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I recently returned from three months studying and interning in Beijing. I noticed something unsettling when I returned to America: I had stopped Googling things. When I had a question, I simply let it formulate and then vanish. In China, I did not have a VPN on my phone and relying on Bing is like being led by a blind guide through the ill-lit cave of the Internet. It once returned a WikiHow page on how to raise a child when I looked up some song lyrics. And so I stopped trying to find things out.
Betsy DeVos’ changes to the sexual assault portion of Title IX is understood by many as a deterioration of an already flawed system for survivors of sexual trauma on college campuses. This legislative action, announced last week, follows critiques of Title IX from men’s rights activists and from lawyers of students who felt they had been wrongly accused. Considering President Donald Trump’s administration’s track record with women, there is no question that the assessment is true.
Michel de Montaigne is widely considered to be the first modern essayist. “The Essais,” which in Middle French means “attempts” or “trials,” were the products of Montaigne’s sometimes messy ruminations. He freely admitted these were abundant with inconsistencies and contradictions. However, now compiled in books well over 1,000 pages long, “The Essais” is one of the most significant contributions to Western thought.
Welcome to the Dartmouth bubble! Or that’s what they call it, anyway. For you first-years here, if you haven’t heard this expression yet, you will very soon. You are, after all, in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire, population you. Despite the fact that I am now an alumna who graduated this past spring, the expression continues to follow me even now. I finally “escaped the Dartmouth bubble,” one person congratulates me, while another chimes, “Welcome to the real world.”
As a volunteer for Dartmouth’s First-Year Trips program, I would often joke with co-volunteers that Trips runs like a well-oiled machine. A million logistical nightmares are averted by tightly adhering to daily schedules and deferring to time-honored protocol. Many upperclassmen look fondly on the traditions that the ’21s have just been indoctrinated into: Being greeted in Hanover by students in bewildering outfits, dancing to “Everytime We Touch,” enjoying Annie’s macaroni and cheese and laughing at the antics of Dr. Schlitz in “Schlitz on Mount Washington” after a warm meal at the “Lodj.”
Wherever you stand on the ideological spectrum, it is hard to deny the fact that things in the White House are not quite running like “a fine-tuned machine,” as President Trump recently tweeted they were. The reason why Trump’s supporters continue to make this denial is not just because they have a different moral framework, conflicting policy priorities or even because they have a lower level of education, as many self-entitled liberals love to contend. Rather, the Left has shown an inability to criticize Trump in a meaningful way. Their sarcastic laughter and self-righteousness have failed, just like the Trump regime has. Before we keep pointing fingers, we need to establish what we really want from a President, what actually makes a good leader and how Trump has so far proved an undeniably unsuccessful one.
Most of us sympathize with the cute baby animal photos that the Dartmouth Student app conveniently provides. Many of us understand that meat production contributes to world hunger and climate change. And yet, most of us are neither vegan nor vegetarian.
I walk into the meditation room in the basement of the Tucker Center. The monk in charge greets me and invites me to join his prayer circle. For a few moments, the monk, my peers and I walk in a circle with our heads bowed, having come together to participate in a club that both engages in meditation and studies the core concepts associated with Zen Buddhism. We fall into deep contemplation. The room is silent.
As an incoming freshman, I don’t know a lot about Dartmouth. I’ve browsed Dartmouth’s official website, scoured admissions brochures and even went the extra mile to meet with some alumni in my area. But impressions can’t substitute for actual experiences. I’ve accepted that until Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, I’ll be an outsider looking in.
I have never felt unsafe on this campus. The weathered buildings straight out of the 18th century, the scenic mountain views and the vivid blades of grass on the Green never posed a threat to me. This space has always been a space of beauty, of quiet comfort, of deep self-reflection. It has always been a space of security. Until now.
In light of the brutal accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against Native American studies professor N. Bruce Duthu ’80, I feel his detractors have refused to hear what hundreds of former students know and understand: For Duthu, the call to serve his students comes before all else.
