May 092014
 

The Dartmouth experience revolves a lot around the phrase that I have been told time and time again, “it will be fine.” Up until this point, this has not been an outwardly acceptable way to go about life. But in college, it is greatly applicable. Many people have had exams over the last couple of weeks; the last before final exams. For me, this consisted of two challenging exams Wednesday and Thursday that I felt nearly unprepared for as of last weekend. This ultimately led to a life in the library until the hefty exam period has passed. You’ll fuel yourself with baked goods and coffee from KAF, hoping to make it just an hour at a time. I find it helpful to switch up study spots every day so that I can get a new perspective and to try to catch my brain before it seems hopelessly lost. But as the clock strikes closer to your exam, utter panic may start to seep in. However, most people in your class are in a similar situation. Everyone feels slightly unprepared and as you consult one another, or even your other friends, they will all tell you…”it will be fine!!”

During the end of Winter Term, a mother and daughter walked around Baker handing out flowers to the students who were studying

During the end of Winter Term, a mother and daughter walked around Baker handing out flowers to the students who were studying for finals

I’m not going to try to convince you that grades aren’t important. But, college is a different beast than the high school education.  Your grades may not be flawless. You may never see a 4.0 again, BUT so long as you are taking classes you enjoy, or that one hard class to get to the exciting classes on the other side, “it will be fine!!” Try your best, know that you did as much as you could and enjoy your Dartmouth experience.

Apr 272014
 

Classic New England weather obeys the infamous saying, “April showers bring may flowers.” So what on earth is there to do on a rainy weekend in little old Hanover? Well, let me just lay some ideas out for you, just so you don’t have to think too hard.

Personally, food is the first thing that comes to mind on rainy days.

Lou’s- Breakfast made from heaven. What else screams to you on a Saturday morning after you have stayed up way too late the night before but stuffing your face with a short-stack of pancakes? Or “Rachel’s Favorite” Country Breakfast? Going to Lou’s on a rainy weekend is more of a destiny than an activity.

Morano Gelato- What better way to top off your breakfast filling (or realistic noontime breakfast) than to walk down the street and get a dose of decedent gelato? Morano also has an excellent location with multiple sidewalk windows in the seating area that provide excellent people watching opportunities. Just because I gave up cookies for Lent, it didn’t stop me from having some biscotti flavored gelato to celebrate the end of my first Spring midterm week.

Moving away from food….

Hop Films- Each term the Hop brings 30+ films to campus for student and public enjoyment. Check out the current listings and dates. Bring your Dartmouth ID and tickets are just $5.

Your Own Films- Have a movie day with friends! Find a friend with a futon, select a movie on Netflix and order some EBA’s (sorry back to food, can’t help it). Rainy days are supposed to make you feel lazy, so execute in good form!

Ceramics Workshop- Ever thought about unleashing your crafty side? Want to make a nice bowl for your mom? Check out the Davidson Ceramic Studio! Open Tuesday-Saturday from 1-5 Pm it makes for the perfect rainy Saturday afternoon activity. Learn how to work with clay and sculpt pottery for yourself or create the perfect gift.

For the go-getters….

Baker Tower Room- Who doesn’t want to have a Sunday Funday in the Library? (I admit, this is me today). My favorite rainy day study spot is the Tower room. Dreary weather and the quiet serenity of the dark room provides a perfect combination that takes you back to the old days when you would hear the horse and buggies outside and the crackling fire in the fireplace at either end of the room. Well not exactly, but it leads for great day dreaming when you can’t seem to focus on a Sunday afternoon.

Tower Room

Looking out on the Green from the Tower Room

Off Campus…

Farmway- I am giving you the holy grail of the Upper Valley. Located just 20 minutes from campus, (up I-91 N exit 16), Farmway is life. Although not open on Sundays, Farmway has everything you could hope for, except for farming equipment. Good one guys. However, it is worth the trip and will definitely burn up a couple hours of your time. If you catch them on a good day, they supply free cookies under the tent. Don’t forget to check out the sale loft upstairs!

 

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!).

ISA

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.

@Now

 Posted by at 7:35 pm  No Responses »
Apr 252014
 

When my brother told my family that he’d been offered a spot in the Dartmouth Class of 2018, I leapt out of my chair and threw myself on the floor, crying like I hadn’t done since I was eleven. For months, he and I had poured hundreds of hours into perfecting his early decision application. While he was hard at work filling up his resume with diverse, Herculean accomplishments, I was in Rome on the Classics FSP, coming home exhausted from 12 hour museum-days and spending all my spare time drafting and re-drafting my Peer Recommendation letter. I love my brother more than anything, and I wanted the very best for him.

