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Are you sick and tired of hearing about the Marriage Pact? Can’t bear the reminder of your meant-to-be soulmate who turned out to be nothing but a failed flitz, an awkward Novack run-in or the person in your building who you never noticed before but now somehow see everywhere? Well, you’ve come to the wrong place.
It was a classic spring day in Hanover — 50 degrees, overcast and drizzling — when we started our trek down to the Ledyard Canoe Club docks for our daily ritual: A dip in the river. Down at the docks it somehow felt even colder, but we peeled off layers until we were dressed in only our bathing suits. It took some mental preparation, but eventually, we jumped. The cold was sudden and shocking — we both pulled ourselves out of the river as fast as we could. This jump marked day five of our week of daily dips — a challenge we undertook to write about the classic senior spring tradition.
Sometimes, all it takes is seeing a dog on the Green to brighten a student’s day. Although animals (other than fish) are generally not allowed in College housing, there are some exceptions for those who demonstrate a need to own an “assistance animal” — either service animals or animals that provide emotional support to alleviate the symptoms of a disability, according to Student Accessibility Services’ Animal Assistance Policies. On a campus generally devoid of pets, how do those with assistance animals navigate the approval process — and how do these animals adjust to campus life?
I subscribe to Golden Age thinking, the wistful idea that life would be better in a different era. Like the delusional protagonist of a Woody Allen film, I tend to romanticize the past to cope with an unsatisfying reality. However, unlike other — potentially more devoted — romantics, I’m not attached to a specific decade.
It’s week three, and I’m already losing my mind. Normally that’s a week eight problem, but something about this spring just hits different. There’s nothing quite like a sunny afternoon on the Green, but it’s always accompanied by a wave of exhaustion when the sun goes down. Maybe it’s the unrelenting stream of parties, darties and daily dips to join, or the fact that we are still in school — even when it feels a bit like summer camp. Whatever it is, I’m finding week three to be equal parts joyful and draining, and the reports from this week’s writers seem to corroborate it.
Spring here at Dartmouth marks several milestones. The faint remnants of snow and ice slowly melt away, the Green grows more populated and darties become ever more present, even in sub-50 degree weather. But with the arrival of warmth, change also ripples through the campus. While seniors prepare to enter the real world, the next generation of student leaders takes the helm of many campus organizations — from Greek houses to student clubs and more.
With mask mandates and required weekly testing now a thing of the past, it’s tempting to want to put COVID-19 behind us. However, two years of living through a pandemic have irreversibly impacted all of our lives, and for the Class of 2024, these years defined their introduction to Dartmouth — a time period usually characterized by community-building and fanfare, redefined in Fall 2020 by isolation and tragedy. With things seemingly returning to normal this spring, it’s time to check in with members of the so-called “forgotten” class once again. How are the ’24s doing now — and do they even identify with this title?
24 hours. 1440 minutes. 86400 seconds.
During the 2019 celebration of Dartmouth’s 250th anniversary, anthropology professor Jesse Casana proposed a project to — quite literally — unearth some of the College’s rich history.
Nestled in the basement of Baker Library, the Book Arts Workshop provides a unique venue for members of the Dartmouth community to learn about letterpress printing, bookbinding and more. The workshop attracts students and professors in many departments — from English to computer science — who take advantage of the program’s studio space and curricular support. To learn more, I spoke to the Book Arts Workshop Program Manager, Sarah Smith, about the workshop’s offerings and niche on campus.
It’s crazy to think that just two years ago, many of us were shut inside the confines of our homes after campus was abruptly emptied. Now, we’ve regained a sense of normalcy that hasn’t been seen since early 2020. Masks are off. Nights are on. It finally feels like, for the first time, the “real Dartmouth” is creeping out of the shadows of the pandemic. Many of us have lived here for months — even years — but we have never felt the authentic pulse of our community until now.
After two years of limited travel and pandemic-related restrictions, it’s no wonder that when Dartmouth announced the re-opening of study abroads starting fall 2021, students jumped at the opportunity to participate. For those interested in studying abroad, the College offers both language study abroads — which focus primarily on language skills — and foreign study programs — which focus on a particular field of study in the context of a different country.
Senior Spring: My final, prodigal term at Dartmouth College. In a lot of ways, the start to this quarter has felt extremely ordinary: The usual pre-class jitters, luxuriously long Foco dinners with friends recounting every detail of break, neglecting to unpack my suitcase until week two — the list goes on. But as the spring weather brings the shrubbery back to life, my time at the College dwindles away with each new sprouting flower. Speaking technically, as it is currently week two, I am somehow already a fifth of the way through the term.
Just under thirty years ago, Jason Barabas ’93 was a Dartmouth senior working on his honors thesis, playing on the football team and participating in the Greek system. Now, he is back in Hanover serving as the director of the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and teaching in the government department. Barabas is part of Dartmouth’s substantial alumni-to-professor pipeline, made up of academics who return to teach at the College after completing their undergraduate degrees here. I sat down with four of these alumni professors to discuss how they have reconciled their experiences here as students with their current roles as faculty.
Two terms after the projected completion date of Fall 2021, the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society has replaced the tangled maze of pipes and rubble that once blocked so many walks to the River Cluster. Now, the gorgeous glass exterior of the building stands proudly, staring down Baker-Berry Library from the end of Tuck Drive. This is no accident: As the Institute’s website explains, “in the direct view of the Baker Library Tower, the symbolic heart of the College’s liberal arts commitment, the building serves as a nexus of Dartmouth energy and society research, education, and engagement, across all disciplines.”
When I traveled home for spring break, Mill Valley, California no longer felt like mine. Maybe it was the disconcertingly hot weather or the way that my house had a distinct smoky citrus smell like that of a tasteful stranger’s, but something felt distant, removed. Most unnerving was the evident ease with which the town had run in my absence. Tam High had a new set of burnt-out seniors, toiling through the college application process; Greg had hastily hired my replacement — a perky hostess in Chuck Taylors — and my parents had adopted an only vaguely recognizable nighttime routine. Life at home had moved on without me.
Spring is upon us, but unlike the Mirror’s editorial staff, it seems like Hanover weather is not under new management. Each 50-degree day feels like a tease, and last weekend’s first green blossoms find themselves yet again covered in snow. Students are arriving back on campus in droves: some sunburnt, others jet-lagged and almost all unprepared for the First Real Spring since COVID-19.
As I write this article, I’ve just finished unpacking the small suitcase of clothes that I brought home for spring break. My dorm room hasn’t changed much in the last week or so, except for a layer of dust that has accumulated on the top of my chest of drawers. It really does feel like I finished my music final yesterday, rather than two weeks ago. Yet somehow, I’m going to be starting three new classes this week, all vastly different from my courses last term. While I am excited about each of these classes, there’s still a small part of me that feels like winter term just ended. And after how hard I worked, two weeks doesn’t feel long enough.
When I opened social media over spring break, I was instantly greeted by hundreds of pictures of Dartmouth students swimming in crystal clear water, girls in matching bikinis and location tags broadcasting the names of Caribbean islands I’d honestly never heard of before. After spending hours scrolling through picture after picture, I deleted most of my social media apps, unable to look at people’s seemingly perfect vacations for any longer. I was experiencing a classic case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
What are you most looking forward to this spring?