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You can learn a lot from a cup of spit and $200. You can learn the precise breakdown of your racial heritage, how your hair curls, individualized weight loss strategies, whether you can smell asparagus in your pee, whether you might be susceptible to breast cancer or Alzheimer’s … the list of potential knowledge goes on. Access to our biological information has all been made possible thanks to advances in genotyping and commercialization of genetic testing. 23andMe, founded in 2006, monetizes these advances by analyzing customers’ DNA samples for a fee. Their service is expensive but not inaccessible, boasting three million genotyped customers worldwide.
As we settle further into winter term, the snow and the schoolwork pile up. Bean boots and backpacks come out. But along with the changes in weather, workload and attire, winter term brings about changes in Dartmouth students’ social life.
As flocks of geese escape winter’s frigid grip, seniors are similarly preparing to embark on their own journey. The graduating class hails from various parts of the world, enriching the College with diversity, and upon leaving the College, will rebuild their homes elsewhere. Three seniors, Benji Hannam ’18, Mahnoor Maqsood ’18 and Alex Vasques ’18, sat down with The Dartmouth and shared their plans for next year.
Migration. During the winter geese take refuge from the harsh winter winds. They flock south to the sand and sun while Dartmouth students migrate back to the great north we call home. However, the geese aren’t the only ones who are affected by each season’s, or term’s, migration patterns. The concept of migration, of movement and patterns, is not exclusive to birds. We, like the geese, whom we loyally watch journey south, have, and will, undergo periods of migrations — although in different directions. We migrate to campus, to clubs, to Greek houses on weekends, to the library on weekdays and Sundays — and to our beds on especially cold winter nights. This week the Mirror explores the different factors that affect our pattern of migration. Are we as loyal as the geese? Do we ebb and flow across campus in a faithful rhythm at the drop of every degree?
Divisions. How are we divided? Everyday we are faced with a series of choices, placing ourselves into a series of categories. We also arrive on campus, with vastly different experiences and backgrounds, which have already placed us into different groups, at least on first glance.
The first year for college students can bring massive changes to their lives, from making new friends to keeping up with the academic pressures.
Coming back to Hanover in the winter is like coming back to a different world: The entire campus is coated in a layer of beautiful snow, making everything glitter. Seeing the college looking this picturesque makes it even more shocking to travel to towns like Lebanon and White River Junction, where the slush has already turned gray, and white buildings with green shutters are replaced with boarded-up storefronts and weather-torn houses. Despite being located less than an hour away from Hanover, these towns are peppered with signs of poverty and neglect that are not often found in Hanover.
Combining her love for fashion and social media, Jamie Ma ’20 created a project last fall with a stated mission to explore “the personal and individual styles of the Dartmouth community.” Her Instagram page @dartmouthflair has since attracted over 800 followers and counting.
The life of an Ivy League athlete is unlike any other. During the season, football player Emory Thompson ’18’s day starts around 6 a.m., when he wakes up to lift weights with his team. He spends the bulk of the day in class, in meetings, at office hours, and then from 2 to 4 p.m. he meets with his team and coaches to watch films and discuss strategy. He has 30 minutes to change into his gear and then from 4:30 to 7 p.m. he has practice, showers and gets dinner with his teammates. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., he works on homework, and 5 hours later, he wakes up to do it all again.
At Dartmouth College, which offers more than 60 majors and numerous other minors, the mathematics department is largely an enigma for the hundreds of social science and humanities students who fulfill their single QDS distributive requirement and move on. Contrary to popular belief, mathematics is a much more diverse and dynamic discipline than the introductory calculus and statistics courses that most students take.
The house system brings about familiarity and comfort to some, apprehension and novelty to others. Nonetheless, since the fall of 2016, it has become a key part of the Dartmouth experience. On its base level, the house system is a division of students across six houses: Allen, East Wheelock, North Park, School, South and West. Upon closer inspection, however, the house system is far from merely a division. Rather, its ability to create a sense of community among undergraduate students, graduate students and professors alike is a creation of unity through the process of division.
Jerry Rosembert Moise showcasing his graffiti work in Haiti at Breakfast with the Arts
Welcome back to campus. We all return weary from all the reunions that occurred over break: reunions with our high school friends (or avoiding reunions with our former classmates), reunions with family members and reunions with our home selves — less or more wild versions of the person we are at Dartmouth. The clock strikes midnight. It’s 2018, and we are now facing very different kinds of reunions. In 2018, we reunite with our academic self, our Dartmouth persona, with friends — the members of our family painted in green (or snow). We renunite with the woods, with puffy coats and the snow crunching beneath our feet. With the first day of classes only a few days after New Years, we are forced to shift gears and reunite with our school after six weeks of Netflix-binging and Harry Potter movie marathons. This week, the Mirror will be reuniting with you. We can help you procrastinate on your assigned readings (c’mon, it’s week 1— not a real school week, yet): Enjoy the first issue of 2018!
Before my first Dartmouth winter, I’d seen snow exactly four times. Five if you count the only time it snowed in my lifetime in San Francisco: Dec. 20, 1998, (the day that holds my first memory). I’m two years old at the park with my grandma (Nana to us, although she tried to convince me to call her Aunt Birdy until I was five) and a few glorious snowflakes fall from the sky.
Emma Sklarin '18 (right) stands on a Winter Carnival snow sculpture with friends.
If coming to Dartmouth has taught me anything, it’s that people can quickly change gears to achieve a goal. For some, it calls for a quick flicker of a light switch, but for others the transformation triggers a personality change — an alter ego. These alter egos serve a beneficiary purpose, and once it’s created, it’s here to stay.
Although more than seven decades have passed since the end of World War II, and Dartmouth College has grown in size, prominence and scope over the past nearly three quarters of a century, some things haven’t changed. A few interviews from “The War Years at Dartmouth: An Oral History Project,” a collection of over 100 stories of Dartmouth alumni and relatives, illustrate what has changed and what hasn’t.