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“Et tu, Maggie?” I asked myself after taking my first batch of cookies out of the oven. Google searches for “bread” have more than doubled since the pandemic started. I’m sure that you, like me, have been flooded with Instagram stories of banana bread, friends’ new baking accounts or one of the 168,000 and counting #quarantinebaking posts on Instagram. And as with any good cultural movement, everyone channeling their inner Barefoot Contessa has spurred a counterculture of Twitter humor mocking quarantine bakers.
Metamorphosis and migration are essential biological processes for many animals. For butterflies, metamorphosis is divided into distinct life cycle stages — egg, larva, pupa and adult. For humans, the process of maturation is messy, blurred and possibly indefinite. However, Dartmouth serves as a rare exception that allows us to point to a finite period of transformation. Migration, the seasonal movement of animals from one region to another, parallels the Homecoming experience.
This article is featured in the 2019 Homecoming special issue.
During two separate performance reviews, bosses have told me to stop apologizing. And both times, without a hint of irony or intent of rebellion, I instinctively responded, “I am so sorry.”
While passing through the Baker Library lobby (also known as “blobby”), one is often too focused on greeting friends or assessing the KAF line to notice the glass cases featuring special exhibits. I am certainly guilty of this obliviousness — I seldom, if ever, stop to appreciate the carefully-curated collection of artifacts and historical blurbs right before my eyes.
Once upon a time, some Dartmouth fraternity brothers playing table tennis rested their mugs of beer on the table while they played. A few stray ping pong balls landed in the cups by divine accident, until someone proposed that it was more fun to aim for the mugs of beer themselves.
Next fall, Dartmouth will welcome members of the Class of 2023 from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, and from 69 other countries, making it the most geographically diverse class in the College’s history. Accordingly, these students will also be graduates of all different types of high schools, ranging from elite preparatory schools in the northeast to small public schools in the south. Regardless of their background, however, they all experience the same phenomenon upon their arrival to the College: the grind.
“Where are you from?”
This week’s issue of the Mirror is themed “silver linings.” The phrase literally has nothing to do with silver, or linings, but somehow I didn’t think twice about what it meant. Idioms like this one are so ingrained in American English that as a native speaker, I never think about how neither “silver” nor “linings” individually have any meaningful similarity to what they signify together. It’s strange to me that words can lose their meanings entirely to serve the meaning of a phrase. That got me thinking — what does “silver linings” actually mean? Where did it come from? I extended those questions to 10 popular idioms to uncover their (often ambiguous) history.
It was a Sunday around 8 p.m., and I was walking out of the Class of 1953 Commons, the dining hall known to Dartmouth students as “Foco,” with a friend after a warm dinner. As we were about to step outside, she paused and exclaimed, “Oh my God, what?! They’re playing ‘Colder Weather.’ Why is the Foco playlist going to make me cry?”
When we think of the milestones, most people think of birthdays, graduation, marriage — significant and recognizable turning points in our lives. Milestones, good or bad, are often celebrated with community, be it for a wedding or funeral. However, one notable life change is often marked by isolation rather than celebration: divorce. Is marriage really a more significant change in people’s lives than divorce? If not, why is one announced in newspapers, celebrated with one’s community, while the other is finalized by one’s signature?
I’m a firm believer that astrology is complete nonsense. Still, I’ll admit, there are times when I’ve heard characteristics of an Aquarius, my zodiac sign, and thought to myself, “Oh my God, that’s so me.” The reason I, and so many others, are so susceptible to horoscopes is because we want to believe them. According to an article in The New York Times “Why Horoscopes Are Comforting,” the more we can predict about our surroundings, the more confident we feel about our survival. A longing for a sense of security is what influences us to listen to whatever supports horoscopes’ prognoses and disregard whatever refutes them. This, in essence, is confirmation bias at work. Confirmation bias is our impulse to be more drawn to and put more weight on evidence that aligns with our own beliefs.
Adjusting to college can be a significant challenge for all students, but a student who also has to acclimate to a new country is in an even tougher position. Students living overseas, who account for roughly 13 percent of the Class of 2022 and who come from 57 different countries, simultaneously navigate the traditional adjustments to Dartmouth’s academic rigor and an adjustment to American culture.
“That was so moving.” I’ve probably heard those words hundreds of times throughout my life, in reference to hundreds of different things. A performance can be moving, as can a song or a speech. Though seemingly very different, what ties these experiences together is their ability to move us outside ourselves.
Think about the t-shirts you own. How many did you actually buy? It’s almost impossible to resist the allure of free stuff, so swag from clubs, events, internships, Greek life and more is bound to accumulate in one’s closet. However, despite these goods being free, they come at a significant cost, both socioeconomic and environmental. Fast fashion refers to the culture of consuming large quantities of cheap goods, and usually only wearing them a few times.
A month ago, I would have been sorely underqualified to write about silence, the theme of this week’s issue. I grew up in downtown Chicago, where silence is an ever-allusive myth. Though I thought of Hanover as a quieter lifestyle than Chicago, I’d interpreted that in the context of its simplicity, rather than the noise level. I should have known better, with Dartmouth’s the motto being “Vox Clamantis in Deserto.” Though “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness” describes some less outdoorsy freshmen on their First-Year Trips, it also portrays a certain degree of solitude; there is no background noise to life in the Upper Valley. In the pandemonium of Trips and the hecticness of orientation, I didn’t even notice the difference in noise levels between home and Hanover. As the storm has settled, and I’ve stared to adjust to my new home, silence creeps up on me at strange times. I’ve come to respect the profound impact of silence, especially on someone unaccustomed to it.