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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Bureaucracy in the Spring

Finally, it's here: Green Key. The bomb. Or at least we hope so. The moment of anticipation is often the pinnacle of the experience. But, hopefully, it isn't. The goal is the long-run, total experience. However, failure is commonplace.

Whatever, it's spring and I can finally go outside. Or not. It seems like the longer you stay here, the less you do. At least in terms of Green Key. It's strange how the best weekend of the year is the least recognized or hyped.

Not like Homecoming -- with the bonfire and the day off from classes -- or Winter Carnival -- with the posters and the day off from classes. This is the spring. You are stir crazy. You don't really care about anything, just let me the hell out.

Then it starts pouring.

The older I get the more stuff I have to do. It's amazing how much needless bureaucracy exists in my day. Now, I know that life is supposed to contain this crap. That's what my mommy told me, society, yada yada yada...

Somehow, I thought that all that stuff was "out there," that after-graduation life that is so on the outer consciousness of juniors, the unbearable lightness on seniors. Really though, it had always been there, perhaps most unbearable when you were a freshman.

Why does life at Dartmouth have to require so many pointless yet mandatory experiences?

Now, I'm not against mandatory experiences -- even obnoxious ones like the Kiewit delays that are right around the corner -- that build character, self reliance and anger expulsion mechanisms. It's the truly random ones that annoy me.

Take your Freshman "Advisor." Immediately, the reader, assuming he or she put up with the verbosity of the initial paragraph, falls into two groups: those who found a best buddy in the faculty, and those who saw the person once and now can barely remember their name. You can guess where I fell in ... Professor Something in the Italian and Something Department.

The only thing I remember from my experience is when she asked me about my plans for my language requirement. This question came after five minutes of pleasant conversation. I told her that I thought I may have a learning disability that prevented me from fulfilling my requirement. She laughed at me. Told me that was impossible.

Testing determined that I have mild dyslexia. Thanks Professor Something.

Perhaps the College should think about its advising system. My story is hardly unique. I suspect half the campus got nothing or less from their "advisor."

Please, just because we are Ivy League students doesn't mean that we should have to brave the darkness of Dartmouth alone. What it does mean is that this institution should be beyond where it is now.

After two centuries, you'd think that this place could be better tailored to its student body. Is education theory lacking or is it practice? Whichever it is, it certainly isn't money. That's only lacking in our pockets.

The darkness really is all the hoops and loops that we have to jump through to get anything done. From maintaining a fraternity, to getting a transcript, to your Dash finances, to finding your intellectual calling, Dartmouth College has an imbedded organism of darkness.

I guess every sky must have at least one cloud. But don't those cloudless New Hampshire spring days leaving you wondering...