Some students considering Dartmouth may be nervous about the weather or the cold, but today reminded me of why I love wintertime at Dartmouth. Students that come here learn to take advantage of and love the beautiful white snow that covers campus. From skiing at the Dartmouth Skiway, to ice skating on Occom Pond, to school wide midnight snowball fights, students here know how to keep having fun outdoors even when the snow starts to fall (and doesn’t seem to stop!). From my experience, winter brings people together at Dartmouth, and new adventures are always available if you want. In just one week so far this term, Dartmouth has offered free cross-country ski lessons, winter hiking opportunities, beginner and intermediate gym classes for skiing and snowboarding, hockey games, and more! Not only will you learn to bear the New Hampshire winter, but if you’re like me, you will learn to love it!
This post goes out to all the Dartmouth students that are now home for the holidays with this year’s new Academic Calendar extending from Thanksgiving to New Years as well as to the brand new ’17s that are, as of today, part of our Dartmouth family! Congratulations! I am excited to meet the DC- area ’17s at the Dartmouth Club of DC Holiday Party coming up next week.
As I finish up my time at home in DC this fall quarter, I have realized how crazy fast the time has gone by. After having this “real life” job, I am ready to go back and enjoy my time as a student for a little while longer. Although I have learned so much more in these past ten weeks than I could have imagined I would, I also miss my friends, my sorority and my classes that didn’t start until ten and were only a few steps outside my door. Get ready ’17s, for a fantastic college experience, whether you are in Hanover or taking off-terms in cities all over the world, take advantage of all of it! We’re all waiting to see what you’ll do.
Also, say ‘Hi!’ on campus!
Chris O’Connell ’13 is the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips Program.
Class of 2017 – Welcome to Dartmouth!
Congratulations on your acceptance and for getting through one of the more stressful parts of high school! I remember how overwhelmingly crazy this time of year was with college decisions, so I hope you have had a few minutes to relax, celebrate, and get as excited as you possibly can for your next four years in Hanover.
My name is Chris O’Connell and I am the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips Program – usually just known as “Trips.” I am SO incredibly excited for you all to come to Dartmouth in 8ish months. It seems like a long ways away (…because it is), but it will fly by and before you know it, we’ll be welcoming you to campus for your First-Year Trip!
DOC First-Year Trips first got its start in 1935 when some older students involved in the College’s outing club invited some new students to go hiking with them before the school year started. Since then, the program has evolved, grown, and expanded to be much more than exploring the beautiful New Hampshire outdoors – Trips is an introduction to the College’s traditions, a fun way to meet other ‘17s, and (most importantly) an exciting welcome into this community…your community!
Each Trip is 5 days long and takes place right before the College’s official orientation program in late August/early September. The program is entirely student-run: 60 support crew members, 300 trip leaders, and countless other student volunteers make DOC Trips an incredibly memorable and exciting experience for the incoming class. Each trip has two, well-trained, upperclassmen leaders & 7-10 new students. Don’t worry if you haven’t been in the wilderness before – we offer trips of all levels and varieties, everything from Cabin Camping to Whitewater Kayaking to Community Service to Mountain Biking. We have added a lot of different types of trips over the years, so we hope you’ll find one that interests you!
I’m a member of the (great) Class of 2013, so it was only four years ago that I went on my own DOC Trip – rock climbing! I had never been climbing before, but I had the chance to learn and check out a beautiful portion of the Appalachian Trail. Three years ago, I got to lead a hiking trip in the White Mountains and had a blast leading a group of freshmen through their first days at Dartmouth. The experience you can have on your DOC Trips is one of Dartmouth’s most unique traditions — it’s a great way to get introduced to people different from yourself, learn about the Dartmouth community, and get connected to upperclassmen who can help you out during your time at the College.
Everyone’s experience with DOC Trips is different, but we are working very hard to welcome YOU – whoever you are, wherever you came from, whoever you want to be in college – to your new home at Dartmouth. Registration materials (with dates & details) for Trips will be sent to you later in 2013, but for now – enjoy this moment and get excited for an incredible four years!
I’m looking forward to welcoming you to campus next fall! Enjoy the rest of your senior year!
Chris O’Connell ‘13
P.S. Can’t get enough of Dartmouth right now? Check out our Trips blog for more stories, photos, and excitement!
A major facet of Sophomore Summer is taking advantage of all of the opportunities that Dartmouth has to offer. While special classes are offered only over the summer, certain community service activities take off during these ten weeks, and ample chances to meet classmates exist, certain outdoor experiences are unique to the summertime.
