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Dorm Sweet Dorm Spotlight: erin clark |2

10 defining months| 3

How to DDs Date| 6



Erin Clark: ‘Club Novack’ devotee




Dorm rooms — those special little sanctuaries with filled-to-the-brim trash cans, leftover EBAs boxes on top of your bed, everything you’ve worn this week piled on the floor next to your grimy frat shoes. No, this was not the reality that Jasmine wanted to create for herself. This spring, finally in the single of her dreams (just kidding — it’s in Topliff) with a huge closet that could finally fit her clothes and shoes, she sought to make the room a manifestation of her wonderful personality. She stole lots of Indian trinkets from her family home and hung them up as wall displays. She fashioned a hip chai table complete with mugs and a tea kettle next to her bed. Who knew the chill and clean vibe would be ruined one day when Jasmine caught the stomach bug and barfed all over the carpet, leaving permanent unsightly stains. She is currently looking for a room change for the summer. By far, Emma’s best-decorated dorm room was her sophomore year triple in Mid Mass. And it wasn’t just because of the charming Christmas lights or the excessive photos of family, friends and Dave Franco. There was the butt wall. The inspiration for this infamous project, called the “Wall of (S)ass,” was a two-hour-long FoCo discussion of what makes a good butt. After weeks of convincing close friends and acquaintances blessed with beautiful butts to pose in front of their disposable camera, Emma and her roommates finally introduced the wall to intrigued and slightly horrified friends. The roommates plan to one day submit the wall to a modern art museum in Berlin and become famous for their revolutionary anthropological study. Clearly, we know how hard it is to be original when decorating your dorm, so this week we sought out the gems on campus. Take notes, freshmen with the “Animal House” (1978) and Audrey Hepburn posters.

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B y Lindsay keare

Erin Clark may have one of the most recognizable voices on campus. The lead counter woman at Novack Café, Clark can be heard loud and clear weekday mornings ushering the line along — fast. Clark can also be seen breaking out “Club Novack” with her co-workers, singing and dancing to every imaginable music genre, from Disney to rap to what Clark calls “frat basement music.” “As long as it’s not country music, we’re good,” Clark said. Club Novack relieves stress for both customers and employees, she said. “It appeared one finals period, where the workers were burnt out, the student body was all frazzled and all strung out,” she said. “One afternoon, KATELYN JONES // THE DARTMOUTH we just turned on some dance Clark, a self-proclamed iced coffee addict, and her husband Josh live in Strafford, V.T. party station.” Clark grew up on a potato farm in Sanger- her to his best friend, Josh Clark. After spend- student employees get along well. She ville, Maine, where she said she developed ing the summer getting to know one another, laughs at all of the students’ jokes and her work ethic at a young age. the two started dating and married 12 years Snapchats with them, Illanes-Meyers said. “The joke is that when you grow up in later. When Clark was 22, they bought a house “She sends me a lot where she is pointMaine, you’re either a potato farmer or you in Strafford, where the couple still lives. ing at something she’s wearing or owns, work for the logging industry,” Clark said. Clark soon was hired by the College and and writes ‘AWESOME’ on it,” Illanes“My father was a farmer, and my mother has has been here ever since. After working at Meyers said. “Like a picture of shoes, been a secretary for one of the largest paper Homeplate, a former part of FoCo, she ended ‘AWESOME.’ Her dogs, ‘AWESOME.’ Her companies for close to 30 years now.” up at Novack, a move she embraced. car, “AWESOME.’ I suppose it’s kind of a At age 8, Clark started mowing the farm’s “I just liked that it was out of the large dining running joke that Erin is awesome. That’s lawn and later tedded and raked hay, hand- hall, and there weren’t as many other full-time what her contact name is in my phone.” planted potatoes and picked rocks, “the worst employees,” she said. “I knew this was where Both students said that working at job ever,” she said. I wanted to end up. It had everything going Novack with Clark has been a highlight “I definitely learned the value of hard work for me.” of their Dartmouth careers. from the get-go,” Clark said. And despite beClark’s husband is a store-room helper, so One of Clark’s best friends was a meming the only female in her familial generation, he receives, takes care of and delivers food in ber of the Class of 2007. At the time, Clark she said “there were no excuses made just FoCo and Novack. He’s one of many behind- still worked at FoCo and was infamous because I was a girl.” the-scenes College employees who students as “the mean Homeplate lady,” she said. Since her parents were divorced, Clark never get the chance to meet, Clark said. One day, a student with a broken foot got only saw her mother on weekends. She de“There is one woman who makes all these in line and couldn’t find her ID, so Clark scribed her father as a “no-nonsense guy” who sandwiches every day for you — she makes gave her a hard time. To her surprise, the set many expectations for his children. Clark over 20,000 sandwiches a term,” Clark said. student shot back. The two hit it off and has a half-brother 10 years her younger and “She is a large part of your eating habits without quickly became close friends. an older stepbrother, with whom she grew ever being seen.” “I was shocked that somebody dared close during her childhood. At Novack, Clark loves interacting with say anything,” she said. Though Clark worked on the farm all students, both behind the counter and in front Outside of Dartmouth, Clark loves summer and during three weeks of harvest of it. While her interactions with those who fre- to shop, snowmobile with her husband, season in September, school came first, as quent Novack for snacks are generally short, spend time with her three dogs and inboth her aunt and stepmother taught at her Clark appreciates the deeper connections she dulge in her guilty pleasure, reality TV. “I school. forges with students who work under her. still to this day watch ‘The Real World,’” At age 18, Clark left home to go to Vermont Those who work for Clark further empha- she admitted. Technical College in Randolph and later took sized how great she makes working at Novack A self-proclaimed iced coffee addict, business classes. for students. Clark can be seen with one of these cold “I was so ready to get out of this small “She has a way of bringing people together beverages in hand even when it’s 30 below town in Maine,” she said. when two people are working together for the or snowing. And if you think EBAs, RamunThe summer before college began, Clark first time,” Gabrielle Forestier ’14 said. “She’s tos and C & A’s just aren’t good enough, attended a special program that only accepted kind of a common mutual friend that helps you Clark will let you in on a secret: “the best around 30 students. One day, Clark gave a foster your friendships.” pizza in the Upper Valley is actually up in classmate a ride home, where he introduced Heidi Illanes-Meyers ’14 said Clark and the Bethel area.”

