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OCTOBER 4, 2013






One of the greatest gifts and greatest flaws of humanity is our egocentrism. Every single person on the planet is living his life as the star of his own show. Sure, it can make us narcissistic, but it’s also the most important thing keeping us going in the face of our own irrelevance. It’s actually a really good thing. It keeps us motivated to write novels that will one day be unintelligible and build buildings that will crumble. It is the heart of human progress. Shrink it down to Dartmouth. Every moment here feels special, like it’s happening for the first time. But it’s not. Professors and administrators who stick around for awhile see more than a dozen “best classes ever” come and go. Alumni come back and are shocked to find that the campus that was once theirs has moved on. The good news is, even when we’re kicked out of our bucolic New Hampshire mini-verse, we’ll still be the stars. Our moments here are precious, and this week we explore some of those, from running the trails of the Upper Valley to performing Shakespeare on porches. But they’ll be just as precious and wonderful elsewhere, simply by value of being ours. I’ve gotten a lot of criticism in the past for listing “Troy” (2004) amongst my favorite movies, but there’s a quote from the film that says it perfectly: “The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now, and we will never be here again.” Happy Trojan Friday!

We’re off next week so we’re dying to know...

MIRROR ASKS: What are you most looking

forward to over homecoming weekend? follow @thedmirror


Letting the ’17s know they’re the worst class ever before they even get to the frats. — Jake Bayer ’16

Running (okay, walking) around the bonfire. — Michelle Li ’17 I’m looking forward to being done with my Computer Science 1 midterm (it’s on Thursday) and then watching the bonfire. — Caren Duane ’15

I’m most looking forward to living vicariously through the freshmen that experience the joy of running all their laps. — Sakina Abu I am on the Bonfire Committee, so I’m looking Boakye ’16 forward to the opportunity to light the bonI’m looking forward to fire, which will be really cool. I think we will seeing some alums back all feel more like official Dartmouth students on campus. after we run. Also, I’m eager to see who tries — Alejandra Herrera ’14 to touch the fire...” — Lauren Huff ’17 TRACY WANG//THE DARTMOUTH STAFF


’15 Girl in flair: When I’m pregnant, I’m just going to wear a onesie all the time.

Blitz overheards to

’14 Girl: How was the career fair? Did you go? ’14 Girl 2: Yeah, it was good. I really just wanted a cool water bottle from the CIA.

’16 Girl: You may have lost rush, but you’re winning life!

’14 Girl: How do I order a tiger?

’17 Guy to Prof: You’re only teaching one class this term? What do you do with all your free time?

’17 Girl: It’s just one of those days where I pee with my backpack on.



The campuswide ball shortage of 2013 continues.


We might not understand it and we’re definitely more preoccupied by the lingering bees on Collis Porch. But we’re still talking about it, with various levels of confusion.



High rents and parking regulations mean that Dartmouth’s food and drink options differ vastly from other colleges. By JAKE BAYER Hanover is a small town in a small state. We’re all forced to endure weekly boasts of late night fast food and bar hopping from our friends around the countr y, and naturally it generates some envy. I haven’t had Chipotle in two weeks and McDonald’s commercials have finally convinced me that a McDouble isn’t a poor decision. Say what you will about chains, but they proliferate like wildfire for a reason. We have a downtown with local institutions far outnumbering the chains, where there’s no true liquor store and also no real bar. On a trip down to the University of Miami just before returning to campus for the fall, I embarked on a night of going out. They do have Greek life, but there’s a far lower percentage of participation which made it an option rather than the destination for ever yone looking for a party. Instead, students did whatever version of “pre-gaming” they chose then went out to a dance club or bar to continue their night. Finding myself awash in the blaring noise at a bar, I did have flashbacks to Dartmouth fraternities, but the actual bar made for a distinctly different setting, a radical change from what I had become accustomed to here. Frustrated 21-year-olds wishing to break away from the stranglehold of Greek life on this campus may wonder why there isn’t that kind of option, and freshmen and upperclassmen alike may truly want that 3 a.m. burger, but Hanover lacks such options. However, it isn’t part of a small-town conspiracy to prevent you from wandering into a Taco Bell and somehow spending over $10 on food there. It’s all in the market and the law. “There is nothing in our zoning ordinance that bans a bar,” town manager Julia Griffin said. “There are restaurants that have a pretty

