APRIL 19, 2013
A CALL TO SERVE // 2
DEPRESSION: WHAT EVERYONE’S NOT TALKING ABOUT // 4
WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND // 3 TTLG: SAVE THE LAST DANCE// 6
GOING DEEPER INTO DIMENSIONS // 8
REBECCA XU // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
EDITOR’S NOTE Things that happen regularly, whether they’re weekly or once a year, have a way of shocking you with how much time has passed. With the ’17s arriving for Dimensions this weekend, it’s almost unbelievable that it has been three years (or one, two or four) since we accepted our spots at Dartmouth and received that decidedly anticlimactic smiley face on Banner in response. These people are young, bright-eyed and faced with one of the most colossal decisions of their lives. We were them once, but that time seems so far away it might never have happened. 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. Countless schools offer great academics and resources, but these individual facets are crucial parts of who we are as a student body. Our many layers and dimensions (get it?!) makes this school special. Getting to know just one prospective student on a personal level this weekend could make a huge difference in their lives. This sort of individual connection shouldn’t be limited to this weekend, either. If recent tragedies tell us anything, it’s that our humanity is more important than ever. Let’s be proud of our school, but also proud of ourselves. Happy Friday!
MIR ROR MIRROR EDITORS AMELIA ACOSTA TYLER BRADFORD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JENNY CHE PUBLISHER GARDINER KREGLOW EXECUTIVE EDITORS DIANA MING FELICIA SCHWARTZ GRAPHICS EDITOR ALLISON WANG
A CALL TO SERVE
The Dartmouth Graduate Veteran’s Association, brainchild of Staff Sgt. Ron Bucca, sponsors youth sports, food drives, tutoring and other forms of community outreach at Dartmouth and throughout the Upper Valley. Courtesy of Stoney Portis
B Y JAKE BAYER The Dartmouth Graduate Veteran’s Association addresses a relatively small part of our campus population, but the group hasn’t let that limit its impact on the community. It won a Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award in January and co-founder and president Staff Sgt. Ron Bucca MALS ’14 was bestowed a 2013 Graduate Community Award by the College last week. These veterans have reached outside Hanover as well, including Claremont, where they support a local food pantry and a youth baseball league. “The DGVA is focused on pursuing these initiatives because Claremont needs help,” Navy veteran Desmond Webster MALS’13 said. “The access to resources in Claremont is different than Hanover, and the people in Claremont have been very welcoming and open with us which is why these initiatives are able to move forward.” Capt. Stoney Portis MALS’14 highlighted the group’s new mentoring program with troubled youth, and graduate students have collaborated with campus groups, bringing kids to the Hood Museum of Art, sporting events and other local outings. “We offer the kids tutoring or lessons in whichever subjects we can provide,” Portis said. “One of the kids asked for guitar lessons, so we organized lessons. In other cases, physics grad students will tutor high school students.” Formed only last year, the association is already an integral part of the greater veteran community in the Upper Valley. Many members emphasized Bucca’s dedicated and passionate leadership. The organization has also focused on creating a way for veterans to preserve their military culture. “The DGVA would not exist without the vision and determination of Bucca,” Webster said. “The entire organization is his brainchild, and he is the one that keeps all of us focused and motivated.”
’13 Guy: I’m so grown up. Given the choice between sex and pizza I don’t know what I’d pick.
Blitz overheards to email@example.com
Though these students are no longer on active duty, they continue to contribute through charitable ways. The association strives to maintain and better the connection with the larger community. Community service in the DGVA is a mission to support a community in every way they can. Graduate student veterans formed the association after realizing it brought together a network that did not formally exist in the Dartmouth graduate community, Portis said. The desire to find a place within the Dart-
The desire to find a place within the Dartmouthcommunityissomething we all can identify with, and the experience of militar y ser vice unites people with a particularly powerful shared experience. mouth community is something we all can identify with, and the experience of military service unites people with a particularly powerful shared experience. Connecting through military experience acts as a catalyst for creating a close-knit group with high participation, allowing the association to stay active on campus. Portis said applicants to the College’s graduate programs with military backgrounds frequently reach out to veterans on campus through the organization. The College has quickly taken note of the DGVA’s presence, and senior administrators have voiced strong support for the group’s hard-working community service. Members of the DGVA frequently meet with Interim President Carol Folt, former President James Wright and graduate school deans.
ANTI-FEMINISM ’14 Girl: Should I make Heorot pay for my “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on-demand subscription?
’13 Guy: This is just between you and me. But I also tweeted about it.
