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'We All Have Problems': OCD Awareness on Campus

(10/11/17 6:10am)

When you think of obsessive-compulsive disorder, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? A year ago, I associated it with compulsive handwashing and cleanliness, just as many people do. But obsessive-compulsive disorder is a psychological disorder that is largely misunderstood by the public. The easiest way to describe it involves breaking down its name: the obsessions are fears that one’s brain latches onto, while the compulsions are mental or physical tasks that one repeats over and over to prevent those fears from coming true. The compulsions have the opposite effect than intended, however, and they make the fears stronger. Although it may seem easy to simply not perform the compulsions, from the viewpoint of a person with OCD, it just has to be done. It is important to remember that usually the obsessions don’t make sense to outsiders — the brain distorts the obsessions and intensifies the fear for OCD sufferers. For example, the most commonly portrayed obsession in the media is the fear of contamination from germs, while the most commonly portrayed compulsion for this is excessive handwashing. While there are definitely people who suffer from this form of OCD, it is by no means the only form that OCD can take, and I learned that the hard way.

Working From Home: Family Leave and Parental Dynamics

(10/04/17 2:21pm)

Based on the Family Medical Leave Act, qualifying American parents must be allowed 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for a newborn. Considering the average maternity leave is 17.7 weeks in advanced nations, American working parents are already at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the industrialized world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Add in the fact that every other advanced country mandates paid maternity leave, and one can’t help but wonder why the U.S. lags so far behind.

'COVER Stories': A Q&A with ENVS Professor Terry Osborne

(10/04/17 6:15am)

Environmental studies professor Terry Osborne focuses on the spiritual connections between Americans and the natural world as well as Earth’s current environmental degradation. He teaches the first-year seminar, “COVER Stories: Community Building & the Environment.” The community-based course explores the construction of community as we know it through storytelling and writing. Students work with a local organization called COVER, which gives urgent home repair for members of the Upper Valley.

The Agency of Home

(10/04/17 6:45am)

Every Dartmouth term is different. Not just in the cocktail of classes we take or in the people who zip in and out of our lives. Within the insanity of our intermingling D-Plans, every 10 weeks brings a completely unique combination of people to campus. From one term to the next, what one may argue makes Dartmouth special — the people — is never the same. Yet while life here sometimes feels fleeting at best, we nonetheless learn to find home within the never-changing architectural landscape. Home comes to be the memories echoed in the alcoves of Sanborn Library, the ghosts of small talk past on First Floor Berry or the wisps of a conversation that mark a corner of the Green your own. It’s individual, unique and self-defined within these common and unchanging spaces we share.

Scripting a Nation: Behind Political Speechwriting

(09/27/17 6:40am)

Politicians must be bidialectal. They must switch between the realm of policy — of painstaking minutia and predicted impact — and the realm of the public — of pithy statements and pretty words. To make this switch, they rely on the assistance of speechwriters, people paid to distill inherently abstract and unattractive concepts into effortlessly digestible statements.

Behind the Brushstrokes: Discovering Calligraphy

(09/27/17 6:35am)

Chinese is, by far, the most common native language in the world: about 15 percent of the world’s population learned a form of Chinese as their first language. Calligraphy, the stylistic presentation of handwriting or lettering, is ingrained in China’s appreciation of its language and spirituality. In the United States, however, Chinese scripts are often relegated to regrettable, poorly-translated back tattoos.

The Unscripted Art of Improv

(09/27/17 6:30am)

We’ve all been there. Telling a joke, or being told a joke, that is absolutely hilarious to the speaker but met with confusion or even worse, forced laughter by the audience. Whether it’s the bad pun your friend makes during your study session, the classic “dad joke” your father makes over dinner, or — my personal favorite — that cringe-worthy joke your professor cracks in the middle of a lecture, comedy is truly an art form, and sometimes jokes told on the spot just don’t go as smoothly as we anticipate.

Down the Rabbit Hole: A Look Inside Special Collections

(09/27/17 6:25am)

At first glance, the books all appear to be vastly different from one another. One is about a foot in length, while another could fit in my back pocket. The illustrations vary wildly — in one, horrific black and white drawings paint the page, while another seems to contain abstract art. Upon closer inspection, however, I discover that they are all versions of the same novel: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

The Story of a Story: Editing as Creative Pursuit

(09/27/17 6:20am)

It’s happened to the best of us. Sitting in Berry at 11 p.m., earbuds jammed in and coffee an arm’s length away, we slide out our laptops and open up an unfinished essay, prepared for a long night of re-wording paragraphs and restructuring sentences. As the night drags on, the comments in the margin begin to blur together and the words on the screen start to lose their meaning; we skip over a few passages and forget to refine our focus, add a word that’s out of place and confuse our voice. We miss out on fully developing our work because the final draft is due tomorrow, and we don’t have the time nor the energy to fully devote ourselves to the process. As the hours pass by, and we reach the end of our attention span, we ask ourselves the evergreen question: why didn’t I start editing sooner?

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