ROR R OR
FEBRUARY 21, 2014
PUTTING STRESS TO THE TEST // 2 PROFILE: MARIA SALGUEIRO // 3 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS // 6 DARTMOUTH OLYMPICS // 8
I INK ... THEREFORE I AM // 4
ALISON GUH // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
PUTTING STRESS TO THE TEST
TRACY WANG // THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Permanence is a funny thing, and something we have been increasingly thinking about recently. Though we have both made a few relatively permanent decisions, ranging from getting a tattoo to choosing where to get our degrees, our lives up until this point have remained pretty fluid. As children, others always made the most important decisions for us. Mother knew best when picking out the perfect pair of Mary Jane shoes (for Erin) or synchronized swimming goggles (for Marina). And let’s be real, neither of those things lasted longer than a year. The first permanent decision Erin made for herself, sort of, came in the form of a tattoo last spring. After attending a foreign study program in New Zealand, where tattoo culture permeates even the most corporate jobs, she decided it was time to finally make good on her threat to ink her body — ruining her chances of being buried in a Jewish cemetery. Yet even after the pain subsided and the bandage was removed, it seemed unfathomable that this symbol would remain a part of her body forever. Sometimes she still gets surprised when it mysteriously appears in the shower. As for Marina, she’s still looking for a story that deep to reflect her first permanent decision. Since coming to college, it’s only natural that we have greater independence. Now that we’re hunting for summer jobs and thinking about the rest of our lives, the permanence of major life choices, no matter how small, is daunting. Hopefully we’ll be able to use the wisdom we’ve accumulated here to make some of our own life choices. As of now, we’ll settle for making the tough decision between stir fry and pasta.
MIR ROR ERIN LANDAU MIRROR EDITORS MARINA SHKURATOV EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LINDSAY ELLIS PUBLISHER CARLA LARIN EXECUTIVE EDITORS
MICHAEL RIORDAN STEPHANIE McFEETERS
By CAROLINE HANSEN I’m ner vous about publishing this piece. I’m ner vous about whether you’ll like it, whether you’ll think my statements on stress and anxiety are too trite and overstated, if my tone will come off as too needy or unoriginal. As I was writing, I could feel a really cute, almost cartoon-like grimace forming on my face. I know, unbelievable. Ironically, these same sentiments, these inescapable realities for me and so many students here, are what drove me to write about stress and anxiety in the first place. Stress and anxiety can often go overlooked and uncared for, which is especially distressing in a place like this where they are constantly present. They are seen as petty issues that can be fixed if you can just toughen up, buckle down and deal with them. Some believe that chronic anxiety only exists in academic situations, especially high-pressure ones with an easily identifiable cause — a big paper, a midterm and so on. But being stressed from work or something tangible is the cuddly kitten to a different beast. I’ve found that the worst type of anxiety forms when a creeping dissatisfaction takes hold, when you feel that you cannot control any external actions and ever ything appears to be a chaotic mess. During these times, a swirling mass of past, present and future failures seems to invade you, amplifying ever ything that you’ve done wrong recently. And then there are anxiety attacks, when that feeling becomes one with my physiology and makes me shrivel like a raisin, settling into the darkness of whatever space I’m in. In some of my worst attacks, I cannot move my body — I curl up into a ball because of something intangible that I can only identify after the attack has finished. Though my attacks don’t occur frequently, anxiety is still an
’16 Girl at ’90s-themed semi: If I want to go home with someone tonight, should I take out the pigtails? Blitz overheards to mirror@ thedartmouth. com.