Despite a renewed national focus on the mental conditions suffered by veterans, problems persist with soldiers reporting these conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder. While veterans often face pressures to stay quiet and on the fringes after combat or a tour of duty, the DGVA prides itself on keeping such veteran’s issues in the public eye. Whether that means raising funds for counseling-related organizations or volunteering at local health clinics, the association’s members are constantly working to improve mental health and counseling education. “The number of people and organization we are engaged with has really grown over the past year,” Mike Rodriguez MALS’13 said. “We have collaborated with other veterans groups on campus to expand our scope, too.” Portis estimates that the number of active members among the College’s academic programs remains healthy and diverse. There are approximately 60 from graduate programs from the Geisel School of Medicine, 20 from the Tuck School of Business and 20 from the College. Ultimately, the community service organization is marked by its signature military values of hard work and effort. Outside of the community service world, DGVA members have taken part in life at the College in various ways, speaking on panels for the War and Peace Studies Fellows program and offering real-world insights to the academic context. As Webster discusses his involvement with the youth baseball league, he said he plans to encourage Dartmouth athletes to get involved in the project. Each initiative members have taken on has allowed each veteran to start thinking bigger. Based on the group’s past successes, the scope of their work will be sure to grow.
’15 Guy: I’m going to win sundress day.
’14 Girl: I want to have friends who are pretty, but I want them to be a little less pretty than me.
’16 Boy: Guys, remember that sober dance party before Trips? I hooked up with like five people!
WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND
Many students balance academic course work and extracurriculars with various on-campus jobs. BY LINDSAY KEARE Whether it’s serving food at Novack Cafe, shelving books in the library, coordinating programs for the Tucker Foundation or folding clothes at J. Crew, Dartmouth kids hold a multitude of jobs both on and off campus and around the Upper Valley. Campus could not function without these employees, and events such as Student Employee Recognition Week, held from April 7 to 13, are reminders of how important this workforce is to campus. While the time commitments and salaries vary greatly, we know that hours to spare are few and far between, prompting us to become strategic about the jobs we pursue, if any at all. Even though the pay is frequently the most important factor, a position of any sort provides benefits far beyond putting more change in one’s pockets. The campus minimum wage is $7.75 dollars per hour, Student Employment Office consultant Kari Jo Grant said. However, most student workers often make more than that, and have several opportunities to increase their salaries. The Student Employment Office provides guidelines for how departments should construct their pay scale, incorporating skill level, scope and difficulty of the decisions. The office also recommends offering higher pay for working unpopular shifts and increasing wages and shift preferences the longer a student works with a department. Those who work DDS jobs certainly reap these benefits. “As you work at Novack, every
term you’re here you get a 25-cent raise,” lead counter worker Erin Clark said. And “if you’re on the bottom of [the seniority ladder] you might not necessarily get the shifts you want or you’re going to end up on those late night shifts,” Clark said. Still, even working the less desirable shifts can have incentives. “For those hours when it’s more difficult to get students to work, like late at night, we have a shift differential so they actually make a little bit more,” access services librarian Lynn Amber said. Jobs that enable students to do homework during their shifts or make their own hours are especially appealing. “I decided to work at the library because I knew I could probably do my homework at the information desk while working,” Peter Hill ’13 said. Jennifer Gargano ’14, who holds four jobs, said she appreciates that her commitments enable her to work whenever her schedule allows. “For the two programs I do through Tucker, you can design your own hours, which is nice because I can do my work late at night or on the weekends,” Gargano said. Other jobs are deceptively less conducive to doing homework than they might seem. “For jobs like Novack, a lot of times you think you’ll be able to do your own work, but then you don’t end up being productive,” Gargano said.
It’s time to take the learning experience beyond the classroom.
BIKE POLO We’re just as confused as you are. There seem to be people riding around on bicycles on the Green with mallets. Where does one acquire a polo mallet? West Leb?
NO BACKPACKS IN COLLIS
DENNIS NG // THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
REBECCA SCHANTZ // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
@ Dartmouth SEMI
Students have a wide variety of employment opportunities on campus including Collis Market.
Dartmouth Dining Services relies on student workers to conduct daily operations.
