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With record lows in Hanover this week and snow as far south as Florida, it isn’t difficult to imagine that somebody, somewhere, is citing the abnormally frosty weather as evidence to deny climate change. We all know the argument: Snow means Earth isn’t getting warmer; it’s getting colder. Of course, weather is different from climate. The fact that one can easily observe weather, along with all its natural fluctuations, but not climate is one reason among many that explain why it can be so difficult to convince climate change deniers of our planet’s impending environmental decline.
I hope you enjoyed your winter break. Perhaps you traveled somewhere: to another country for a few weeks or another state to visit family and friends. Or maybe you visited a more local attraction, like I did. My family and I endured a two-hour car ride to Joshua Tree National Park, a desert named after the shaggy, Dr. Seuss-esque trees dotting the otherwise barren landscape. At one particular sight, Skull Rock, we clambered up the boulders to join the equally eager throngs of visitors who, like us, hoped for a picture with the rock resembling a human skull. Near me, a middle-aged woman, clutching her phone camera, prepared to take photos of her husband and pre-teen son who were standing a few boulders away. She audaciously hollered across the way at the pair, instructing them to stand up straight, shuffle a bit to the left and smile, alternating between Mandarin and Cantonese. This exercise continued for several more minutes until the woman was satisfied with the photos she had taken.
Weather and climate: they aren't the same.
Money matters, and some college students quickly learn the value of saving it. But money management does not enter mainstream conversations or the classroom nearly as often as it should. Only 17 states require high school students to take a financial literacy course, and that number has remained constant since 2014. As a result, students entering college often lack knowledge of topics such as financial aid and budgeting; this lack of knowledge correlates with lower credit scores and higher debt delinquency. All 50 states should therefore require high school students to learn personal finance skills before they graduate.
Last month, Congress signed a sweeping new tax bill into effect. Allegedly designed to benefit the middle class, this bill includes a 1.4 percent excise tax on the investment income of private colleges and universities with at least $500,000 in assets per student, which will likely come primarily from schools’ endowments. Dartmouth, along with over 30 other wealthy private schools ranging from Harvard University to Swarthmore College to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, will likely be affected by this tax, which is expected to bring in about $1.8 billion over a decade and help offset the large increases in the national debt the tax bill is expected to produce.
In this age of political divisiveness, social unrest and social media prevalence, genuine human interaction is more important than ever, yet unfortunately overlooked and undervalued. Our conversations have become smiles in passing, our smiles in passing have become Facebook reactions and those have faded to the ever prevalent “let’s get a meal sometime!” texts. There is no debating that the way we communicate has changed greatly, and much of that change has marked a transition from valuable conversations conducive to growth and learning to simple transactional relationships and interactions. With 2018 just beginning, this resolution is worth your attention: Build better relationships.
To Dante Alighieri, Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger was counted as one of the three most accursed men to have lived. A member of the conservative republican faction in the Roman Senate, he is best remembered for his assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar, and for that act he is vilified as a traitor, an assassin, a “regicidenik.” But what is so often dismissed as base treachery can also be seen as an honor of the highest level, an anti-authoritarian act that put principle before person and country before self.
In an earlier article, I noted Dartmouth’s relatively limited international reputation. A few weeks later, the admissions office emailed the student body, recruiting students to promote Dartmouth to their local communities during the winter break. The office called this initiative “Take Dartmouth Home.” To me, it sounded perfect.
Second in undergraduate teaching, ninth in campus beauty, 11th in postgraduate income potential and unparalleled in sense of community, Dartmouth College looks about as close as it gets to an ideal school — and about as far as it gets from the Arizona public schools I attended. In the land that touts Arizona Ice Tea, Barry Goldwater and a smashing 48th place ranking for public school funding per elementary and secondary school student, “education” meant endless regimens of busywork and chaotic history classes taught by an academically unqualified volleyball coach. It did not take me long before I realized that I would not get an education in the same place I got my schooling. More determined than dejected, I looked to the YouTube channel CrashCourse, the education company Coursera, the local library, my friends, aimless Wikipedia chains and games like Age of Empires instead. In the meantime, I dreamed of getting into a school like Dartmouth where I could finally get the education that the Arizona public school system did not provide.