Last Thursday night, five friends and I went to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for dinner. Every night of the summer student chefs prepare and serve a five-course homemade meal to Dartmouth students and locals. Our meal was inspired by an “Around the World” theme and thus we got to enjoy nann, egg drop soup, a garden salad, onion rings, chicken fajitas and chocolate mousse. Needless to say, we were all stuffed by the end! While the meal itself was truly enjoyable, my favorite part of the night was that I was doing something different than my usual Thursday evening with a group of great friends. After the meal, a local duo played guitar and sang songs that they had written. The one-hour car ride each way flew by as we shared stories of our summers and had a good time being together. The road back to Hanover from the Lodge is known to be home to many animals, including the moose! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we did not see one on this road trip home.
The majority of Dartmouth students have their first Lodge experience during Dartmouth Outing Club’s freshmen pre-orientation trips. After five days hiking, canoeing, biking, rock climbing or doing community service with two upperclassmen and a group of 6-10 new classmates, students end the trip with dinner and an unforgettable night of fun at the Lodge (I don’t want to give away any of the awesome surprises!)
Peter Hackett is a Professor of Theater and chair of Dartmouth’s theater department.
To the Class of 2016:
Every day as I walk to my office in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, I pass the portraits of the extraordinarily dynamic teachers who served in the theater department years ago. The gentleman with the impish smile and the irresistible twinkle in his eye is Professor Rod Alexander, the man who guided me to a life in the theater when I was, like you, an eager and energetic Dartmouth undergraduate.
A consummate comedian and master teacher, Rod not only knew exactly what to say to achieve the maximum impact on his students, he knew the perfect time to say it.
During one of the last rehearsals for my senior directing project, The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd, Rod and I watched with dismay as the chorus of urchins tripped and shuffled their way through their dance numbers. Several evenings of extra dance rehearsals had resulted in no noticeable improvements. After the final blackout, Rod leaned over to me and whispered, “Put glitter on their shoes.” I had learned by this time that it would be very wise to follow Rod’s advice even if I didn’t necessarily understand it. Sure enough, on opening night, with the stage lights sparkling on their rainbow colored feet, the chorus danced with a nimbleness and precision I had never seen before! As I watched the urchins fly through their numbers, I realized that Rod was a motivational genius.
In 2004, after thirty years in the professional theater, I came back to Dartmouth to join the faculty and follow in my mentor’s footsteps. Rod had always made us keenly aware of theatrical tradition and of our shared obligation to train the next generation of aspiring theater artists.
Rod Alexander and his remarkable colleagues in those portraits inspired me with their passion for the theater, challenged me with their standards of artistic excellence, and gave me the skills to create a life in the vocation that I love. For that, I will be forever grateful.
Emily Mason-Osann ’11 is the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips Program.
Hi Class of 2016!!!!
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! First of all, congratulations on making it through the stress (or not) of college applications and decisions, and welcome to Dartmouth!
I’m Emily, although I usually go by Emo, and I’m the Director of DOC First-Year Trips for 2012. I’m a member of the class of 2011, and just finished my B.E. degree from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering where I studied biochemical engineering. I enjoy studying proteins, reading in my hammock, and – now – directing DOC Trips. I’m incredibly excited about all of you coming to Dartmouth in a few months, and I hope you’re excited to go on a DOC Trip when you arrive!
DOC First-Year Trips started 77 years ago when a few upperclassmen invited some first year students to go on a hike before classes started. Since then the program has grown and improved dramatically. The program is run by students, including a program directorate, ~55 support crew members, ~300 trip leaders, and countless other student volunteers. The primary goal of the program is to welcome the entire class of 2016!
We offer many levels of trips from beginner to advanced, and many different types of trips from whitewater kayaking to yoga to hiking. We hope we have something that will interest each one of you. Each trip has two upperclassmen leaders, and four to ten new Dartmouth students. The trips consists of one afternoon and night in Hanover getting to know your group, two nights out exploring New Hampshire, and then one afternoon and night playing and eating at the beautiful Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (which Dartmouth College owns and operates in Warren, NH). DOC Trips is a great way to have a lot of fun, meet some of your peers, and explore that beautiful area that Dartmouth is lucky enough to reside in.