Jobs provide a daily structure for students who feel they get less done when their days don’t contain any set activities. “I feel like the less free time I have, the better I am with organizing my time,” said Tanya Budler ’15, who works at the Co-op apparel store, the Tucker Foundation and the history department. “Also, going to the Co-op for half a day reminds me of the real world and gets me out of the Dartmouth bubble, even if it is so close.” Grant echoed this sentiment, saying that a job can provide students with adult mentors away from home. “Students get to know their supervisors and their coworkers and at least develop relationships that they might not have with professors,” she said. Indeed, simply having another on or off-campus niche is another benefit of being employed, and whether the pay is stellar is another question. “I do have really awesome times at work and have made great friends there, some of whom aren’t Dartmouth students, which is really nice too,” Budler said. Supervisors and peers are often understanding of Dartmouth students’ workloads, which makes having a job much easier when midterms and finals come along. Fellow employees
are frequently willing to sub for their coworkers, who know they will repay the favor when the situation requires it. “They’ve been very accommodating, and I’m not even that worried about balancing work and school because it was my choice to get a job,” Audrey McCartney ’16 said of J. Crew, where she has worked since its opening. Budler acknowledges that other off-campus employers are sometimes not as understanding. “I’ve heard nightmare stories of off-campus employers not being very flexible, so I’m very lucky,” she said. Working allows students to pay for things on their own and garner the satisfaction that comes along. “I work because I’m trying to pay for Dartmouth myself. Books and the occasional Starbucks coffee break has to come from my own pocket, so I don’t mind putting in the hours for it,” Budler said. Whatever job one works in — there were more than 1500 students working in over 330 different positions last fall — both the tangible and intangible benefits that come with being employed make nearly any job a student holds worth the commitment. Staff writer Sara Kassir contributed reporting.
The grassroots social movement that’s sweeping campus. Backpacks in the omelette and stir fry line take up the same space as an entire extra person. This will not stand.
We’re not quite sure what’s going on here, but it’s sweeping campus. Just because you don’t have a headset on doesn’t mean you can avoid the illustrious tag “gamer.”
Whether it’s a bad start to the week or looms over your head till Friday, midterms have begun and they’re here to stay.
DEPRESSION: NOT TALKING ABOUT BY REESE RAMPONI
seems to be the norm. Whether -NOIThappiness ALER it’s giggling sophomores in KAF chatting
or worked with people that do, they think that if you can get out of bed, there is nothing physically wrong with you,” Holtzheimer said. Walter agreed, saying that explaining her experience to those unfamiliar with the disorder has been difficult. “People say, ‘what is the problem? How can we fix it?’ But there’s no root to my problem. It’s not just something you can identify and fix.” Often, friends who want to help aren’t familiar enough with depression to notice the signs. Oberg said that while she tries to be a good resource for her friends struggling with mood disorders, the complexity of the disorder makes hard to recognize. “I barely understand [depression], and I know people that are depressed” said Oberg. “You can get it conceptually, but you haven’t experienced it…” she said. In reality, depression is just as real as any physical disorder, a deficit in mood control no less legitimate than a deficit in physical functioning. Depression still has a negative connotation and the societal notion that one can defeat depression with mere resiliency leaves depressed individuals feeling weakwilled and flawed. The stigma has real consequences in Dartmouth students’ lives. For someone struggling with chronic depression, there will be days when they can’t get out of bed. There will be times when they can’t go to class, when they can’t complete normal, day-to-day activities. How readily do these students share the real reason behind their absences? Sharing the reasons behind absences is something “I avoid at all costs unless I have to…the only time I talked to professors about [depression] is after I missed too much class or a test,” Walter said. It’s much easier to say you have the flu than to say you don’t see the point in getting out of bed to shower, let alone attend class. It’s more acceptable to be ‘physically’ sick, Walter said. Would professors be responsive to the real reason behind these absences? In Hu’s experience, professors do tend to be sensitive to mental health disorders. However, they often only discover these conditions in the most serious cases. Hu and Holtzheimer agree that students should be able to be more transparent about mental illness. While class syllabi characteristically include a note urging students to reach out to student accessibility services to accommodate learning disabilities, resources about mental illness are not included. While seemingly insignificant, this additional information would let suffering students know that they have the College’s support, and that their professors take their illness as seriously as a physical or learning disability. Reducing the stigma around depression “involves the institution making reasonable accommodations, but also needs responsibility on the student side,” Holtzheimer said. Including a mental illness note on syllabi would also foster student responsibility. For students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, taking advantage of additional resources is crucial to succeed. Students with depression should be offered the same resources, and should have the same responsibility. “If you have a disorder, you should have the accommodations necessary to meet your potential, but you have the responsibility to