lively bar scene, with Molly’s, Murphy’s and the Canoe Club being the most utilized ones.” One major factor in the lack of a bar scene here are the New Hampshire liquor laws designed to discourage dangerous drinking, which require businesses that sell alcohol to have food options. As you may have noticed on drives to campus, the state controls the hard liquor sales, placing outlets near highway rest stops and away from grocer y stores. “For off-site permits, you can’t drink on premises,” said Deena Mitchell, who works at the New Hampshire Liquor Commission Division of Enforcement. “To ser ve alcohol and drink it on premises, you would have to ser ve food as well.” Considering the prevalence of Greek life, frat-hopping supplants the normal kind of bar scene you may see on college campuses. Since New Hampshire laws have bars closing at 1 a.m., Dartmouth students seem to gravitate toward the fraternities that don’t have an early and hard closing time. “Since students mostly go to fraternities and the town is pretty quiet, the late night options here in town aren’t too big,” Hanover Chamber of Commerce director Janet Redman said. Sadly, our hopes of hopping from bar to bar are dashed by legal barriers. Of course, as you walk downtown the limited presence of chain restaurants is both a breath of fresh air and a limiting factor. During my freshman year, we attempted to navigate New Hampshire highways to go on a classic early morning McDonald’s run, wishing we only had to walk down Main Street. “The chain restaurants do pretty signifi-

cant market research,” Griffin said. “Given the demographic in Hanover and the high rents in Hanover, especially downtown, it is more expensive to locate themselves here. The parking requirements are such that the typical chain restaurants is more likely to wader to a mall, so if you look at the places along 12A in Lebanon you do see more chain restaurants.” Lebanon has more room to meet requirements for parking with less money spent on rent. Getting to an airport, a train station, a Wal-Mart or even a chain restraint requires a trip to White River Junction or Lebanon. Unlike the stereotype of a small town characterized by local residents desperately tr ying to resist change, Hanover is open to businesses moving in, as evidenced by the recent addition of Starbucks. “It is how the downtown is configured,” Griffin said. “It is more catered to smaller boutique restaurants and individually owned businesses, and that is more the makeup of our downtown real estate.” Since there are limitations rising from the lack of parking and high rents, the town’s business community must be tailored to cater to clientele with a higher price point than a typical fast food joint. Given the current market, the stores have to play up certain aspects and be tied to the community, neither of which attracts chains. And bars simply don’t exist because that crowd is opening a new box of cheap Keystone in a basement. As Daniel Webster once said, Dartmouth is a small college. We are a small college in a small town regardless of what college kids want, meaning you have to save your late night cravings for morning or get EBA’s before 2 a.m., because Hanover isn’t in a hurr y to change.


Oh, did you take a walk around Occom Pond? Did you hike Gile? Do you love that emoji of the little fall leaves to accompany your “They’re peaking and it’s wonderfall!” caption? Join the crowd, autumnal enthusiasts.

THE FARMER’S MARKET The fresh kettle corn obviously steals the show, but the black bean avocado hummus is a hidden gem. Go for the snacks, stay for the sunshine.


The natural consequence of sorority (and in some case, fraternity) rush in the age of social media.

THE 50


By LINDSAY KEARE and AMANDA WINCH The blushing hues of peak foliage are upon us, and campus is descending into an autumnal wonderland. The only thing interrupting that soothing auburn, goldenrod and olive is the occasional flash of neon workout attire, as dedicated runners criss-cross Hanover’s many trails and take advantage of the most gorgeous workout season of the year. Dana Giordano ’16, a member of the women’s cross country team, loves running on trails, especially in Vermont. “If you get to the top of Bragg Hill, it’s an amazing sight,” Giordano said. “We call it the Sound of Music because it makes you want to sing the Sound of Music.” Annie Oppenheim ’15, who plans to complete her fourth marathon next month and who often trains for them while at Dartmouth, loves running in Norwich for its quiet streets and year-round beauty. When asked about her favorite lesser-known route, Oppenheim named running on Hopson Road, which braches off Beaver Meadow Road (see the Turnpike Road route description). “It’s really beautiful and private, and you never see cars,” she said. From short jogs to extensive loops, the Upper Valley is actually something of a mecca for those who like to run outdoors. But running for the uninitiated can be intimidating regardless of the setting. For those tired of running on the treadmill at the gym because you’re scared of getting lost on a run around Hanover, the Mirror has raced (pun intended) to your aide. This guide to nearby running options will have you gallivanting throughout the area and getting confused for a member of the cross country team in no time.


