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.

Aug 162012
 

I promise I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

With the summer quarter almost over and finals beyond the horizon, the pace of Dartmouth life has been swift with great impact. Looking back, it surprises me just how much the classes here have engaged and taught me how to look at life from another perspective. Take astronomy: we learned everything from basic physics to supernovae to the big questions like: How big is the universe and how did life begin?

These big questions always throw me in for a loop. I take a step back and remember how amazing life is and how small the human race’s timeline is relative to the astronomical age of the universe. It seems to me that even if we had an iota of an impact on the universe, compared to the vast expanses of the galaxy and beyond, we still remain infinitesimally small. These humbling thoughts are both exciting and frightening to me at the same time. They further propel my belief that given the grand scheme of the universe, we should aim to make a dent on the universe in our lives.

Beyond this philosophizing about the universe, it’s interesting to witness just how much what you study influences your ideas and thought patterns. When I took accounting last winter quarter, I thought in a very rigorous, systematic way, always analyzing the smallest details and making sure each step of it was correct. When I took computer science, I sought to implement the optimized teachings and algorithms into my own life. And as an econ major, I realize that knowledge has increasing returns to scale.

 

May 252012
 

Peter Hackett is a Professor of Theater and chair of Dartmouth’s theater department.

To the Class of 2016:

Every day as I walk to my office in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, I pass the portraits of the extraordinarily dynamic teachers who served in the theater department years ago. The gentleman with the impish smile and the irresistible twinkle in his eye is Professor Rod Alexander, the man who guided me to a life in the theater when I was, like you, an eager and energetic Dartmouth undergraduate.

A consummate comedian and master teacher, Rod not only knew exactly what to say to achieve the maximum impact on his students, he knew the perfect time to say it.

During one of the last rehearsals for my senior directing project, The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd, Rod and I watched with dismay as the chorus of urchins tripped and shuffled their way through their dance numbers. Several evenings of extra dance rehearsals had resulted in no noticeable improvements. After the final blackout, Rod leaned over to me and whispered, “Put glitter on their shoes.” I had learned by this time that it would be very wise to follow Rod’s advice even if I didn’t necessarily understand it. Sure enough, on opening night, with the stage lights sparkling on their rainbow colored feet, the chorus danced with a nimbleness and precision I had never seen before! As I watched the urchins fly through their numbers, I realized that Rod was a motivational genius.

In 2004, after thirty years in the professional theater, I came back to Dartmouth to join the faculty and follow in my mentor’s footsteps. Rod had always made us keenly aware of theatrical tradition and of our shared obligation to train the next generation of aspiring theater artists.

Rod Alexander and his remarkable colleagues in those portraits inspired me with their passion for the theater, challenged me with their standards of artistic excellence, and gave me the skills to create a life in the vocation that I love. For that, I will be forever grateful.

Jan 292012
 

With Dartmouth’s financial aid deadline fast approaching (applications are due February 1st), join us for a special Dartmouth Direct Live! show at 8pm EST on Tuesday, January 31st for everything you need to know about financial aid. Senior Assistant Director of Admissions John Beck will be joined in the studio by Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid Christen O’Connor. No webcam needed. Sit back and watch or participate by asking us questions and we’ll do our best to answer them, Live!

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 122011
 

Join Pre-Health Advising coordinator Dr. Lee Witters and Assistant Director of Admissions Justine Modica at 8pm EST tomorrow (Tuesday) night to hear how Dartmouth helps prepare students for careers in the health professions. No webcam needed. Sit back and watch or participate by asking us questions and we’ll do our best to answer them, Live!

Dec 092011
 

Hey there ’16s! Congratulations!!! We’re so so so excited to have you, even if we don’t quite believe that the class of 2016 is a real thing yet. I applied ED last year too, and it seems like just yesterday. I know I’m just a freshman and I’ve only been here one term, so forgive me for getting a bit nostalgic. And forgive me if I pretend to know what I’m talking about, since I often feel just as new as you do, but I’d like to add some of my own tips on Dartmouth to all the advice given by the lovely bloggers below. 16 tips, in fact. Here goes!

1. Celebrate! You’ve clearly worked hard to get to where you are now, and you deserve a break. Take the weekend to have fun, hang out with your friends if they’re not going too crazy about colleges, and repeat: you did it!

2. But… you still have school Monday. Relax of course, but remember that there’s a reason you’ve worked hard throughout high school aside from getting into college. Maybe take a class or do a project you didn’t have time for during the application process. I signed up for astronomy and creative writing during second semester of my senior year, and they were both great!

3. One more thing about school next week- a lot of people don’t yet know which Class of 2016 they’ll be a part of. So be proud and happy, but maybe don’t skip and sing down the halls dressed head to toe in Dartmouth green? Or go for it, your call.

4. Dartmouth green is a pretty great color though, and it looks good on everyone! It might be time to order that college apparel you were too superstitious to order before your decision came. I know I was way too scared to buy anything before finding out, but I placed an order that Friday. Nothin’ like a little school spirit.

5. If any meet-ups are happening in your area, you should definitely go. I bet all you ’16s are pretty cool kids, and you should meet each other. You could make your first Dartmouth friends before even getting here! If there aren’t any yet, plan one!

6. You didn’t really have to do a supplement for your application. You were required to have someone else do the biggest part for you! So if anyone asks you to write their peer rec for a regular decision application, go for it. It’s only fair.

7. If you had an alumni interview and enjoyed that experience, you might consider sending an email to your alumni interviewer to let them know you got in. Chances are they put in a good word for you, and they’ll be happy to know you were admitted.

8. Start checking out what’s happening on campus. The website of the Hopkins Center for the Arts will give you lots of great ideas about the types of performances and programs that will be happening when you’re on campus next year.

 

Whew, we’re halfway there! Still reading? C’mon ’16s, you can do it!

 

9. Go on a first year DOC trip. They’re so much fun! You’ll get to meet cool people and eat lots of Cabot cheese. You’ll also learn how to play the trash can game. It’s quite intense.

10. Get in touch with your roommates and floormates when you (finally) find out who they are, because if you’re half as lucky as I am, they’ll be awesome. Shout-out to Russell Sage 3!

11. Before you get here, take a look at some classes you might want to take next fall. Orientation is pretty busy, so it’s good to already have some sense of what you’re interested in when you get that large brick of a book that lists every class we offer.

12. Now I’m gonna give you some advice on what to do when you get here- which will be before you know it! Find a study spot that works for you. I spent the first month only studying on the first floor of the main library (there are 4 floors, and 6 in the stacks, and lots of other buildings and libraries to consider). I still do my work in Baker-Berry, but I also like to go to Sanborn library. I do my work at the Dirt Cowboy sometimes too, which is a really good coffee shop in town.

13. Do stuff. Whatever you like, I’m sure we have it. I’ve joined some pretty random things myself. For example, I’ll be co-chair of the polar bear swim at Winter Carnival this February, a tradition that involves hundreds of students jumping into freezing water in a hole cut into the ice in a pond, one at a time. It’s gonna be cold. But fun.

14. Explore Hanover! Its pretty tiny, but it still has a lot to offer. Brunch at Lou’s, warm bread at Molly’s, gelato at Morano, $5 movies at the Nugget, and whatever else you want to do.

15. In your classes, work hard but remember people are there to help you. Go to office hours, make study groups with friends or go to official ones, get a tutor if you feel you need one, and order all the coffee you need at King Arthur Flour in the library.

16. CONGRATS AGAIN ’16’s!!! Really, you’re making me feel so old right now. But so excited! We all can’t wait to meet you!

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!