their SPabout IHStheir night out or seniorsSjustifying CIseems MEtoDACA antics as “senior spring,” everyone be having a good time. In a country based on the pursuit of happiness, a state that tells us to Live Free or Die and a school where happiness is tied into our idea of the ideal Dartmouth student, there is no place for sadness, let alone depression. We stigmatize anything sad, and admire those apparently able to juggle endless commitments with ease. Personally, I think the daily activities of a “successful” Dartmouth student look a lot more like mania than normalcy, but that’s a topic for another article. “There’s such an emphasis on being busy and finding satisfaction in responsibility, conversations end up being like ‘what are you doing today,’ instead of ‘how do you feel about today,” Ali Oberg ’13 said. “People want to be productive, and they don’t see conversations about emotions as productive,” Oberg said. It’s not abnormal to be sad, especially in a high-pressure atmosphere like Dartmouth, explains Paul Holtzheimer, a psychiatrist and head of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Mood Disorder Service. The college environment creates unrealistic expectations. “The idea that someone can be a party animal throughout the week, still go to his 8 a.m. class and excel academically and socially is a dangerous meme,” Holtzheimer said. Karoline Walter ’13 spoke about her experience balancing social and academic expectations while managing depression. “Everything is so fast-paced. It’s definitely easy to and lose yourself,” Walter said. While humans have evolved to deal with acute stress, we are more vulnerable to chronic stresses, which are more common in the college environment. “Chronic, unpredictable stress, which defines college, is the easiest way to make a student look depressed,” Holtzheimer said. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability today, yet discussion of the issue remains scarce on campus. If we don’t talk about sadness, how can we figure out when sadness is normal, and when it becomes cause for concern? Depressed feelings become abnormal when they begin to affect basic functioning. If a student isn’t going to class, seeing friends or enjoying activities for an extended period of time, there may be a more serious issue. “It’s not feeling blue itself that makes you depressed, it’s when the things that used to pull you out of that slump stop working,” Holtzheimer said. For those struggling with chronic depression at Dartmouth, it’s much more than feeling blue. Depression is one of the most common disorders addressed by on-campus counselors, Dick’s House psychiatrist Da-Shih Hu said. Despite its prevalence, the stigma around depression is not limited to this campus. “For people who haven’t had depression
see that it is treated,” Holtzheimer said. By legitimizing depression as a disease, students may be more likely to reach out and take agency of their condition. Walter said that while she hadn’t shared her condition with many professors in the past, she would have felt more comfortable if syllabi included specific mental health accommodations. Diagnosing depression in college students is particularly difficult because of the stressful atmosphere. But even outside of college, the condition is not clear cut. With a variety of subtypes and symptoms, depression affects each individual in a unique way. For those wondering if their blues have become blacks, Holtzheimer stressed the importance of talking to someone with expertise. Through hiring new staff, initiating student counseling groups and assigning a counselor to each residential cluster, Dick’s House has been working to increase awareness for mental health on campus. In addition to the counseling and human development department, Dick’s House provides a 24-hour consultation service. However, these methods may not be effective for those who aren’t comfortable seeing a counselor or feel that their symptoms are not serious enough. For these students, we need something studentbased. Dartmouth trains peer advisors for eating disorder-related issues as well as sexual abuse and drug and alcohol awareness but has no peer mentoring group for mental health. Students trained in recognizing symptoms of mental illness would be particularly helpful for those who, for whatever reason, do not want to go to Dick’s House. “There need to be mood disorder and depression peer advisors,” Holtzheimer said. “Students must be trained and need a direct line to us in the field to supervise, to answer questions. Our department would be happy to help.” For Oberg, a peer advising program would help both depressed students and students who want to better support their friends. “It would help people recognize behavioral changes and explain their feelings to their friends,” said Oberg. In Oberg’s perspective, a peer mentoring program would also help reduce stigma. “Once you have more institutions surrounding an issue, people’s ability to understand it as a real disorder and problem is heightened.” For Walter, peer mentoring is a necessary missing link between talking with friends and making an appointment with Dick’s House. “The first people you open up to are people who are close to you, then there’s guilt because you don’t want to be a burden, but it’s a huge step to go from talking to a friend to going to counseling,” Walter said. A student advisor would be helpful for students who don’t want to burden their friends, but don’t feel comfortable going to counseling. Hu agreed, noting that students may feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with a peer than with a professional. Whether it is passing feelings of sadness or more persistent symptoms, feeling in control is a key to recovery. “Students need to be able to say ‘“I can control myself, I can do what I need to do, get things done,” Holtzheimer said. Resources are available at Dartmouth, but won’t be used until we stop making sadness a character flaw. It’s okay not to be okay.
THE STIGMA SION HAS
QUENCES IN THE LIFE OF A DARTMOUTH STUDENT. GLING WITH CHRONIC SION, THERE WILL BE DAYS WHEN THEY CAN’T GET OUT OF BED. THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN THEY CAN’T COMPLETE NORMAL ACTIVITIES.