’14 Girl: Is there a Lower Valley?

’15 Girl: I just ate 76 mozz sticks. Happy Easter!

’15 Girl: It’s nice seeing you in the real world. I feel like I only ever see you in your bed.

CS Prof: You are spending $60,000 a year to be online shopping in class. Are you out of your f—ing mind?

Prospie: Is this the Green?

’14 Guy: The hookup culture at Dartmouth is founded on strategic ambiguity.


Through the Looking Glass How the tough choice to withdraw changed my life for the better COLUMN

B y maan singh Tinna

I met with my dean on the last week of what was supposed to be my last term in college. I wasn’t going to pass my classes to graduate on time. That much was certain. He had asked me to go home and carefully decide which one of two options I would take to move forward with my time at Dartmouth. I could extend my term by a few weeks and use that time to catch up on missing work and then receive my diploma. Or I could withdraw from school and return when I felt ready to retake my final term. This was all after I had pled for months and finally convinced my parents to book a hotel for Commencement, letting them know that it was a big moment in my life. I assumed that no matter which way I chose, I would disappoint them. I chose to withdraw. I did not graduate. The hotel room my parents had booked went to waste. My decision might have seemed like a waste of a year, but ultimately it was about comparing who I was during my senior spring to who I wanted to be after graduation. I was going to graduate with a degree in economics modified with computer science and a double minor in Chinese and theater, close to my dream of being the liberal arts poster boy. I even had a job lined up at a financial consulting firm in Boston. It seemed like I had everything together. But my decision to withdraw was shaped by factors that weren’t so obvious on my resume. I had only just begun to face that I had been dealing with depression and anxiety for the last three years. Four months earlier, I had come out to my fraternity and friends on campus but still wasn’t sure who I was. I applied for a mentor through Outreach Peer Mentors, but I never heard back, and I felt lonely. To add to all of this, the police brutality toward Punjabi citizens in India after their protests of Balwant Singh Rajoana’s execution, and the white supremacist-driven attack on a Gurdwara, a Sikh temple, in Oak Creek, Wisc. suddenly left me feeling burdened by a racial identity I had actively resisted for years. I was living two separate lives at home and at school, and I didn’t feel ready to leave Dartmouth and abruptly merge my polarized existences. When I first called my mother to tell her that I was not graduating, I anticipated hearing a lecture in return. She knew that I was seeing a counselor regarding stress, and I had confided in her that I had been depressed for a long time, but that conversation seemed like history. All she could say was that she trusted me to make the healthiest decision for myself and that I had the support of my parents. The lack of resistance in that conversation was more difficult than the hypothetical rage I had expected. If they had reacted with anger, I may have given up attempting open communication with my parents. But their ambiguous reaction meant I would have to explain myself. It meant the conversation wasn’t over. I went home to New York during finals week to attend my sister’s baby shower. That night, my parents sat me down on our living room couch and asked why I was depressed. I froze and told them I wasn’t ready to talk about it. They offered suggestions: “Is someone at school bothering you? Are you having

