At Dartmouth, going out during the winter is an extreme undertaking. With temperatures that often drop below zero and wind strong enough to invade even the warmest of frackets, only the strongest can survive.
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Well folks, this is it. The last editors’ note from the 178th Mirror Editors of The Dartmouth. We think that this final issue calls for breaking the third wall, so here goes: Hello! We are your editors, Novi Zhukovsky and Christina Baris. In case you were curious, we divide up these little notes by alternating week by week; this issue, it’s Novi writing. Well honestly, “writing” is a strong word; I am typing clunky strings of words, only to erase them once again — trying to write perfect sentences, perfect enough to reflect this paper, to display the love and hours we’ve put into these pages. It's an impossible task, and yet, like Sisyphus, I hopelessly continue to put words on paper, in search of a new arrangement that feels right. Maybe, for the first time, I, an editor, am without words.
As everybody struggles to craft the cleverest 22W(ittiest) caption for their end of term photo dump, I’ll be honing my 22W Spotify playlist in lieu of the traditional Instagram post. A carefully curated, digital mixtape encapsulates the blissful chaos of my 22W better than any mirror selfie or photographed pancake platter ever could.
Ah, Mardi Gras. You know, that crazy event that you saw on all of your friends’ Snapchat stories and Instagram posts last week? The one with the green, yellow and purple beads that fly around like heat-seeking boomerangs? Where outrageous floats loom over onlookers and jazz vibrates through the air like a symphony of pure jubilation? It’s amazing to witness the spectacle that Mardi Gras has become — even to simply view its raucous energy over social media and other outlets leaves you questioning what it truly means to “celebrate.”
I’ve eaten alone at Foco in pretty much every place you can imagine, from the long tables on dark side to the couches on the 2nd floor. On most weekdays, you’ll see me blissfully chowing down on my bowls of pasta and salad at some random corner of the cafeteria, with no other students around me and no computer or notebooks to indicate that I am working. You might ask whether this practice is out of necessity, but it’s not — I actually enjoy eating alone.
Many chemistry majors and aspiring doctors hear the words “organic chemistry” and shudder. The completion of CHEM 51 and CHEM 52, “Organic Chemistry,” is a rite of passage for these students — if they can make it through the courses without ruining either their sanity or their GPA, that is. The classes are notorious for their difficulty and recently have been characterized by an especially high number of student withdrawals.
Well, looks like we spoke too soon! Spring has, indeed, not sprung here in Hanover, as evidenced by this week’s heavy snow squall. Leave it to the unpredictable New England weather to keep us on our toes. But there is something almost encouraging about a late-winter snowstorm — something that screams, “You haven’t seen the last of me yet!” Maybe it’s the nostalgic senior in us that has us deriving meaning from meteorological terms we only just learned of (seriously, what even is a snow squall?), or maybe we’re onto something.
In the days leading up to course selection, the traffic to the student-run course review website called Layup List spikes several hundredfold. A repository of student generated wisdom and warnings that spans all the way back to the early 2000s, the website itself is a simple interface that allows students to search for particular classes and see reviews written by their peers, while also giving students the option to rate a course’s difficulty and quality via a rating system. Courses with the lowest rated difficulty earn the right to be called a “layup.”
No matter what I’m doing, when the clock strikes midnight, I drop everything and open up the day’s Wordle. The premise of the online word game is simple: A player has six tries to guess one five letter word, which changes every day. After each guess, the player learns how close their word was to the answer, and they can use that information to guide their next attempt.
On November 22, 1971, the front page of The Dartmouth was dominated by four decisive words: “DARTMOUTH TO ADMIT WOMEN.” Although Dartmouth was far from the first institution to admit women — all of the other Ivy League schools had already made the switch — this landmark decision marked a sharp break in the College’s long history as a men’s school and shook the foundations of what many knew as “dear old Dartmouth.”
Once a year, students and faculty alike take off their beanies and caps and appear sporting a different kind of headwear: a dark, ashy cross smeared on their foreheads. While those who do not celebrate may think that these individuals are part of some kind of strange cult, they are observing Ash Wednesday, an important marker for the beginning of a reflective time for Christians and Catholics.
Although our favorite groundhog Punxsutawney Phil dependably predicted in early February that we would have six more weeks of winter, with the temperature in the high 30s and 40s, it almost feels as though spring has sprung here in Hanover, New Hampshire. Winter carnival is long behind us, and we’re approaching the final stretch of the term. For us seniors, leaving behind our final Hanover winter with all of our fingers and toes may be a relief. But at Mirror, we can’t help but be a little bit sentimental about our final frigid weeks.
From “weatherizing” local housing to supporting those with traumatic brain injuries, students in the Senior Design Challenge hope to tackle problems in the Upper Valley community. The Senior Design Challenge is a two-term, project-based capstone class in which seniors use the framework of human-centered design to take on an issue posed by a client organization. The group of 20 students is split into five teams, with each group working with a different organization to produce a real, functioning end result by the end of the spring quarter.
As a New England transplant, I feel a sense of obligation to enjoy the winter and take advantage of new opportunities. So despite my weekly exhaustion, on Saturday mornings I sometimes muster up the will to trudge to the 9:00 a.m. shuttle to the Skiway, lugging my skis and boots. While I can sometimes convince my friends to tag along, most of the time they remain asleep while I go out and enjoy the slopes.
When students put down their backpacks and pick up their pong paddles to brush off the stress and grueling week’s work, Domino’s delivery drivers put on their hats, strap in their seatbelts and head out for the night. And because it's Dartmouth, it’s always a long night.
One of the more nerve-racking moments of the summer before coming to Dartmouth is learning who your roommate will be. Most students will only be lucky enough to know one or two of their new classmates, so this roommate might represent your first connection to college. I know I speak for everyone when I say that we all hope our first roommates will be people we can count on.
It’s not unusual for a Dartmouth student to brush shoulders with an Olympian or Olympic hopeful. Currently, there are six Dartmouth students and alumni skiing in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and several current students ski for the U.S. Team or are otherwise skiing professionally. While they’re competing at such a high level, skiers also need to keep up with their academic lives as Dartmouth students. I sat down with some of Dartmouth’s pro skiers to see how they balance their athletic careers with their academic ones.
A notable event of this winter term was Dartmouth’s decision to begin treating COVID-19 as an endemic disease rather than a pandemic one. In comparison to many peer institutions, classes, clubs and sports at Dartmouth have proceeded relatively unchanged, and the reaction of the student body seems to have been largely positive, in no small part due to the high vaccination rates and low risk to the young adult population.
We are approaching week eight and I am having an existential identity crisis. Said crisis was prompted by an internet essay on the commodification of womanhood. It triggered two self-realizations.
Well, we’ve had quite the turbulent start to the week, haven’t we? Whether you spent your Sunday rooting for a football team, Maddy from “Euphoria” or for Kanye West to log off of Instagram, there certainly was a lot of tension. And nothing helps ease tension quite like roses, Hallmark cards and overpriced chocolate. While the shift from a night of conflict to one of romance was jarring, it was not as startling as the weather, which somehow dipped from 50 degrees to –7 in the span of three days.