ALLISON WANG // THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Through the Looking Glass
SAVE THE LAST DANCE B Y MYKEL NAIRNE
It was March 29, 2012. A normal day. No, actually, my half-birthday. The Big 17.5. Unfortunately, I found myself sick in bed with a fever. Dalton, my high school, was out for spring break, but I still had dance class from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. I hated missing dance, and was chastised if I ever did, but I was indisposed — no class for me. After slipping into a fever-induced nap, I was awakened by an email on my phone. Subject line: “Your NYU Admissions Decision.” “Dear Mykel, on behalf of the admissions committee, it is my honor and privilege to share with you that you have been admitted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.” I forced myself to sit up and immediately called my mom, tears in my eyes. As we exchanged emotional squeals over the phone, I realized my Dartmouth decision had been posted as well. Still on the phone, I anxiously grabbed my computer and logged into Banner. Are you kidding me? The decision to come to Dartmouth was one of the most difficult I have ever had to make. The process was particularly agonizing, because it seemed as though my decision to attend Dartmouth had the potential to throw away my dream of a professional dance career. My acceptance left me at a fork in the road. At the age of three, I began studying dance at the Ailey School in New York
City, founded by the legendary dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey. The school sits beneath the modern dance company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which brilliantly graced the stage of Moore Theater this March. From a young age I had always been painfully shy. When my mother put me in dance classes, I felt uncomfortable and nearly betrayed as I was forced into weekly sessions with dozens of strangers. Finally, after a month of torment, dance class became the highlight of my week. As I grew older I began to worship the Ailey company. Anytime a dancer would glide through the halls, my entire body tensed up. My attempt at a polite smile became a look of pure terror. That was my idea of celebrity. I could sing every word to Ailey’s most famous piece, “Revelations,” and knew nearly all of the choreography that accompanied it. Once I got to high school, I was attending dance classes six days a week and had advanced to the pre-professional level as a fellowship student. Suddenly my objective was clear: I would work to become a professional dancer. Every performance I went to brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to be the girl who made the audience gasp as she leaped through the air. One day that would be me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple. As
REBECCA SCHANTZ // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
After pursuing a pre-professional dance career in New York City, Nairne made the unconvential choice of pursuing a liberal arts education.
REBECCA SCHANTZ // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
Nairne still plans to pursue a professional dance career after her time at Dartmouth.
freshman year turned to sophomore, sophomore to junior, college increasingly became the most frequent topic of discussion. In my extremely academically-oriented private school on the Upper East Side of New York City, those who hoped to pursue a career in the performing arts were definitely in the minority. While the performing arts program at my high school was better than most in the city, for many people at the school their artistic endeavors had an expiration date. While my friends at Ailey attended performing arts high schools, which often fed them directly into professional dance or dual-degree programs, a large number of my peers at Dalton sought out some of the most competitive and selective colleges in the country. I was completely torn. My friends were telling me that I had to go to Tisch because they could not imagine me doing anything else with my life, but I was scared. A dance career is incredibly taxing both mentally and physically, with absolutely no guarantees, and is typically very short-lived. One bad injury and you are done. While dance had always been my passion, I loved academics. At Dalton, comparative literature excited me. My teachers confronted topics related to gender and sexuality manifested in James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room,” while calculus was sometimes the highlight of my school day. I wasn’t quite willing to give that up either. When I went back to visit Dartmouth, my main goal was to figure out how I would be able to fit dance into my daily routine. I was slightly discouraged when I found out how difficult it would be to find a ballet class on campus, but through a twist of fate, I ran into a member of Sugarplum while chatting with another ’13 in KAF and, without hesitation, she invited me to watch their rehearsal that evening. The girls were supportive, and the environment was warm. While vastly different from the rigorous dance atmosphere I was used to, I had a feeling that this was an opportunity for me to put my love of dance to the test. Hours outside of any major city, I would have to work to get what I wanted and to grow, perhaps in unexpected ways, as a dancer. My decision to attend Dartmouth was not closing the door on my dance career, but giving it texture and challenges, like adjusting to the lack of appropriate dance spaces and classes, that force me to make tough sacrifices. I plan to continue dancing throughout my time here and, once I graduate, find my way back to center stage. Through the Looking Glass is a weekly feature and welcomes submissions from the Dartmouth community. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MODERATELY GOOD ADVICE
