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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!
The Moosilauke Ravine Lodge has the unique distinction of being haunted by both the dead and the living. I first became aware of its ghosts at the inauguration of Jessica Griffin ’11 as Lodge manager. I had been on an overnight hike with a friend of mine, an avid outdoorsman, and he’d brought me along to the Lodge for dinner. It was the first time I’d been back since a year earlier during my Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trip. At the time, I wasn’t sure I was interested in the Outing Club culture — or the outdoors itself, for that matter. The inauguration proceedings involved a delicate ritual of celebration and ridicule, and there is a part where all the Lodgelings dance in a spinning circle as the Kitchen Witch beats her steel drum to rhythm of an ancient song. The ghosts came out of the woodwork.
Content warning: The following contains images and content that may trigger survivors of violence or sexual assault.
Over the past few weeks, many of my friends have asked me how it feels to be so close to graduating, and what I’ve learned from my time at Dartmouth. I’ve yet to provide a satisfactory answer to the question, even though it’s a question I’ve spent plenty of time considering. I had barely formed a rough conception of what my Dartmouth experience has meant to me in my head, let alone found a way to formalize my experience into words that could serve as a proper conclusion to my time here. So to everyone who’s asked me this question, what follows is my best attempt to date at reflecting on my Dartmouth experience.
Dear President Phil Hanlon:
On the last day of Freshman Week 1962 — some 54 years ago — we sat in Webster Hall for a lecture by professor Francis Childs, on the history of this College. He told us of Dartmouth’s founder Eleazar Wheelock, and notable alumni Daniel Webster and William Jewett Tucker, and he concluded his presentation with this: “You are now a part of Dartmouth, and for as long as your lives shall last Dartmouth will be a part of you.”
I have a friend from home who just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He is especially reflective and keen to proffer advice. Just a few months before he entered the real world, he sent me an article from Sociology of Education titled “Career Funneling: How Elite Students Learn to Define and Desire ‘Prestigious’Jobs.” Of everything he’s ever told me, from “don’t take dumb classes freshman year” to “don’t worry, you’re at Dartmouth — you can always sell out,” this article was the single most enlightening piece of information.
As the spring term comes to a close, there are various things on the minds of Dartmouth students. Storing their belongings and moving out of their rooms, preparing for final exams and final papers and wondering if their bodies will ever fully recover from Green Key may be just a few among them. As finals loom closer and closer, students prepare themselves not only for their tests, but for another, equally concerning possibility: that their final may get streaked. For decades, it has been a time-honored tradition for Dartmouth students to run through the biggest finals on campus completely naked, save for the occasional mask. Even though everyone who does this probably means to carry out a funny, well-intentioned prank, it can actually be a lot more harmful than people realize.
Ever since her substantial win in the New York primary last month, former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton has been enjoying a comfortable presumptive win of the Democratic nomination. On Wednesday, news broke of a report published by the Inspector General investigating the Clinton’s use of a personal email server for her correspondence as the highest-ranking official of the State Department. According to the report, several counts of misconduct occurred during the use of the personal email server. The most concerning aspect is the lack of authorization for her use of the server. Even though Clinton claims to be “as transparent as possible,” her staff did not seek information security approval from a senior State Department official nor did her office cooperate with the inquiry proceedings.
We here in the United States pride ourselves on our freedom of speech, an invaluable right and great power that the Constitution gifts us. And, as we all know very well from a popular superhero franchise, with great power comes great responsibility. Here’s the thing: if you want to be rude, you have the right to be rude. If you want to be ignorant, failing to back up your claims with any evidence, again, you have the right to do that. However, if you consider yourself someone who values discourse, education, creative thought and kindness in general, you have to think before you speak. Otherwise, you don’t really value knowledge or empathy — and, in a way, humanity.
In Praise of Language Learning
Artists are considered dreamers, idealists and romantics, but rarely are they considered intellectuals, hard-workers or pragmatists. And, more generally, dreaming is seen as akin to dwelling in nostalgia, and idealism to false hope. Romanticism is illogical. Art, one may conclude, is about lingering in a world of the past — taking one’s time to stop in nature and write a poem, capturing a landscape slowly with oil paints, playing a slow piano tune in a salon. Due to the ongoing technological boom, today everything is all about maximizing efficiency. No one has time for art anymore.
If I had a dollar for every “political selfie” that has graced my Facebook newsfeed this election cycle, I could probably purchase a selfie stick for everyone on campus. The likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, made her way to Hanover last July with challenger Bernie Sanders following closely behind. To this day, I am neither “Ready for Hillary” nor “Feeling the Bern,” although my social media accounts back then may have suggested otherwise. For weeks on end after their visits, I scrolled through a deluge of political selfies featuring the two candidates. This is not to excuse GOP candidates from the same behavior, as I soon discovered that those across the partisan aisle are also suckers for a selfie. Albeit less frequently, the smiling faces of Rand Paul and John Kasich also popped up on my feeds more than I would like to admit. Despite recent revelations that Facebook and other social media platforms might be less than neutral, that is not the direction I would like to take this piece. Instead, I would like to take a few moments to hash out our generation’s brand of high art: the selfie.