My freshman year I went on canoeing a canoeing trip with eight other ‘11s, and last year I led a hiking trip across Franconia Ridge with six ‘15s. I really want to go on our Nature Exploration trip that we offer because I wish I knew more about my surroundings when I’m in the wilderness. And while you will soon receive paperwork regarding registration for DOC Trips, just know that whatever trip you decide to go on – it can be a really fun and exciting experience!
Trips is a wonderful (in my opinion) and unique Dartmouth tradition, that can introduce you to the college, welcome you to the Dartmouth community, provide you with upperclassmen to help you when you need it and a whole lot more. Everyone’s experience with Trips is different, but we try our very hardest to welcome YOU, whoever you are, wherever you came from, whoever you want to be, to your new home at Dartmouth.
In the upcoming weeks and months (as you count down the days until you arrive), explore our DOC Trips blog, check us out on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and if you ever have any questions – feel free to contact us! Our team of volunteers is getting prepped for your arrival now and throughout the summer, so we want you to have the best experience possible this fall!
I’m excited for Trips and for all of you to be here!
See you soon,
Emily (Emo) Mason-Osann ‘11
What a wild ride it’s been. People told me that ten week terms go by really fast, I never knew it would be THIS fast. I’m done with my finals today and fall 2011 term at Dartmouth has officially ended for me. We’re one twelfth the way there! I think back and I reflect. This term has been the perfect introduction for me to Dartmouth!
It all started off with meeting international upperclassmen as I arrived at Dartmouth late at night in pouring rain. I remember the first glimpse I got of my room and the feeling of excitement that rushed down my spine. It took a night’s sleep to finally comprehend the fact that I had arrived at Dartmouth! Next day, I was greeted by a crowd of people dancing around in front of Robo as upperclassmen dressed in crazy costumes greeted us for our DOC Trips. After spending only a day at Dartmouth, I was taken up to the Dartmouth College grant in the extreme north of New Hampshire for my Nature Photography Trip. Could there have been a better welcome?
Soon we went through a 2 week long orientation, starting with International orientation and then regular orientation. I was thrilled at the opportunities that were available to us here at Dartmouth and was already thinking about the millions of things I planned to do over the next few years. All this was accompanied by more than a thousand new faces around me. The fact that many of these faces would be an important part of my life for the next four years, and some even beyond that was both scary and exciting! After the perfect welcome through DOC trips, orientation provided the perfect kick-start to our time at Dartmouth. Soon we picked our courses for the term and classes began.
The opportunity of being taught by professors who were experts in their field was amazing. Every day I was learning so much and it made me feel proud of myself. We found ourselves coming up with the perfect weekly schedule for ourselves. We found ourselves trying things we had never done before (Which, for me, was playing tennis). We found ourselves being challenged and overcoming those challenges. We found ourselves growing!
Days passed, and soon I was watching my first football game wearing the Dartmouth gear I had recently purchased. It was an amazing experience, especially since we won!
Homecoming finally came with trees changing their colors, and we ran around that huge bonfire that was built to mark an official start to our time at Dartmouth. We were filled with spirit and felt proud of being members of the Best Class Ever in the Best College Ever!
Soon New Hampshire showed its magic with snow in October. In just a few hours, Dartmouth turned into a winter wonderland, and The Green turned completely white! At midnight the entire college came out, and had a massive snowball fight on The Green. We were amazed at how magical this place is!
Before we knew it, finals were right around the corner. We found ourselves turning to our favourite studying spot (which for me was my room), and doing our best to make sure we’re ready for being tested on our previous ten weeks’ worth of work. Many took advantage of the numerous study breaks that were organized throughout campus. A large part of the community came out to The Green yesterday evening and decorated Dartmouth’s huge Christmas tree.
And finally, today my finals ended, and with them so did the term. I repeat, it’s been a wild ride, it’s been the perfect start, and I’m excited about what is to come. Dartmouth feels like a home now, and the people here feel like a family. Adios fall 2011, you’ve treated me well!