ANTHONY CHICAIZA // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
unfortunate reality of my day-to-day life. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that I am a generally frazzled person — my mental state is probably something similar to that of Billy Ray Cyrus after this year’s Video Music Awards. And it comes out even in the most mundane events. My second day at Dartmouth, I decided to do my laundr y. When I walked down, I realized my laundry was missing from the dr yer I had put it in. Some thief had stolen my clothing, a crime which, in my mind, paled in comparison only to Yale University’s poopetrator. I frantically knocked on doors and pointed accusatorily at each of my amused floormates, who actually had no idea where my laundr y was. When I finally asked my UGA, she went down to the laundr y room with me and opened the door to the dr yer next to mine. Magically, my clothes had reappeared. I swear, I have no idea how my laundr y got there. Laundr y debacles aside, the toughest par t is that my anxiety is not mutually exclusive with the characteristics that have led to some personal success. My intense fear of both academic and social failure has turned me into a neurotic perfectionist — the extra consideration I put into already heavily weighed decisions allows me to make choices I truly believe in. Nothing terrifies or disappoints me more than a situation influenced by a lack of my own effort, or something that I could have changed had I run a little harder or spent more hours in the librar y. This only makes my failures more disappointing, because there must be something inherently wrong with me if one particular problem was never resolved. Or so I tell myself. In the beginning of my senior year in high school, a time spent focus-
’15 Girl: She’s definitely happy. She wears crop tops! You have to feel pretty good about yourself to wear crop tops.
ing on getting good grades, being involved in extracurricular activities and preparing for college, my dad said something that sticks with me to this day. “There is a fine line between motivation and paralysis,” he said when things got so bad that I threatened to drop out of school and launch my rap career. As I begin my first year at Dartmouth, coming from an all girls’ school where students compared how many times they cried in a week (I wish I were kidding), this statement couldn’t be truer. A fear of failure can only take you so far — eventually, you have to let nature run its course. Remaining proactive and resilient after failure seems to be, for me, the only way to stop anxiety from entirely taking over my consciousness. My time at Dartmouth has transformed the slow, seeping anxiety of high school into something denser. The speed of Dartmouth classes and the intensity of personal relationships and extracurriculars synthesize the creeping dissatisfaction into a boom — hitting students with a frightening excess of responsibility. The fear, especially as a freshman, is that ever yone does ever ything, and if you don’t, then you’re somehow behind. Overcommitment is a problem I have just begun to recognize this winter, as I tr y to avoid eye contact with members of a club I haven’t attended in weeks or sheepishly smack my alarm when it screams at me to rise for drill after four hours of sleep. The consistent cycle of anxiety spurred by doing too much and thinking you should be doing more does not allow for a happy medium. Hopefully managing anxiety, little stresses and consistent frazzlement will be easier to deal with down the road. But for now, the grimace stays.
Chem Prof: And this concept, like everything else in this lecture, doesn’t really makes sense.
’15 Guy: My life is so hard... for someone of extreme privilege.
’16 Girl: 50 percent of the reason I went through rush was because of the show “Greek.”
’16 Sig Ep: I’m pretty sure A Phi is frattier than Sig Ep.
TRENDING @ Dartmouth BURIED CARS PUMPKIN SNICKERDOODLES Nice work, Collis.
MARIA SALGUEIRO By VICTORIA NELSEN Ma ri a Salgue ir o gr e w u p sur rounded by Brazil’s racial inequality. Her African-Brazilian grandfather was the son of a former slave, and her grandmother was a white Portuguese woman. As she grew up, Salgueiro felt herself become aware of how her grandfather’s dark skin tone affected the way he was treated. At times, his easygoing nature and kind words made him the life of the party. Yet in other instances, she saw him cast aside, disregarded in public settings. She saw, through her personal experiences, that the idea of racial democracy — that people of all races and skin tones are treated equally in Brazil — was, and remains, a myth. Salgueiro, a visiting African and African-American studies professor, proudly calls herself a Brazilian activist. She is currently spending her four th winter at Dartmouth, teaching a 10-person seminar about race, class, gender and sexuality in modern Brazilian films. Salgueiro spends the rest of the year as a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she met AAAS chair Antonio Tillis in 2004, sparking an academic relationship that brings her back to Dartmouth ever y year. The topics of her classes align well with her passions for activism. Salgueiro focuses on gender and race, and she hopes to better connect the University of Rio de Janeiro with the region’s external community. Rio de Janeiro is surrounded by favelas, or hilltop shanty towns, where Salgueiro’s interest in activism began. As a teenager, she taught older favela residents how to read and write and witnessed the effects of poverty and the importance of reaching out to those in need. Salgueiro said there exists a “myth of racial democracy” in Brazil, which inaccurately declares that ever yone gets along and