problems with a girl?” They had observed my active social life and could not imagine that my smiles masked tears. We reached a truce — I told them that I would talk to one of my sisters, Priti, so she could act as a buffer between us. My sister lived halfway between my parents’ home and Dartmouth, so it was an easy stop to make. I felt the type of stage fright I might feel before a performance. I had practiced what I wanted to say, but at the end of the day, how she would react was not in my hands. When I reached her house, I told her that I had come out on campus as bisexual, and I didn’t know how our parents would react. Had I graduated as planned in four weeks and gone on to work in Boston, this conversation would have never been necessary. I could have postponed this conversation until a time when I decided I wanted to get married. But leaning into my fears allowed me to keep an openness between myself and my family that I learned to value. I wanted so badly to pass this hurdle in my life. My sister was the first person to call me out on homophobic language I had used in middle school, so I trusted her to be open-minded. She told me that my family was not prepared for this conversation. The possibility that they might have a bisexual son had never crossed their minds. In the Sikh community, sexuality is rarely discussed. There is a lack of prominent queer Punjabi Sikh icons, so many parents can find it difficult to accept a spectrum of sexualities that seem to be at odds with the norm. This especially upsets me since Sikhism was founded as a community to defend the oppressed. My family is fairly prominent in the New York Sikh community — they attend religious congregations weekly and everyone knows my father for supporting many of the Gurdwara’s initiatives. He is also known for running in the New York City marathon for the past 22 years wearing a shirt that says “Proud to be a Sikh.” But nowhere in our social circle were there any out, queer Sikhs. Every time gay rights were mentioned at the dinner table, my parents quickly asked that we talk about more appropriate topics. Priti agreed to talk to my parents but warned me that it wouldn’t be easy. She reassured me that any resistance that might come from them wasn’t from a place of hate, but a fear of their son being discriminated against. A few days later, while I was back on campus for senior week, I received a call from my sister. The conversation with my parents had not gone well. My father’s response was anger; my mother’s, tears. They blamed themselves for raising me poorly and pondered conversion therapy. I put that conversation aside and chose to spend my senior week with my friends on campus, who would soon march at Commencement without me. Four days later I received a call from my mother and let it go to voicemail. I received another call later that day and picked it up after a deep breath. We talked about pretty much everything — except my conversation with my sister. My friends were fine. I was eating healthy. I was getting enough sleep. Finally, my mother told me, “You have nothing to worry about. N-OT-H-I-N-G. Your father and I will always love you.” I don’t know what happened in those four days, but it felt like a miracle. I suddenly felt lighter and had a smile glued to my face for the rest of

the week. I returned home, and life was back to normal. I found an internship with a bank. I started seeing a therapist on a regular basis, but it felt unnecessary at that point. My vision of my dramatic return was completely subverted. I worked weekdays, went to dinners with my family, partied with my friends and even went on a few dates. It took me a while to realize that aside from that initial phone call and letting them know that I was going to the Pride parade, I hadn’t really had a real conversation with my parents. It had just seemed like everyone forgot. I’m not sure what inspired the conversation, but my mother sat my brother and me down for a “feminism talk” in December. She told us to respect women and not to conform to societal gender roles. I was impressed but a Courtesy of Maan Tinna little worried. The Tinna said his choice to withdraw benefited him in the long run. next day I told my mother that I agreed with what she had said but wished she had used feared, which was the thought that I would be the word “partner,” not “wife,” when discussing wasting a year of my life. At Dartmouth, I had been caught up with the parts of my identity marriage. It was the first time I had hinted to my mother that troubled me and felt oppressed me — being a queer person of color, for example. that I may not end up with a woman. She then asked if there was still a chance. I After extensive reading about identity formation in New York, I remembered that I was realized the conversation was far from over. In December, the Indian Supreme Court still an Ivy League-educated, upper middle overturned a ruling that declared Section 377 of class male. Although it will take my parents the Penal Code unconstitutional, a law introduced more time to fully embrace who I truly am, I during British rule that criminalized homosexual will never forget that I was blessed with the acts. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, I privilege of even having the opportunity to decided to come out on Facebook. Although it start a dialogue with them in the first place. seems like a miniscule step, I no longer wanted There are others much less fortunate than I to hide from a global movement. I then attributed to whom I can offer support. In addition to my parents’ difficulty in having this conversation taking steps toward a healthy sense of idento the ongoing effects of colonialism. My social tity during my time off, I was home for both media accounts were filled with campaigns of my sisters’ baby showers and welcomed a asserting that “Homophobia is a Legacy of baby nephew and niece into my life. I saw a Imperialism.” Many believe that the idea of close cousin get married, and I didn’t miss a sexuality as a binary in colonized countries is single elaborate Indian wedding ceremony. a result of Western influence. Understanding I explored my career options and rekindled the oppressive history that contributed to my my love for theater enough to decide to parents’ heteronormativity shifted the attitude pursue a career in producing. I am a much I had toward my parents’ skepticism and made stronger person than I would have been if I had I graduated and gone on as planned to it easier to respond to. My time away from campus was a productive Boston last year without combing through 10 months compared to what I had expected and all the problems I was grappling with first.



B y victoria nelsEn Surrounding the room’s two futons hang artwork, posters and paraphernalia from around campus. One poster, from a Movement Against Violence campaign, reads “Hook Up Responsibly.” One wall features a framed painting that Hutcheson said mysteriously disappeared from a fraternity one night and ended up on her wall the next day. This piece is an 18th century-style painting with a gold frame, depicting men in wigs and fancy outfits. Though she’s confused about how it came into her ownership, she said she treasures the “rare print.” This was confirmed, Hutcheson said, by her mom’s friend, the head curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. These additions have accumulated since the fall, Hutcheson said, changing an empty room into a more welcoming space that almost resembles an antique store. Despite the changeover, the six women call themselves the “Sexytet,” as magnets on one door spell out. Though Hutcheson said no one likes this nickname, it was the original name of the roommate group in room draw and has stuck ever since.