Okay, hopefully there is one person who gets the title of this post. Anybody seen Community? Well then, I’ll just move on. Right now, Dartmouth students are in the midst of reading period. No classes, just straight studying and living in sweatpants. Tomorrow commences the actual finals, and if you’re lucky (unlucky?!) enough you’ll get to see the standard streaking person. So in true procrastination form, I started thinking about my first term here at Dartmouth. It started with DOC trips and the beauty of not showering for five days to Orientation Week where you feverishly made as many friends as you could to Homecoming Night where we ran (supposedly) 115 laps around the bonfire to the first snow before Halloween and so on. It’s been a ride, for sure, but what I have come to love more than anything is the sense of family here at Dartmouth. I work in the financial aid office as an assistant and next term as an intern, and many times I have to help panicking students and parents work through paying for college. Last year, during college applications I remember trying to figure out how to sum up myself in 5 words (I am so sorry if this question is still on a certain college’s application) and the problem of expressing your need to be in a college in approximately 250 words. I wouldn’t give up that stressful time because at the end of the day I ended up at a place where I feel like I’m at home. In the picture above, my church group kidnapped me and drove me to a diner blindfolded where we then played Truth or Dare. It was honestly one of the best days so far, because I was dressed in flair (crazy clothing), with my best friends, driving to an unknown destination and then eating french toast. So, yea. I am stressed sometimes. Newsflash: FINALS ARE STRESSFUL. People can be mean, bigotry still exists but, as fellow bloggers have talked about before, it’s in those special moments at Dartmouth that you know you have people to turn to who are pretty darn close to being family.
A few weeks ago, the much awaited homecoming weekend finally arrived. Homecoming was a very special occasion for me. Being an international student, I was unfamiliar with the idea of homecoming and I had been excited about it ever since I first read about it before coming to Dartmouth. Homecoming, at Dartmouth, is filled with interesting traditions and spirit.
The event starts off by the construction of a huge structure for the bonfire. The best thing was that this construction was done solely by freshmen. The huge wooden structure had ’15 at the top to represent the class year of the freshmen class. It was right on the middle of the green. I remember how I was pumped with excitement for my first homecoming as I went back to my floor after a busy day.
Before the bonfire, we all dressed up in our Dartmouth gear, with glowsticks, and had awesome floor parties. We partied till the parade came to pick us up. I remember standing with my floor when the parade finally came with roars and cheers. Homecoming, for the incoming class at Dartmouth, is supposed to be about proving that we are “The Best Class Ever”, hence everyone cheered the loudest they could. We joined the parade and continued cheering as we picked up freshmen from other clusters and then marched through Hanover right up to the green. A ring of Upperclassmen and Alumni surrounded us as we started circling the huge wooden structure. Pretty soon, the huge structure was set on fire and we took part in one of Dartmouth’s best tradition ever.
Technically, as members of the class of 2015 we were supposed to run 115 laps around the fire. 15 laps were enough for most of us (I ran somewhere between 20-30), but there were many who ran the complete 115 laps showing the world that we are the Best Class Ever! As we ran, lap after lap, the heat got more intense. Many upperclassmen encouraged us from the surroundings, others were not so encouraging. But there was one thing we all felt as we ran around that bonfire. As we set our eyes on that huge structure with our class year ’15 on fire, we were all filled with a sense of pride and happiness at being part of this amazing place. We felt part of the community, we felt joy and excitement of the years to come that we’ll spend at Dartmouth, and indeed, we felt that we had come home.
The rest of the homecoming weekend was filled with all kinds of parties and activities. There was also the homecoming football game on Saturday against Columbia, which we won 37-0! The weekend was one of the best weekends I have ever had! It’s when I think about this, and so many other memories at Dartmouth, that I feel overwhelmed with joy. This place is amazing and I feel thrilled to be a part of Dartmouth’s BEST CLASS EVER!!
Trips is definitely one of the best experiences at Dartmouth. It’s very bizarre to be told as soon as you arrive that you are setting off on the “best five days of your life”. I’d just left home, was jet-lagged and thinking “what kind of crazy school have I gotten myself into?”
Setting off for four days on a canoe, in the rain is not everyone’s idea of fun. But I returned with some amazing friends and a feeling of belonging that I don’t think you will get so soon at any other college.
The first day canoeing is what could be called ‘a bonding experience’. It rained solidly for about 20 or so hours. We canoed through the rain, slept under tarps and woke up with puddles at the bottom of our sleeping bags but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That evening I huddled together with 11 other complete strangers, playing mafia and quickly realised that they weren’t strangers anymore. Inside jokes, ridiculous games, sharing embarrassing facts and listening to jokes that simple shouldn’t be told (because they were simply that bad!) are just a few of the memories that made that evening.
“WELCOME HOME” is how everyone on trips will greet you. Dartmouth becomes so important to you in five days, it’s difficult to see how you lived without it. I arrived back on campus looking awful, smelling bad and with the biggest smile on my face and 11 people I already knew. It’s terrifying going to a new place and scrambling to make new friends. Trips did that for me and, in the best way, welcomed me home.