racism does not exist. Historically, — i t ’ s s o m e t h i n g b r o a d e r, ” Brazil is known for less racism Salgueiro said. “When you’re and segregation than other post- teaching literature, when you’re colonial countries, including the working with the kind of programs as I do, there is a lot of interface U.S., she said. However, Salgueiro said she with society.” During her time at Dartmouth, believes that in reality, most of Brazil’s black population finds itself Salgueiro rotates between two among the lower class. Following classes: her current film class an oppressive 21-year dictator- and a literature course focused on ship, which lasted until 1985 and Afro-Brazilian literature by female made effective racial activism dif- authors. Salgueiro said that Dartficult, a reenergized black move- mouth’s librar y has resources lacking in Brazil. ment sought She then uses this to illuminate “IN MY POINT OF knowledge to furpr ejudice in Brazil instead VIEW, ACTIVISM ther educate her Brazilian students of sweeping IS WORKING and improve her the issue unPROACTIVELY activism efforts. der the rug. “What you have Salgueiro WITH GROUPS — here is, ‘Wow!’” she actively supWORKING WITH said. “I act as a mulpor ts the tiplier. I can take movement, CLASSES AND of this back to publicizing its COMMUNITIES SO lots my work in Brazil.” efforts — like THAT THROUGH After hearing one project about her work at called “Black ART ... THEY CAN Dartmouth, one of Notebooks,” GROW.” Salgueiro’s Brazilwhich publishes poems — PROFESSOR ian Ph.D. students as inspired to and short stoMARIA SALGUEIRO wsubmit an applicaries by black tion for a Fulbright authors twice a year — to Brazilian students at grant, which brings foreign stuthe university. dents to the U.S. to pursue their Much of Salgueiro’s current talents and passions, Salgueiro activism stems from her teaching. said. He was selected for the proComing from a family of teachers, gram and will arrive at Dartmouth she said education was a natural in September to begin six months extension of her home environ- of research. ment. Portuguese professor Carlos She said teaching offers her Minchillo, who is originally from the “possibility of exchanging Brazil, said he had heard of Salideas, the possibility of seeing gueiro’s work long before meetpeople grow all the time and the ing her at Dartmouth. Salgueiro, possibility of seeing people start he said, is widely recognized for asking different questions.” being one of the first Brazilian As a professor, Salgueiro con- scholars to center her work on nects her Brazilian students with literature by Afro-Brazilian female the Rio de Janeiro community writers. by promoting work outside the “Her engagement in the issues classroom through activities like of her work is contagious,” he said. community poetr y readings. “At the same time, she’s a ver y “It’s not just teaching a course careful and sophisticated scholar.”
TREVELYAN WING // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
Ellie Peterson ’15, a film major who is currently taking Salgueiro’s course, said she chose the class because she enjoys the energy of Brazilian films and wanted more experience analyzing them. Peterson said that Salguiero holds fierce opinions about the material and is highly informed about Brazilian film. Salgueiro also encourages students to bring in articles about current protests in Brazil to infuse the course with a modern Brazilian context, Peterson said. “She gets really excited when we bring those things in,” Peterson said. “I know that that’s something that she’s ver y invested in and has been following ver y closely.” Sandra Okonofua ’14, who is also in the class, said Salgueiro’s enthusiasm and passion for enacting change in Brazil shines through in ever y lecture. Salgueiro ties the material back to her life experiences with activism in an animated and engaging way, which makes the material ring true for students in the class, Okonofua said. “I just think she’s a doer,” Okonofua said. “She practices what she preaches.” Salgueiro combines high expectations with a calm nature, Okonofua said, which makes students feel comfortable in class, but also aware of her standards for active participation. Over the past 40 years, Salgueiro said she has crafted her own definition of activism, informed by her work as a teacher and her experiences in Brazil. “In my point of view, activism is working proactively with groups,” Salgueiro said. “Working with classes and communities so that through art — and I’m talking specifically literature and film — they can grow, and they can see what they are able to do in the environment in which they live.”