NORWICH LOOP (TURNPIKE) Mileage: 5.7 miles Directions: Run down West Wheelock Street across the river and keep going straight until veering left on Turnpike. You’ll then turn left onto Moore Lane and Beaver Meadow, which will loop you back into downtown Norwich. The Scoop: How many schools feature running trails that let you jog to another state and back? The Turnpike Road Norwich Loop is the perfect run for someone who wants to challenge themselves

RIP ROAD Mileage: 3.5 miles

STORR’S POND Mileage: 6.0 miles Directions: Run past the rugby fields and the Co-op and make a right directly across the street from Rivercrest Road. The trail will take you into Storr’s Pond, a recreational area past the golf course. The Scoop: The hills are tough, but you can run them to your hearts content — or hardly at all — before returning to the paved roads.

Directions: Take Lyme road out to the rugby fields and turn right on Reservoir Road. Make a right on Hemlock and then you’re on Rip, which takes you back to East Wheelock Street. The Scoop: A somewhat social run that takes you past the rugby fields, Rip Road is perfect for someone new to Hanover running who doesn’t want to find themselves miles from campus and gasping for water. The hills are moderate, so don’t freak out, but you can make it harder by taking Reservoir Road to Grasse Road before returning to East Wheelock.

PINE PARK Mileage: 4.0 miles Directions: Standing at the edge of the golf course near the DOC House on Occom, take the path to your left into the woods. Keep following the path and all the forks on your right will take you back. The Scoop: A nature-heavy run only minutes from campus, Pine Park follows the river behind the golf course for a ways, so don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of the crew team out on the water. Beware of the trail once it starts getting rainy, however, as an abundance of mud after storms is Pine Park’s downside.

MONTSHIRE Mileage: up to 9.5 Directions: Take your first left once you cross the river, pass the museum and then head out onto the trails. There are several different routes you can take, so distance will vary. The scoop: Taking you past the Montshire Museum in Norwich, these hills are not for the faint of heart. Beware of wet leaves and obstacles, as those who aren’t careful of the roots and plants on the trail might find themselves with a twisted ankle.

MINK BROOK Mileage: 3.8 miles

OCCOM POND Mileage: 1 mile around the pond Directions: Run around the pond. ‘Nuff said. If you don’t know where the pond is, it’s right past the Choates. The scoop: Definitely the most facetimey of the runs on this list. Anyone who does a loccom (loop of Occom) or three is bound to run into at least 10 of their nearest and dearest friends. It’s also a great place to run and envision which house you’d want to live in when you retire back to Hanover.

Directions: Take Park Street past the athletic fields as it turns into Route 120. Turn right onto the Quinn Trail and keep going across Main Street and then along the river. You’ll end up on Maple Street, which takes you straight back into town. The Scoop: A beautiful trail that runs along both Mink Brook and the Connecticut River, this route takes you past the Cemetery Water Treatment Area and spits you out in residential Hanover near CVS. Stop by the beautiful Nathan’s Garden on Maple Street on your way back, or if it’s warm, take West Street down to the river and jump in!



