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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.
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.
Happy week eight … and stick season? We also thought that stick season was supposed to be confined to late November, but no other way of describing Hanover this month really feels correct. We’re not sure if it’s the looming threat of finals or the fact that our last ever Editor’s Note will be published two weeks from now, but God, this is a dreary February.
Time is passing in typical winter gestures: a sidewalk wipeout, a weekly discussion post, a groundhog predicting six more weeks of winter. Sometimes we can hardly remember what week it is, and all we can do is trust the Canvas assignments and thermostat to tell us where we are in the term. Every term teaches us over and over again to just trust the process.
Back in the day, Mirror used to have a theme for its issue every week. As our stories diversified and our interests expanded, we phased that practice out. But it’s now early February and it seems like love is just floating through the air — so we thought we’d bring it back for the special occasion. So for one week and one week only, Mirror is all about love.
Ah, February. The shortest, strangest month. January was generous with us this year — snow-laden trees and weather in the thirties and forties abounded. Her sister month, February, is usually only distinguished by a Hallmark holiday and a more prominent chill, but she’ll have 28 days to show us something we haven’t seen before.
Well, it’s finally winter. Now that there is snow on the ground — and snowballs flying through the midnight air — it feels like the term is truly underway. Then again, it’s already week four. Midterm season has commenced and it’s the beginning of the grind, but we also have enough time to keep procrastinating for just a little bit longer. Maybe it’s the fact that our first week was only three days long, but something about the passage of time just feels off this term.
Hello there, Dartmouth. How’s your third week of winter? Are you settling into familiar routines? Coming back from the library past midnight, brushing your teeth in the fluorescent lights of the dorm bathroom mirror and going to sleep after 30 to 45 minutes of scrolling through your social media of choice? Me too.
And just like that, we’re back. Hanover might not have looked like a winter wonderland when we stepped off the coach, but it was still a welcome sight. Maybe it’s just a sign that we’re settling into our senior status, but there’s something oddly reassuring about returning just in time for a bout of dismal weather. Every year, our six-week winterim has a funny way of feeling both too long and not long enough, but coming back just feels right. I (Caris) even caught myself telling my family — while home in California — that I was excited to fly “home” (to Dartmouth) after New Year’s.
It’s been November for a couple of weeks, but it’s finally starting to feel like it. Today, while procrastinating papers and attempting to clear my head, I went for a walk in the woods behind the golf course. It’s easy to forget that we’re so close to nature — the golf course has gone untended since the varsity golf team stopped practicing there, and now the overgrown grass is less of a stark separation from the forest behind it. I stuffed my hands in my pockets and looked up at the sharp branches which made up the canopy above my head. It will look exactly like that until March or April. The winter always feels like the longest part of the year, even though it has the shortest days.
Here at Mirror, this week’s sunny skies are holding off the stark reality that fall is almost over. It’s the time of the term when we start rushing from the library straight into formal attire and then back again. There’s something triumphant but bittersweet about the term’s final push before our extra long winter break. We’re going to miss seeing the sun after 4 p.m., almost as much as we’ll miss seeing our classmates for six weeks and spending autumn in the idyllic woods of New Hampshire.
Friends, Romans, Dartmouth students — lend me your ears. As week 8 descends on an unsuspecting student body, we at Mirror have been stocking up on everything you’ll need to finish this term off with a bang. On the docket: a non-negotiable eight hours of sleep, a full water bottle, socks that feel like a warm hug around your ankles and a playlist that sounds like sunshine in your ears.
And just when it felt like we were getting into the swing of things, week 7 at Dartmouth hit like a swift kick to the jaw. (In one editor’s case, a literal kick to the jaw.) Cloudy skies and the passing of peak foliage might feel like a gray start, but as the skies turn sunny and our alumni come roaring back, we’re sure the rest of Homecoming week has festive things in store.
We’re on the downward slope of the term and of the year: Can you feel it? The rollercoaster of fall term’s energy inches up the track little by little. The markers we use to measure the term start to pile up behind us — but we’re still full of potential energy. Around midterms and peak foliage, we pick our heads up and take in the view at the top for just a moment. But before we’re ready, we’re released from our place on top of the world and we’re hurtling into the rest of the year.
Somehow it’s week five already, and for the most part, it’s kind of nice. It feels like we’re finally in the swing of things, finally getting a chance to stop, take a breath and settle into the term. As we pass the halfway mark, though, there’s also a hint of bittersweetness in the crisp fall air. The last lasts are beginning, and every leaf that falls is a sign of time’s ceaseless march forward.
At the start of the term, the trees of Hanover kept the coming season a secret. Standing tall, green and proud well into September, only the dip in temperature hinted at what this autumn had in store. Now it’s the first week of October and everything looks different. Orange, red and yellow leaves wink at us as we make our way across the Green — the same leaves that were here all year, now demanding our attention.
It’s been a really hard week. For many, the grief permeating campus is unsettling and saddenning, but feels just a little bit removed. For many others, it’s as still fresh, as raw and as unrelentingly painful as it was when our email inboxes first chimed with news of our classmates’ deaths. Feelings like these are complicated.
It’s been a rainy week in Hanover. But while we’ve been stepping around puddles while dashing to class and thinking about how heavy our backpacks are for the second week of term, we’ve also been taking a moment to notice that the Green looks a little greener.
It’s week one, but it just doesn’t feel like autumn leaves are falling down like pieces into place. Maybe it’s the still-green forestry or the crowds of unfamiliar new faces or the fact that this is my last fall ever, but I can’t shake this term’s particularly frantic feeling.
To say that Dartmouth students have a long and storied history with winter sports would be an understatement. Since 1924, students from the College on the Hill have competed in every winter Olympics, racking up an impressive 28 medals — more than many countries. These medaled athletes representing the Big Green on the world stage are most impressive, but for those of us who can only hope to medal in procrastination or sleep-deprivation, a great way to make the most of the winter is through intramural hockey.