THE BUCKET LIST
Exploring the Hipster Grunge
KATE TAYLOR Dear Gardner and Kate, How can I get the most out of Dimensions? Also, should I come to Dartmouth? — Matriculating Maeby ’17 Gardner: Because you’re a prospie, students will be excited to see you, so talk to them. It’s one of those rare times when you can go to people you don’t know and they won’t think you’re weird at all. Two-thirds of the students you see were once regular decision admits just like you and will be happy to share with you why they made the right decision. Also, be sure to check out the official Class of 2017 introduction to Dartmouth. You should come to Dartmouth because it is in the middle of nowhere. This may sound counter-intuitive, but Dartmouth’s location means that everyone here really wants to be here. I believe the official Admissions Office jargon is “community.” No one has ever said, “I really want to be in Hanover so I’m choosing Dartmouth.” Quite the opposite: many people who come to Dartmouth say, “Well gosh, I really want to go to Dartmouth, so Hanover it is.” This gives us students who love Dartmouth, professors who buy into the idea of actually teaching 18 to 22-year-olds and lots of animals. Kate: While this isn’t very helpful, you will most likely be happy wherever you go, so stop stressing. However, the only college I can personally vouch for is Dartmouth. I’ve met brilliant, caring people here for whom I have incredible amounts of respect and who have changed my life. Despite the fact I have been known to loudly complain about how “this school is going to the dogs” in “’53 Commons,” I love Dartmouth. And yes, I tear up sometimes when the alma mater plays on the Baker Bell Tower as the sun is setting. As for Dimensions, my only advice is make out with as many people as possible at the Sarner Underground dry dance party. While I fear Sarner will lack the sweaty sketchiness of Tri Kap’s Dimensions dance parties of yore, I’m sure your nervous excitement will serve just fine as social lubrication. Then, come to Dartmouth and wait for these random people to pop up throughout your Dartmouth career. Keep an eye out for awkward reunions in your freshman seminar, when meeting your roommate’s boyfriend or even at Last Chances during Senior Week.
Dear Gardner and Kate,
I’m a varsity athlete who splits pretty much all my time between school and my spor t, but I’ve always wanted to be in a musical. Last night I dreamed that I skipped practice to star in “Oklahoma!” What should I do?
Is it socially acceptable to watch “Game of Thrones” on my iPad at the gym? I did this last week, and I think everyone who passed by me thought I was watching porn on the treadmill.
— Questioning Quinton ’14 Gardner: A guy I knew in high school faced a similar dilemma. He was the star of the varsity basketball team but felt a similar urge to take part in the school musical. After learning that his fellow students also had different interests, he tried out for the show and managed to land the lead role on the same day he hit the winning shot in the big game. He even got with his attractive co-lead. Who knows, Quinton, this could be the start of something new! But realistically, being a varsity athlete and the lead in a musical are both full time jobs on top of classes, so that could probably only happen in a Disney movie. Maybe you could instead land the part of Mutey, the mailman, in Oklahoma! Dear Gardner and Kate, When can I wear shorts? — Vague Vince ’16 Gardner: For the past four weeks, people have been clowning around campus in shorts, ignoring the fact that it has not been warm. Unless you’re in the process of exercising, it is not appropriate to wear shorts when it less than 54 degrees or 60 if it’s windy. It doesn’t matter if it is “a lot warmer in the sun.” You’re not going to make spring happen by wearing shorts. Kate: I personally refuse to wear shorts, as sundresses are a vastly more comfortable and convenient way to appear put together. As for men’s shorts, I have one rule: no Chubbies. I understand that Dartmouth’s overreliance on flair as a fashion staple may have convinced you that these aggressively small and brightly colored shorts are acceptable. However, we are north of the Mason-Dixon line. Until Dartmouth provides me with a date to Carolina Cup, an incredible tan and a frat formal with hoop dresses, Chubbies are not okay.
— Paranoid Priya ’13 Gardner: This is perfectly fine. Catching up on the past two seasons of “Game of Thrones” is integral to your social life. I feel really excluded each Sunday when everyone is watching and I can’t join in. I want to, but I don’t want to be that guy asking questions every two minutes and I don’t have the time to spend two entire days catching up during senior spring. Kate: While I agree it’s fine to watch incestuous soft-core porn at the gym, I have major issues with your statement that you “don’t have time” to catch up on “Game of Thrones,” Gardner. You are not taking classes. What are you doing with your time? Gardner: Hey, I’m doing a lot of things this term. I’ve been busy experiencing the Upper Valley, hiking, reading and working in the woodshop. You know, actually enjoying my senior spring. Kate: You sound like a 75-year-old retiree in Hanover. Stop showing up to my scholarly study and talking about the bookshelf you’re building. Where are you even going to put that? Gardner: I’m sorry not everyone is writing a “thesis” that takes up all of their time. Kate: Why don’t you just go drink another beer alone at Murphy’s at 3 p.m.? Gardner: Maybe I will. Screw you, I’m signing out of the Google Doc. You can finish the column alone. Kate: Stop swearing in front of the prospies. And fine, don’t come back.