We’ve never seen the show and are waiting with bated breath for opening night on Friday. Getting to watch our friends in racy, inappropriate scenes with singing? Don’t mind if we do.
LAST CHANCE This weekend might just be your last chance to hit the town hard. Regrets will pile up next week, when you suddenly realize that the 40-page paper that seemed impossibly distant is suddenly relevant. Seize the day while you can.
SUMMER JOBS All of our friends are suddenly miraculously employed by the rich and powerful. They’ve replaced their interview suits with smug smiles and a sense of purpose. We’re still (pretending to be) looking.
A bunch of little ones have been running around campus and interrupting our FFB study time. Maybe the warm spell attracted them.
SENIOR SWIM TEST
BRI FONTAINE ’16
COLIN QUINN ’15
Half of me expected Dragon’s Gate Tattoo Studio to be filled with the sounds of heavy metal and the smell of cigarette smoke — the other half secretly hoped I’d be walking to some sci-fi, fantasy tattoo wonderland. Instead, the parlor’s interior looked more like an art studio than the Batcave. Sunlight flooded the open space, and the walls were adorned with pictures of a few of owner Scott Ibey’s designs (both on skin and paper), alongside adorable photos of his two baby girls. And so much for the heavy metal fantasy. Ibey listened to smooth jazz as he stenciled a design onto customer Angie Blake’s lower back. To help customers relax during sittings, which can last all day, Ibey said he lets them pick a genre of their choosing, as long as they avoid the evils of techno and countr y-pop. While T-Swift die-hards may never, ever, ever consider Dragon’s Gate after reading this, Ibey is already the College’s favorite tattoo artist. He’s been the sole owner of Dragon’s Gate, located in the heart of Enfield just 20 minutes from campus, for 10 years. Ibey said that over the last decade, Dartmouth’s culture seems to have “loosened up” a lot, which corresponds with an increase in business from students and other clients affiliated with the College. Each year, Ibey inks about 200 tattoos for Dartmouth’s secret society members, who are his most consistent student customers (he had a few scheduled to come in after I met with him). Ever y few years, smaller groups affiliated with athletic teams and Greek houses also get tattoos, he said. Dartmouth students, Ibey said, are usually ner vous and appear more out of their element than his typical clientele. In addition to being afraid of the process itself, Ibey said many students worr y about hiding their new tattoo from their parents. Colin Quinn ’15, who has tatted parents, never had such a fear. He always knew he would someday have ink of his own. Quinn’s parents bought him his first tattoo as a gift for getting into Dartmouth. The day of the inking, Quinn’s mother also got a new tattoo, of a lilac blossom tree and a bamboo-eating panda, for solidarity’s sake. Although Colin doesn’t ascribe much symbolic meaning to his tattoos, he refers to them as “bookmarks” in his life, describing how each one delineates chapters of his personal growth. Even with parental consent, Quinn had concerns about the visibility of his tattoos. He carefully planned his first piece, an armor design that expands from his upper arm, across his chest, shoulder and back, to avoid the neckline of a typical shirt. Ibey also stressed the importance of getting a first tattoo in a discreet location. Though his tattoos cover his arms, he assured me that inking your face, neck or hands is pretty much never a good idea, especially for a first-timer. When it comes to Dartmouth students, Ibey
KATE SHELTON ’14
added that the nature of most students’ future jobs increases the importance of discretion. “If you’re going to an Ivy League school, you’re probably not going to want to work on a dock or in a kitchen,” Ibey said. He’s got a point. While our generation has come to embrace tattoos as trendy and artistic, we’ve done so cautiously. Cecelia Shao ’16, who plans to pursue finance or banking, expressed similar concerns about the visibility of her three tattoos, which she carefully chose to place above her collarbone, on her right hip and on her upper back. Shao is a former member of The Dartmouth staff. Although Kate Shelton ’14 has three of her four tattoos in discreet places, she pointed to Abby Sciuto, the tatted and pierced character from “NCIS,” as a role model, explaining that she wants her work to speak for itself. “I want to be so good at whatever I do that it doesn’t matter if I have tattoos or purple hair,” she said. For Billy Peters ’15, who has 10 tattoos, the visibility of his ink doesn’t present much of a concern. He said his tattoos are there for people to see, and he loves it when the designs — which range from a Direwolf on one side of his body to a tattooed woman on his other side — force onlookers to do a double take. Then again, he also admitted to adoring attention. Ibey also said he has witnessed a reduction in the social stigma surrounding tattoos, though he said it continues to exist. “There’s always going to be a little bit of a stigma — it wouldn’t be fun other wise,” he said.