Through the Looking Glass



“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.” — Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass” Over the past few months, I’ve felt more and more like Alice every day. The question of where I want to go, phrased in the innocuous interrogative “So, what are your plans after Dartmouth?” has been posed to me more times than I can count. My response, usually along the lines of “No clue, but I sure do love my English major and international studies and art history and global health and...and..!” is always met with a Cheshirelike knowing smile. I can see what they’re thinking behind the enigmatic nod and the skeptical brow. Oh, the overconfidence bred by the liberal arts degree these days. This girl’s got a rough dose of reality coming her way. Instead they patronizingly pat my shoulder and confidently declare, “You’ll totally figure it out. You’ve got plenty of time!” Despite the terror of these conversations, I can’t help but be grateful for the opportunities for personal growth that I’ve received at this crazy, beautiful, sometimes miserable little corner of New Hampshire. The adventures I’ve had here so far have taught me more about myself and about the world than I could possibly have expected when I matriculated in the fall of 2010. The following is a timeline of how things fell apart and serendipitously started falling back into place in an unpredictable jumble of intellectual, spiritual and personal discoveries. In which failure happens: Since freshman fall, a lot of what I’ve learned has been mediated through a series of failed experiments. I joined the crew team and realized halfway through winter that I was fighting a losing battle when my coach said, “I’m not telling you to quit, but...” So I did. And I realized that sometimes you can’t, and sometimes it’s okay to stop beating yourself up against a brick wall, or an erg. Sophomore summer, it took the threat of yet another catastrophic pre-med GPA-bomb to finally work up the courage to visit the health careers advising office. Five minutes later, I decided to take the W and a leave of absence from the hard sciences. And you know what? Since then, Dartmouth has blossomed for me from a series of terrifying weeder lectures into an intellectually nurturing home. In which I begin finding my passion(s): One of my most significant intellectual awakenings occurred during my off-term sophomore winter in Orem, Utah. My dear Grandpa Doodlebug, a retired biology professor and current Mormon LGBTQ activist, recruited me to analyze survey results on the experiences of LGBTQ individuals with ties to Mormonism. I coded the heartbreaking stories the respondents shared about their struggles to reconcile the gap between religious doctrine and sexual identity. There’s something ineffably beautiful when people share their personal narratives. It is stories that comprise the ether in which people connect with experiences beyond their own, and these are an inestimably powerful force for social change. This attitude cemented itself when I later went on the Project Preservation trip to Poland. After a term of in-depth study of the Holocaust, the program visited the camps at Auschwitz and Belzec before working to restore a Jewish cemetery in a small town called Korczyna that had been abandoned since the Holocaust. Several months later, unable to shake the haunting witness of humanity’s dark genocidal edge, I began a sustained research project to condense the oral histories of the town’s Jewish survivors, which, though as depressing an undertaking as one might expect, I found fulfilling in its own way. In which I create my own Dartmouth experience: At the start of my junior year, I decided to quit my sorority and “took a sabbatical” from the Mormon church, which had been a fundamental part of my identity. Without these institutions, I suddenly found myself feeling alone and lacking a defined community to support me. This period was characterized by a long string of lonely Friday nights, pretending to assuage my FOMO with the holy trifecta of Netflix, pajamas and hot cocoa. But for the first time, I didn’t have any community or ideology placing expectations and responsibilities on me, and I felt more free in my own skin than ever before. I restructured my priorities and values that made sense with what I do know and believe in. One of my guiding principles is a quote by Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” To me, this means that life will be fulfilling if you’re able to do what makes you happy in a way that brings happiness to other people too. I began to seek out opportunities that combine learning with service, which brought

Courtesy of Kate Bradshaw

Separating yourself from communities you grew up with can be daunting, but it can also be liberating to realize that you are the architect of your own personality and values. me some of my most fulfilling experiences: learning to cook with Students Fighting Hunger, working in a Haitian batey in the Dominican Republic during last spring’s Alternative Spring Break, becoming an undergraduate advisor and, most recently, leading a trip. Another highlight was last winter’s global health case competition, which opened the door for me to land an amazing opportunity to do field research in Peru this past summer. In short, deciding to break the mold and follow my personal interests has allowed me to strike a much healthier balance between self-care, personal development and community involvement. In which I go abroad: The past three terms have provided me with some incredible chances not only to see the world, but to interact with places on a deeply personal level. By some miracle, I found myself accepted off of the waitlists for both the art history foreign study program to Rome last spring and the English FSP to Dublin this fall, with an internship to do global health and sustainable development research in Peru in the middle. Being a nomad for the past seven months has left me feeling more rootless than ever, yet has opened my eyes in lots of important ways, including a newfound appreciation for Dartmouth. Seeing the sculptures of Michelangelo and Bernini in Rome, or the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru or a Samuel Beckett play performed in a Dublin theater are all experiences I will treasure. But so are the little moments that exist

in the most unexpected corners of the Dartmouth bubble, a metaphysical unreality that, let’s just say, exists on this side of the looking glass. Experiential gems glisten in the crisp crunch of bright red leaves underfoot on a drizzly afternoon run at Mink Brook, in the nutmeggy goodness of any Collis pumpkin baked good, in finding friends who can make you laugh uncontrollably, in disturbed glares on Third Floor Berry or in finally working up the courage to go to office hours only to discover that your professor can be both brilliant and approachable. In which I (hopefully) pull my act together and figure out my future Now, let’s return to our poor friend Alice, stuck at a crossroads being offered useless advice. I can’t help but recall the guidance offered at another crossroads, a forking path lying in a certain yellow wood, made famous by one of Dartmouth’s own. But after reflecting on the multitude of forking roads I’ve experienced so far, and of the many yet to come, I hear the poem offering a new refrain: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I forged a path that fit me best. And that has made all the difference. (Granted, it’s not a perfect rhyme, but you get the point). Through The Looking Glass is a weekly feature of submissions from community members who wish






