The Light at the End of the Tunnel

by Tom Mandel | 3/3/11 11:00pm

College administrators recently circulated a survey to members of the senior class to help them give out awards at the end of the year. It's basically a form in which they ask us to self-call as much as possible so that they can know everything we've done and accomplished during our time at Dartmouth. You know at Class Day when they read off the list of activities for people who win the Barrett Cup and stuff like that? This is where they get that list.

So basically the only people who win the big awards at Class Day are the people who didn't delete those mass blitzes and remembered to fill out the self-call form. Interesting. I wonder if there are secretly people out there who should be winning these big awards but don't believe in self-calling. Unfortunately, the type of person who does the kinds of things that win awards is also the type of person who loves self-calling. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Watching the Oscars makes me wish that we had more awards at Dartmouth. And no, I don't mean departmental or athletic awards. I wish we could recognize the real heroes at Dartmouth. This isn't to say that the people who win Oscars are heroes, but it was a decent segue. Topical. However, there are a few people at this school who I believe should actually win awards:

  1. The student who decides to save you in class by building off your point, covering up the reality that you haven't done the reading and the point you made was actually terrible.

  2. Collis Ray, for being an American hero, among other things.

  3. The person who doesn't care at all about the latest meaningless campus controversy. Your apathy is a breath of fresh air.

  4. The guy who doesn't pretend he didn't see your pong ball bouncing by his table and actually stops to pick it up and throw it back to you. Thanks, bro.

  5. The person who says, "enough is enough" and tells somebody in the library to shut up or to turn down their music. Everybody within earshot loves you.

I'm not going to waste all of my page space listing all the other random people who should win awards. But there are a lot of them.

It'd be nice if Dartmouth rewarded students for things like these, rather than for being chotches and brown-nosers and spending four years trying to win awards and then scrambling to fill out the self-call survey. I guess that's the way of the world, though. The kid who can self-call the best in the interview gets the job.

THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL is that the idea behind the "self-call" is one of my favorite parts of Dartmouth lingo/culture. Think about it. We go to an Ivy League institution where it's considered poor form to talk about your accomplishments. That sounds like an oxymoron to me. The Class Day aspirers have to fill out those forms in private, because they know that if they do something like that in public, some asshole like me is going to yell, "Seeeeelf-callllll!" I'm scared to enter the real world because I don't know of any regulating mechanism like "self-call" that exists outside of Dartmouth. People in the real world like to bottle their own farts and smell them in public places.