By KALIE MARSICANO But a mentality shift seems to have taken place in Hanover. Ibey has tatted at least three Dartmouth professors, not to mention a consistent stream of surgeons and nurses from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Out of respect for his clients, that’s all he could tell me on the professor front — but keep your eyes peeled around campus, come spring and short sleeves. And people on campus do notice those of us with tattoos. Shao said that while other students do often ask her about the meanings behind her tattoos, for her, it’s all about the aesthetics. Shelton, who dances, acts and even teaches Zumba, said the connection between mind and body drives her choice of tattoos. “My body is my tool, it’s my art form,” she said. “I want to express that on my skin.” Shelton’s four tattoos each have a histor y and meaning of their own, which she said requires at least an hour to fully explain. The words “Break Free,” written in her own handwriting across her side, held a special meaning for Shelton while she was confronting an eating disorder. “I would see those words in my handwriting and know that I could keep going, and ever since my recover y it’s become especially more powerful to me,” she said. Bri Fontaine ’16 and a group of freshman floormates also derive strength from matching arrow tattoos they got in Montreal last summer. Fontaine explained that after suffering through meningitis, she endured constant, severe back pain throughout her freshman year, on top of the typical struggles that accompany
CECELIA SHAO ’16
one’s first year of college. Each of the friends involved, she said, had also endured personal hardships throughout the year. The arrow, then, symbolized moving for ward. “I think it kind of reminds me how important having a support system is,” Fontaine said. Across the board, the students I spoke with did not worr y about eventually regretting their tattoos. As Shelton said, “permanence is the point.” The designs may start as exterior embellishments, but over time, they become integral aspects of each individual’s personality, no matter what that implies. “This is something static on your body, but you, as a person, are fluid,” Shao said. Whether the tattoo commemorates the loss of a loved one, initiates you into a group or provides closure, it’s there to stay, and it’ll play a role in forming new memories just as it preser ves the old ones. I had my first experience in a tattoo parlor at 5 years old. There to get my ears pierced, I felt out of my element, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the artist. I remember openly gaping at his arms, which were totally covered in vibrant designs. After a few minutes, I finally tore my eyes away long enough to ask, “Mommy, how does that man have so many stamps?” I couldn’t have told you then what a tattoo was. But I knew without a doubt that this guy had power — more, he had finesse. And all I wanted was to understand. Even now, I get the feeling that I’m just beginning to see what tattoos mean to those who have them, especially here at Dartmouth. But I can’t even settle on a major, let alone a permanent tattoo. So I’m sticking to inkpad stamps for now. If I do change my mind, I’m heading back to Dragon’s Gate with sage advice in mind, the soundtrack to “Frozen” (2013) in hand and an image worth inking.