Caitlin Zellers ’16 decorated her room in McCulloch with plush sunflowers and hand-sewn curtains. Decorating your first dorm room is almost a rite of passage ... or at least my mom thought so. One of my first memories in Hanover is sneaking into a paint store with her, stealing over 100 strips of colors and taping these to strings to hang up in my room. It was a project, to say the least, and not one that was particularly worth it — maintaining these hanging strings of color was far too difficult for me to keep up. But in pockets of campus, other students have chosen to devote more time, energy and creativity than I did to decoration. Even the tumultuous D-Plan, which whisks us off to new countries or buildings at the turn of every term, fails to hinder some students’ individuality in creating their own home away from home. The challenge of finding these charming spots only increases the excitement of discovering one, so I set off to uncover campus’s hidden gems amid the half-hearted posters. I first encountered the living space of Caitlin Zellers ’16, who resides in McCulloch Hall this term. Her cozy room, with its soft lamp lighting and hand-sewn curtains, hardly looks like a dorm room. After spending the fall in the Sustainable Living Center and the winter off campus, Zellers has had only five weeks to make East Wheelock her home. “People always say, ‘Why do you do your room so nicely if you’re only here for 10 weeks?’” Zellers said. “Your room is your little sanctuary. It’s all about you: you can have your quiet time, and I really want to enjoy the time I spend in my room, even if it’s only for 10 weeks, so everything I put in here is something that makes me feel happy.” A “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) poster hangs above her bed, and on her walls are photos of friends from home, sailboats and cats and other ornaments — my favorite being a star-shaped dream catcher. The dream catcher was given to her by a woman with terminal cancer who she helped around the house and with yard work last spring with the Creative Lives After School Program at the White River School. Her bed overflows with pillows. It is almost as if the room has never seen clutter; the objects on top of her desk, bookshelf and dresser are perfectly arranged, and Zellers


dusts and vacuums every week. Two decorative sunflowers lie flat on the bookshelf and a pink tapestry covers one wall. Zellers and her roommate share a two-room double. On the door between their rooms is a whiteboard that they use to write a different quote from their Yogi tea bags each day. “The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.” Hanging from Zellers’s bed is a strange donut-shaped contraption made of wood, rope and a glass jug. The jug is full of water and houses her beta fish, Ozzy. A plant rests in the wood below the jug. When sediment settles at the bottom of the jug, it can be opened to release it and water onto a plant as fertilizer. Zellers, from southern California, found the apparatus at a flea market in Hollywood. She uses her room primarily to get away from constant stimulation on campus. Though she said she is not antiparty, she likes the separation between her dorm and her social spaces.

Suman Mathur ’15 lives in a completely different setup. Her quad in Richardson Hall includes a long foyer and a common area bordered by two windows with two doubles on either side. Since Mathur and her roommates have removed the blinds from the windows, the area was full of afternoon sunshine when I visited. The common room is where the roommates hang out ­— the group bought a TV in the winter so they could host Olympics parties or watch “The Mindy Project” and “Game of Thrones.” Under the TV is a black, stone fireplace, decorated with hanging and sitting glass bowls of tea lights, used for decoration during the Olympics. A patterned rug, which Mathur received gifted from a friend’s father who no longer wanted it, covers the expanse of the room, leading to a teal futon adorned with six blue pillows. An old trunk serves as a coffee table in front of

Perrin Hutcheson ’16 and her five roommates have created more of a social space in their North Fayerweather sextet. Their common room, surrounded by two triples and two full bathrooms, creates an atmosphere where friends are welcome. After walking into the room, my eye was immediately drawn to the back corner, where four fridges belonging to individual roommates are piled. A fifth rests to the immediate right of the door. The windows in the back of the room open onto a “patio,” as Hutcheson calls it. I call it a fire escape. Another feature of the room is a large plank of “plywood” that rests on top of two trash cans, which can be used for certain social games. This “plywood” has been autographed in bright colors by all that have played on it. Scattered around this table are a number of unmatched chairs, some of which Hutcheson found and brought to the room. One, a retro red chair, she found outside of Murphy’s and immediately rolled across the Green to the Fays. The “plywood” has served as a central space for the group, which has changed over the past three terms with roommate turnover.

Perrin Hutcheson ’16 and her five roommates made a “plywood” table the cente


the futon, adding to the room’s quaint feeling. The bowls of candy on the table further open the room to visitors. There is no obvious theme to the room, as Mathur said she and her roommates brought their own decorations and made it all fit together. A string of paper whales and sailboats purchased in a French paper store sprinkle the room. The Christmas lights that line the ceiling and lamps scattered across the room help her avoid the classic fluorescentlight-glow found in most dorms. Mathur and her roommates have lived in the dorm since winter term, and the two-term consistency motivated the group to decorate well. Mathur said she especially enjoyed the cozy and homey space in the winter. “It was actually really nice to have a nice place to go to that wasn’t the librar y,” Mathur said. “It actually felt like home.” While Mathur established a sense of home in Richardson, Karen Afre ’12 has found that living in the Tabard coed fraternity means incorporating her own personal style and identity into those of previous residents. Though her room — called “The Zoo” — is a masterpiece on its own, the entire building is full of self-expression and imagination. Afre said residents and members of the Tabard can create their own artwork on the walls. If someone wants to paint on a white wall, there is rarely opposition. Though one could paint over what already exists, an unspoken rule exists that the murals in her room must stay there, Afre said. Painted in the summer of 2009 by Kush Rustagi ’10, Afre’s walls feature a savannah with a sunset backdrop. The sky reaches up to the ceiling of the room, where Rustagi painted constellations. Among the giraffes and elephants are palm trees and mushrooms, and in the corner of the room, there appears to be a flying unicorn and a floating question mark. The other side of the room is completely different, with five stripes painted over a blue backdrop. Though the color scheme is the same as the opposing sunset, there are few other parallels. Afre has added little to the decorations because she feels the walls should not be covered. Over the years, other trinkets have collected in the room, including strings of lights around the mural. When she leaves, Afre plans on leaving behind an old TV for future residents. “Each room has its own culture,” Afre said. “Tabard is all about expressing yourself. [My] room represents how much people love Tabard.”

