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It is incredibly difficult to be self-reflective. To do so requires a certain level of self-awareness that many people, especially college students, tend to lack, as well as a willingness to examine your own flaws and weaknesses. Part of the mission of the Mirror, and journalism, is to encourage its readership to be critically reflective of their surroundings and the groups, practices and cultures they participate in. This is a fairly lofty goal, and not always one that this magazine accomplishes, but we hope that over the last two terms and throughout its history, the Mirror has facilitated conversation that allows Dartmouth to reflect on its greatest achievements and its most problematic issues. In this week's Mirror, the last of the term and the school year, we look back and celebrate our predecessors, those people to whom we owe an enormous debt. Members of The Dartmouth's 2013 Directorate try their hands at personal reflection, and what they have to say is crucial reading for anyone who's ever felt happy, sad, proud, angry, disappointed, joyous or uncertain at this school. It is through the stories of others that we realize the most obscured parts of ourselves. Spring tends to bring reflection unlike any other term, but this is never something to shy away from. An enormous thanks to graduating seniors, from the Mirror, The Dartmouth and across campus we'll miss you when you go, but you helped teach us the things we need to be our own people once you're gone.
If nothing else, Dartmouth is a crash course in transitioning. Our Dartmouth lives occur in blips of class, parties and terms. Coming back from such a long Hanover hiatus was in some ways easy Dartmouth had long ago taught me to not get too comfortable in any one environment. I clicked right back into my old routine with my best friends, but something felt slightly off. I had changed, or Dartmouth had changed. In all likelihood, we both had.
But maybe, in the same way we perfect procrastination and work best under last minute pressure, we will find ourselves most equipped to go out into the world when it's simply something we have to do. For some, myself included, it may seem impossible to ever be ready for real life, but when the time comes we will go. And we will have the benefit of these moments, breakfasts on Collis porch with people we love, times that a friend went above and beyond to help us and days we were sad and someone told us it would be okay.
The articles in this issue do not explicitly address the Dimensions protest and its aftermath, the administration's reaction or the programming that replaced classes on Wednesday. Instead, they feature a cafe we all hold dear to our hearts, one amazing race and the qualities we look for in the person delivering words of wisdom on our final day as undergraduates. But these topics are not irrelevant. Indeed, it is during times like these, when our social fabric feels torn, that it is most important for us to come together through our communities. Only then can we begin to build and rebuild a stronger, more respectful space in which all members feel safe and recognized. Happy Friday.
For some of us, it's hard to imagine a time when we weren't Dartmouth students. No matter how deep your loyalty to this college runs, we would do well to remember that it's just one part of our identity. This week, we explore the challenges of feeling depressed at Dartmouth, opportunities to explore the Upper Valley concert scene and balancing employment with being a full-time student.
We'd do well to remind ourselves that it doesn't have to be a perfect, sun-filled day for us to make the most of the season. Nearby hiking opportunities call our name, Jurassic Park is playing at the Nugget, in 3D no less, and gelato tastes good on any day.
This week's issue, explores students who defy the Registrar and opt for new majors late in the game, as well as the wild ups and downs of March Madness. A Dartmouth junior reflects on being an American in the Middle East, and we consider the changing nature of being a woman at Dartmouth over the last 40 years. None of these experiences are without flaws and roadblocks: when one team wins, another loses and being a female still has its challenges in the 21st century. It is these very imperfections, however, that make our lived experiences beautiful and shape our identities as Dartmouth students and citizens of the world. The "all" we want is constantly changing depending on who we are and where we are in our lives. For women, for men, for students, parents, winners and losers: define your own "all" and take setbacks as they come. Happy Friday!
In our content redesign debut, we look at cultural institutions as cemented as spring break and inquire the ways we share content with each other on social media platforms. We expose two remarkable individuals with life stories that amaze and inspire. We take a look at the current Hanover housing crisis (hi '14s in the Lodge). We hope these trigger dialogue about the way we interact at Dartmouth, discuss issues of importance and bond together as a community. After all, a society is nothing more than the individuals who compose it and its cultural imaginings.
As much as these personal transitions fill me with happiness, nostalgia and fear, there is one thing I'm looking forward to more than any other. Change is coming to The Mirror, and we over here in our ivory tower of Overheards and KAF jokes thought it was an important thing to highlight. Starting in the spring, The Mirror will end the use of weekly themes and operate more along the lines of a classic college culture magazine, featuring in-depth reporting on the important trends, exciting individuals and significant events that occur on this campus everyday. In this spirit, our print design will also be refined and updated. While themes have provided us with interesting opportunities to be quirky and explore hypotheticals (hello, Surviving the Apocalypse') in the past, they have also limited us from pursuing some of the more exploratory journalism for which The Mirror is a perfect vehicle. I have nothing but respect for each and every one of my predecessors, but the opportunity to increase The Mirror's identity as a magazine, both in content and appearance, is a change worth making.