Please send any questions in need of advice separately to katherine.h.taylor.13@dartmouth. edu or email@example.com, as they are in mediation over custody of the Gmail account.
Sometimes I drink out of Mason jars and shop at thrift stores. I take notes in Moleskines. I study in Periodicals. I started using Instagram before it was cool (circa December 2011), and I’m not ashamed to admit my first Instagrammed photo was of my cat laying in a gift box with ribbons on her head, filtered through “Low-fi.” I use Spotify to listen to Bands You’ve Never Heard Of — Surgeons In Heat, anyone? However, I’ve never pickled anything, don’t have thick-rimmed glasses and have never used a typewriter or tried to distill my own whiskey. I don’t even like whiskey. “Be a hipster (till your friends get annoyed)” is on my life bucket list, and though I’m still far from this goal, I got a little bit closer last weekend, albeit accidentally, through two concerts I attended. The first of these was Marnie Stern at Friday Night Rock. I submerged myself into the mysterious, neutral no man’s land that is Sarner Underground for my first ever FNR experience. Stern, with a reputation as “the lady who shreds,” had been vetted by Pitchfork for her unique presence in the classic, “art-metal mathrock bubblegum pop” genre. She wore a Led Zeppelin T-shirt and her blond hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail. The Zeppelin shirt seemed a little ambitious until we heard her play guitar — her riffs were sharp and quick, perfect for jumping up and down until you give yourself a headache. The more self-conscious among us stuck with awkward, off-beat bobbing. My friend and I decided that if we met Marnie Stern, she wouldn’t want to be friends with us. She seemed awesome. The weekend only got increasingly “alternative” with the concert at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction. The performance by the Wolfson Memorial Laboratory of Colour was titled, “Spooky Motion at a Distance,” a reference to movement between particles separated by space. On assignment for a creative nonfiction class on telling stories about the Upper Valley, I had picked up a flyer for the concert in a White River Junction shop. The postcard advertisement was dark, glossy and mystical, featuring black and white anatomical sketches of brains, an eyeball, the ear canal and vaguely scientificlooking glass instruments. It advertised band members playing the theremin — an electronic instrument with antennas that senses the position and frequencies of the player’s hands, making music without being touched — and synthesizer in addition to guitar and vocals. I was intrigued, and the concert delivered, not only with unexpected Indian food and wine on the deck of the museum, which overlooked the White River, but in the eccentricity and spatial dimensions of the music. The chorus to the first song, which the lead singer said he had performed for a kindergarten class, was “Dinosaurs, dinosaurs forever / Dinosaurs, dinosaurs forever / Dinosaurs, dinosaurs forever, woo hoo!” The band then went on to cover James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James” and the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows,” both imbued with an eerie, ethereal quality by the theremin. They also performed two original songs inspired by Arthur Clarke’s 1956 science fiction novel “The City and the Stars.” The bizarre music fit the space — a small stage in a narrow room lined with cartoonish paintings and bathed in red light. The Main Street Museum is an emporium of curiosities housing everything from a scotch glass that questionably belongs to a descendant of the Mayflower to stuffed animals (as in hunting trophies) and stuffed animals (as in the kind you named and slept with as a child) to nondescript dried plants labeled as invasive species of the White River. There is even a case for objects that look like they belong in a city trash can, or in that junk you just threw out from your medicine cabinet: old diner napkins, Anthora coffee cups, a tub of Vaseline. The crowd was mainly middle-aged couples with some 20-something community members mixed in. Most people seemed to know each other. I had no idea what I was getting into with the Spooky Motion concert, but I was pleasantly surprised by how truly weird it was, and in a different way from the weirdness of head-banging to a rocker chick in the sterile basement of ’53 Commons. I recommend the Main Street Museum to anyone feeling eclectic, and FNR for that alt-scene without stepping foot off campus.
