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The Class of 2023 hasn’t exactly had it easy — the COVID-19 pandemic radically impacted their first-year spring, and since then, their college careers have been anything but typical. Following the trials they’ve faced, the ’23s shared how they plan to make the most of their final term at Dartmouth.
Roopika Risam is a researcher, writer and historian, as well as a new addition to the Dartmouth faculty this year in the film and media studies department and the comparative literature department. Her research centers around the digital humanities, which seeks to combine digital tools and disciplines with the conventional study of humanities subjects. She uses the digital humanities to understand and prevent historical biases and exclusions from continuing into the modern age as digital technologies grow and evolve: Currently, she is exploring how postcolonial scholars and critical theorists have shaped the field of public humanities, and she is maintaining an online project that features a data visualization of W.E.B. DuBois’s intellectual trajectory. This week, The Dartmouth sat down with Risam to discuss the power of the digital humanities.
The final traces of winter are starting to disappear, and April is almost among us. Students are trading puffer jackets for bombers, bare-legged frisbee players are returning to the Green and the small clumps of lingering snow are finally melting away. Each day, the sun shines down on Hanover for a few minutes longer, bringing us more warmth and certainty that this term is going to be a good one.
As with the beginning of every Dartmouth term, campus now teems with laughter and hugs as students reunite with one another after weeks or even months of separation. But I’ve found that the beginning of spring feels different from the other terms. Though spring break is relatively short, it feels like the student body comes back with a resurgence of energy and vicarious excitement.
As the Princeton Tigers advanced last week into the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA March Madness tournament, members and fans of the Ivy League watched anxiously to see how far our league champs could take their run. A miraculous two-game tournament run, beginning with a shocking upset over two-seed Arizona, catapulted the men’s team into a national phenomenon, even in a year with so many other upsets. Yet, despite an unfortunate exit last Friday to three-seed Creighton University in the Sweet 16, the unexpectedness of Princeton’s success seems rooted in something more than their status as a 15-seed in the tournament.
I still have vivid memories of running the 400-meter dash on my high school track team. As I reached the final 100 meters, my feet pounding against the ground, I’d convince myself to continue sprinting while my body begged me to stop. I had many flashbacks to these grueling moments last term, and I now think of that period of time as my real-life 400-meter sprint.
Traditionally, Dartmouth students must complete three physical education or wellness credits before their senior spring in order to graduate. However, due to COVID-19 interruptions, the P.E. credit was lifted for the Class of 2023 and lessened for ’24s and ’25s. This means that the Class of 2026 is the first class that will again need three credits to graduate. Since all incoming students will need at least three terms of P.E. or wellness activities moving forward, we decided to compile some of the most interesting — and sometimes unconventional — activities that count for credit.
During one of the first weeks of the term, I took the story assignment of traveling to different diners around the Upper Valley. I originally planned on visiting as many as I could and providing a sort of listicle, a rating of the best breakfast sandwiches or pancake stacks around. I created a Google doc with an extensive list of diners — Four Aces, Creek House and Polly’s Pancake Parlor, to name a few — and their distance from campus, already planning out where I could slot each visit into my calendar.
While the concept of boredom might sound foreign in the last weeks of the term, there are fleeting moments in which students want to stop thinking about school — or, perhaps more relatably, moments when you just want to procrastinate school.
I’m taking my off term this spring, so in fewer days than I’d like to admit, I’ll have to say goodbye for 10 weeks to the people who have become my best friends. In the face of my impending departure, I’ve spent much of this term reflecting on friendships at Dartmouth. After five terms here, I can confidently say that I have grown closer with my best friends than I ever thought I would, especially considering how nervous I was before my freshman fall about the prospect of making friends.
Caris here. As I’m sitting in Robo writing this, I can look out and see the Green covered in snow. It’s the wintry scene I hoped for at the beginning of the winter term but am just getting now, as the latest 10-week hustle — and my time as an editor — comes to a close. I’ve sat by this window every Tuesday for two years now, first as an assistant to the editors, and this year as a senior editor myself. It’s amazing how many hours of revisions, to-go boxes of Collis pasta, tropical tapioca puddings and frantic late-night texts to the photo and design editors go into producing the Mirror every week, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Growing older is self-realizing the poignancy of cliches: money can’t buy happiness, time heals all wounds, life is about the little things, etc. In an academic microcosm of over-achievers like Dartmouth, it’s easy to discredit the poets and hyperfixate on capital-S Success, to chase prestigious acceptance letters and five-figure salaries. But it’s important to remember that the little things count too. I’m talking cappuccino foam, salted sidewalks, “snowflakes that fall across my eyes,” flaky salt and the chorus of a heart-wrenchingly good song.
Despite the several inches of snow burying the Green, the icy sidewalks covered in salt and the long-awaited powder on the Skiway, winter term is almost over. Since most campus organizations run on a spring-through-winter year for leadership roles, this means that the end of many seniors’ leadership positions is also near. Amid the chaos of final exams, term papers and a blizzard, three seniors reflected on time spent leading groups they love, as their time at the helmcomes to a close.
Whether you want silence or social hour, Baker-Berry Library has a space for everyone. Each part of campus’s main library attracts different students, since aesthetics, lighting and noise levels vary widely between rooms. Some students like the dark academia feel of the Tower Room while others prefer the modern architecture of 4FB, and not everyone wants to be productive all the time. While choosing a place to sit may seem like an innocent decision, students seem to agree that each room in the library comes with a stereotype. So what might your favorite study spot say about you?
Students show up in droves to concerts where they can see their friends play on stage. Whether in a Greek House, in Collis Common Ground or at a formal in town, student bands are an essential element of Dartmouth’s party culture. I talked to six musicians from four current bands on campus to learn a little more about how bands come together, practice and eventually end up playing for a packed audience of students.
Lillian Johnson ’23 is an active member of the Collis Governing Board, one of three organizations that manages events for the Collis Center for Student Involvement. After volunteering to write trivia questions last winter, Johnson became more consistently involved in CGB events and now runs some of them independently. This week, the Mirror decided to sit down with Johnson to chat about her leadership of Collis Trivia and Monday Microbrews — two weekly staples of the student community that brings people together in simple but meaningful ways.
As snow flurries settled on my cheeks this weekend, this sudden burst of winter felt almost refreshing. Just days before, the piled-up snow on the Green had all but entirely melted, teasing at an early spring. As a significant downfall of snow sent many of us out to A Lot to shovel out our cars (happily even!), it’s worth thinking about how this winter’s unseasonable warmth has changed the experience of being in Hanover for the ceremonious kickoff of 2023.
As is often true of buildings on campus, there is a lot more to Rollins Chapel than meets the eye. The historic building reopened this winter after several terms of construction, and students are once again welcome to sit in its main nave for a moment of silence, listen to musicians play warm melodies or offer a prayer.
Decorating a dorm room is a rite of passage. It often marks the beginning of a new term and another opportunity for students to make a little piece of campus their own. Of course, the College’s housing options are far from perfect. The historic residential buildings may charm visitors from the outside, but they can pose both practical and aesthetic challenges for the modern student. This week, I talked to three students who have made the most out of their campus housing in unexpected ways. From leaning into the old Ivy League aesthetic, to committing way too hard to the bit, these dorm rooms demonstrate the best of students’ creativity.
Welcome to March, Dartmouth. With the incredible deluge of snow this past week and the recent re-opening of fixtures like Rollins Chapel, it seems like campus is at once covering up and coming to life; one door closes, another sidewalk gets torn up and repaved. In these last few weeks of winter, Dartmouth is looking more like Narnia than ever.