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Rupi Kaur is an Instagram and Tumblr poet you’ve likely read. Of the hundreds of thousands of young poets who share their work on the internet, the 25-year-old Punjabi-Canadian has been the most successful by far. Her first book of poetry, “Milk and Honey,” was self-published in 2014 and republished a year later by Andrews McMeel Publishing. It quickly topped The New York Times Bestsellers List and, in 2016, outsold the next best-selling work of poetry, “The Odyssey,” by a factor of 10.
In high school, I mostly listened to rap music. It was a part of my daily life, and it was what my friends and I played on the way to school and back home, while doing our homework and in every kind of social setting. It was just another language that we heard and spoke.
Writing 5 is a requirement and rite of passage for most Dartmouth students. While some students are required to take Writing 2-3 and others may opt to take the Humanities track, the majority of first-years are divided among sections of Writing 5 in the fall or the winter, with 36 in the former and 34 in the latter. There, the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric notes that students are introduced to “the writing process that characterizes intellectual work in the academy and in educated public discourse.”
Biosphere 2 was an interesting experiment. Built in Arizona and currently owned by the University of Arizona, it includes seven entirely self-contained ecosystems where plants, animals, soil, water, bacteria and animals can exist. But a fascinating issue arose regarding the trees that grew in Biosphere 2 — they died because there was no wind. Wind, and the resulting tensile and compressive stress placed on the tree, force the creation of stress wood in which the cells of the tree are arranged at angles rather than purely vertically. The tree is stronger for the adversity. This is a metaphor served on a silver platter for a lazy writer, and here’s how I’m going to use it: our most accepted, reasonable and applauded opinions are trees without wind; our biosphere is college. It is these simple laws we’ve come to accept — the equality of all people, the power of democracy and the dangers of isolation — that are the most endangered when we come to college.
Robin Jayaswal contributed to this cartoon.
We rarely hear about Indonesia in the same context as many other majority-Muslim countries. Yet with about 227 million adherents within its borders, Indonesia has the most Muslims of any sovereign state. Indonesia has had, in its 68-year history since its independence from the Dutch, a strong record. It has had a tradition of tolerance, state secularism and moderate Islam. However, these features of Indonesian society are faltering. Hardline Islamism is rising, and the success of the archipelago’s secularism and pluralism are, as a result, at risk.
Given any post-2A moment at King Arthur Flour, the monster that stretches from the counter to the door is usually a too-long line of students taking the exact same pose — back hunched, eyes glued to their phone, two thumbs tapping or swiping, the user’s face either pulled into a grimace or an attempt at stifled laughter.
Exploring an alternative grading system.
I spent the first week of my senior fall waking up early every morning determined to do work, only to remain in bed in the fetal position, paralyzed by stress. Thoughts of what I needed to do — apply for jobs, start my thesis, apply to fellowships — overwhelmed me. The weight of infinite futures lay heavy on my chest. And so the last rays of summer light were lost on me. If birds chirped, I did not hear them. If the grass gleamed, awash in early morning dew, I did not see past my bedroom window.
There is a collapsible, gray-and-white-striped fabric box from IKEA that sits neatly under my bed. This box has a flip top that opens to reveal all of my “going out” clothes. All of my female friends have their own versions of this box — a dresser drawer, a storage bin, a section of their closet, etc. On “going out” nights, we pull out various tops and bottoms, all baring more skin than is entirely practical for the bitingly cold nights of Hanover. Getting ready takes us anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, complete with plenty of laughter, compliments and outfit assistance on themed nights.
Lady Liberty doesn't know what hit her.
Hollywood actresses, including Asia Argento, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o and Mira Sorvino, recently came forward accusing producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment. The media regards these cases as milestone events that are “open[ing] the floodgates” to embolden women to speak out about sexual assault. In some ways, this is true, as many women have come forward on social media with the words “me too” as a way to highlight the widespread nature of sexual violence against women. But the reality is that the overarching issue of sexism against women in Hollywood and beyond was already apparent, but it was ignored until the relatively privileged started to speak up about it. Our slowness to realize the seriousness of the issue of sexual harassment in Hollywood draws attention to a greater problem — support for feminism in the abstract, but less so when it comes to reality.
The American mall is home to some of our favorite retail stores. It’s where we go to browse for the latest clothing trends or to try on those boots we’ve been wanting. You see a shirt, try it on, decide you look dashing in it and, if you agree with the price, you buy it. What rarely crosses our minds throughout this process is how that shirt was made and who made it. After all, we worked hard for our money, which we have a right to exchange for the shirt. In this seemingly innocuous transaction, however, you have just been unknowingly swept up into the vicious cycle of fast fashion.
Dartmouth should serve its students’ interests. The College needs to take in some revenue to survive, but it should not do so on the backs of its students. Dartmouth Dining Services would be a better business, and students would be happier and better off, if dining options at Dartmouth were made more competitive, if student meal plan requirements were relaxed or abandoned and if declining balance account funds could be spent at off-campus eateries.
Discrimination is a learned behavior. Nobody is born with notions of the superiority of one group over another, nor would we even perceive much of a difference between people if these dissimilarities were not taught to us. But from an early age, we are segregated by sex, whether by direct grouping or by internalized societal pressures, so we grow up learning not to cross imaginary lines. The divide between the sexes is enormous and older than the human historical record. It’s high time the gap was filled, and what better place to start than the minds of America’s children?
In another entry in "Reflections, A Dartmouth Experience," Neelufar Raja '21 considers autumnal life.
On paper, the 2016 election cycle was an overwhelming success for the Republican Party — one that saw the Senate, the House of Representatives and, most importantly, the presidency fall under GOP control. With control of the White House and Senate, the administration of President Donald Trump was able to appoint Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, all but guaranteeing a strong conservative presence on the nation’s highest court for decades to come. Yet, in spite of the resounding triumph within each of the United States’ three branches of government, the Republican Party remains more fragmented than it has been in decades. Typically, divisions within major political parties have coincided with the presence of a crushing defeat, not an overwhelming victory. However, the recent failures of the GOP are anything but innocuous for a party that, despite its legislative dominance, seems increasingly disunified.
“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” This was the opening line for Marina Keegan’s final column in the Yale Daily News, published days after her graduation. Keegan was a magna cum laude graduate with a promising future as a journalist at The New Yorker. Already an accomplished writer, Keegan had received an award for her play “Utility Monster” for best stage reading at a playwriting festival in Manhattan.
As a high school senior, the colleges I visited prided themselves on their undergraduate experiences. Admissions tour guides emphasized the depth and breadth of the opportunities available — study abroads, spring break internships, corporate recruiting partnerships and more. College was depicted as an all-you-can-eat buffet, where the idea that there was a single route to a degree was preposterous. At the same time, these same admissions tour guides spoke glowingly of their colleges’ four-year graduation rates. Dartmouth was no exception. But spending a greater number of years in higher education should not be so universally considered as indicative of failure. The benefits of a longer undergraduate education, which allows students to undergo a broader and deeper range of academic and non-academic experiences, outweigh the costs, financial and otherwise.
The Atlantic’s Molly Ball wrote in September 2017 that many Americans “resent having to press 1 for English when they call customer service.” One might note that the mere motion of “pressing 1” is an odd action to complain about, but then, the complaint isn’t truly about phones or any number on their keypads. Instead, the objection to “pressing 1” is about the idea that, as an American, one should not have to undertake any effort to indulge in using the English language or indulge the outsiders coming in to hear — shock! horror! — Spanish.