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.

Baffling

 Posted by at 2:13 am  No Responses »
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):

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overdone but I can’t help it, so beautiful

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

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

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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)

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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:

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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…

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

May 062014
 

If you’re one of the 55% or so of prospies who chose Dartmouth this past week, congratulations!  At least in my opinion, you made the right call.
You’ll hear a lot about the Dartmouth Experience in your next four years.  A lot of it will be true for you, a lot of it won’t.  A lot of people will tell you it doesn’t exist, which is to some extent accurate.  There’s no singular Dartmouth experience, everyone takes different paths in some way or another.  Some of the people who would look the same as me on paper (same house, same major, same extracurriculars) have been the most different from me.  I guess statistics can lie in that way.  It’s never a good idea to break a person down to a couple numbers and descriptors.
That said, I like statistics.  They can tell you a lot.  And I guess they’d lead me to say that even though there’s no one ‘Dartmouth Experience’, you’ll share a lot of memories with the rest of the ’18s.  In all honesty, you’re gonna do a lot of the same stuff.  Statistically, around 95% of you will go on First-Year Trips.  Statistically, most of those people will remember it four years later.

No matter how many times they’ll try to forget….

A lot of you will probably run around the bonfire.  You’ll eat in Foco.  You’ll have a snowball fight.  You’ll try to get a job.  You’ll go to the river.  Probably.  You can’t say any of these with certainty, but they’re pretty likely.
Some of them are more interesting.  You’ll learn things.  You’ll create things.  You’ll make mistakes.  You’ll make decisions.  Big decisions!  Bad decisions!  You’ll critically reexamine your principles.  Or at least you should.

Anyway, what’s great about the Dartmouth Experience is that it gives you the leeway and the ability to make your own experience, but still have enough in common with your classmates that you can connect with any given person on campus.  You establish your own identity, instead taking a pre-existing one.  And that’s at least 150% cooler than anything else I can think of.

On another note, apparently none of the other bloggers have posted this yet.  Check it out.

 

Apr 302014
 
Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library

Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

The Library; the heart of any college campus. At Dartmouth, a place where students chat, study, grab coffee, cut through for warmth when it’s cold, and sometimes spend very late nights. The Dartmouth College Library is also a center for building knowledge, discovery, and creativity as students have access to over 2.5 million books and hundreds of thousands of digital resources among other items. Dartmouth has a total of nine libraries on campus, each offering unique services and resources to students of any year or major. During orientation week in September, you can learn all there is to know about the libraries on campus at the Library Open House, but until then, here are some of the best things about our libraries…

1)      Open Stacks System in Baker-Berry, our main library: An open stacks system means students can walk through our stacks and freely browse the collection for any book they may need at any time during the library’s open hours.

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Student browsing through the stacks at Baker-Berry, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

2)      Borrow Direct: Borrow Direct is a rapid book request and delivery system among eight colleges in the North East. By this system, Dartmouth students have access to the combined

library catalogs of Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, UChicago, UPenn, Princeton and Yale, providing us with an outstanding number of resources for research.

3)      Rauner Special Collections Library: Rauner holds some of the oldest, coolest, and most bizarre things you have ever seen. Rauner holds extensive rare book, manuscript, and archival collections among which are Shakespeare’s First Folio and dozens of elaborate and beautiful copies of the medieval Book of Hours. Rauner also holds originals of our school paper The Dartmouth from its beginning as well as of The Aegis, our award-winning yearbook.

Selection of old rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Selection of old and rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

4)      Jones Media Center: Our media library provides the tools and software for media projects and among thousands of digital resources, holds copies of 7,500 DVDs that you can check out whenever and hold a movie night with your friends, or just with a bag of popcorn.

5)      King Arthur Flour: Which we affectionately refer to as “KAF,” the best place to grab a coffee or delicious baked good as a study pick-me-up or just because. KAF is located in the lobby of Baker-Berry and is a student favorite for their baked goods and delicious brie-and-apple and roast beef sandwiches.

Students in line at  KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Students in line at KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

These highlights are only a few among so much more, and with the support of extremely knowledgeable and helpful librarians and library staff, the Dartmouth College Libraries  provide a comfortable and dynamic environment where caffeine quotas are filled and inspiration is born. We can’t wait to meet all you new ’18s in September during the open house! For more on the libraries, check out our website at library.dartmouth.edu

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.

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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!).

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

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

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

@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?):

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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.