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I spent most of my first week at Dartmouth in the infirmary. None of my bones were broken and I wasn’t reeling from the flu, but I was still in a great deal of pain. Though most people couldn’t see it, if they looked close enough they could have noticed cracks, little fractures revealing the sickness within.
I am dumbfounded. When I read that Irving Oil was funding Dartmouth’s Arthur L. Iriving Institute for Energy and Society, I checked to see if the article was in The Onion. Sadly, it was not.
I’m writing this to the activists who are considering joining a Greek house or holding Greek leadership positions to promote “change from within” the system. My advice to you: don’t.
To some Democrats, he’s the end of the world, the apocalypse or the sign of doomsday. To some Republicans, he’s change, a breath of fresh air or an outsider. To Vladimir Putin, he’s a “colorful” man. On both sides of the political aisle and even in other countries, the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may appear to be a wild card.
Any liberal arts college can be characterized by its emphasis on the written word. Be it literature, philosophy, mathematics, chemistry or anything in between, a liberal arts education places an explicit emphasis on the ability to effectively communicate, through writing, about whatever your area of study happens to be. As a liberal arts college, Dartmouth should be no exception, and it doesn’t claim to be. Indeed, two of the first nine classes a student ever takes at Dartmouth are supposed to be dedicated to ensuring that they can write clearly and effectively. After the much-lauded first-year writing requirements, however, it seems like the College’s emphasis on, and possibly respect for, writing declines significantly. It is treated as a means of getting ideas across about your subject of interest, and not much more. The fact that Dartmouth doesn’t have a writing, creative writing or communications major severely disadvantages us as students and makes us considerably less competitive going into the real world after graduation.
On Sunday morning we woke up to the news of another terrorist attack. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, San Bernardino, California and Orlando, Florida, those in Nice, France, New York and Minnesota now seem to have been the targets of radical Islamic terrorism.
Martha Rosler created a photomontage called “The Grey Drape” (1967-72). The piece shows a woman in a silky dress pulling open a window frame in her modern American home, smiling placidly despite the soldiers marching on a battlefield outside her window. This image appears in my head whenever I contemplate the collective attitude in New Hampshire toward the Black Lives Matter movement. Like the woman in her utopic home, Dartmouth and New Hampshire as a whole tend to evade the issue of police brutality due to a false perception that it doesn’t concern New Englanders, white people or students at the College. According to those with this mindset, race doesn’t matter in a state like ours.
I grew up in a small town with small-town values. I knew almost everyone in my high school, and most of my friends spent their weekends running outside or going to church. I still clearly remember the shock I felt when, one spring day about four years ago, I visited my sister, a Dartmouth ‘16, at college and first set foot in a fraternity.
Last week, U.S. News and World Report released its highly anticipated national university rankings. While Dartmouth’s standing in terms of undergraduate teaching plunged from second to seventh place, the College on the hill moved up to 11th place overall. At the very least, we can breathe a sigh of relief now that we have beat Cornell by a solid margin across both measures. Our counterparts in Ithaca will thankfully continue to be the butt of Ivy League humor.
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I have never sent a flitz, but I haven’t received one either. My excuse is that my hard-to-spell-Chinese-pinyin-blitz name is a secret that I have fought hard to keep. I’m not talking about romantic rejections, though. The rejections I speak of are far more difficult for some to brush off. Group rejections, whether they are from sports teams, comedy troupes, a cappella groups, dance ensembles, Greek houses, leadership councils or even classes, are truly the ones that can keep you up at night. It’s no surprise then that the height of audition and application season — right about… now — is ripe with the sorrows of fresh rejections.
Dartmouth has often been touted as one of the leading schools for undergraduate teaching in the United States, as it should be: in many other leading institutions, rarely does one find a noted professor teaching undergraduate students, much less is it the norm across classes. At Dartmouth, prospective students and parents can rest assured that their classes will likely be small, their professors will be present and participation will be held to a rigorous standard. Thus, if anything, Dartmouth’s drop in the recent U.S. News & World Report 2016 ranking of the best undergraduate teaching institutions from second to seventh should be read as one of many indicators of problems with the current administration’s policies.
For many Dartmouth students, the beginning of the fall term is one of the most exciting times of the year. People are starting new classes, reuniting with friends and joining new groups or taking on new positions in their current organizations. For incoming students, that excitement (and nervousness) is often multiplied tenfold. Between the nervous excitement of a new place and new people, the Dartmouth centric fervor of Trips and all the amazing programming directed at first-years, it can be easy for all of us, new and returning students, to get swept up in the excitement of the beginning of the school year. Amid all that energy and celebration, however, there needs to be some somber consideration of some of the more sinister realities that come with starting a new school year. Perhaps the most frightening and tragic of those realities is that over a thousand people, and thousands more across the country — are at an age where they are much more likely to be the victims of sexual and relationship violence than in any other time in their lives.
I spent the better part of the past week on a cross country training trip at Dartmouth’s Second College Grant in northern New Hampshire. Activities included running, reading, sleeping, sitting on rocks by the river, wading into the river, returning to rocks by the river, eating, trembling under the mighty vastness of the night sky, wondering about my place in the universe, making little progress, going back to sleep and generally experiencing something I haven’t experienced for quite a while: boredom.
We asked our opinion staff: "In the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of institutions with the best undergraduate teaching, Dartmouth placed seventh, down from placing second last year. Do you agree with this ranking, and if so how can Dartmouth improve its undergraduate teaching?"
President Barack Obama’s gray hair, tired eyes and wrinkled forehead tell us one thing: leading this country, carrying its weight on your shoulders and pushing it through all the hurdles that come its way is not easy. His job demands an incredible amount of stamina — enough to travel to multiple countries in a week, giving speeches in all of them while making monumental military decisions and staying on top of domestic issues. It demands the agility and intellectual capacity to process information quickly, make swift yet calculated decisions and handle almost inhumane levels of stress.
What does it mean to do the right thing?
The 2016 Senior Survey reveals a wide disapproval with the administration’s responsiveness to student concerns: 75 percent of its respondents stated they are either “generally dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.” I have no doubt that a dozen hands in Parkhurst reached up to scratch their heads at this news, mystified by the poor reception to their munificence. I am just as certain that they shrugged it off as a mere fluke of statistics, so convinced of their own righteousness that they refused to accept the word of lowly students. What they failed to understand then, and still fail to understand now, is the bitter frustration that fuels these numbers.
I will begin with a welcome and a disclaimer.
Don’t get me wrong. Long-distance relationships have a lot of drawbacks. The lack of physical proximity, the financial strain of seeing each other and the enormous amount of trust required can and often do challenge the health of long-distance relationships. But, if done right, the relationship itself can pose a redemptive challenge that strengthens both the individual and the couple as a whole. Hear me out.