BILLY PETERS ’15
SCOTT IBEY, DRAGON’S GATE TATTOO STUDIO OWNER ALEXANDRA DALTON // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF KALIE MARSICANO // THE DARTMOUTH
Through the Looking Glass
THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC B y ARCHANA RAMANUJAM “I think you’ve come a long way,” a friend I’ve known since freshman fall said to me the other day. We had been talking about exploring identity at Dartmouth, and I smiled at those words. For the most part, they rang true. On the most basic level, I needed to travel quite a distance even to get to Dartmouth. I am a woman of South Asian or Indian origin and a Dutch citizen (which means I’m from the Netherlands, just to clear up the confusion), and I grew up mostly in Singapore, where I graduated from United World College, an international high school. When it comes to identity exploration, my ethnic and national identities alone are complex, and that does not even take into consideration gender, class or sexuality. Despite these complexities, I actually thought I had a pretty good hold on the definition of identity on a small-scale, individual level before coming to Dartmouth. Even though I went to an international school and spent my time surrounded by people with a variety of cultural identities, I often seemed to miss the bigger picture. I lived in a bubble where all of my friends had complicated ethnic and national backgrounds like mine, and we understood each other’s diverse identities without much question. Yet I also lived an extremely heteronormative, upper-middle-class life. I had pretty much zero understanding of what it meant to be a woman. I have recollections of feeling extra gratified when I beat a boy in a PE swim race, but that was about it. This lack of a deeper understanding stemmed from many of my personal privileges, including the opportunity to apply to colleges in both the U.K. and the U.S. For me, coming to the U.S. was not the obvious next step. Instead, it was a choice, a proverbial fork in the road and another reason why I think I’ve come a long way. When I find myself reconsidering this choice, I look at my high school friends, who currently find themselves at universities in the U.K. and Australia, where they pursue vocational or linear undergraduate degrees in medicine, law and business. Even those who study more typical “liberal arts” subjects like history or economics do not have much room to explore or maneuver their way through an academic sea that has no pre-ordained direction. Their academic pursuits had a definite goal from the very beginning — they chose their field of study when they wrote their applications. The universities they chose release them with a degree in hand that prepares them, linearly, for certain professions. This form of education funnels and focuses their academic interests in a defined direction.
The room for personal and extracurricular development within this educational style is extremely limited. My sister, who studies in London, frequently complains about her lack of opportunities, even though she actively attempts to stay engaged. She has no Office of Plurality and Leadership, very few club sports, no outing club and no Intergroup Dialogue. I doubt she even knows whom to approach for advice on academics, college life or future plans. My Dartmouth career, on the other hand, has allowed me to expand outward in various directions. During my time here, I fell in love with anthropology (despite its troubled history) and what it has to say about people, their interactions and society as a whole. At the College, I have been able to pursue my interests in science and health care, which would have been difficult if I had chosen to study English and history in the U.K. I also developed my interests in social science research, when eventually led me to write a thesis about race and gender at Dartmouth. I was exposed to intellectual thought on social justice and identity, and have been involved in these both inside and outside of the classroom. Most importantly, I was allowed and encouraged to consider my own identities — not just the places that I am from and my nationality, but what it means to live in a racialized and gendered world. I had never seriously or critically considered where being South Asian placed me prior to Dartmouth. Moreover, I had never used the term “South Asian” or “brown” before coming to Dartmouth because they were not “part of the lingo” where I was from. Throughout high school, I often felt that I had to compensate for my “brown-ness,” but I had never broached the subject with others. I distinctly remember going to a Woman of Color Collective meeting my sophomore year and experiencing some sort of epiphanic euphoria. Finally, I realized it was not just in my head — other women of color felt this pressure and dissonance too. What’s more, they showed resistance. At Dartmouth, I started learning a language that was new to the tongue but very old to the experience: micro-aggressions, racism, institutionalized, interpersonal and internalized. I saw my world with new eyes. In learning this language, I experienced another revelation — I was good enough. For a long time, I compared myself to my mostly white high school friends and never felt good enough in my own skin. It sounds awful, and it was, and I am glad I had the opportunity to finally understand and confront that at Dartmouth.
TRACY WANG // THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
While Dartmouth has presented her with its fair share of problems, Archana Ramanujam ’14 believes that the College and her time in the United States have played an important role in forming her identity. In my time here, I have been able to reflect on my relative wealth, my sexuality and my (mostly) able body. I have found amazing mentors who helped me grapple with these complexities, among other things. I wholeheartedly believe I would not have experienced the same “coming of age” at a university across the pond. Please note that my intent is not to romanticize Dartmouth. I hope by now that we all know that there are problems at this school that everyone should be tackling. I have
definitely faced many challenges at Dartmouth, and they are not ones that I would wish upon anyone. My identity exploration did not occur out of context, and this context has included the judgmental eyes of the Greek system, systemic and pervasive racism, sexism and almost every other “ism” that there is. Indeed, these “isms” extend beyond Dartmouth’s bounds, but that does not mean we should not address and confront them here at the College. I believe the challenges Dartmouth has presented me with have
made me a much stronger person, and I am thankful for this strength. I also do not wish to romanticize Dartmouth financially — however linear the tertiary education is in the U.K., education fees are considerably lower. I come from a position of privilege in saying that I believe Dartmouth has been worth the investment. Four months from graduation, I now have at least an inkling of who I am, and I do not think I personally would have come this far anywhere else.
