Dec 022011
 

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta study for finals, everybody’s looking forward to winter break…

Sorry for the awful song reference, guys. My caffeine-addled brain couldn’t come up with anything better. Also, sorry we’ve been a little lax in posting lately! It’s finals week here at Dartmouth, so things have been a bit busier than normal.

Actually, things feel less busy in a way. Even though it’s Friday evening, the atmosphere is
way more subdued than a typical Dartmouth weekend. We had our last classes on Wednesday, so yesterday and today were the “reading period” to catchup and study before most of the tests are held. Most people have been holed up in their favorite study spots for the past several days. People can get pretty aggressive about the prime study spots– I’m not nearly brave enough to try and snag a table on the third floor of the library, where most of the seats have had jackets and books permanently marking them as occupied for days. I miss hanging out with my friends in the evenings, but I know I’m getting more work done by going off by myself.

Besides, things haven’t been a total grind. Everyone from President Kim to the Gospel Choir have been holding “study breaks” with treats to help lighten the mood. If I went to all the study breaks offered, I’d never get anything done! And tonight was the tree-lighting on the Green– in the midst of all this schoolwork, the lights and carols finally made me realize that the holiday season is right around the corner.

I actually don’t have any finals tests this term; instead, my final grades are all papers. This is sort of nice because I have more control over my time and when I choose to work on each one. My humanities paper was due on Wednesday. It feels so nice to have that over with and to know that I only have two classes left to worry about. My religion paper is due on Monday afternoon. I took a draft to my professor during her office hours today, which was super helpful because I got to hear where my paper was weak from the person who will be grading it. Just one more plug for going to office hours– they really are worth it!

My biggest challenge is the research paper I’m writing for a sociology class on multiculturalism. I started off thinking about a topic in multicultural education, since I’m really interested in education policy, but I soon realized that “multicultural education” is way too broad of a topic. I decided to focus on “parachute kids,” wealthy Asian students who travel alone to the United States to go to school here. I want to see how their sojourn specifically for education and away from their parents affects their incorporation into American life. Even though writing my first college-level research paper is a bit daunting, I’m so interested in the topic that I’m actually having fun with the research.

Off to do more reading …and use my meal swipes to procure more caffeine! (who needs dinner when there is 5-hour Energy?)

Good luck with your own pre-break schoolwork, and happy holidays!

Live Free

Erin

Nov 222011
 

I spent most of last week working on a video we have to make for our writing class. We’re supposed to analyse an aspect of Dartmouth’s history and present an argument related to that aspect. The entire process has required a large amount of time and hard work, however while doing this project I came across two of Dartmouth’s hidden treasures, Rauner Library and Jones Media Centre.

Rauner Library is undoubtedly the most special library at Dartmouth. It is home to Dartmouth Archives dating back to the year of its existence, more than 100,000 volumes of extremely rare books (many of them cannot be found anywhere else in the world), manuscripts dating back to the twentieth century BC cuneiform tablets, and a large amount of other cool stuff. Examples of items include a collection of  The Dartmouth‘s (Dartmouth’s official Newspaper’s) publications dating back to 1799, Robert Frost’s original journal where he has edited many of his published poems (it shows how he would have edited them after they were published), and much more. You can find pictures, audio recordings, official documents, etc from any event in Dartmouth you could ever think of. You could simply go to the Librarian’s desk and ask them “Can I see something cool?” and within 5 minutes you will be seeing stuff that will blow your mind away. In addition to all of that, Rauner is a beautiful, nice and quiet place to study.

Jones Media Centre is conveniently located on the second floor of Berry Library (One of the main Libraries at Dartmouth). Not only is this place a media or visual arts fan’s paradise, but it also has something for everybody. Jones is simply one example of the numerous opportunities and services available to all Dartmouth students whenever they want. At Jones you can borrow video cameras, edit any kind of video or movie (no matter how professional), practice animation, or simply check yourself out on one of the computers with a funky camera. All you have to do is go to the front desk and ask.

It’s places like Rauner, Jones, and literally numerous others that make Dartmouth so magnificent and special. I still can’t wrap my head around the opportunities we undergraduates get at Dartmouth. No matter what you want to do, there will always be resources available for you. In other words, you can take the first steps to fulfilling your dreams at this cozy little college called Dartmouth.

 

Cheers!

Nov 072011
 

High school was a breeze. The classes were easy, the assignments laughable, and the tests were mildly challenging. I thought Dartmouth would be a little different. I had heard college was different and was expecting it to be a little harder. A little more of a challenge if you will.

I was wholly unprepared for what came next. Continue reading »

Oct 022011
 

While lying in bed at night, I always like to reflect on the day’s happenings.  Recently, I’ve been having to fulfill this tradition while brushing my teeth or walking back to my dorm at night because I’m so exhausted by the end of the day that I sleep nearly immediately after slipping under my sheets.

What makes me so exhausted, you ask?  At the moment, it’s not my homework (not yet, anyway).  It’s the fact that I’m always in motion and there is always positive energy buzzing around campus during the day.  Between walking back and forth to my dorm (yes, I live in the River, and yes, it is amazing), bonding with my floor, staying on my toes and participating in my classes, going to office hours, going to club tennis practice, and going to one or two club meetings a night, I get exhausted.  Then there’s the eating at FoCo with friends, studying in the tower room of Baker Library (I love studying there because it makes me feel like I’m in Harry Potter), etc (I’ll stop listing now).

Everyone at Dartmouth warns freshman about getting involved in too many clubs, but I think it’s a mistake that most freshman make anyways because of the type of people who come here.  Dartmouth students love being involved and love dipping their toes in new things.  Based on conversations I’ve had with upperclassmen, it seems like just trying one new club can open up an unknown world of talents, whether they be in fencing, improv comedy, or woodworking.

For example, I’ve never done Parliamentary Debate, which is awesome in case you were wondering.  There’s nothing like interrupting your opponent with a question by standing with one hand on your head and your other hand in the air (fun fact: one of the captains said that this is custom because Members of Parliament used to hold their wigs with one hand and show that they weren’t bearing arms with the other).  I actually just came back yesterday from a debate tournament in Boston for novices and had a great time bonding with the team.  Both the student body and the administration is so supportive of students to try new things, which is one of the great things about the environment here.

I guess being tired is something I anticipate I will deal with a whole lot more at Dartmouth over my next four years, but it is the kind of weariness that gives me satisfaction.  At the end of the day, I know that if I’m exhausted, I’ve been active and involved.  So, thank you Dartmouth.  If nothing else, you give me a whole lot to think about before I head to bed and you give me the deepest sleeps I’ve ever had.