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Let us set aside our misgivings about stereotypes for a moment and consider the archetypal Asian family. Labels for Asian parents, ranging from tiger mothers to kyoiku mamas, all describe the same authoritarian strictness. As the widespread perception goes, most Asian parents relentlessly drive an agenda of academic and extracurricular excellence for their children in hopes of setting them up for future success. By necessity, more creative endeavors are routinely shunned in favor of more time to study or practice a new instrument, and social development takes a back seat in the quest for higher SAT scores and Ivy League diplomas.
This past weekend, after an officer shot and killed a 23-year-old black man in Milwaukee on Saturday, unrest enveloped the city. This shooting comes as one of a wave of high profile police shootings this summer. As of mid-August, police have shot and killed close to 600 people, according to The Washington Post.
Welcome, first-years, to the Big Green! As I type this, it is only now really hitting me that it has been a whopping four years since I wrote my own college applications. Yet the passage of time has not dulled my memory of how grueling the process was, so thank you for your hard work and congratulations!
I’ve sat at my computer for a while, trying to think of some piece of overarching wisdom that I, with one year of college under my belt, can share with you Dartmouth newbies. But as I’m sure you’ll discover soon enough, when you inevitably end up in the stacks at 4 a.m. having just drunk the last dregs from your Red Bull and with three pages left in that seemingly pointless essay for the freshman writing course you got stuck with because all the others filled up, sometimes the words just don’t come to you.
“It is a small college, yet there are those who love it.”
One of the deciding factors in my choice to attend Dartmouth two years ago was the intimacy of Hanover, the campus, classes and social life. Dartmouth’s “personality” is apparent from Dimensions in April, to Trips in August, to orientation in September. Coming from an impersonal suburban New York town and moving to Hanover, where I experienced the intimacy of Dartmouth was the most profound, and at times uncomfortable, part of my freshman fall.
Sophomore summer at Dartmouth, for most, centers around three pillars: Greek life, corporate recruiting and Astro 2/3. It has its pros and cons — fewer classes are offered and it can be difficult to find the right classes and knock out the right distributive or major requirements, but we also get the chance to spend 10 weeks and change in New Hampshire in the summer.
On July 21, Roger Ailes resigned as chairman of Fox News, Fox Business and Fox television stations. This should have captured more of the news cycle than it did. That Ailes is stepping away from the network that he shaped in all ways — macro and micro — is one of the single best things to happen to America in generations.
“This is CNN breaking news.”
Even the most cynical of persons will agree that the foundation of any free republic rests entirely upon the freedom of speech. Only with the provision of such freedom can a nation hope to prosper, for it is the ensuing clash of ideas and thoughts from which innovation is born. The same ingenuity that has defined America’s finest moments from independence to the Apollo 11 moon landing did not spring from a vacuum, but from the free movement of ideas and beliefs. We owe most everything that we are as a nation – social, scientific, and everything in between – to our commitment to our First Amendment.
The 2016 Republican National Convention saw the formal nomination of Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively. From Texas Sen. Ted Cruz being booed off the stage for not endorsing Trump to accusations that Melania Trump’s speech was plagarized, the convention was more reminiscent of reality television than a political event. Critics point to the dark tone of Trump’s nomination acceptance speech and lack of concrete policy recommendations as a major flaw in the overarching message of the convention. The convention, as John Oliver’s July 24 episode of “Last Week Tonight” addressed quite poignantly, showed that for the Trump-led Republican Party, “believing something to be true is the same as it being true.” In short, feelings are as important as facts.
Many people see the Olympics as a chance to boost the host country’s economy and display its soft power through its venues and tourism. When hosted in a rising country, such as Brazil or, in the last decade, China and Russia, the Olympics raise the host country’s international status and improve its economy. However, it also has huge inherent risks that can result in loss of reputation and the displacement and loss of lives. The International Olympic Committee can combat this issue by keeping it in one country — Greece, the birthplace of the Games.
In the last few weeks, four police-related shootings received national attention. In Texas, Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest. In Minnesota, police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot an African-American man, Philando Castile. Two police officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, shot an African-American man, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA. More recently, Gavin Long killed two white policemen. Jinsung Bach ‘17’s July 15 column “A Bloody Reputation,” highlighted the recent deaths of police officials and linked them to the Black Lives Matter movement. He posits that, because of the recent shootings of police officials, the entire Black Lives Matter movement has lost all credibility.
Following the vicious killings in Dallas, an entire nation has been left reeling in its tracks. In the midst of such horrid violence, it is impossible to look upon the situation without also addressing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dartmouth’s mission statement says that the College “educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership.” The faculty, for the most part, prepare us by teaching students how to think broadly on a large range of issues. Yet the Center for Professional Development promotes the idea that there are only a few opportunities out of college, namely finance or consulting. As a college that touts itself as a liberal arts school, Dartmouth must extend its career services so that it truly prepares all students for “a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership.”
Western society has come a long way in redefining and refining its way of looking at Asian and Middle Eastern societies and cultures. Yet despite a reformed method of examining “Eastern” societies and cultures in scholarship, the Orientalist framework still continues to be subtly and unintentionally used on a day-to-day basis, in debates over assimilation and even in the relatively worldly and well-traveled student body at Dartmouth.
To mention the words “Second Amendment” is to cast a spark into a powder keg. Merely referencing the right to bear arms can incite the passions of an entire nation, as people on both sides of the gun debate emerge from the woodwork to throw their two cents onto an ever-growing pile. There is no shortage of daily flame wars waged on every corner of the internet, no dearth of politicians bellowing out their opinions for all of Washington to hear. Amidst these opinions, an increasing number of voices have begun to call for an overturning of the Second Amendment. Surely, they tell us, the United States is better off having fewer guns. Isn’t it worth pursuing if we can prevent just one more murder or one more massacre? The children, man! Think of the children!
Although the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union — “Brexit” — may feel far removed from our isolated lives in the Dartmouth bubble, its consequences for those of us on this side of the pond are clear. Since the British government held the referendum on June 23, global stock markets are plummeting, with a record $3 trillion wiped from global markets the Friday and Monday following Brexit.
To My Beloved Dartmouth Community:
When the American Civil War ended over a century ago, a shattered nation was made whole. North and South came together once more, as the United States became a unified country again. But the newly reunited America was fraught with new problems, not least among them a lingering hostility against the people of the South. With the defeat of the Confederacy came cries for retribution, and vengeance after so many years of tears and bloodshed. Justice, clamored the enraged voices of the past, justice! There was no place in America for Southern traitors! Punishment was their only just reward!