He got it.

 

Prospective 18s: I want the very best for you, too. Right now, or “@now,” as we say down here in the Upper Valley, you’ve got some really sexy choices in front of you. When, lips bit, I sent in my final decision to matriculate to Dartmouth, I did so with the knowledge that I was forever forgoing some terrifically sexy choices myself. I didn’t know what I was getting into. But as a junior who’s only got three more terms on campus ahead of him, I think I know a thing or two.

 

Through all my time here, I’ve been the victim of heartbreak, hangovers and more homework than you could shake a stick at. But the grass has never, not once, seemed greener on the other side.

 

I might be the last person you’d expect to lose sleep over the distress and panic I currently feel at the prospect of graduating and leaving Hanover behind. I’m an ultra-snarky, misanthropic kid on financial aid surrounded by men and women who’ve never had less than their heart’s every last desire. I’m an unaffiliated student at a school where frat life is king and a double major in two humanities disciplines when a couple of econ courses could have landed me a six-figure job as soon as I stepped off the graduation stage.

 

But, nonsense or not, I am that person. At Dartmouth, I’ve had immense freedom to create a personalized experience backed with titanic, inspired force. Tapping into nothing more than the intellect and enthusiasm of my peers, I’ve built two distinct clubs from the ground up. I’ve spent half a year in Europe at a cost to me that could barely fill a FoCo cup. I’ve worked as a research assistant under the generous guidance of the foremost expert in the field I treasure the most.

 

I’ve made the best, smartest, closest and most affectionate friends of my entire life.

 

I have also been the indirect beneficiary of all Dartmouth has to offer that doesn’t quite match my own interests. For the past three years, I’ve known that Greek life isn’t for me. To be fair, I heard some fantastic lies about how dudes in certain frats were jerks, or losers, or any number of awful things. But, over time, I’ve found myself upstairs in those same houses, talking to brothers and feeling overwhelmed at how astoundingly nice and kind these supposed toxic villains and agents of evil were, when they had nothing to gain by treating me with complete respect and decency.

 

Now, you’ve got some truly sexy, daunting choices on your plate. I want you to make the choice that’s best for Dartmouth, but more so, best for you. If your life-policy is to show up and let all the goodness of the world drop into your lap, Dartmouth can be a pleasant home for you. That, however, is a promise that only reaches so far. If, on the other hand, you’re the type that tirelessly seizes the freedom and riches of a community that will pull your ambitions and dreams out of impossible and into reality, choose Dartmouth. Choose it @now.

 

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?):

IMG_0560

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.

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!

bioethics1

Apr 172014
 

campussunsetskiway sunlightLong blog posts often do not get read at all. But when choosing the college at which you will spend the next four years of your life, I think there are a few incredibly important things to consider. And so, I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.

280px-Dartmouth_College_shield

Some Possible Worries:

1. I don’t drink, and Dartmouth is full of alcohol-fueled animals who drink day in and day out. How can I possibly go to a school with fraternities?!

            Actually, drinking is much more moderate than you have probably been led to believe. Every college likes to brag about how lively its party scene is, as Dartmouth has done, but in recent years that reputation has come back to bite us. In reality, the majority of Dartmouth students do not drink excessively, and fraternities are merely one option of many, on and off campus.

2. I’m worried about being sexually assaulted, and Dartmouth seems like a pretty dangerous place. I even read an article about it!

            Of course, sexual assault is a real problem, like it is on all college campuses. However, spend one night out at Dartmouth and you will see the intimate respect between students against the common enemy of sexual assault. Dartmouth students are, in large part, good people. In light of recent events, the community has become hyper-sensitive, ensuring that we move forward together and against the evil of sexual assault. It is not something to take lightly, and I can assure you that we do not.

            Furthermore, see what the College has done already: http://www.dartmouth.edu/sexualassault/

3. I’m not outdoorsy. Dartmouth is in the woods. I don’t want to spend four years foraging in the wilderness for my education.

            While there are a bunch of awesome outdoor opportunities here, the notion that you must be an outdoorsy person to enjoy your Dartmouth experience is simply false. Although Hanover may be surrounded by (beautiful) mountains and woods, the town itself is like any other: we have lots of people, lots of fun things to do, and normally functioning toilets.

4. I’ve just read too much about Dartmouth’s bad side recently. I think it’s probably a safer bet to just go somewhere else.