Across campus is the residence of Gabe Corso ’17, who lives

erpiece of their common room.

Karen Afre ’12 welcomes visitors to her room, which boasts a huge mural on one of its walls. in a River cluster single decorated with objects accumulated from his adventures in the past year. A “Capture the Melon” T-shirt hangs next to his desk, while an alabaster and canvas painting that his girlfriend purchased in Majorca, Spain, lies above it. A tapestry he purchased in a small town near the Great Wall hangs above his bed. On the walls, there are a few drawings from friends who went to different places around the world, “Having their art keeps their presence with me even if they themselves aren’t,” Corso said. Stuck to the ceiling is a copy of the “Creation of Adam” from Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgement.” Corso found it at a yard sale and thought it would be funny to hang, as the original is on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling in Vatican City. “It would kind of feel like an asylum in here if I just had white walls,” he said. “Even though it’s temporary, this is my space for a time. It’s where I spend a lot of my time, especially since I’m all the way in the River.” Other important features of the room include colored lights,

a record player and turntable and a whiteboard. Corso said he writes his goals for the day and week on the board. The white board reminds him that he constantly wants to change his goals and thoughts. His current goals written on the board include “raise capital for South Africa,” “meditate” and “breathe.” After completing a goal, he writes “I did” on the left side of it. “A lot of what’s in this room came to me from a significant situation or a significant event in my life, a lot of them just unprecedented or serendipitous,” Corso said. “It says a lot about the philosophy that I have, to just take chances and opportunities when they come to you and to focus on a daily energy or a daily goal.” Corso uses his room for studying, hanging out and playing and listening to music. A self-described “audiophile,” Corso has a vinyl collection and an external hard drive with 30,000 songs. Though he has had the same residence since the fall, he believes he will decorate his future rooms with the same careful attention to detail, regardless of the amount of time he may spend there.

Suman Mathur ’15 covered the expanse of her room floor with a Persian rug, a gift from her father’s friend. SHARON CHO // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF





Decoding your DDS dOte story

B y MADDIE BROWN and maggie shields


Congrats. You’ve been asked out by someone for a meal — just the two of you. Maybe you’re just friends. But we’re going to overanalyze this. In order to better understand the on-campus dating dynamics (and because we thought it would be funny), we sent out a private investigator to go on dates to Collis, FoCo and the Hop. The best way to ask someone out to an oncampus date is always over flitz. Even if you have the person’s number — flitz him or her. Say something along the lines of: Subject: This is a flitz Message: Remember me? Let’s grab a FoCo meal ... when are you free? If you think this is too straightforward, don’t worry — it worked for our private investigator, who we sent on dates to various campus dining locations throughout the week. If you are feeling a little less aggressive, maybe you could try something more like this:

Subject: wow we have so much Message: work to do for econ. Want to grab a meal and work on our problem set? Once you have sent the flitz, the next step is to wait. You may never hear from him or her again, either because you are undesirable or your flitz went into a black hole and he or she never got it. It is probably the latter because you sent such a banging flitz. Anyway, if you are lucky enough to receive an answer, you must pick the appropriate location for your on-campus date. There are several options and these all have different connotations, whether it’s for lunch or dinner. The Class of 1953 Commons: If you go on a date at FoCo, where you sit says a lot about the person you are with and the nature of the relationship. Sitting on the dark side is the most conspicuous — everyone will see that you’re on a date. Our private investigator sat with her

date on the dark side at one of the long middle tables. When they first sat down, students were sitting on either side of them, but these people slowly moved down as the date progressed. Obviously they did not want to intrude on this romantic occasion. “If you sit on the dark side, he’s totally into you,” Elinore Beitler ’16 said. “He wants people to see him with you.” Hersh Trivedi ’16 agreed. “If I was interested in the girl, I would sit at a dark side table by the windows.” On the other hand, so much facetime may detract from the opportunity for substantial conversation. “FoCo in general is not the most romantic setting,” Jennie Cunningham ’17 said. “There’s something about a first date that you don’t want to see everyone you know at dinner.” You could also sit at one of the “date” tables — the awkwardly high green circle tables with the uncomfortable chairs on the light side. Date tables are less facetimey than those on the dark side and more conducive to conversation. If you go upstairs, it’s either because you rule the NARPs or because you wish to avoid the facetime that comes with the downstairs scene. This might be because your date doesn’t want to be seen with you. “Either he is totally not sure or he doesn’t feel like taking you on a real date,” Tabby Sabky ’16 said. “Either way, he doesn’t want to be seen with you.” Other things to keep in mind at FoCo: getting food can be an ordeal. You have to decide whether to stay with your date while you get food. “The thing about FoCo is you have to get food,” Casidhe Bethancourt ’16 explained. “The space is really big. Also you see everyone you know, and you have to talk to them and tell them that you are on a date. So it’s really obvious that you’re on a date.” Collis Cafe: A date at Collis is harder to decipher. The crowds could easily take away from the intimacy of a date. Friends will feel inclined to stop and talk to you. And long lines make the food search hard. “If he’s waiting and you’re not, it’s awkward,” Bethancourt