Colleges rarely cancel classes, and Dartmouth is no exception. Only once per term, fall excepted, are classes postponed or canceled in observance of a holiday: In the summer, July 4th; in the spring, Memorial Day; and in the winter, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On the second Monday of winter term, rather than learning inside lecture halls and seminar rooms, we transition to auditoriums and chapels. Yet to truly honor MLK Day, in light of its 2018 theme at Dartmouth centered around “Borders,” we must engage outside the “Dartmouth bubble.” Meaningfully celebrating MLK Day requires an element of service learning, answering King’s call to instill and encourage lifelong civic responsibility.
We’ve been here before. The presidency of Donald Trump is unprecedented in many ways, but not as many as most would believe. Aspects of this current administration strongly resemble those of an older presidency: that of John Adams.
When Greece joined the European community in 1981, the nascent democracy’s prospects looked promising: it was stabilizing after a seven-year military junta and had a debt-to-GDP ratio of 28 percent with low deficits. In the same year, Greece elected the free-spending, populist Panhellenic Socialist Movement to power; they used this mandate to establish a system of lavish state welfare programs. Debt soared as productivity declined and taxes went unpaid — by 2007, debt reached 103.1 percent of GDP. When the 2008 financial crisis came, Greece collapsed into crippling recession and almost brought the global economy down with it. Even after implementing austerity measures, Greek debt today is 179 percent of GDP and GDP is just 55 percent of what it was in 2008.
This article started as a tirade against Dartmouth Dining Services. I know this is an overworn topic — The Dartmouth Editorial Board and The Dartmouth Review have already done a good job airing students’ fresh set of grievances for 2017. But it was 4:30 p.m. on a rainy Sunday, and the KAF line was a long, painful reminder of the inadequacy of our school’s dining options. And so I wanted to know: What exactly is DDS?
Dartmouth recently announced the appointment of computer science professor David Kotz ’86 as interim provost while a search committee begins its hunt for outgoing Provost Carolyn Dever’s replacement. As one of the most powerful administrators at Dartmouth, second only to the College president, the provost oversees close to 30 offices, support centers and programs ranging from admissions and financial aid to information technology services to environmental health and safety.
What happens when art is patriarchal?
As I head into the lobby of Baker-Berry Library before the 2A rush, I stop into KAF to peruse the seasonal drinks. The “tea of the day Palmer,” my self proclaimed secret drink, is no longer in season. The squeak of my boots is a familiar sound, one I haven’t heard since I last wore them in the thick winter mud. I try to find an open table, determined to work but fearing that without motivation from the groups of tours passing through, I would just binge-watch “Stranger Things.” An acquaintance sits down next to me, the kind that asks what I did last night and if I hooked up with anyone but doesn’t remember where I live or the name of “that group” that I’m in. “You’re taking next term off? You don’t know what you’re doing? Good for you!” Their congratulations seems unearned, as if taking a break is some sort of defiant and unusual practice. But that’s just it: At Dartmouth, the constant conditionality at the College, from your daily schedule to the KAF menu, puts things into perspective, for better or worst.
Another installment in "Recollections, A Dartmouth Experience."
I’ve been getting these emails. They call for volunteers for construction projects for low-income families, applicants for social justice grants and mentors for children in the Upper Valley region. They tell stories about a world beyond Dartmouth College.
The National Football League is struggling. Ratings are dropping and public opinion of the sport has fallen. Why this is happening is not clear. Some, like John Schnatter, the chief executive officer of Papa John’s, point to recent protests during the national anthem in which football players have kneeled to express dissatisfaction with police violence. Schnatter believes these athletes’ actions are “polarizing the customer.” Others are quick to blame recent discussion of concussions and the health risks associated with the sport that have driven a rapid decline in youth football participation. While both factors have contributed to the dilapidation of the once-pristine cultural monolith that is the NFL, one of the most injurious culprits behind football’s declining viewership is not so much political or health-related as recreational. I am talking, of course, about fantasy football.
When deciding where I’d go to college in my senior year of high school, I did what most Type A people do: I made a pro-con list. Good academics at Dartmouth and my contender? Check. Good people? Definitely at Dartmouth, or so I’d heard. Service opportunities? I wasn’t so sure about Dartmouth’s offerings. I thought New Hampshire was a tiny, idyllic state, bordered by Bernie Sanders and Ben & Jerry’s. I assumed that diversity was nonexistent because 90 percent of people in New Hampshire are white.