KATIE SINCLAIR Week three (through week seven) of a Dartmouth quarter means that midterms are upon us, and it’s time to come up with a new crop of excuses for why we simply cannot study. The two of us met to review the “progress” we have made so far. We finished an 18-ounce bag of kettle corn yesterday and have little more to report. Amanda attempted to kill a fly eight times to no avail. Our editor texted us thrice about our column, and we feel truly sorry that it is three days past due. To brainstorm, Seanie asked Amanda to name one good thing she has done so far this term, and Amanda fell silent. It would be easy for us to blame girls’ rush or the Hanover plague that’s going around for the work that went unfinished. Because both kill the soul. But after three years of this, everyone knows the truth. Our word means nothing. And there is truly no excuse for Amanda taking her midterm in marker on Tuesday. To comfort ourselves, we turn to the greats. Abraham Lincoln once said, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” We are not content with our failure, but at least Lincoln is concerned for us. Someone else said this gem: “Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” This is astronomically inaccurate, and we reject it. For now, here’s the midterm report of this week’s What Have We Dones: Amanda: Before rush, each member of my sorority must attend two “rush retreats” to learn the songs and dances that we perform for potential new members. Now, I’ll admit my attitude toward the pre-rush boot camps could’ve been better, but in the end, I more or less learned the moves and words. It’s the second day of rush, and I’m in the living room of my house wearing a fur vest and a netted hat, practicing the song with my sisters. I’d claimed my spot in the back row so aggressively that they literally parted ways to let me through. But during that practice, I found myself backed into the corner of the room with no space to dance. I bounced up and down instead. After practice, I was approached with a simple request. Could I please remove myself from the dance and stand in the kitchen? If that doesn’t seem all that questionable, I’ll give background. I’m in a dance group on campus. I’m actually one of the co-directors. So when I was asked to not participate in the rush dance and instead stand by the microwave, I found myself thinking: “Nobody puts Baby in the kitchen” because if I’m referring to myself as Baby, then I’ve already put myself

in the corner. I refused to be demoted to the kitchen. My response: no. After a little more practice, I proved my worth. The looks I got from ’16s while I danced could have been worse, so I guess that’s a draw. People seem to love to talk about who “won rush,” and I can tell you right now, it wasn’t me. Seanie: If you’ve seen me in the past week, you probably know that I have been sick. My mother says that letting everyone know when I am ill is my “M.O.” Amanda confirms this. Another friend, who will be angry at me for writing about my common cold, told me that I need to stop exaggerating my symptoms. Apparently answering a call with “death is near” instead of “hello” is inappropriate. In any event, I went through several stages of illness. During the first, my voice cracked twice per sentence, like a pubescent boy. In the next, I tried to shout to a friend across the Green and scared away a local family. In the final stage, my cough sounded kind of like the honking of a duck. It was then that I had to make a presentation for my job at a student organization. Two minutes in, I felt the tickle in my throat. Three minutes in, I was tearing up and could feel my face turning red. Trying to fight it only made it worse. Soon I was standing at the front of the room in the midst of a full-fledged coughing fit, initially refusing offers of water, chugging the water when given it anyway, and finally trying to crack a joke after chugging the water but coughing instead. I used to think that there was nothing worse than the feeling of embarrassment, except for the feeling of secondhand embarrassment — if you too watched “American Idol” as a child, you get me. But squinting at the members of this organization between honking duck coughs, I knew my mistake. There is truly nothing worse than watching others watch you humiliate yourself. It’s like secondhand embarrassment squared. You want them to just laugh to lighten the mood. You want them to flee the scene. You want them to do anything, really. Must they be so kind? Honestly, it was really bad. I think it was actually even worse than I think it was. I barely finished the presentation, tried to crack another joke and exited the premises. Now a friend of the aforementioned fly is swarming us as we finish our column from a sprawled-out position on the floor of the basketball courts. Also, according to Amanda, ducks don’t honk. Yours for better or worse, in sickness and in health, Lucy & Ethel