SARA KASSIR This is the article that I’ve wanted to write for almost a year. I’ve put it off for so long because I don’t like being controversial for the sake of stirring the pot. The Mirror is also generally not a beacon for social change, so I hope you’ll forgive my temporary hat switch. I have a lot of opinions and ideas on right and wrong, but I’ve never been one to readily share them, except perhaps in the classroom or among my close friends. I have written for The D for nine trying terms at Dartmouth, and this is the first time that I am expressing any personal commentary on the challenges the College has faced — and is still facing. I recently visited Dartmouth for the first time in a long time, and I think that distance may have allowed me to see its flaws more clearly than ever. Being away has made me realize how easy it is to lose sight of the big picture and waste time on all the wrong priorities. That being said, I am still unapologetically in love with my school. The closer I get to graduation, the more thankful I am for every term. My purpose here is not to point out all of Dartmouth’s problems, because I think op-eds, forums, Bored at Baker, online media and public demonstrations have made clear what they are. Rather, my goal is to point out that the way we respond to them is inherently unproductive. Very bad things happen at Dartmouth. Sexual assault, hazing scandals, discrimination and racial tension are among many issues that the College needs to make dramatic progress on. Trivializing these issues or disregarding that they are real only makes them worse. But some segments of campus go to the opposite extreme, responding to the obstacles faced by our community with complete outrage every time something goes wrong. This is not to say that the aforementioned issues are not worth getting mad over. They certainly are. But when the only emotion you bother expressing in the face of adversity is sheer anger, your theory of how change will happen quickly becomes nothing more than angst. Many believe that if we get on Facebook, log in to Bored at Baker, stand up at forums, post extreme comments on The D’s website and yell about how angry we are, someone will start paying attention. I’m not buying it. Given the conversations I’ve had with my peers, I don’t think everyone else is either. My problem with the extremity of reactions on campus is not the passionate recognition that things need to change, because in a lot of ways, I think that aspect is awesome. Even if you don’t agree with everything said, it’s good that some Dartmouth students are willing to point out problems like the Greek system’s flaws and how certain segments of our community rarely interact. The problems arise when all anyone wants to do is point out the flaws in the most extreme ways and then not offer any constructive options to make real changes. When you yell about how messed up the Greek system is and declare it the source of all evil, you’re not only not coming up with a solution – you’re also alienating everyone who has anything positive to say. I don’t know anyone who is affiliated who
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING
thinks that the Greek system is flawless, but I also know that if you tell someone in a sorority or fraternity that these institutions are horrifying entities, he or she will tune you out. Then the cycle just exacerbates itself. The inefficacy of extreme reactions fits into other aspects of Dartmouth’s recent discourse, including the discussions surrounding race, religion and identity. I personally have had a hard time taking a stance on the racially charged incidents of the past year, but not because I am apathetic or unaware. I felt like I was being forced to choose a side in this highly dramatized conflict, and I wasn’t sure where I stood. Identity has always been a very fluid thing for me — I am white and from the suburbs of the Midwest, but I also grew up Middle Eastern in the years immediately following Sept. 11, which resulted in my fair share of exposure to intolerance at a young age. This is not to say that my own experience makes me an expert on those of others — sympathy and empathy are different, and I don’t claim to know anything about anyone else’s life. I’m just saying that I don’t think I fit nicely in a box, so I have a hard time identifying with any discussion that assumes I do. It’s possible for self-aware and interested young people to recognize that they are both a part of the problem and the solution. The last thing I would advocate for to deal with our culture of angst is more inorganic forums, op-eds and Facebook statuses that aim to shock people out of complacency. Structured conversations have their place and virtues, but what we could really use is something more informal. I believe the “work hard, play hard” mentality so ingrained in our culture plays a large part in why people perceive Dartmouth students as uninterested in the issues confronting us. It took me going on an off-term with 17 students who shared my intellectual and academic interests to realize how little time I had spent on campus talking about the things that I actually felt were important. We don’t bother having the hard conversations with the people who know us and understand where our perspectives come from. In not bothering, we do a huge disservice to our community, because these are the people who are most likely to have an influence on the way we think. Individuals who choose to make their race, religion, or politics defining personality characteristics are arguably doing something powerful, but their perspectives may not relate to all of campus. When I make an effort to discuss the things that matter with friends and acquaintances who know me on other levels, though they might not agree with everything I say and vice versa, at the very least they’re willing to listen. Dartmouth’s problems can’t be solved by simply talking it out, but when a large chunk of campus chooses to avoid the hard subjects, only the people with the biggest and loudest voices are heard. If you have another idea of how Dartmouth should be, speak up. Who knows what kind of change an afternoon KAF conversation may spark.
