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Love Valentine’s Day? Or do you hate it, proclaiming it to be Singles Awareness Day instead? Unfortunately, Singles Day already exists, and won’t happen until later this year — on Nov. 11 (11/11, get it?). Chinese e-retailer giant Alibaba has held Singles Day, a major sale event, for the past 10 years, with $1 billion dollars being sold over the site in just the first minute-and-a-half this past year. Alibaba might be on to something — you may be lonely, so how about a new watch? Singles Day, while not explicitly about celebrating being single, parallels the commercialism of Valentine’s Day in the States. Bouquets will be frantically ordered last-minute online, chocolates will be cleared off the shelves of CVS and restaurants will be packed with couples trying to enjoy an intimate meal with dozens of other couples sitting a few feet away. Even though so much time, effort and money is put into the day, maybe the hype is worth it — perhaps it reminds us to show our appreciation for our loved ones, a reminder that shouldn’t necessarily be needed, but possibly, it is called for to take a little time and appreciate one another and ourselves. Gift or not.
We have different ways of dealing with stress. Some will write down everything they need to get done in the next 24 hours and go down the list, chipping away at a seemingly large mountain of to-dos and don’t-forgets. Others will push off what they need to get done — “Hey, I haven’t cleaned my room in a while, let me rearrange my shelves instead of starting this paper due on Friday.” But it’s almost universally understood that being told to “chill out” is, in most cases, unhelpful. No, taking a chill pill won’t help me ace this test or interview tomorrow. Wow, does it sound like we need to calm down? Excuse you, it’s week six, the part of the term when things aren’t fun anymore. If you’re like us and are in desperate need of a break, explore this week’s issue and chill out with us.
Milestones. Sometimes, milestones are a good thing — who can forget the joy of their first day of starting college, of a baby’s first “mama,” of buying one’s first apartment?
The wildly popular Netflix series on the ways technology can warp our lives, Black Mirror, came out with a new episode, “Bandersnatch,” over winter break. The format of the episode is quite novel: it is somewhat like a choose-your-own-adventure book, except in television form.
The last few weeks, and months, have been pretty crazy — news of mailed pipe bombs, an accusation of sexual assault by a Supreme Court nominee and yet another mass shooting driven by anti-Semitism have left many in this country reeling. More recently and more close to home, last Friday’s shooting incident and subsequent campus shelter advisory put many students on edge. These events have left many of us itching for change. Yesterday, perhaps, was a chance for us to tell the world how we feel. With an urgency unmatched by other midterm elections, countless of our peers urged one another to go vote. Thus, in this issue of the Mirror, “Let’s Get Political.”
In honor of Halloween, the Mirror dives into all that is creepy, weird and unsettling — all that is uncanny.
Gender. Some of us think about it more than others — one may happen to notice this particular aspect of one’s identity more in certain situations, such as walking home at night in the city. For some, gender identity does not factor into one’s daily, conscious decisions such as what to wear or how to act around others, but the reality is that gender is often at the forefront of many of our minds.
Our campus, though nestled in the white mountains of New Hampshire, hours away from the hustle and bustle of city life, is a thriving and pulsing center. We may be secluded from the noise of any city, unlike many of our Ivy League counterparts, but we make enough noise of our own. But what happens when there’s no noise at all?
Hierarchy. Our lives, and society, are often structured around hierarchies. Some of the hierarchies around us are benign. We organize students into underclassmen and upperclassmen we rank the various food options around us (which we cover in this issue). Clubs usually consist of some members who make “big decisions” and others who do not. These hierachies invade all areas of our lives: socioeconomic status, gender, race, class, sexuality. In today’s issue of the Mirror, we explore some of the ways hierarchy comes into play at Dartmouth. We recognize that we cannot cover every single topic on the matter, for there are whole books written about hierarchy and how it manifests in different ways in our society, but we hope this issue stirs up some discussion on the topic.
Evolution. It’s the reason why we’re here. It’s why we stand on two legs, why most of us get our wisdom teeth taken out, why we have five fingers to clasp our morning coffee. Evolution, in both the scientific and the lay sense, permeates every aspect of our lives, from modern medicine to forensics (DNA testing) to computer science (algorithms that compete against each other).