said. Our private investigator and her date were interrupted every time someone they knew walked in, which leads us to believe that it’s not a very intimate or romantic place to take someone on a first date — but it’s great to have friends stop by if the conversation is getting a bit dry or forced. If you’re just grabbing lunch after 12s, there is a high chance that they are not interested in being more than friends. They probably just wanted someone to eat with. If it’s a dinner date, this could mean something more. Like your stir-fry order, there are many ways to customize Collis dates. We suggest taking your food to go. It’s springtime and eating outside is a great way to have a romantic date. Hop (Courtyard Cafe): We think that the most underrated date spot is the Hop. The grill line forces conversation, and the food is comfortable like an old pair of pajamas. Nothing breaks the ice like sharing a chicken tender queso. For the health-conscious, the Hop has even stepped up its game, since the salad bar has recently improved drastically. Alex Rafter ’16 said that the Hop would be his ideal spot for an on-campus date for the food and the atmosphere. “It has a romantic vibe — flowers on the tables, and the employees are friendly,” he said. “It’s a very intimate setting.” Unlike Collis, the Hop was empty when our private investigator went there with her date, so no one bothered them and everyone just minded their own business. Clearly, the Hop is a great place for scoring some private time with your potential soulmate. King Arthur Flour: Coffee? If you are getting coffee on campus, this is probably not a date. I mean KAF is chill, but standing in line for 10 minutes before getting coffee and then going back to your study table hardly constitutes a date. Do not read into this! Novack Cafe: Never go on a date to Novack. First of all, what would you eat? A bagel? Try not to get cream cheese all over your face. Novack is worse than being friend-zoned: it’s where study groups go to meet and relationships go to die. But then again, these are all on-campus dates. If you’re feeling serious, take him or her out to eat in Hanover (or better yet, one of those cute old married people restaurants in Vermont, like the Norwich Inn or Simon Pearce). With so many options, lots of things can go wrong. But if you’re lucky, maybe you will tell your children one day about how you and your partner shared your first meal under fluorescent lighting, stared at by a slew of strangers.

What have we done? IN CASE COLUMN By Seanie Civale and Amanda Smith YOU WERE WONDERING


COLUMN By Katie Sinclair

Breaking news: we are bringing home the bacon. Literally. By bacon, we mean both money and tiny swine. Thanks to our first donor (Seanie’s mom), the piglet fund has taken a turn toward the literal and has moved far, far (this is an exaggeration) away from the hypothetical. Amanda’s mom contributed a care package containing a pink plastic margarita glass and a felt Hello Kitty Easter basket full of gummies and candy. We’ll take it. Thanks, moms. Our small successes inspired us to seize the Tuesday and hold a fundraiser bake sale. All was going relatively well up until the point when the vanilla cupcakes were pulled out of the oven. That’s when we realized we had no frosting, which our taste-testers informed us is “the most important part of the cupcake.” We stared piteously at the naked vanilla lumps and then at each other. This shouldn’t have been a big deal — there was an easy fix on hand: all we had to do was walk across the street to Topside and purchase a can of Duncan Hines. Instead we decided to rebrand our cupcakes as “sweet bread” and abandon the absurd idea that anyone would want to purchase or eat them. We were so full of batter at this point that even the mere act of trying the so-called sweet bread stemmed from feelings of obligation, not desire. Afterward, we both went to Seanie’s room and Amanda watched Seanie win her umpteenth game of 2048. Amanda: While Seanie continued to conquer 2048, I decided to do some serious soul searching. Senior spring has raised a variety of questions, most of which I have yet to answer. Normally I like to leave things up to chance by flipping a coin or shaking a Magic 8 Ball (I think I get this tendency from my grandma, who visits a psychic regularly), but with the post-grad world only half a term away, I decided it was time to buckle down and get some answers. Naturally, I consulted BuzzFeed. Lucky for me, BuzzFeed quizzes pose questions that relate to my situation at the time, like: Which city should I live in? What career should I have? Am I hipster? Am I cool? Some of the quizzes were applicable to the past, reaffirming where I stand here and now: Which Ivy League school should I attend? Dartmouth forever. Claro. Others were more abstract, but informative nonetheless: Who is my pop star best friend? Which Quentin Tarantino film am I? Am I a brunch superstar? The following is a summary of who I am and what I should do with my life according to BuzzFeed: I should move to Paris. I should be a designer. If I were an arbitrary object, I would be a box of hangers. I should marry a pizza but eat a sandwich for lunch. I am mozzarella cheese. I am somewhere in between cool and uncool (lukewarm?), somewhere in the middle of hipster and not hipster. I am a winky face kiss emoji. The good thing is, there are some noticeable patterns that make some sort of sense to me, and I have also learned some interesting things about myself that I did not previously know. Overall, BuzzFeed did me the immense favor of answering every one of the tough questions that have been plaguing me all term in less than 45 minutes. Seanie: Perhaps it is just me, but the BuzzFeed quizzes are getting longer and longer. I have the attention span of a goldfish — except when I am playing 2048,

