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Scripting a Nation: Behind Political Speechwriting

(09/27/17 6:40am)

Politicians must be bidialectal. They must switch between the realm of policy — of painstaking minutia and predicted impact — and the realm of the public — of pithy statements and pretty words. To make this switch, they rely on the assistance of speechwriters, people paid to distill inherently abstract and unattractive concepts into effortlessly digestible statements.

Behind the Brushstrokes: Discovering Calligraphy

(09/27/17 6:35am)

Chinese is, by far, the most common native language in the world: about 15 percent of the world’s population learned a form of Chinese as their first language. Calligraphy, the stylistic presentation of handwriting or lettering, is ingrained in China’s appreciation of its language and spirituality. In the United States, however, Chinese scripts are often relegated to regrettable, poorly-translated back tattoos.

The Unscripted Art of Improv

(09/27/17 6:30am)

We’ve all been there. Telling a joke, or being told a joke, that is absolutely hilarious to the speaker but met with confusion or even worse, forced laughter by the audience. Whether it’s the bad pun your friend makes during your study session, the classic “dad joke” your father makes over dinner, or — my personal favorite — that cringe-worthy joke your professor cracks in the middle of a lecture, comedy is truly an art form, and sometimes jokes told on the spot just don’t go as smoothly as we anticipate.

Down the Rabbit Hole: A Look Inside Special Collections

(09/27/17 6:25am)

At first glance, the books all appear to be vastly different from one another. One is about a foot in length, while another could fit in my back pocket. The illustrations vary wildly — in one, horrific black and white drawings paint the page, while another seems to contain abstract art. Upon closer inspection, however, I discover that they are all versions of the same novel: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

The Story of a Story: Editing as Creative Pursuit

(09/27/17 6:20am)

It’s happened to the best of us. Sitting in Berry at 11 p.m., earbuds jammed in and coffee an arm’s length away, we slide out our laptops and open up an unfinished essay, prepared for a long night of re-wording paragraphs and restructuring sentences. As the night drags on, the comments in the margin begin to blur together and the words on the screen start to lose their meaning; we skip over a few passages and forget to refine our focus, add a word that’s out of place and confuse our voice. We miss out on fully developing our work because the final draft is due tomorrow, and we don’t have the time nor the energy to fully devote ourselves to the process. As the hours pass by, and we reach the end of our attention span, we ask ourselves the evergreen question: why didn’t I start editing sooner?

Editors' Note

(09/27/17 6:05am)

Your Mirror team is coming at you this week in a full-out relay race, during which the three take turns tag-teaming each other as they run back and forth between Robo and their respective rush-engrossed Greek houses. Annette and May even high-fived while they passed one another along East Wheelock street, adjacent to the Green, May shouting over her shoulder, “All changes are in ... Start on layout!” (Annette returned to The D offices to find devoted editor-in-chief and shining star Ray Lu ’18 hunched over his phone next to his social media idol Lauren Budd ’18, asking for her advice on acquiring more Instagram followers. In keeping with our weekly fun facts, one of @laurbudd’s tweets got 8000+ retweets in 2016 — that’s sometimes more than what @realDonaldTrump himself gets!)

"Imaginary Countries": A Conversation with Professor Alexander Chee

(09/20/17 6:15am)

Whoever coined the phrase, “Those who can’t, teach,” clearly never met Alexander Chee. At Dartmouth, Chee, who holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University, teaches fiction and essay writing. Outside the classroom, he has various projects going on in his personal writing career.

Editors' Note

(09/20/17 6:05am)

This week, your editors come to you live from the land of rush: where the preferences are made up and the conversation topics don’t matter. Frazzled, the three realized that they were not the only ones engaged in this process — nearly all of their writers couldn’t take stories! Inspired by their own failure to launch, the editors decided on Space as a theme, both because it’s what they gaze at when they scream into the night and in honor of what they struggle to fill.

The College on the (Northeastern) Hill

(09/13/17 6:30am)

When I first came to Dartmouth, I encountered the typical unknowns: what I wanted to study, how to schedule a meeting with my dean, how to do my laundry, how to order pasta at Collis. But I also found myself confused by unspoken rules that most of my peers seemed to have understood since birth. I didn’t know that some people said “the South” with a sour taste in their mouths. I didn’t know that “ma’am’s” and “sirs,” which slip from my lips without thought, are often considered antiquated and unusual rather than expected and polite. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be impressed when I heard the name “Choate.”

Native Identities: Cards, Culture and Community

(09/13/17 6:25am)

Dartmouth’s 1769 charter created a college “for the education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in this Land ... and also of English Youth and any others.” It would be many years before the college actually recommitted itself to that mission by trying to make up for historical lack of opportunities in higher education for indigenous people.