joining the ranks! And while I do not know whether to be jealous of all the love they will be showered with in the coming year or welcome them with gift baskets full of Dartmouth gear, I can say I’m glad the new prospies-turned-19s are getting ready to take the reigns! It’s a bit sad to admit, but when people ask me what year I am, I still struggle to remember I’m a sophomore (or a ’17) because freshman year was such an amazing year for me thanks to the community and opportunities I found at Dartmouth.

But enough about me, this is dedicated to you, 19s! The essays, the tests, the recommendations… we know applying wasn’t easy. But congratulations on all of the hard work you put into getting to where you are today. You’ve got the rest of your senior year to go out with a bang! So make it happen and get ready for a whirlwind of emotions, experiences and EBAs because Dartmouth is more than ready for you to set foot on campus in September and find your way as the best class ever!

Need some help on your journey to becoming the best class ever? Be sure to check come back to DartBeat for FAQs, advice for your incoming class, and many voices of Dartmouth experiences!

For those of you who don’t have your college fate sealed yet, don’t fret! The road hasn’t ended for you and you still have the rest of senior year to make the choices you want to make and plan the life you want to lead. So don’t give up hope now because the future is still ahead of you, so make the most of it!

Dec 102014
 

Do you want to see the world but don’t have the means to? If you’re like me then the answer is yes.

Luckily, The William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth (AKA The Tucker Foundation) provides loads of opportunities for undergrads to travel for little to no cost through their service trips.

The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program allows students to lead and attend service-learning trips, both international and domestic, over spring break (in mid-March). On these trips, students conduct short-term projects for communities to help and learn about social justice issues such as poverty, homelessness, health disparities, and the environment.

This year, students will be traveling to Denver, the Dominican Republic, Florida, Washington DC, and West Virginia. I participated on the Dominican Republic trip in 2012 which focused on development in Batey Libertad, a Haitian migrant community in the western part of the country. ASBs typically cost students $200, which covers transportation, food, and housing. Luckily, financial aid is available for those who cannot afford the $200.

The Tucker Foundation also sponsors the Nicaragua Cross Cultural Education and Service Program (CCESP) to Siuna, Nicaragua for two weeks during winter break. This trip consists of two teams: Community Health & Community Development. The Community Health team is comprised of mostly undergrads and a handful of Geisel medical students and Dartmouth-affiliated doctors. They set-up a temporary health clinic and see patients from various communities of the area, as well as work with health promoters from each community to explore and address prevalent public health concerns. The Community Development team is made up of all undergrads who help with infrastructural development in the area. When I went on this trip in 2012, the Development team aided in a clean-water project.

Both the ASB and CCESP require a seminar during the entirety of the term before the trips to learn relevant cultural and political background of the countries and specific areas of travel/service.

View of Siuna, Nicaragua from above

View of Siuna, Nicaragua from above

To learn more about the Tucker Foundation, visit their website here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~tucker/

I hope you consider participating in one of these programs if you come to Dartmouth! They were very rewarding experiences for me.

Jun 052014
 

So Senior Week and Graduation are finally upon us here in Hanover.  I wish I could give you some dazzling, worldly advice, but I can’t come up with much that hasn’t already been said.  I guess all I’ve got is

1.  Don’t be evil.

2.  They’re spelled ‘Novack’ and ‘Occom’, not ‘Novak’ and ‘Occum’.

A lot of my first couple years here was spent trying to be the kind of person who would be able to give advice once I graduated.  I saw the ’11s and the ’12s and the incredible things they brought to this school, and wanted to be exactly like them.  I joined a ton of clubs, took hard classes, had countless auditions and interviews, wrote a questionably-articulate admissions blog, and realized that I wasn’t very good at most of the things I did.  I got rejected from a lot of things, and was mediocre at the ones I did.  When I became social chair of my fraternity, I took the ego gratification of a executive position over the moral gratification of doing something I actually cared about, and I was miserable.  I’d finally found the one thing I was good at, and I hated it.
It was a weird experience, but as I’ve probably mentioned before, the friends I made and the skills I gained along the way made it worth it.  Sometimes, it really is the side effects that save us.  Dartmouth has been nothing if not humbling, and at this point, I don’t feel like I can say anything that wouldn’t be more meaningful if you learned it on your own.
(Though I will reiterate that both evil and misspellings are generally frowned upon at this institution.  Just a heads-up.)

Anyway, I’ll be back here in the fall for the fifth year of the engineering program, but I’m still saying goodbye to a lot of things.  A lot of my friends, a lot of my extracurriculars, this blog.  I’m passing on a lot of institutional memory to the younger members of the clubs I do.  (GET IT??  THE TITLE IS TOTALLY A PUN!!)  It took four years of humbling myself and learning from people who were actually passionate and good at things, instead of blindly trying to one-up them, but now maybe I am a little bit relevant.

