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The Dartmouth
May 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Editors' Note

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Through a friend of a friend, I somehow received an invitation to a neighborhood apple-picking and cider-making event this weekend. As an outsider, I felt nervous to intrude on this community event. Yet, my intrigue won over my anxiety. I decided to tag along with my friend, in the hopes of returning to campus with a delicious jug of hand-pressed cider (pressed by my own hands, of course). 

We soon arrived at the barn, the entrance surrounded by a small crowd — gray, grizzled beards and ladybug toddler costumes were both present. The host of the event greeted us warmly as we walked up, and we soon piled into cars and trucks to head up to the soon-to-be-picked orchard. There, urged on by fearless little kids, we climbed the apple trees and shook the branches hard enough so the fruit thudded below onto the grass. When we had gathered enough of the far-from-perfect apples, we journeyed back to the barn — and the real fun began: pressing the cider. 

After a short instructional speech, we took up various roles in the hand-built cider mill: The kids loaded the apples into the grinder, some of us prepared the ground apple chunks for pressing into cider, while the rest bottled the pumped cider into plastic jugs (complete with labels spotting the operations motto: “For the love of it”). With encouragement from one of the neighbors, I took my turn at spreading the apple chucks into even layers for pressing — my initial struggle turned to delight under his warmth. 

As we enjoyed the deliciously sweet cider together later, I reflected on the beauty in the cider making operation’s motto, “for the love of it.” The cider making made no profit. It had no ulterior motive. It was done simply for the enjoyment of the process. In my last fall at Dartmouth, I’ve tried to prioritize those things that lend themselves to this enjoyment. It isn’t possible all the time — some things I’ve had to suffer through— but even in those moments, striving to find some enjoyment in the details makes the whole experience infinitely more pleasant. Delighting in the details of spreading the apple chunks is what helped make the cider we drank so sweet. 

This week, our writers also pay close attention to details, on topics  ranging from the men’s rush process to students’ perspectives on Dartmouth’s attitude toward climate action. One writer details the challenges local Hanover businesses face, while another spotlights the behind-the-scenes work the Programming Board does. Lastly, one writer sits down with Geisel School of Medicine director Dr. Amber Barnato to discuss her research grant. 

As you press on into Week 6, we at Mirror hope you find the time to do things “for the love of it.” Even if it seems like a struggle at first, it could turn out to be as great as hand-pressed cider.