“A sad voluptuousness, a despondent intoxication make up the humdrum backdrop against which our ideals and euphorias oft stand out...” In “Black Sun,” Julia Kristeva connected the euphoric sublime to Sigmund Freud’s notion of melancholia, elaborating upon two theories to understand how our environment and the people around us translate into effects immortalized in our memories. Sublimity was first defined by Immanuel Kant and later Edmund Burke as the greatness of man and co-opted by gothic and romantic writers to evoke grandeur and joyous exaltation of emotions in towering gothic mountains and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s scenes of nature. In contrast, Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia” describes melancholia as a depressive effect that occurs due to an irreconcilable loss. By intertwining the melancholy with the sublime, Kristeva demonstrated the complexity of various aesthetic experiences, whether it be in the case of art or social interactions.
Earlier this year, I published my first column in The Dartmouth, “Consumerist Masturbation,” in which I identified consumerism as seen in Kevin Spacey’s hit movie, “American Beauty.” Though it was released in 1999, the film’s satirical take on consumerism remains a relevant criticism of American society. Lester Burnham (Spacey) leads a miserable life: He has a strained relationship with his wife and daughter, a monotonous job that offers no corporate advancement and an unquantifiable amount of regret and unrealized potential. But the screenwriter’s focus is on the material that, by conventional measures, show his social rank: his two-story house surrounded by a literal white picket fence and a Mercedes SUV.
At this point in the year — between post-midterms fatigue and pre-finals stress — it isn’t uncommon to become disenchanted with the notions of hard work and success so often emphasized at Dartmouth. With an administration in turmoil, a monopolistic dining system, a flawed housing system and an undeniable pattern of elitism and racial discrimination in faculty hiring and retention, it can be incredibly easy to focus on Dartmouth’s problems.
Two weeks ago my heart beat louder and more painfully than the screeches of the U-Bahn metro as it came to a halt. Eight weeks ago I arrived in Berlin, Germany for my language study abroad program. Three days ago an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England claimed innocent lives. Two weeks ago my U-Bahn stopped, and a man five seats away started screaming in Arabic.
Stanford University researcher Walter Mischel’s “Marshmallow Experiment” has become a classic child psychology test. A group of 3- to 5-year-old children were given a choice between eating a marshmallow immediately upon receiving it or waiting 15 minutes and being rewarded with a second one. About 30 percent of children succeeded in delaying gratification, and years later, those children were found to be more socially and academically successful. The low-delayers were more likely to have higher body mass indices, addiction problems and an overall lower rate of success.
The moment I pressed the red "x" button, relief and dread washed over me. For the longest time, I couldn’t bring myself to delete any social media apps from my phone. The “Fear of Missing Out” syndrome always stopped me — what if I missed something important or one of my friends did something that I needed to know about? How would I stay up to date on the latest news happening around the world and on campus? I was conscious of the fact that I spent, or rather wasted, too much time on social media, but I refused to take the first step to address this issue. The breaking point finally came a few weeks ago. I just had enough.
President Donald Trump left Washington last week for his first international trip as commander in chief. He will be addressing members of all three of the world’s Abrahamic religions during stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. On Saturday, May 20 he arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and met with Saudi King Salman and a variety of members of the royal family and government.
The two terms I took creative classes at Dartmouth stand apart in my memory. They were in the spring and summer terms, and the nice weather played a part in my heightened sense of well-being. But there was something stress-relieving about being graded for creating as opposed to analyzing. Instead of answering questions, I was exploring their meanings. One assignment asked that I write about a problem from a friend’s perspective. I ended up writing a cathartic short story where I articulated my homesickness for Singapore and high school.
At the end of every season, regardless of the sport, pundits sit down and analyze the postseason, seeking to identify playoff trends that might inform the coming regular season. This process tends to lead to lots of articles in the vein of “How the Atlanta Falcons’ Super Bowl Run Changed the National Football League.” On the heels of last year’s Major League Baseball playoffs, these articles tended to focus on the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen, especially lanky left-hander Andrew Miller. If you don’t believe me, The Ringer, in its coverage of last year’s playoffs and this year’s season preview, published articles entitled “The Indians and Andrew Miller Are Reshaping How We Think About Elite Reliever Usage,” “It Might Be Miller Time at a Ballpark Near You: Searching for Every MLB Team’s Andrew Miller” and “Welcome (Maybe) to the Next Phase of Baseball’s New-Look Reliever Age.”