Living out the Listserv
Two writers look for hidden Listserv gems.
Ah, the sweet sound of the Dartmouth Listserv blowing up your inbox on a Monday morning. We despise the Listserv for many reasons. Most of all, we hate how it makes us think we’re more popular than we are. 35 new emails? That must be that woman emailing me back about that internship, or Hinman notifying me of the arrival of my outfit for Green Key and at least four flitzes from all the cute guys I made prolonged eye contact with in the library yesterday, right? No, unfortunately the Listserv breaks our hearts once again — it’s just the notification for the Sports Analytics meeting on Tuesday.
Once you’ve been at Dartmouth long enough, these emails start to become part of the same monotonous background noise that plays beneath our daily routines. We can’t even count how many Listserv emails we’ve sorted into the trash unread. But are we missing something in being so cavalier? Perhaps these club meeting announcements are more than an algorithmic onslaught of free Tuktuk clickbait, burying important Canvas notifications in the depths of our inboxes. After all, this school is wrought with extracurricular opportunities — so should we be giving the Listserv more of a chance?
We — Annabel and Adrienne — thought yes, and so, for one week we attended as many Listserv events as possible. This involved the arduous tasks of dabbling in beer-tasting and bearing the exceptional awkwardness of an improv show. Below are our observations on a few of Dartmouth’s various extracurricular activities.
Microbrews - May 9, 8-10 p.m. in One Wheelock, Annabel
Elapsed Time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds
Within four seconds of me stepping across the threshold of One Wheelock, someone spotted me. They could smell the underage on my breath, I guess.
“You’re not old enough to be here.”
“I just wanted a free cup.”
The nice microbrews boy gave in, handing me a pretty beer glass with green stenciling. And that was the end of that!
Women in Media - May 9, 4-5 p.m. in Baker 234, Annabel
Elapsed Time: 1 hour
Free TukTuk! Discussion of careers in film! Complaining about men! This is my kind of meeting. Makes sense, since I’m the secretary of WIM. Shameless plug: WIM is a growing club full of talented women and NB folks who share a passion for media. During Monday’s meeting, Professor Eugenie Carabatsos discussed her experiences and advice with the group. Much was learned!
Student Prison Reform Initiative - May 10, 7-10 p.m. in Silsby 119 Adrienne
Elapsed Time: 45 minutes
I’d be lying if I said I came to this meeting for any reason other than the promise of free TukTuk. Upon entering Silsby 119 mid-screening (they start their meetings right on time, apparently), that promise became a meek pile of buffet-style half-eaten pad thai tucked away at the far corner of the room. I was too shy to grab a plate at the risk of disrupting the screening, so I quietly sat myself down. Empty stomach aside, I enjoyed my viewing of “It’s Criminal.” The 80-minute documentary film followed a Dartmouth WGSS class that visited and collaborated with incarcerated women to write and put on a short play. The documentary encouraged me to reflect on the economic and racial disparities that exist both inside and outside of the criminal justice system. While admittedly not the most social event, it was a productive and introspective use of time.
Spare Rib - May 10, 8-9 p.m. in Carpenter 201C Adrienne
Elapsed Time: one hour
Picture a graph: An x-axis with Gru from Despicable Me on one side and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on another. Alongside the y axis, you have pineapple chunks and pineapple slices. These lines converge to form the sexual identity spectrum that each member of Spare Rib was asked to place themself on during introductions. For those who are wondering, I identified with Gru Pineapple Chunks on that particular Tuesday evening. It just felt right. Out of all the club meetings I attended, Spare Rib had the greatest sense of community. Members knew each other by name and seemed genuinely excited to catch up with each other prior to the presentation on materialist feminism.
Sports Analytics - May 12, 8-9 p.m. in Silsby 312 Adrienne
Elapsed Time: 15 minutes
None of the eight male members of Sports Analytics asked for my name, which was the first of many red flags. I was, however, asked to share my favorite sport with the group. I suppressed the urge to say pong and went with basketball. It felt like a safe choice. Immediately the club broke into “research groups,” where everybody opened their laptops and pretended to be productive. I, having (stupidly) not brought my laptop, could not shield myself behind a screen and pretend to care about the Dartmouth Men’s Tennis Team’s losing streak. I slipped out while everybody was researching. What they were researching, I could not tell you.
The Stonefence Review - May 12, 8-9 p.m. in Collis 219 Adrienne
Elapsed Time: 32 minutes
Here is all you need to know about the inner-workings of The Stonefence Review, Dartmouth’s esteemed journal of arts and letters. Prose and poetry entries are sorted into two categories: “slay” or “not a slay.” Reading the poems which fell into the “not a slay” category — and trust me, there were plenty — was more entertaining than it should have been. Overall, listening to my peers’ anonymous poetry submissions was a surprisingly intimate and insightful experience. I would go back again.
Our week of listservian festivities resulted in the net gain of one Dartmouth insignia pint glass, a free plate of Tuktuk and the immeasurable shame of pulling up to a Sports Analytics meeting alone. The next time you feel a twinge of guilt for immediately deleting your daily barrage of 9 a.m. club announcements, don’t. You can rest assured that the majority of these meetings are more informative than they are social or entertaining. If there is fun to be had with the listserv, you have to dedicate prime free time to dig for it.