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On Friday, Feb. 5, I woke up with a mildly stuffy nose and a scratchy throat. At first, I thought my dust mite allergy had started acting up again. My apartment in Washington, D.C. is perpetually covered with a thin layer of dust, and forgetting to take my allergy medicine on a given night can ruin my sinuses. So, I grabbed the green bottle of Zyrtec on my bedside table and popped one in my mouth. In 30 minutes the symptoms would be gone and I could continue with my day, one filled with Zoom calls, readings and fast-approaching deadlines. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but clearing my throat and nose would make all of that easier.
Up until a year ago, the sound of ping pong balls and music could be heard echoing through Webster Avenue almost every night, weekend or not. Although there are a variety of social spaces at Dartmouth, you can find pong being played in almost all of them. Pong, whether you call it a drinking game, a ritual or even a sport, is an iconically Dartmouth phenomenon. In Greek houses, off-campus apartments and alumni homes alike there are huge tables — sometimes even made from specially ordered lumber — painted with colorful designs and occupied by four paddle-wielding players.
What's one thing you'll miss about this winter term?
As winter term nears completion, campus feels like a ghost town. With active COVID-19 cases soaring to 140, students are locked down. Chairs stacked on tables reinforce that we can’t dine inside, and even outdoor activities have ground to a halt. But Dartmouth turns forth her silver linings on the night. The sun climbs higher every day, thawing the ground for spring. Berries and other rare snacks line the shelves in Collis. And before we know it, another round of finals will be behind us, as will the current virus outbreak.
Basements aren’t open. The flow of Keystone has ebbed. Moving shoulder to shoulder with strangers in a fraternity feels like a distant memory. With COVID-19 regulations changing the social scene on campus, some might assume that sexual violence is less likely to occur than in a normal term. But for many, these regulations add yet another layer of friction in reporting instances of violence at a time when the resources available to survivors might not be suited to the current context.
Last week, a record-breaking winter storm brought Texas to a halt, leaving millions of residents without electricity, water or heat as the state grappled with the temporary collapse of its power grid.
Freshman year, I used to trek, maskless, from the Choates to Collis almost every night between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. until I was on a first-name basis with the late night smoothie makers. I discovered that the cheddar and sour cream Ruffles were practically a panacea, curing everything from midterm blues to insomnia. On “on” nights, Collis was the unofficial destination for end-of-night reconnaissance (“Where did you end up?” “Is that glitter?”) before Dartmouth’s loudest tucked themselves in with mac and cheese bites — the only thing God and Satan have ever agreed upon.
Week eight is upon us, and the balmy mid-30 degree weather here in Hanover makes it feel like spring is approaching. It’s likely that the water puddles on the path to Baker-Berry Library will freeze up again some time in the near future, but we might as well enjoy it while it lasts.
When I learned late last fall that I’d been approved to spend winter term on campus, delusions of grandeur set in almost immediately. After three terms of quarantining at my parents’ house in North Carolina, I was sure that nearly a year of pent up extrovert energy would make my return to the world of human interaction a triumphant one.
Almost a year has passed since the pandemic began and campus shut down. By now, we have largely adjusted to the strange, timeless haze of remote learning. Or maybe time is racing by because we are just as busy as usual, jumping from Zoom class to club meeting and back again.
We’ve all experienced Zoom fatigue, and many of us are fed up with the limitations of the virtual classroom. But not every class at Dartmouth is sticking to the confines of Zoom. Students in PSYC 38, “Cognitive Neuroscience,” have used virtual reality headsets to experience psychological phenomena firsthand.
The Class of 2024 was given priority to live on campus during the fall and spring of this academic year, which means that many freshmen are spending their first Dartmouth winter scattered around the world. Whether arriving on campus for the first time or taking Zoom classes in a busy house, ’24s are facing a strange second term at the College.
Whether you love or hate the D-Plan, Dartmouth’s academic calendar makes it possible for students to travel widely throughout their time in college. Many students cite their study abroad program as the highlight of their Dartmouth experience, and some spend entire years traveling to different countries. Dennis Washburn, associate dean for international studies and interdisciplinary programs, previously called study abroad programs “the jewel in the crown of Dartmouth’s undergraduate education.” These popular programs are a key advantage of the College’s liberal arts curriculum and flexible academic schedule.
What is the symbolic meaning of Black History Month?
From Last Chances to Datamatch, it seems that many Dartmouth students are eager to find “the one.” But where did Marriage Pact — the latest in a string of matchmaking algorithms on campus — come from, and why is the idea so enticing to Dartmouth students?
From the College’s yearslong quest to replace its central heating system to the adoption of the Green2Go program at the Class of 1953 Commons, green initiatives have, in recent years, taken on greater importance in Dartmouth’s institutional agenda.
When Italian professor Damiano Benvegnù came to Dartmouth, he saw a divide between the sciences and humanities where there should have been a bridge. Particularly in response to the climate crisis, he noted that the cry for change is interdisciplinary — incorporating a diverse dialogue of voices from policy to poetry to art to science.
Does anyone else feel like we’re living inside a snow globe? Inches of powder cover campus, and practically every day more flakes fall from the sky. Ice sculptures line the walk to Collis, marking the start of Winter Carnival. Walking across the Green means creating fresh tracks, passing ice skaters twirling in circles — and of course, everyone’s favorite: donning a frosty mascara from the condensation in your mask.
Every year, hundreds of Dartmouth students rush Greek houses. A lot of us end up affiliated, and many of us do not. The process is hectic, inconsistent, fun and frequently disappointing. Even in normal times, it adds a complicated, sometimes contentious, layer to the social networks that we occupy. This year, that extra layer has felt especially weird.
“Aren’t you so happy to be back?” my mom asked as we drove across the bridge to New Hampshire for the first time in nine months. It was dark, so she couldn’t see the tears I blinked away. They weren’t tears of joy. I was anything but happy to be back.