during which I am able to stare at the screen hypnotized for hours at a time, unblinking and peaceful. But when it comes to clicking answers in an online quiz with questionable metrics and results that range from confusing to honestly mean (Princeton? Really?), I can’t do it for more than 30 seconds. Also, on the “are you cool?” test, I got “you are not cool.” I have known that since the first grade, when I literally broke my skull trying to climb onto the couch that my friend’s older sister designated “the cool kids’ couch”. Circumstances made my lack of coolness all the more apparent last weekend. I went to visit my little brother at college in Maine, where he is finishing his freshman year. I can say this because not even he reads this: Brendan has always been cooler than me. In high school, he was one of those kids with the tight group of friends who called each other by their last names, and he started a still-thriving Facebook message thread after being ripped out of each other’s arms to go to college. I was kicked out of my friend group in the ninth-tenth grade (it was a lengthy and brutal process) and never quite recovered. I’ve been lucky enough in college to find the kind of friends who are going to stick around forever if I have anything to say about it, so I sometimes forget my roots. Entering a new social situation brought me right back. I made the three-hour drive to Brendan’s college to surprise him for his birthday and met his girlfriend outside of his dorm. (He is also one of those people who got a girlfriend during orientation and yet people still think he is cool. He is literally that cool.) Few things make me happier than being around my brothers, so it was a great day until it was night. I briefly considered bowing out of the whole “going out” thing and telling Brendan that I was tired and feeling sick and had to be up early, et cetera. But it was his birthday, and I figured that four years of college must have prepared me to be the cool older sister by now. But alas. We arrived at one of their social houses to find many freshmen, jumping around on the dark dance floor and lunging at each other in greeting. There were cups of beer with cereal and chips floating around in them on a table near the front door. Also, a large bin of pink sorbet hollowed out in the middle from attendees plunging their hands in like animals. The party was objectively fun, and I did not know how to deal. I froze immediately and remained frozen for the entire hour that we stayed at the party. A creepy smile was plastered upon my face, showing that I felt completely natural and in my element. My brother was kind enough to lug me around with him the whole night and even kinder to text me the next day apologizing that the night was “whack,” as if it was the party and not my utter lack of chill at fault. And so we will leave Dartmouth, just as uncool, and acutely more self-aware about it. Yours (20)4(8)ever, Lucy & Ethel

In case you were wondering, one of the first uses of the word “spoiler” to pertain to ruining something by revealing the ending was in a 1971 issue of National Lampoon, in an article that revealed the endings of several movies. The word came into common usage with the rise of the Internet, and even distinguished movie critics like A.O. Scott and the late Roger Ebert have used the term. Trolls have since coopted the term, intentionally ruining things for other people because trolls delight in others’ misfortunes. I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t mind spoilers that much. I remember around the release of the sixth Harr y Potter book, there was speculation that (SPOILER ALER T) Dumbledore was going to die. I found this fact quite intriguing, and excitedly told my friend who lived down the street. She looked at me, horrified. “Why would you tell me that?” she asked, sounding like I had just murdered her dog. To me, it didn’t seem to be that important. I rarely mind knowing the ending in advance. Oftentimes it gives me a sense of relief to know that ever ything’s going to turn out all right, or it allows me not to get too attached to a favorite character. As someone whose favorite characters have an inexplicable tendency to die, knowing their fate in advance can help lessen the trauma. Spoilers seem par ticularly relevant with the return of ever yone’s favorite boobs-and-blood fest, “Game of Thrones.” Devoted readers of this column will know that I am an avid “Game of Thrones” fan. I’ve also read all the books, so I already know what’s going to happen. Even knowing how things are going to happen, I still enjoy watching the show ever y Sunday, especially since I managed to locate a big screen TV with HBO and no longer have to use my parents’ password for HBO Go. I found out about the (SPOILER ALER T) Red Wedding even before I read it in the book. I googled a character in the book (yes, I’m weird like that), and read that he reached an unfortunate end. Did it lessen the impact on the page or the screen? I would argue not, but I’ve always felt how an event is depicted is more important than what happens. A sentence or two in a review or Internet comment isn’t enough to take away the shock or horror of an event. As an English major, I spend a lot of my time analyzing narrative and reading

books where nothing really happens. (“As I Lay Dying,” anyone?) If the only value of your plot is that it’s unexpected and will freak people out, it’s not a ver y good plot. It is also not unusual for me to read a novel by reading the beginning, flipping for ward to the end, reading the middle part and then the end again. Sometimes you just want to know what happens. I know that I’m in the minority with not minding spoilers, so I will not go about and ruin the current season of “Game of Thrones,” even though it is totally within in my power to do so. Be a responsible citizen and watch the show in a timely manner so we can talk about it. If you’re the type of person to read reviews and commentar y online, it’s also pretty ridiculous to expect that the plot will remain unspoiled. Ditto for Twitter and Facebook. Also, if you have time to be on Twitter and Facebook, you also probably have an hour of free time to watch the show, though granted, watching the show will take away your chance to be outraged by spoilers, and some people just really like being outraged. Frankly, I would really love some spoilers right now. I would love for someone to reveal the major plot points in the comments section of my life. It would be really nice to have someone say that I’m not going to be homeless and unemployed with no health insurance after graduation. I’m not a huge fan of uncertainty, and patience is not really my strong point. I can’t slog through a thousand pages of a book just to know what happens. So, Roger Ebert, if you’re looking down on us right now, and are also somehow now clair voyant, I would really love to read your spoiler-filled review of the movie (or HBO TV show, as long as it’s not “Girls”) about my life. That’s kind of meta, which English majors are really into, but for those of you not studying a subject devoted to going around in metaphysical circles regarding whether words have inherent meaning (SPOILER ALERT: they don’t, but also, who cares?) I’ll put it this way. SPOILER ALER T: the end is nigh (and by nigh, I mean six weeks, but, hey, close enough). We’re graduating and leaving Dartmouth forever. That seems way more traumatic than someone getting offed at a wedding, but I don’t see anyone complaining.