In keeping with that theme, I’ll be helping organize Orientation in the fall, so i’ll probably meet you then.  Enjoy your summers, enjoy Trips, and, as always, blitz me if you have any questions whatsoever.  stefan.j.deutsch.14@dartmouth.edu

See you in the fall,

Your vox clamantis interneto

Mar 282014
 

First and foremost, congratulations to the Dartmouth Class of 2018!  Your hard work has paid off and we couldn’t be any more proud of you.  Even though you’re objectively the worst class ever, we’re pretty impressed.

It’s gonna be hard to say something that the rest of the bloggers haven’t already covered, so I’ll keep this brief.  Dartmouth is real, it’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way.  And you’re gonna rock it.

Taylor Swift did not go to Dartmouth, but she probably would have written some good songs about it.

Due to a combination of factors (impending graduation, fundraising for the senior class gift, writing this blog post, watching “Garden State”) I’ve been pretty nostalgic lately.  And I couldn’t be happier about that.  I’ve made memories strong enough to last me until now.  I have something that makes it hard to say goodbye.  So I guess that’s the best advice I can give you – spend the rest of high school making some memories that will make it hard to say goodbye (or at least give you good stories when you get to college).

South Park describes my life disconcertingly well.

You’re on the verge of one of the biggest steps in your life – enjoy it.  Seriously, don’t overthink it.  Do what feels right when you’re making your college pick.  You’ll be ok.

One of my favorite parts of “Garden State” is when Natalie Portman tells Zach Braff that he needs to do something ridiculous because “…this is your one opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before and that no one will copy throughout human existence. And if nothing else, you will be remembered as the one guy who ever did this…”  Nobody else is going to take the same path through Dartmouth that you do, so all you can do is make it count.  Of course, don’t worry too much about making yourself unique, you already will be.  The biggest realization I had during my freshman year was that I spent so much time trying to figure out who I wanted to be that I forgot to be myself.  (It was also the most cliche moment of my life.)

Anyway, congratulations again.  Enjoy senior spring.  Come to Dimensions.  I’ll get a meal with you.  I’m not kidding, email me at sjd@dartmouth.edu and say you read this on my admissions blog.  I will be so happy that people actually read this that I’ll probably buy you a cookie or something.  Most of all, welcome home.

Dec 112013
 

“You know, you really don’t have to check the second they put it up. You already got into some decent schools. Don’t worry about whatever that letter will say.”

“Yes ma’am, I know…”

“Good. Then you can get off of your phone and check when we get home.”

“MOM. MOM. MOM.”

“WHAT? Do I need to pull over?”

“NO. MOM, I JUST GOT INTO DARTMOUTH. I’m sorry; I checked. I DON’T EVEN CARE WHAT THE OTHER LETTERS SAY. I GOT INTO DARTMOUTH. That was the only one where I thought, ‘I really loved my interview. If I get into this college, it will have been because of me and on my own.’ DARTMOUTH, MOM. I AM SO HAPPY.”

We're so happy for you!

We’re so happy for you!

If you’re at all like me after I read my acceptance letter, you’re probably so excited right now that you’re stalking everything Dartmouth related on the internet, including but not limited to: blog posts about Dartmouth, Dartmouth paraphernalia, every instagram picture with either #dartmouth or #dartmouth18s, just to find your future classmates, et cetera. First of all, you have every right to do these things. You just got accepted into COLLEGE. All of your hard work has finally paid off. That super padded resume you’ve been building for 4+ years and those hours you spent prepping for standardized tests are finally behind you (for now).

Secondly and perhaps most importantly, I would like to tell you CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to officially welcome you into our Big Green family once you arrive on campus next fall. You’ve made the right choice, and after alerting all social media of which institution you’ll be attending next fall, you can relax. Breathe. Know that what lies ahead is far greater than what you may be leaving behind, and that it is all worth it. Of course, don’t forget about the remainder of your senior year. Cherish these moments you have with your friends and family. At the same time, remember that you are still a student. You still have to pay attention in classes so try your best not to become a victim of senioritis. No pressure.

You guys are the lucky ones, so just remember that. You know where you are going to be spending the next 4+ years of your life, and that is a luxury in itself. You know what you can do now? Stay away from College Confidential and try to be supportive of your friends now and throughout the year as they determine which school their parents will be giving their money to, rather, which school colors they will be proudly wearing from now on. Some of them have to wait until March – even April – to find out where they’ve been accepted. You thought this wait was torture?! You thought wrong. Well, no, it probably was too, but still. It wasn’t that bad because you just got your fairy tale happy ending. YOU ARE GOING TO DARTMOUTH. THE BIG GREEN. THE D. THE DART. DARTHIGH. DU. HOME. I could go on giving you nicknames for the best college ever, not figuratively, forever. Suffice it to say, YOU’RE IN! I apologize for the caps lock overload in this post, but I am just so excited for you. You’re Dartmouth ’18s and you actually exist now. Unbelievable. We ’17s just got here! It’s fine though; we still love you. Good luck with the rest of your exams and finish out senior year with a bang!