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Since the College partially reopened in the fall, making the trek to the south end of campus to receive a COVID-19 test has become a regular ritual for the Dartmouth undergraduates living in the Hanover area. The process is quick and simple: Students register for an appointment slot online, check in at the specified time, take a nasal swab test and depart, knowing that within the next day or so, results will appear in their inbox.
While most of the Dartmouth community has now emerged from quarantine, a select group of students must wait a bit longer: those in quarantine and isolation housing.
These days, whether you’re at home or on campus, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the usual bustle of being a Dartmouth student. Even in a pre-pandemic term, many campus events fly under the radar unless you seek them out or stumble upon them serendipitously.
Over the past week I’ve had the fortune (misfortune?) of being The Dartmouth’s Washington correspondent for the presidential inauguration. Normally, the start of midterm season is a strange time to find oneself in a city 500 miles south of Hanover. However, after unexpectedly testing positive for COVID-19, I found myself spending the second and third weeks of classes in isolation at my uncle’s house in northwest Washington, D.C. So, for better or worse, I was unintentionally sitting right at the epicenter of American politics when the inauguration rolled around last week.
Just like that — we’re already in the thick of midterm season, rush and the start of a new presidency. In Hanover, time seems to pass as fast as the snow builds up, and it looks like we’ve already gotten a few more inches. For those of us on campus, we’ve come to the end of our time in quarantine, and we’re all antsy to get out of our dorms. Thankfully, many of our favorite campus facilities have started to open up — although for now the excitement might be limited to studying in the library across from friends. But hey, we’ll take it.
Each year, Dartmouth puts on a celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, hosting programs that relate social and racial justice to work done at the College. After a year that laid bare racial inequities in American society, this week’s events took on a renewed sense of importance.
In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a press conference at the convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights.
There’s something about getting a package in the mail reminiscent of an early scene in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” where Edmund has just tumbled through the wardrobe only to come face-to-face with the White Witch. Cold and beautiful, she promises that she can get him anything he wants. “Turkish delight?” he asks. Thousands of kids remember watching the intricately carved box appear from nowhere, delivering a sense of comfort and well-being even in the midst of the unknown.
In a time of many firsts, this week marked yet another novel experience for many Dartmouth students. Whereas setting up dorm room decor is usually a pre-term activity, move-in this term took place in six-hour time blocks last weekend, between weeks two and three of the term. Arriving in Hanover, the process was orderly but time-consuming. First stop: trek through Leverone Field House to stick a cotton swab up your nose. Second stop: haul luggage to your room. Third stop: wait.
When I virtually signed Dartmouth’s “Community Expectations” agreement last summer, I didn’t think much of a certain line. I agreed to “receive a vaccine for COVID-19, should one become available that is both FDA- and Dartmouth-approved,” if I wanted to live on campus and access Dartmouth’s facilities. At that point, a COVID-19 vaccine seemed years away — a promise overshadowed by the stress of preparing for a virtual academic year.
As the pandemic drags on into the new year, many people are getting sick of strictly adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. With the first doses of the vaccine rolling out across the country, some have started to let their guards down and regard restrictions with a more lax attitude.
Every winter, Hanover undergoes a transformation. The days get shorter, temperatures plummet and snow covers campus. However, this winter features a more dramatic shift than usual. As Dartmouth prepares to welcome students back for the winter term, signs of a more fun, social experience are appearing around campus.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began almost a full year ago, I’ve thought a lot about the future of art. If art is a mode of self-expression, what happens when your sense of self, removed from the places and people that shape it, is rocked? If art is a vessel for our joy, what happens when the sources of joy change? I was afraid that life in lockdown would make us too tired to create things, or that stress and lack of materials would immobilize us even when we wanted to create things. I hoped that making things was such an inherently human act that it would pull us through the wildest of circumstances.
Every January, gyms fill up with fresh-faced clientele eager to fulfill New Year’s resolutions made the night before over glasses of champagne. For many, New Year’s resolutions are a way to try something new, refocus on old rhythms or buckle down on long-term goals. After the dumpster fire of 2020, it’s hard to say whether New Year’s resolutions feel completely irrelevant or more important than ever. In this edition of Mirror Asks, a few Mirror writers share their own thoughts on the new year and the things they’re looking forward to in 2021, both big and small.
Well, we’re back. In the past few weeks, many of us have celebrated holidays without the company of our extended families, we’ve seen the beginning stages of the COVID-19 vaccine dissemination, we’ve said goodbye to 2020 and we’ve watched the government run amok at the tail end of Donald Trump’s presidency. There’s a lot to process, but there is also a lot to be grateful for, including our health, our loved ones and being able to return to Dartmouth for another term, whether virtually or in person.
When Dartmouth first announced it would allow students to live on campus this fall, many ’24s were overjoyed. With some universities transitioning fully online, students were grateful that the College had granted them at least one remnant of a normal college experience.
The following piece is a letter composed of responses to an anonymous survey shared with the Class of 2024, which asked freshmen to reflect on their first term at Dartmouth in a message to their pre-fall selves. While responses have been edited for clarity, the content comes directly from the freshman class. I hope that by reading this letter, ’24s, upperclassmen and the rest of the Dartmouth community may gain a better understanding of how freshmen experienced their unconventional first term.
Each day’s early sunset is a reminder that winter is coming. The intensity of the cold and the scarcity of the daylight hours strengthen the appeal of the indoors. But as COVID-19 cases rise and many students plan to return to campus in the winter, the announcement of the Dartmouth Skiway’s reopening was a bright point in a dreary-looking flurry of information.
Food is an inescapable part of our campus culture. We find it everywhere: in dinner picnics on the Green, as fuel for late-night work sessions in Novack and as an oddly popular topic of conversation. But not everyone’s relationship with food is straightforward. Many students with eating disorders struggle to navigate Dartmouth’s dining halls and food-dominated social scene, and their difficulties are only compounded by COVID-19 restrictions.
“I almost made it the whole term without being interviewed by The Dartmouth for being a transfer,” said Sevie Browne ’24, a transfer student from Tufts University. Alas, no such luck. Dartmouth saw 45 new transfers this fall, about three times as many as usual.