Caela Murphy — Arts editor
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Caela Murphy — Arts editor
Some 20,000 years ago, the Laurentide Ice Sheet began to melt, gradually thawing and retreating, inching up and up and up, at some point shaping the very valley we inhabit. I won’t purport to understand this process better than my B+ in “Marine Geology” suggests. But walking down Gold Coast under a blushing sky, sun slipping west beyond Vermont, or running through Pine Park, or crossing Ledyard Bridge, I often think of this icy ebb and flow, wishing I could better read the glacial striations and grooves carved into this land, better understand the soil on which I stand. I’m lucky to be part of a landscape that prompts me to zoom out like this. A landscape laden with Abenaki history, mining booms and busts, destruction and rebirth. I relish these lessons in geopoetry — some sudden, others taking the form of long, solitary runs.
A few weeks ago, in one of my few forays into the wilderness since my Hiking 1 trip freshman year, I spent the night with a group of friends at the Class of 1966 Lodge, also known as Harris Cabin. As we laughed through rounds of Taboo and “yum-yummed” the remainder of what must have been an industrial-sized block of Cabot cheese, the daylight receded, bringing with it the serene darkness and the distant, unknown living sounds characteristic of a forest at night. We staked out our sleeping locations, a few others and I opting for the cool air of the balcony overlooking the clearing.
There was a moment my freshman fall — standing on the snow-covered Green, wearing drenched sneakers and a crayon costume (yes, it snowed on Halloween) and surrounded by hundreds of my similarly elated classmates — when I declared in an uncharacteristic display of sappiness that I loved Dartmouth.
It is easy to lie about who you are, both to yourself and others. Most freshmen enter college with very few people who truly know them — and, of course, many barely know themselves. This makes it easy to take on a new identity — many consider the ability to reinvent yourself to be one of the most positive aspects of entering this new stage in life. Unfortunately, this reinvention often comes at the cost of important aspects of one’s personality and can change the core of a person.
During our time here, we watch as the strangers we are thrown together with in this remote place become our closest friends — and sometimes, as they become strangers again. We meet people from across the world we never would have met otherwise, and, if we’re lucky or if we ask, we get to hear their stories. Yet this is all too rare.
Whenever I’m asked to discuss my favorite part of Dartmouth, I always end up talking about the friends and mentors that I’ve been lucky enough to meet. But when I sat down to write this column, I found myself thinking about places that have defined my time here. I first recalled a moment during my initial visit to campus. My dad and I were listening to our tour guide, and I remember imagining myself lounging on the Green, FoCo cookie in hand, after a morning in the biology class that my tour guide described.
Flashback to Wednesday, March 30, 2011 — college acceptance letter day for the Class of 2015 and the day I found out I was accepted to Dartmouth (contrary to popular belief, I did not apply early decision). It was about 9:45 at night. I had just finished playing a lacrosse game in a hailstorm that left me cold, wet and tired. I got into my parents’ car and checked my email, and after sorting through emails from various other schools, I finally came to one from Dartmouth. I got the news I wanted, but it was bittersweet. My parents then told me that my grandfather had just been readmitted to the hospital.
I have been exceptionally happy with my time here. Every day hasn’t been a Disney fairytale a la singing squirrels and dancing blue jays, but most days I fall asleep thinking that this is a very special place. I have been so lucky and privileged to be the recipient of boundless support and love from my parents and brother, but I also think that I have managed “to do Dartmouth right” for me — which I think entailed taking the classes that excited me, joining the organizations that open my eyes to the world and befriending the people whom I care about to the ends of the earth.
8:41 p.m.: The exact time I received the blitz about writing this very column. I was in the middle of a weekly standing hangout (read: harbor) date with my freshman floormates. These were the people whom I met when I owned zero pairs of closed shoes (save for my sneakers) and didn’t know what double spacing meant. I had never seen snow before, and sure as hell didn’t understand Fahrenheit.
“If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.” — “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986)
It’s time to pop this cherry! Your cherry? My cherry, everyone’s cherry. Maraschino cherries. And to be clear, by cherry, I mean the Dartmouth bubble. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Scoot, skiddadle! Get out of here you perv! It’s time to graduate.
The coming months herald great things for Mirror readers.
What should be on my Dartmouth bucket list?
216 — The number of years since the founding of The Dartmouth
Frat dogs have long been the undisputed top dogs on campus, many sparking followings of their own, but there is another class of up-and-coming canine. This fall, Student Accessibility Services implemented a new support animal program, which now allows students to live with their support animals in campus dorms.
In May 1992, Thomas Cormen, vying for a position in the mathematics and computer science department, had a lot on his mind.
It’s 1976, and change is brewing in Hanover. A group of Dartmouth women feel that the College’s social scene does not fit their needs, so they contact the national sorority Sigma Kappa to discuss establishing a chapter on campus. That spring, the sorority’s first pledge class sees an immense turnout. Flash forward to 1988 and seven more national sororities have been established on campus. Still, some of them feel that the ideas and rituals of their national governing bodies do not match up with the social needs of women at Dartmouth. So what has happened when sororities decide to go local?
There is a saying in Korea that one will make their life long friendships in high school or before — never in college.
Enid: So sweet of you to invite us to grandparents weekend, Eliot. Our little Dartmouth kitten!