In case you were wondering, in Raphael’s fresco “The School of Athens,” the philosopher Diogenes lies sprawled against the steps, next to Aristotle and Plato as they debate the true nature of the universe. I have actually seen the fresco, glimpsed behind a horde of tourists at the Vatican. It’s smaller than you’d think. I have also been to Greece, which, I promise, is actually relevant to this column. The summer after freshman year, I visited for 10 days, then promptly contracted mono and an opportunistic fungal infection and spent the rest of 11X in bed reading “Infinite Jest” and watching all eight seasons of “Scrubs.” Whether the mono was acquired in Greece or at Dartmouth remains a mystery. This anecdote actually came up a lot about a week ago, because it’s that time of year when you discuss what you did the summer before sophomore fall and whether you’re interested in going abroad and oh, yeah, where are you from and what’s your major? The only word I remember in Greek is thank you. But I do happen to have an unmatched familiarity with the Greek alphabet. I’d like to say that’s because of science and math, because why use the Roman alphabet which is easy to remember and type on a computer when you can use a bunch of Greek letters instead. But in reality it’s because pretty much everyone I know is affiliated in a Greek house. If Dartmouth had its own patron Greek philosopher, I suspect it would be Diogenes, his pose in Raphael’s fresco evocative of new frat pledges after sink night. Diogenes was known to care little for social graces. He lived in a large ceramic jar, ate food in inappropriate places and rejected a lot of accepted social behaviors. He spat on people, cursed and excreted in public. I feel like Dartmouth students engage in these behaviors more often than they’d like to admit. The notable exception is the few days at the beginning of fall, when everyone, even the guys, puts on nice clothes and practices looking friendly and engaged. Diogenes is famous for walking around Athens in the daylight, carrying a lamp, looking for an honest soul. The joke being that he’d need a lamp in daylight to find such a person. Unless you live under a rock (or in the River) you have probably noticed that rush happened. During the process, it can seem like we are all Diogenes, wandering around with lamps in our search for kindred souls. I met some really cool people at rush this year: ’16s, you have come a long way in proving that you are not the worst class ever. I’ve met hockey players, fencers, artists, engineers and girls from all over the world. I’m in awe at the

amazing people who go here and I’m honored to have met you all. And I know that for some of you, rush may not have turned out the way you wanted. There’s nothing wrong with you, and it’s not your fault. Trying to sort over 400 girls into eight houses in five days on the basis of 20 to 30 minutes of conversation is nearly impossible and will never be completely fair. That being said, for those of you who were intentionally obnoxious or condescending at so called “B-side houses”, I have little sympathy for you. I know awesome people from every single house, and just because you don’t think they’re awesome too doesn’t give you leave to be a jerk. You will spend most of your life dealing with non-awesome people, and rush is, as much as I hate to say it, excellent training for networking (a word, like “B-side”, that no one quite knows the meaning of) and career fair-ing and corporate recruiting and other boring, exhausting, soul-crushing experiences. I actually don’t find rush all that soul-crushing, but I can understand those that do. Just smile and try to be interesting. Pretending to be a normal human being for 30 minutes is not difficult. And if you sincerely believe that there are students here at Dartmouth, male or female, from prospie to ’14, who are not worthy of 10 minutes of your precious time and luminous presence, then frankly, you suck, and your parents should be ashamed of you. This is a line that came up a lot during rush, but in all honesty, joining a house was one of the best decisions I’ve made at Dartmouth. It began at bid night, a memorable affair, which ended with me walking home to the Lodge at 7 a.m. still wearing purple tie dye tights and butterfly wings. I’ve found a group of girls who I can share almost everything with. Say what you will about the D-plan and the flaws of the Greek system, but some of my favorite memories involve my sisters. I’m extraordinarily lucky to have found a group of people who actually seem to like me. I’m pretty sure the ancient Greek philosophers would be very confused at the co-opting of their alphabet and language for grandiose mottos about friendship and loyalty. It seems kind of silly, if you think too hard about it, the letters and the mottos and the secrets and crests and creeds. But behind all the trappings, there’s something real there, and I am proud to wear my letters and our crest. So, for the overwhelming majority of you who don’t suck, thank you. I’m excited to get to know you better. Congrats on surviving rush. To all Greeks, non-Greeks, DOC-ers, D-ers, Acapella-ers, Improv-ers, staunch Alternative Social Space-ers and everyone else, I wish you luck in all your future endeavors. After all, midterms are coming.