March is the month of war, and while I've certainly never fought in a war, I have a very clear memory of the first time I punched someone. In reality, it never happened. When I was five, I remember bringing Mr. Ed, the most beautiful of toy horses with the absolute softest of fur, to kindergarten for show-and-tell. He was a hit. During recess, I perched Mr. Ed near the edge of the playground, only to return and discover a classmate methodically peeling away his fur, leaving only an unsettling pinkish-gray nudity behind. Everything up until this part of the story really happened. If you are reading, Brianna from Tucson, I still know what you did. But I also have an incredibly clear recollection of punching Brianna in the chest and being sent home for a five-year-old's version of suspension. If this actually happened, neither my mother nor father has ever heard about it. It didn't happen, in fact, and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. Maybe because I still think this is how the better version of myself would have handled things, standing up for her friends, even if it meant getting breaking the cardinal "no touching!" rule of grammar school and "Arrested Development." From day one, we're taught to share and resolve things peacefully, but almost everyone finds something they're willing to fight for. It doesn't have to be violent, or physical, but we do go to war, with our friends, our parents, our professors, ourselves and, for some, enemies in distant lands. No matter what, the things for which we're willing to take up arms reveals an insane amount about our character. I am and always will be an avid loyalist to Mr. Ed. Who do you fight for? Happy feuding Friday!
I am from Arizona, one of only two states that finds it necessary to rebel against centralized government by refusing to accept that most ominous and threatening of specters: daylight savings time. Despite a complete lack of logical evidence to support this claim, I think my persistent tardiness in nearly all facets of my life connects directly back to the off-kilter timing of my Southwestern roots. It definitely has nothing to do with my procrastination habits or my love of sleep or my "West Wing" addiction. Nothing. If anything, coming to Dartmouth has made it worse, because I am now part of a culture where being on time is the exception, not the rule. Rare is the professor that bats an eye at a student bursting in 15 minutes late. On a campus where the average distance between locations is (by my completely non-scientific estimations) one-tenth of a mile, meetings never start on time and the wait at KAF is eight people deep just moments before the start of 10as. What are we doing? Why are we always late, and why are we so okay with it? In life, timing is everything, so what does it mean that Dartmouth's is so persistently off? Think about how you feel when you're that one person on time, holding down a Novack table and waiting in irritation for the rest of your groupmates to finally show up. Let's take a second (pun intended) to consider where the days go, and maybe use our watches as more than stylish accent pieces. Happy well-timed Friday!
When I was a child, I suffered from several chronic misconceptions about how the world worked. I thought that shoes shrunk, instead of feet growing, and that stores stuffed them with paper to keep them from getting smaller before they were purchased. I learned the word "fiend" when I was seven but using it didn't make me sound smart because I pronounced it "fee-end." One summer, I buried several pieces of Dem Bones candy in my sandbox and dug them up to snack on months later, unconcerned that the same sandbox was essentially a public restroom for Arizona wildlife. My mother once picked me up from school in a slightly loose-fitting shirt and I, the over-eager only child, immediately sprinted into her arms, screaming my excitement about her pregnancy and my imminent new sibling. I wasn't a complete idiot, but like almost everyone else in this world, I could have benefited from taking a closer look at things. Our campus is fairly tight-knit, and sometimes it seems like everyone knows everything about everyone else, for better or for worse. But there are also those people and organizations that exist out of the spotlight, maybe because they're controversial or because they simply don't command much attention. But as a very wise and stylish government professor once told me, one of the major benefits of the liberty is the opportunity to explore viewpoints that might sharply contrast with yours, which could absolutely benefit from a closer look. Take advantage, starting here at our small College there are those who love it for very different reasons. Happy wide-eyed Friday!
DO NOT under any circumstances eat any of your meals in town, unless you want to dine alongside alums enjoying legality in Hanover with $2 margaritas or karaoke at Salt Hill Pub.
If you see beer other than Keystone in the basement, don't touch it. Alums will likely bring their own "nice" (read: Bud Light) beer to feel like they've matured since college.
If anyone refers to you as the final year in their "Dartmouth Decade," run, as fast as you can, in the opposite direction.
Pay attention to tell-tale signs in their clothing, like expensive leather shoes in frat basements or, more obviously, wedding rings.
Just give in and listen to their stories. Some of them are guaranteed to be interesting and sooner or later they drift into an EBA's-induced sleep coma mid-sentence.