Sep 012014
 

To all my new readers and new Dartmouth students, welcome to the first blog of Alex D. Hurt II. This blog will be an instrument for some interesting thoughts, reactions to current events, and occasionally just for some of my signature dark, irreverent humor about nothing important. Before I move any further I most gave a fair warning. WARNING: This blog will contain strong language and opinions and is only for the open minded. The vast majority of people will read something like that and say “pssh sure whatever I’m in college now. I’m a big boy and I can handle anything.” One of the biggest mistakes I made when I entered college is that when people said this, I actually believed them. Dartmouth students tend to fall into one of two categories: those who have shaped an identity out of what they think, and those you can actually have a nice conversation with. What the heck does that mean? I’m so glad you asked.

Do not say “I am a Conservative,” instead say “I think conservatively.” This may seem like a small difference, but its implications are huge. In my time here there have been several on and off campus events that have sparked controversy or healthy debate. However I believe if I smoked five packs a day, ate nothing but weeks-old McDonald’s, and thought the Star Wars prequel trilogy wasn’t that bad, I would be healthier than this debate has been. Let me lead with an example; I am against gay marriage. Now already most of you are divided into two categories. There are those of you who are going to take that statement and immediately begin to make all kinds of assumptions about me, without ever having met me before. (P.S. My real opinions on gay marriage are not reflected here as this is only an example) You may feel discouraged from ever reading this blog again because I am a “bigot” or which ever synonym fits your fancy. You fall into category #2, but I will address you first.

This reaction is common and is a result of someone of making a classic mistake of equating opinions and identity. I could be a charming Daniel Craig-esque dude and you would never know because you are unable to get over my opinions on a topic you care about. Some feel by me disagreeing I have somehow attacked them personally. You are not your opinions, and neither am I. Your choices and actions make you who you are, not what you think. If someone is against gay marriage, but treats all people with respect and dignity, I see nothing wrong with them voicing their opinions loudly and strongly. Do not equate identity and opinions. I would estimate over 80% of Dartmouth makes this mistake, but only 20% can identify this as a problem. Get off the #2 bus, by definition of it being #2 you shouldn’t want to be a part of it.

Category #1 are those who see the statement “I am against gay marriage,” have a different opinion, and there immediate words are “And why is that?” These are the kind of people you want to be around, and the type of person you should be. These people understand that you being against their beliefs does not mean you are against them personally. In fact they may have curiosity into the opinions of someone on the other side of the fence. They understand the difference between opinion and identity, and as such you can talk to them about anything.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Understand what makes identity, and apply it to every aspect of your life. Your grades don’t make your identity, how many friends you have doesn’t make your identity, whether you know that House of Cards is in fact better than Scandal doesn’t make your identity, how many times you check Facebook every 15 minutes even though you know nothing has changed doesn’t make your identity, and neither does your opinions. It would be a waste of the thousands of dollars you are spending to leave the Ivy League thinking the same way about the same way as you came. Look forward to change and Welcome to Dartmouth.

Sep 112012
 

Every Fall at Dartmouth, I’m reminded just how old I am.  As I walk around the beautiful Green, I hear the classic flair, loud music blasting and seemingly clueless ’16s wandering around!  And that’s when it hits me – I’m a junior!  In a way, Fall symbolizes a period of renewal.  It’s an exciting time to be sure — everybody coming back to campus after a lengthy break (except for the sophomores over summer!) and life at the Big Green continues.

Not for me, though. For me, Fall 2012 is something new, something exciting. With three other guys and a vision, I am finally taking the Fall off to launch a start-up with $16,500 in capital raised from the Dartmouth Entrepreneurship Competition (if you’re curious, see here http://thedartmouth.com/2012/04/06/news/des). With an early prototype engineered and our value hypotheses validated, we’re currently pursuing different techniques to tighten the validated learning feedback loop between customers and our start-up. Ultimately, whether the start-up succeeds or fails by conventional metrics of valuation is personally irrelevant. In my mind, success stems from personal growth and evolution. What really finalized this decision to pursue the start-up path was the realization that as someone with a vision and capital, I really had nothing to lose and everything to gain!

So Fall still, to me, is a renewal in some senses.

Aug 192012
 

So how did you like Dartmouth?

I think I’ve encountered this question about twenty times during my summer break so far. From my dad asking me as soon as my arrival at LAX to my high school friends who are curious to know about the life in the East Coast, this is an inevitable question that all freshmen who’ve completed their first year will confront at some point or another. Of course, for me, I always took the easy way out with the usual automatic response, “It’s great; I like it a lot” and move on.