All The School’s a Stage

Courtesy of the Rude Mechanicals

One of the few theater groups on campus, the Rude Mechanicals puts on termly Shakespeare plays. By LILY FAGIN To be or not to be, that is not the question for most college students preoccupied with classes and social lives. But for the members of the Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals, the demandingly existential theatrics of William Shakespeare are just another day of rehearsal. Ever since Chiara Klein ’10 founded the group in 2008, it has performed Shakespeare’s plays in unconventional settings, making the texts accessible and applicable to a modern audience. “Rude Mechanicals is one of the only student theater groups on campus, so that’s rare in and of itself, and it’s definitely the only one that focuses on Shakespeare,” member Michael Parets ’14 said. “Having Shakespeare as the focal point of the group gives it a lot of direction.” With costumes straight out of the actors’ closets and venues ranging from the Bema to Sigma Delta sorority to Moore theater, one thing never changes: members maintain a shared devotion to the Bard’s immense body of work. When reconceptualizing classics like “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Hamlet” and “Twelfth Night,” the Rude Mechanicals function autonomously like a theater company, taking care of stage management, directing, costume design and production. Without institutional support, the Rude Mechanicals work on and behind the stage, balancing odd jobs with acting. While many behind-the-scenes responsibilities used to fall under the domain of the company manager, the group has recently restructured to distribute tasks to different members.

“This term the company manager is now more overseeing everything,” manager Stephanie Abbott-Grobicki ’15 said. “We have someone else doing publicity, and we’ve elected an artistic director to oversee the directing, someone who can really answer the harder questions.” In previous years, the entire group poured over problematic moments in the show together. In a highly democratic and potentially chaotic process, “we would all direct each other,” Abbott-Grobicki said. Because the group contains students with different theater backgrounds, members can often offer one another advice. “It’s usually the older, more experienced people giving direction to new members, and often it’s textual,” Patton Lowenstein ’14 said. The group dynamic proves essential, as the language of Shakespeare’s plays, compared to modern English, requires a fair amount of deciphering before staging even enters the picture. Luckily for the Rude Mechanicals, the oldest and most important member of the group has more artistic discretion than anyone else. Shakespeare himself makes many of the actor’s hardest decisions for them. “Shakespeare doesn’t have the stage directions like a lot of modern plays do, so a lot of the movement comes out of the words.” By altering only the setting, the Rude Mechanicals continue to rely on the original text to make most of the artistic decisions. That’s not to say that the mem-

bers aren’t the driving creative force behind every production. “It is a group of people who put on shows through a collaborative effort,” Naomi Lazar ’17 said. “It just sounded really cool, so I decided to audition.” The process of rehearsing and blocking each scene is thorough and prolonged. Actors involved in each scene rehearse independently, and all the company members provide feedback later on. “A scene goes up during the week with a small group of people who are in the scene and an outside watcher,” Parets said. “They work out blocking and a lot of the initial rehearsal problems, and [the] next week it will run in front of the entire cast where they will work out the problematic areas.” In this segmented process, company members spend a good deal of time collaborating, planning and performing together. “It’s a tight-knit group of people,” Parets said. “It’s rare to be able to interact with members of all classes who are currently on campus, becoming friends and working on projects together.” Two members from the Class of 2010, in fact, got engaged after graduation. While the group might not always provide a romantic prospect, it is a source of support for company members, Abbott-Grocibki said. “We really want to make sure that we are giving people roles that will push them and utilize their potential, so the leads are not always the most experienced,” she said. She recalled her own experi-

Courtesy of the Rude Mechanicals

The group often performs in outdoor locations and Greek houses. ence freshman year playing Olivia in “Twelfth Night,” Shakespeare’s gender-bending exploration of mistaken identity. “As a freshman, you don’t always get big roles in the theater department right away,” she said. “It was terrifying to do it, but it really helped me grow as an actress.” Sometimes members are thrust into the spotlight under very different, not quite intentional, circumstances. A week before the group’s production of “Twelfth Night,” the lead actor broke his jaw playing rugby and had to have it wired shut.

Though the part came with almost 500 lines, Luke Katler ’15 memorized it in about a week so that the show could continue as planned. This collaborative spirit encourages members both with and without previous experience with Shakespeare to dive in headfirst. With its unique openness to members and its audiences, the Rude Mechanicals have brought the men and women of Shakespearean England to the grassy, make-shift stages of Dartmouth College. Katler is a member of The Dartmouth staff.

The Dartmouth Mirror 10/4/13  

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