If you are not struck by love upon your first step on the Green, first Collis smoothie or first run around Pine Park — no fear. It can be a slower kind of love, a kind of love that you don’t notice until you’re sitting in your 9L, daydreaming about hitting the green, not hitting the stacks, after class.
The last word. When everything is said and done, what is left? You spent four years here. Twelve terms. 2,103,795 minutes. 126,227,704 seconds. How do you condense it all — the friendships, lessons learned, heart-to-hearts, sweaty dance party nights and 2 a.m. cram sessions — into just a couple of words? Once you graduate, how will you look back on your time here? Will your time here by defined by terms? Defined by that term you fell in love, that term you met the people you can’t imagine life without, that term you decided to pursue your passion? Or will you define it by year? Will you look back on your second year as a “sophomore slump” or reminisce fondly about lazy days on the Green during sophomore summer? Those who won’t be graduating any time soon, how will you choose to spend your remaining time here? Luckily for you, members of the 2018 directorate of The Dartmouth impart some of their wisdom in this issue of the Mirror — the ’18s are back for one last time, for one last word.
Time flies when you’re having fun. Or in our case, time flies when your term is packed back-to-back with midterms, meetings, lunch dates and midnight cram sessions. The break-neck speed of a term can often leave one disoriented and confused by Week Nine — wasn’t it only Week Two just a moment ago? Time warps in weird ways here.
Carolyn: I was disappointed to find out that I was randomly assigned to live in the River cluster — notoriously known as one of the worst dorms because of its distant location from the center of campus. I soon found that the long walk down Tuck Drive was worth it because of the unique community that organically sprung up there. I didn’t necessarily feel grateful for it while I was making the 20-minute trek to the River through the snow and hail, but looking back, I would now regard living in the River as a blessing in disguise, as I met some of my best friends there.
This week, the Mirror explores the beautiful and beastly parts of campus, of Dartmouth and ourselves. Does beauty ever become beastly? When are beasts beautiful? In this issue we look at both sides of the coin, night and day, good and bad. We aim to find beauty in every beast and shed light on the beastly side of what we call beautiful. What are the beastly, or wild, aspects of campus? One might see evidence of the “untamed” parts by observing the strewn beer cans on Frat Row after a weekend full of parties, Theta Delta Chi fraternity at 2:30 a.m. or the Big Empty Meeting Area at midnight. While the beastly side only shows up every now and then, Dartmouth’s beauty is on full display every day. It’s in its expansive grounds, in the quiet peace of the Tower Room, the well-worn front steps of Robinson Hall. Most of all, it’s in the people — people’s smiles, hugs and friendly “Hellos.”
This week is an ode to the alphabet, to words. The alphabet is one of the first things we learn as children, symbols permanantly etched into our minds as we carefully traced the letters on colorful construction paper. This is where we begin. Twenty-six letters and a childhood song, and all of a sudden the world is a new place.
If a Cornell or University of Pennsylvania student were to stand in the middle of the Green on a sunny day, they might overhear comments containing foreign phrases such as “My English class is such a layup” or “He never responded to my flitz....” The visitor might scratch their head, shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s all Greek to me.” At Dartmouth, we have our very own language, reflecting our unique culture cultivated in the hills of New Hampshire. With any language, there are idioms and expressions reserved for fluent speakers who understand these unique phrases.
How often do you get lost in thought? Have you ever been daydreaming, your mind miles away from the task at hand, a distant look in your eyes? Has a friend ever turned to you and asked, “Penny for your thoughts?” Perhaps you were dreaming about the nap you planned on taking later, or your weekend plans, and you’ve now snapped out of your stupor. In a world where education has a price and is considered an investment, where theoretical education is prized over practical training, where success can be defined by the jobs we get after graduation, how do we measure the worth of our education? How valuable are our thoughts? This week, Mirror explores the different ways we measure our worth, the balance between work and education and the life of the mind on campus today.