While I was at Dartmouth, I never had to think about how my “Dartmouth experience” was. But now that I am back home, where I am constantly flooded with inquiry after inquiry about my life in Hanover, I decided to organize my most memorable experiences from freshmen year.

Interestingly, these times are those not spent on studying, and this is something I am sure every other student can attest to. It was getting sunburned during spring term while being outside all day because the weather was so nice, receiving my first ‘A’ in a class, talking about life and politics with an upperclassmen for four straight hours, throwing frisbees on the Green, mutually suffering in the library with my friends during finals, eating out in Hanover, getting Nutella milkshakes from Boloco or Hazelnut gelato from Morano after every time I ate out in Hanover, and so on.

From this, I realized one thing: none of these memories were made alone. Your Dartmouth experience, as much as it is “your” experience, is only made possible through the collective actions of the peers around you. Based on my encounters with various alums during my freshman year and during this summer break, the one thing you guys are definitely going to take with, years after you graduate from this beautiful school, is the friends and people you meet here. You never know, that tripee you thought was annoying and creepy might just be in your club sports team, or even worse, live right next to you.

So what I’m saying is… when you see people giving that clichéd response to questions like “What did you enjoy most about Dartmouth” as being “The people I met here,” there is a good reason why that question receives a near-unanimous answer. DOC Trips are just a few days away, and I know many of you guys are really excited for it. I hope you guys enjoy yourself and have a great time. You guys are now part of Dartmouth, try make the best of it.

Apr 182012
 

Emily Mason-Osann ’11 is the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips Program.

Hi Class of 2016!!!!

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! First of all, congratulations on making it through the stress (or not) of college applications and decisions, and welcome to Dartmouth!

I’m Emily, although I usually go by Emo, and I’m the Director of DOC First-Year Trips for 2012.  I’m a member of the class of 2011, and just finished my B.E. degree from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering where I studied biochemical engineering.  I enjoy studying proteins, reading in my hammock, and – now – directing DOC Trips.  I’m incredibly excited about all of you coming to Dartmouth in a few months, and I hope you’re excited to go on a DOC Trip when you arrive!

DOC First-Year Trips started 77 years ago when a few upperclassmen invited some first year students to go on a hike before classes started.  Since then the program has grown and improved dramatically.  The program is run by students, including a program directorate, ~55 support crew members, ~300 trip leaders, and countless other student volunteers.  The primary goal of the program is to welcome the entire class of 2016!

We offer many levels of trips from beginner to advanced, and many different types of trips from whitewater kayaking to yoga to hiking.  We hope we have something that will interest each one of you.  Each trip has two upperclassmen leaders, and four to ten new Dartmouth students.   The trips consists of one afternoon and night in Hanover getting to know your group, two nights out exploring New Hampshire, and then one afternoon and night playing and eating at the beautiful Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (which Dartmouth College owns and operates in Warren, NH).  DOC Trips is a great way to have a lot of fun, meet some of your peers, and explore that beautiful area that Dartmouth is lucky enough to reside in.

My freshman year I went on canoeing a canoeing trip with eight other ‘11s, and last year I led a hiking trip across Franconia Ridge with six ‘15s.  I really want to go on our Nature Exploration trip that we offer because I wish I knew more about my surroundings when I’m in the wilderness. And while you will soon receive paperwork regarding registration for DOC Trips, just know that whatever trip you decide to go on – it can be a really fun and exciting experience!

Trips is a wonderful (in my opinion) and unique Dartmouth tradition, that can introduce you to the college, welcome you to the Dartmouth community, provide you with upperclassmen to help you when you need it and a whole lot more.  Everyone’s experience with Trips is different, but we try our very hardest to welcome YOU, whoever you are, wherever you came from, whoever you want to be, to your new home at Dartmouth.

In the upcoming weeks and months (as you count down the days until you arrive), explore our DOC Trips blog, check us out on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and if you ever have any questions – feel free to contact us Our team of volunteers is getting prepped for your arrival now and throughout the summer, so we want you to have the best experience possible this fall!

I’m excited for Trips and for all of you to be here!

See you soon,

Emily (Emo) Mason-Osann ‘11

Mar 292012
 

A note from Senior Tour Guide Dennis Zeveloff ’12: 

Congratulations on being accepted to Dartmouth! It’s been a great place to learn–the cross-curricular scope, student-professor interactions, and world-class research have really enhanced my academic experience. I can’t think of another place where I’d be able to help publish a textbook, run experiments on the school’s fMRI, travel to Bosnia, and write reports for the government all in four years.

