Jun 062014

Spring roams out at Dartmouth well

The sun shines gold, the flowers are swell

People lay out on the Green

They share time with friends and enjoy their cuisine

Frisbee, soccer, jogging, biking

Tennis, skateboarding, football, kiting

Many things to do, so much to see

Happiness lures by every tree

Occom Pond

The point of this poem is to allude to the fact that there are many outdoor activities to enjoy at Dartmouth during spring term, due to the amazing weather in the spring. In addition to enjoying recreational activities outdoors, there are also fantastic barbeques planned throughout the term. For example, near finals week in May, Dartmouth’s Programing Board planned an event where music, kettle corn, Dippin Dots, and other delectable items were offered. In sum, spring term, like all the other terms at Dartmouth, is enjoyable. The weather is truly refreshing and one should ingeniously fabricate outlets of fun for taking advantage of the good Dartmouth weather.


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.


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.

Happy Summer!

May 232014

It is so wild to think that I have only one more week as a freshman! Man, how did that happen? Things are coming to a close so fast. Wednesday was the last day of organized practice. Next Wednesday will be my last day of class. One more set of finals, and then I’m on my way home. It is a sad feeling coping with the thought of parting ways with this campus for the summer. Just as the warm weather is starting to become a regular thing, we will all (except the sophomores) pack our bags and head home or on to a new adventure for the summer months. This has been a year of highs and lows, laughter and cries, sunshine and snow, and the list is endless. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My time at Dartmouth has taught me so much about who I am, how I can grow and who I can become. And its only been a year! Check in with me in three and THEN ask me what I’ve learned.

As I reminisce, I remember my first Foco cookie. I remember sweating like I have never before as I ran 17 laps around the homecoming bon fire in a Superwomen outfit. My first time in a frat. That time I spent all day in the library I didn’t realize we had received our first snowstorm! Training at the Dartmouth Skiway. The Game of Thrones snow sculpture in the middle of the green and climbing up the throne to get a picture at the top! That time when the snow finally melted. My first trip to the river. Spring study sessions in the woods by the Lone Pine. Green Key (enough said).

The start of Winter Carnival

The start of Winter Carnival

Dartmouth has provided me with an experience that exceeded my wildest dreams. I was given an opportunity to let my creativity reach new levels. I took classes that questioned the ethics of our medical policies, I learned about the attractive forces between molecules, and even analyzed in great detail the major questions and events of the Cold War. The liberal arts education here shapes students into well rounded and knowledgable individuals. I have been taught how to carry myself, express myself and speak for what I believe in. I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to spend four years of my life in Hanover.

A perfect Spring day in Hanover!

A perfect Spring day in Hanover!

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 222014

It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, which is interesting because I’ve had a lot to write about but very little time in which to write it.  Accordingly, this’ll probably end up as kind of a double post.

You’ll probably hear a lot about Green Key from any current student, but very little in the way of an explanation.  I’m not going to break with that trend here, Green Key is hard to describe, but easy to experience.  Pretty much anywhere you go on campus, you’re bound to find some sort of celebration or adventure or diversion from the usual rhythm of college life.  This year, we had performances from Lupe Fiasco, the Chainsmokers, and a ton of local and regional touring bands which meant that there was music happening somewhere on campus pretty much continuously for the entire weekend.  Even my old roommate decided to get in on the action and presented his senior piano recital on Saturday afternoon.  The music, combined with the fact that President Hanlon must have finally found Jim Kim’s weather machine and kept the weather sunny despite the forecast, made for a phenomenal weekend to be outside.  (Seriously though, it’s always good weather here when it needs to be:  Green Key, Homecoming Bonfire, Dimensions… except for Fieldstock my sophomore summer. We don’t talk about that.)

I might have tried to take advantage of the outdoors a little too much and ended up in the ER after taking a Frisbee to the face, but I got ice cream after my stitches so I guess that worked out ok.

Note, this is a size small cone at ‘Ice Cream Fore U’ in West Lebanon. For obvious reasons, I highly recommend it.

It’s weird how the term seems to be wrapping up already.  My friends are presenting their theses, we’re getting Commencement instructions in the mail, and I’m booking flights for my research job at Case Western this summer.  I just finished the last paper for my architecture class, which will probably be the last non-engineering paper of my life.  Around this time four years ago, I was researching dorms online, so I guess it’s appropriate that I finish by researching Dartmouth dorms again for a paper on the design of the Choates.  While I was writing, I got sidetracked and ended up reading the Wikipedia article on all the buildings at Dartmouth.  I hadn’t even heard of a pretty big chunk of them.  After four years here, I still have places left to explore.  I’ve been trying to check all of them out without being egregiously creepy.  Of course, most of them are just classrooms and offices.  I probably should have expected that.  There have been some gems though:  crazy artwork, underground tunnels, that greenhouse on top of the biology building.  I found a secret society house while attempting to chase a rogue moose.  Heck, I found the secret hiding place of the Keggy the Keg suit once, but got sworn to secrecy.  Even if it isn’t Green Key, the possibilities on this campus are hard to describe, but easy to experience.

I’m still kind of holding out and looking for some sort of Harry Potter-esque Room of Requirement, but it’s probably not going to happen.  Then again, I would never have been able to tell the story of climbing on to the roof of my high school if the seniors hadn’t told me there was a pool up there.  So yeah, there’s a pool on the roof.


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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):


overdone but I can’t help it, so beautiful


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

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


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)


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:


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…


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:


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: ???


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.


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).


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

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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!).


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.