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The last time I was in a classroom was on March 11, for my German exam. My professor put a bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk, in direct response to my frequent anxiety-fueled comments about the coronavirus — voiced in my best German accent, of course. The next day, we got the announcement that the first half of spring term classes would be online.
For many outgoing Dartmouth students, senior spring represents a chance to create a fitting end to their time at the College. Having finally completed their academic requirements, seniors have the opportunity to create meaningful, fulfilling academic experiences in the classroom.
Nearly every essay I wrote during my first two terms at Dartmouth was composed at 10 a.m. on a Saturday, sitting in the lobby of Baker-Berry with a King Arthur Flour scone and an over-cinnamoned cappuccino in front of me. I’d never had any reason to believe my writing ritual was problematic, but when faced with my first essay of the remote term, composed at home and far from Blobby, I came to a grave realization: I was incapable of writing without KAF. Playing both Pavlov and his dogs, I had unwittingly conditioned myself to rely on the ritual.
When I set out to write an article on how the coronavirus has affected senior honors theses, I searched the Dartmouth website for a page describing what a thesis is. I found no such page. Each academic department has its own description of what a thesis looks like, and even within those departments, every project is unique.
If you're anything like me, this term has been a pernicious cycle of two extremes: eating an entire family-sized bag of PopCorners in one TikTok-fueled sitting, and then shamefully running five miles in repentance.
It’s week nine, and you arrive at Baker-Berry Library at 8 a.m. There are no people to be found, but belongings were left overnight, claiming the circle tables on 3FB and 4FB. You settle for a cubicle instead. Foolishly, you bring your belongings with you to grab lunch — a freshman mistake. When you return, every single cubicle is taken, and now you struggle to find a study space anywhere in the library. There is a palpable feeling of tension in the air. It’s finals season.
It’s week nine, and 20S is quickly approaching its conclusion. The final weeks of spring, as seniors prepare to graduate and another academic year comes to a close, tend to be particularly significant. However, with remote learning, many of the rituals and traditions that occur just before the transition to summer have presented themselves in different ways. Instead of scrambling to spend our last bit of DBA on delicious King Arthur Flour pastries — relishing in the purchase of full pies and massive bags of granola — we’re recreating our favorite blueberry muffins from home. Finally making a move on our recent Last Chances match in a frat basement has transitioned into sliding into their Instagram DMs. And deciding what to wear for a senior thesis presentation is now making sure that your camera is tipped high enough to block the pajama pants you’ve worn for the past week.
If there was one benefit to going to college in rural New Hampshire, away from big city amenities, it was King Arthur Flour. Specifically KAF, the cafe that occupied the physical and spiritual heart of Baker-Berry Library.
This year’s elections for Student Assembly and Class Councils were marked by several incidents of students using anonymous posts to criticize and attack certain candidates, calling into question the ethics of public callouts in student elections and of using anonymity for this purpose.
In an effort to raise awareness about the increase in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, friends Sara Cho ’20 and Isabelle Chung ’19 founded nullepartout, an online apparel and lifestyle shop that sells jewelry, apparel and other goods and donates its proceeds to domestic violence related charities.
Katie Erdos ’20 has been a leader since her first day on the Big Green women’s crew team, serving as coxswain for the Varsity 8 for the duration of her career.
At the end of each academic year, The Dartmouth sports section nominates athletes to be voted on by the Dartmouth community as the best of the best. In this year’s sports awards, six of the top rookies, six of the top moments, five of the top female athletes and five of the top male athletes are pitted against each other, with the winners emerging after a vote by members of the Dartmouth community.
Spring term is winding down for most; I’m working my TA job at the moment, and I don’t remember what week it is. My mind keeps drifting back to college basketball and the lost postseason. Ivy League basketball doesn’t get a lot of credit as a mid-major league, so I wanted to do my best to explain the history of some programs by comparing them to major conference schools.
To facilitate social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dartmouth students and faculty members have launched a letter-writing program called Pine Pals, connecting students and elderly people in New Hampshire and Vermont.
When I was a junior in college, the issue of the day on campus was an innovative new technique that the Hanover Police were threatening to deploy to crack down on underage drinking. The police department had announced that if underage students were found to be drinking in college Greek houses, the students themselves would not be the only ones held responsible — the Greek houses that supplied the alcohol would be held responsible as well. In this case, “held responsible” meant that they would be fined. The fine could be as high as six figures.
I’ve braved many “first days of school” in my life, but none gave me as much anxiety as I felt about the first day of college. Living with a random roommate and getting thrown into life on the other side of the country was daunting.
According to Tom Friedan, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. could need up to 300,000 contact tracers to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, distributing any potential vaccine, especially to areas underserved by the current health care system, will require an unprecedented effort. In light of the current and future need for workers to help contain the pandemic, Dartmouth should consider giving a half-course credit to students who serve in such roles.
For the first month of spring term, Dick’s House was unable to offer counseling services to students outside of New Hampshire due to licensing restrictions that prevented counselors from practicing out of state. After state and regional health boards loosened restrictions in light of COVID-19, the Counseling Center has explored new ways to connect with students as the College moves into its second term of remote learning.
As Dartmouth students finish their virtual spring terms, many are looking to other colleges for information about how and if they will conduct their fall terms. While the College has yet to offer specific guidance on the fall, College President Phil Hanlon and Provost Joseph Helble announced on May 4 that a final decision regarding fall term will be made by June 29.
Updated May 25, 2020 at 11:55 p.m.