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.


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.

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.


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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

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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?):


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!


Apr 212014

One of my favorite things about Dartmouth was that I woke up every day thinking that anything could happen before I went to bed that night.  To some extent, that’s still true.  You never know what random interaction is going to lead to a lifelong friendship or what split-second decision is going to lead to the discovery of a new passion.  That said, for the past couple terms, I egregiously overscheduled myself (it’ll happen to you) and my days got a lot more structured.  Not that structure is inherently bad, but I lost the excitement that came with every morning.  Now that I have some more free time, I’ve been trying to recapture that excitement.  It’s been harder than expected though.  People look at you funny when you’re a senior and you ask them “So, what do people do for fun around here?”  Now that I’ve found a place or an identity or whatever, I feel a bit more constrained when I figure out what I’m going to do on a given day.

Which is why we have bucket lists!  Ideas on how to break out of my comfort zone in a convenient list format!  You’ll probably get one freshman year with typical stuff like ‘run around the bonfire’ or ‘have a snowball fight.’  I’ve done 75 or so of the 101, and since it’s an old list, a lot of the rest aren’t really feasible (RIP Lone Pine Tavern).  However, there are still a few that I haven’t done yet, which kind of surprised me.  I’ve never gotten tea in Sanborn, I’ve never gone to open hours at the observatory, I’ve never climbed the Gile Mountain fire tower, and the list goes on.  There might be reasons I haven’t done these yet, (namely that I don’t like tea, I think stargazing is kinda boring, and I’m terrified of heights) but breaking out of my comfort zone might be the point of the list.

Besides, I don’t think that just halfheartedly checking things off the list is really the point.  Remember that movie ‘The Bucket List’ where Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson do all that cool stuff before they die?


They enjoyed all the stuff on the bucket lists that they did, but the real point was all the relationships they formed and mended as they were trying to finish their lists were what mattered.  I think that’s why I want to finish my bucket list before the term ends, not entirely because I really want to do stuff that some admissions employee thought constituted the ‘Dartmouth experience’ but because maybe those things will lead me toward my own Dartmouth experience somewhere along the way.



Lastly, I’M SO HAPPY THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ THIS.  THOUGH IT DOES ADD A BIT OF EXTRA PRESSURE WHEN I’M TRYING TO WRITE.  Anyway, feel free to email me at sjd@dartmouth.edu with questions, concerns, Sporcle challenges, or if you want to meet up at Dimensions (5 days away ahhhh!)

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.


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

In high school, I heard a lot about how nobody really stays involved in religious life when they get to college, and I got a bit worried.  I had been pretty involved in church groups growing up, and I didn’t want to lose that aspect of my life or that sense of community.  As it turns out, there  is ample opportunity to get involved in religious and spiritual life at Dartmouth, and it has been more rewarding than I could have imagined.

In my last post, I mentioned an Alternative Spring Break Trip.  These are programs, now common at many universities, where instead of travelling somewhere different to party on the beach, students travel somewhere different to do community service.  I had no idea that this program existed until I went to an informational meeting freshman fall while trying to impress a girl or something.  I left the meeting with a stack of forms and a vague interest that this might be an interesting way to spend a week.  I ended up applying to an interfaith service trip, “working to serve the homeless population in the San Francisco Bay area and exploring service as a shared value across religious and cultural lines.”  Helped along by my half-Christian, half-Jewish family (I remember describing myself as “a walking interfaith dialogue”), I was accepted to the program and met the rest of the group.


Coming from a pretty homogenous part of the country, it was an eye-opening experience to be able to share experiences and perspectives with such a culturally and religiously diverse group of people while working together with them for a good cause.  I learned a ton about other people’s spiritualities and was able to redefine my own beliefs.  When I got back to campus, I joined the Multi-Faith Conversations discussion group, which brought the same discussions back to campus, and I’ve been coming to meetings ever since.

There’s an amazing degree of religious openness here, which you might not expect from a place with so many educated and opinionated people.  So many people are still looking and searching, trying to redefine what they believe or just trying to understand their friends on a deeper level.  Sometimes, like in my house’s Passover Seder today, they’re just looking to partake an interesting slice of cultural heritage.


Besides, Manischewitz tastes just like Communion wine.

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


“The Green I’ll always abhor”

To each his own method of purge