Jan 092012
 

Update: Recording of live show posted below

January 1st is now safely in the review mirror, but we know you haven’t quite stopped thinking about your applications. While the anxiety over application essays and standardized testing has passed, you might still have a number of questions about what to do from now until when decisions are released at the end of March. Join us tomorrow, 1/10, at 8pm EST for a Dartmouth Direct Live! chat with updates from the admissions office and answers to frequently asked questions. Admissions intern Thandar Aung ’12 will be joined in the studio by Senior Assistant Director of Admissions John Beck ’09. Additional admissions officers will be available in the text that. No webcam needed. Sit back and watch or participate by asking us questions and we’ll do our best to answer them, Live!

Dec 192011
 

Update: Recording of live show posted below

With the January 1st Regular Decision deadline rapidly approaching, why not view this 2011 recording of Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris and Director of Admissions Recruitment Dan Parish Tuesday chatting about last minute application tips. The show was originally hosted in December 2011 for Dartmouth Direct Live!

Dec 092011
 

Yo 16s. You’re looking fine. I see you.

Okay that’s a tad creepy, but congratulations on getting into Dartmouth!!!!!!!!!! Looking back, senior year was certainly a dramatic year for me. I didn’t know where I was supposed to go, and I really felt that there was one place meant for me. Cue getting into Dartmouth regular decision and I realized how perfect this place was for me! Kudos to you for realizing how awesome Dartmouth was way before I figured it out! Seriously, I’m at home right now in Saint Louis and I miss the Green, my friends and the bell-tower waking me up in the morning. And I can’t wait for that to be YOU!!! In 9 months you’ll be going on trips, meeting tons of people during orientation, feeling homesick, and wondering why you ever thought, for a second, another place could’ve been better!

 

Now go tell that one person who makes you want to smack them, that you got into the best school!***

 

***Okay this results in loss of coolness so be kind when you tell people. Some people haven’t gotten into their dream schools and are feeling pretty low. Plus bragging is really un-classy. And who wants to make 16s un-classy?

Dec 092011
 

You’ve done it! You’ve officially gotten into the best college in the world! You have such an awesome time in store for you! Soon you’ll be in Dartmouth, your home for the next few years. I, personally, cannot wait for all of you to arrive. You’ve made the right decision of choosing Dartmouth, and soon you’ll find out why.

I remember how excited and delighted I was when I found out I had been admitted to Dartmouth. Congratulations to all of you! Applying to Dartmouth was one of the best decisions of my life. This place is literally magical! The best thing about this place is the people you meet here, and now all of you have become part of why Dartmouth is so amazing!

As my personal gift, here’s a list of everything you should make sure you do from now till next September:

1. Start spending an hour a day hugging ice so that you’re ready for the New Hampshire winter. (Not really, at Dartmouth we simply take advantage of the cold. I’ll be skiing next term hopefully. Just bring jackets!)

2. Go Green! Literally paint yourself green. before coming, you need to know the color, love the color, BE THE COLOR.

3. Practice shouting “SIXTEENS!”. You’ll have to shout it as loud as you can while singing the alma mater.

4. Get ready to be “the worst class ever”. Unless you can prove yourselves………

5. Brag. You deserve to. Tell all of your friends that you’re going to the best college in the world!

6. But actually, remember to be supportive of friends who won’t hear back from colleges until the end of March. It can make the winter really stressful for them.

7. Get all kinds of accessories for your room. At Dartmouth you’ll get a dorm room, you’ll need to make it yours.

8. Ask questions. Ask about anything you want! Ask us, ask other upperclassmen, ask anyone at Dartmouth. We all are glad to help.

9. Get ready to challenge yourself, to try new things, to grow.

10. Be super excited! You’re coming to an awesome place! You’re about to start the best time of your life. Soon you’ll be in Dartmouth!!

Once again, congratulations on being a part of Dartmouth. You’ll love this place! Upperclassmen, feel free to add to this list. Sixteens, we know you must be super excited, tell us what excites you the most. Express your excitement. Or just say Dartmouth rocks!

Congratulations you lucky lucky bunch of people. Dartmouth awaits you.

Cheers!

 

Dec 082011
 

Before coming to Dartmouth as a ‘15 this past September, I never could have imagined that the upperclassmen would get so excited to see freshmen.  I get the sentiment now – I can’t wait to meet you and see the great things you bring to the future of this school.

I know the days leading up to the decision were especially difficult.  I can remember mine as if they were yesterday.  Counting down the minutes and seconds, not being able to concentrate in class, dealing with a mad rush of texts, chat messages, and phone calls – it all seemed so surreal.

That surreal feeling doesn’t really go away, though.  My first term at Dartmouth has been unreal, and I can’t believe that I’ve already finished a twelfth of my time here (I don’t want to leave!).  I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have chosen this school.  Dartmouth is better than I could have imagined, and I’m positive you will feel the same way!