The 12 people you meet on Occom Pond STORY

B y Caren Duane

The mile loop around Occom Pond is delightful when you want a quick break from the bustling metropolis that is Dartmouth College. What could be more soothing than pine trees, fresh air, picturesque New England homes and murky water? A stroll around Occom may seem like the perfect way to get some alone time, but you’re guaranteed to run into all sorts of people. I myself have encountered quite the motley crew during my various excursions to this scenic spot.

1. The best friends Friends who walk together, stay together. These two have so much to catch up on — they haven’t seen each other in, like, 12 hours. God forbid they discuss their “crazy Friday night” on first-floor Berry. Their biweekly Occom walks allow them to discuss important matters away from the crowds. From their most recent stir-fry order to an in-depth analysis of the season finale of “Scandal,” these two will fill your eavesdropping ears with incessant chatter for an entire mile.

2. THe Dog walkers Cleverly taking cues from every romantic comedy ever created, these sly dog walkers and their canine friends could just be trying to get their daily dose of exercise and fresh air. But what is more likely is that they are looking to flirt. Everyone knows that the best way to get a date is to have a cute dog and be seen with it. Dogs are a great conversation piece. Soon, these Occom dog walkers are trading numbers and making plans for next Saturday.

3. The slow joggers You can’t help but speculate that their New Year’s resolution was to get into shape, which explains their one-lap “run” around Occom every Monday. From a KELLEY LIN // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF

distance, you overhear a Flo Rida remix blasting out of their headphones and know they’re approaching. Sounds like the “Hip Hop Work Out” Pandora station. Good choice. After they pass you, they begin the treacherous ascent up the hill adjacent to the golf course, and you remember why you don’t jog. It’s unclear if the joggers’ sluggish pace can be classified as exercise, but they’re sweating and look intense.

4. The couple [Addendum: According to the Dartmouth College Student Handbook you do not qualify as a real Dartmouth couple unless you’ve taken a few emotional strolls around Occom.] The loop is the ideal length for a Dartmouth couple to demonstrate steadfast commitment and love for one another. While strolling around the pond they harmonize to John Legend’s “All of Me” and alternate between Shakespeare and William James poems. They occasionally stop for a tender embrace, muffled cutesy talk and expressions of their appreciation for the New Hampshire landscape. One can’t help but wonder if their hands are clamming up.

5. The couple that is breaking up They are madly in love at McLaughlin, “it’s complicated” once they pass the golf course and by Dick’s House they are no longer on speaking terms. The tension is palpable to all fellow Occom walkers. One should expect to observe exaggerated hand movements and hear impassioned statements such as, “You don’t respect my intellectual goals” or “You know I’m on a diet, but you keep ordering EBAs to my room!”

6. Your chem TA and an unidentifiable

person This is a revelatory moment for you since you were not aware that your chemistry TA existed outside of lab. Clad in wooden clogs and gaucho pants, he or she looks at peace in the outdoors. In the heat of the moment, you cannot recollect his or her name, proceed to avoid eye contact and pretend to have a coughing fit as you pass by.

7. The old couple

10. The guy and girl you didn’t know knew each other How do they know each other? Their relationship must be platonic, right? But then why are they taking this emotional walk around a pond? Do they have a shared love of the outdoors? Are they planning a surprise birthday for their mutual best friend? Are they secretly in love?

They are very cute and very old. You hope to amble around Occom Pond when you are old. Upon seeing them, you begin to picture yourself visiting for grandparents’ weekend in 2058 and walking the old loop with your new hips.

8. The freshman floormates who just discovered Occom “How have we never been here before?” “I feel so outdoorsy.” “Pose with that tree, it’ll make a gorgeous profile pic.” “YOLO.” “Let’s Snapchat a photo of us and the pond to our UGA.”

9. The varsity team A pack of scantily clad people sprints past you. You become dismayed by the fact that people running at a six-minute mile pace are capable of fully coherent conversations while you are walking at a snail’s pace and can barely finish your sentences without wheezing. This horde of sprinters discusses how much they ran that week, a number equivalent to how many french fries you consumed at FoCo that day (a lot).

11. The two people in business attire Always a perplexing sight. Perhaps they are professors? Or maybe they drove up from Rhode Island for the day for a conference and wanted to explore the beauty that New Hampshire has to offer? You sense they are perspiring under their wool suits.

12. The emotional walker

This person needed to escape the pressures of moder n society, but lacked the energy to summit Mount Moosilauke. Instead, after completing 2A readings and consuming a smoothie with kale, this person walked at a brisk pace from Collis to Occom Pond, retreating to the “wilderness” to contemplate the future. I should mention that this person is shoeless and humming. Despite your knowledge of the slight incline on the northern side of the pond, you presume the sweat rolling down the emotional walker’s face was induced by stress.

The Mirror 04/25/14  
The Mirror 04/25/14