            There is something profoundly special and beautiful about Dartmouth. While I cannot prove this to you in a blog post, I hope you take it to heart. The College has gotten a lot of flack about various aspects of its culture recently, but it is my favorite place in the world–and countless others share this sentiment. The people I’ve met, the things I’ve learned, and the experiences I’ve had here are not simply things that I would have gotten anywhere. Dartmouth is special in a sense that I will never be able to adequately convey. Trust me.

Of course, as you may be thinking, I am biased. I am a current Dartmouth student, and I want the incredibly talented accepted students to go to my school. However, I was not always a Dartmouth student. I chose to come here for a reason, and I think that many of those reasons have been tainted and devalued by the media in the two years since I’ve been here. To truly choose the right college for you, you’ll have to look past the exaggerations and outright lies that have been spread about Dartmouth College. Why do I care so much about these exaggerations and lies? Because they are about my Dartmouth–and I want it to be yours, too.

I love this place, and if you have any concerns about why you might not, please email me at alexander.e.libre.16@dartmouth.edu.

Looking forward to seeing you on campus next year, and all the best until then!

- Alex Libre ’16

Apr 152014
 

Freshmen: a delight to behold

All newly freed from the mold

Of those halcyon days

of highschooler haze

Most of them eighteen years old!

Sophomores: they know the rules

Or think they do, surely not tools

Who crush P-Sets all night

The Op-Eds they write

Leave readers in puddles and pools

 

Juniors: hold terror at bay

Graduation a few terms away!

What will Bridgewater say

Of my resume?

When I drop it on Dartboard today?

 

Seniors: begin to diverge

Experience emotional surge

I LOVE DARTMOUTH” or

“The Green I’ll always abhor”

To each his own method of purge

 

 

Apr 132014
 

After a 13-week period of indoor training, the men and women of Dartmouth Rowing are finally beginning their racing seasons.  This weekend, I travelled with the lightweight squad down to Cambridge, where we would face off with perennial powerhouse Harvard and perennial under-achiever MIT.

Harvard's historic Newell Boathouse. (taken from www.gocrimson.com)

Harvard’s historic Newell Boathouse. (taken from www.gocrimson.com)

The results were as expected.  My boat (the 3V 8+, for those of you who understand such code), beat MIT’s crew handedly, and fell to Harvard’s crew even more handedly.  The race, which took place over a stretch of the Charles River known as “the Basin”, saw relatively kind conditions and flawless logistics.  No delays, no disqualifications, and (thankfully) no last-minute injuries.

The experience of racing at Harvard, however, was unlike any other.

We launched out of Harvard’s historic Newell Boathouse, which, as I should have mentioned before, could be considered a shrine to great rowers, past and present.

Pictures of national-champion crews, flyers from international competition, and acknowledgements of individual achievements cover the aging, wooden walls.  The face of legendary coach Harry Parker looks down from framed portraits on almost every wall.  The few empty spaces tempt the current rowers, as if to encourage them to fill the space with their own historic achievements.

I could have stayed and looked around for hours, but I had business to take care of.  As a Dartmouth rower, it was my goal to try to beat these guys.

The greatest Harvard rowers look down on this training room from three walls, providing motivation for its current inhabitants.

The greatest Harvard rowers look down on this training room from three walls, providing motivation for its current users.

We rigged, rowed, and stowed the boats.  We weighed in on an ancient scale, and went to dinner at the local Cheesecake Factory.  All was going smoothly.

We returned to Newell Boathouse the following morning at 8 AM sharp, dressed and ready to race.  The atmosphere had changed; whereas before I was a guest, an observer, and an admirer of Harvard’s successes, I had now become its antagonist.  The air was charged with all the fire of competition.  It was time to take down the giant.

But despite our bravest efforts, the Harvard Goliaths proved why their very name has become synonymous with success (results available here: http://www.row2k.com/results/resultspage.cfm?UID=6619084&cat=1#.U0rUuV5UHF8).  They swept us in each event, handing the Dartmouth crews our second disappointing loss of the season.

We will not compete against Harvard again until Eastern Sprints, on May 18th.  Until then, I can go back to admiring all that the members of Newell Boathouse have achieved.  I can also guiltlessly encourage anyone who gets the chance to visit this boathouse to do so.  It’s like a functional museum, a factory of Olympic-caliber athletes, and it is certainly worth your time.

Many thanks to Harvard for hosting us so kindly and comfortably, and to MIT and Harvard for making the racing possible.

 

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​