8 // MIRROR
Going Deeper Into Dimensions Dartmouth’s admitted students weekend, from the point of view of a bright-eyed prospie. BY LUKE KATLER
CECELIA SHAO // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
Prospective students checked in at Collis Common Ground and met with their hosts to begin the weekend. My eyes shoot open. I instinctively reach for my computer and give a quick glance at the Dimensions website. The digital countdown glares at me like an upperclassman asking why I don’t play a sport. I scroll through the schedule, meticulously planning my time on campus even though I have no idea what to expect — how they jam-packed ever y aspect of a 250 year-old institution into three days leaves me confused and overwhelmed. An event called Deans in Jeans? Does that mean wearing jeans is a special occasion? I only own jeans. Note: buy khakis. I type my final question into the Chatapalooza feed, check the guerilla-style prospective ’17s Facebook page and reread my acceptance letter. Dar tmouth College, here I come. The countdown hits zero, and I step off the Dartmouth Coach, inhaling a good first whiff of that fabled Big Green air. I smell pine trees and freshly trimmed grass, as expected, but sense another thing entirely — raging ’17 hormones and their hopeful chatter that the College has raised the enrollment cap for that introductor y economics class. I already can’t wait to start my weekend. An over eager pr ospie approaches me and introduces himself, but I forget his name immediately. I think he says Alex, so I just go with it. He offers to show me the way to registration at “Collis Common Ground” and gregariously introduces himself to nine people on the walk over. I can tell that he’ll be my more outgoing counterpart and that I’ll absentmindedly latch on to him like a social parasite, hoping he doesn’t notice my inability to form coherent thoughts when talking to others. We enter the building,
and it’s swarming with innocent baby-faced ’17s whose collective awkwardness rivals only my own. If the types of handshakes I receive are at all indicative of the diversity here, I know that I’ll be questioning my identity in no time. Prospective ’17s either whisper their names or scream right in my face, ever y introduction reflecting some type of genuine excitement and deep-seated anxiety. Words are exchanged. “Hi!” (Exchange of names, etc.) “What other schools are you between?” “Har vard and Yale.” “ O h . We a t h e r ’ s g o o d f o r spring.” “Okay.” I can’t wait to do this 600 more times. After being greeted with delicious warm apple cider in Common Ground — I hope I can get that for free more often — my new friend Alex and I join a group on the Green for a rousing game of “Wah” led by an unassumingly dressed upperclassman in jeans. I guess jeans are okay. That’ll save me a $500 J. Crew shopping spree. Thanks, physically fit older guy. Alex and I gather with some other baby-faced ’17s and spend much of the day exploring campus. We walk into Baker-Berr y Librar y, where we are greeted by some ecstatic upperclassmen who can’t wait to show us the “Harr y Potter Room.” The weather is nice enough that we don’t want to be cooped up inside all day, so we return to the Green for some quick frisbee before dispersing to the River. I’m struck by the campus’s pristine beauty — ever y exterior surface seems to be covered with AstroTurf — and how ever y upperclassman smiles as often as
they greet me, which seems to be ever y few steps. Shortly thereafter we make our way back to the heart of campus, as we have a tight schedule to follow. Our first stop: the activities fair. The fact that Dartmouth holds this fair in a basketball arena intimidates me, but I decide that buying a pair of sweatpants will be a quick fix. I also notice that people here prefer neon jumpsuits to typical spring gear. I ask one of the upperclassmen where he got his, and instead of answering he just hands me a sign-up sheet. It seems like ever y one of these organizations is eager enough for members that I should be able to tr y out ever y new thing I want during the fall, from fishing to the circus. I can’t imagine them rejecting anybody, what with all of this wonderful enthusiasm for their respective activities and their emphases on “no experience necessar y.” Alex and I head over to the official Class of 2017 introduction, led by a woman named Carol Folt. Her position at the College is ver y unclear, as she continually oscillates between “Interim President,” “President” and sometimes just “Carol.” CECELIA SHAO // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF Her speech is interesting Prospies will attend a variety of programming, including panels, enough, but I spend most of my time comparing SAT scores performances and meals, sponsored by the College. with Alex and some surrounding After the speech, we go to for Monday’s test until the lights baby-faces. Walking out, I notice dinner, noting the diverse food go out, after which I can show bulletin boards littered with options the “Class of 1953 Comoff the dance moves I learned “Welcome home ’17s,” “’17s are mons” offers. We agree that we on YouTube in preparation for the bee’s knees,” and others still could see ourselves punctuating this weekend. being tacked to the wall by smileach meal with four chocolate The next morning I get back ing upperclassmen laughing and chip cookies. To further assert on the coach to return home. hugging each other. I sneeze (I’m my maturity, I plan on heading Before the doors close, I look allergic to glitter) and note that to the party tonight in Sarner behind me one last time at the social prowess here is directly reUnderground, which is perfect wonderful place I’m leaving belated to one’s level of enthusiasm. since I heard it doubles as a study hind. Dartmouth College — my With a skip in my step, I run and and a social space — I can study new home. catch up to Alex.