KATIE SINCLAIR In case you were wondering, the Dubia cockroach, or Blaptica dubia, has the ability to move, twitch and stay very much alive even after you put a pin through its head, cut off its legs with scissors and rip out its digestive tract. This is a fact that a large chunk of biology majors at Dartmouth are well aware of, though I seem to be the only one bothered by it. I’m not the biggest fan of cockroaches, but I’m even less of a fan of vivisection, particularly when the whole point of the traumatic experience was to prove that stomachs have enzymes. I know. Apparently, I would not have been able to fully appreciate that fact without splitting open the abdomen of a struggling, living creature and yanking out its guts. And yes, I know it’s a “reflex” and that the cockroaches shouldn’t feel the pin in their heads, but still, that thrashing looked pretty purposeful to me. You could argue that there’s no concrete evidence that arthropods can feel pain, and that it’s all just reactions to noxious stimuli. But when in doubt, I say that if we’re going to kill things for no real reason other than keeping biology students occupied for four and a half hours, we might as well kill them quickly. I just signed up for spring classes, and next term will be the first time since freshman winter that I will not take a biology class. I am happier about this than I should be, considering that I came into Dartmouth an English major and picked up biology because I considered it generally interesting and fun. But after 10 biology classes, I’m not so sure. For every awesome class spent trawling on a boat, going snorkeling in Storrs Pond or comparing the locomotion of Labradors and greyhounds, there’s an equal number of hours spent memorizing the minutiae of ion pumps and how mitochondria work. I understand that one needs a strong background in cell biology to understand how life really works, but what bothers me most about majors in the sciences is the view that you’re not trying hard enough if you don’t find the material incredibly difficult and time-consuming. Quit complaining and disembowel your cockroach. Despite my distaste for the cockroach lab, my major has allowed me to think more critically about data in a way that the humanities never did. I strongly believe that scientific literacy is undervalued in the U.S. Students should complete college with a basic understanding of how
life works, how to read a scientific paper and how to call B.S. when a news article describes a revolutionary new study that proves orange juice cures seven types of cancer. Still, after 10 biology classes, plus Chem 6 and Math 8, I’m tired. I’m tired of long labs spent waiting for a little test tube to change to a lighter shade of pink or orange. I’m tired of memorizing pages and pages of information, only to forget it all after the final. I’m tired of everyone assuming I’m pre-med when I say I’m studying English and biology. I’m tired of killing things for science. It definitely sucks to realize that by senior year you’re no longer so excited about something that seemed fun and interesting two years ago. I don’t blame Dartmouth — there’s something to be said of crossing biology off your list of things you want to do with your life. To the chagrin of my parents, I’m using the process of elimination to figure out my future goals. I’m thankful to the biology department for teaching me what a p-value is, how to design an experiment and why it might not be the best idea to use super glue to attach glitter to a guppy’s tail when testing a preference for novelty in female guppies (spoiler alert — there isn’t). I’m thankful to the lab partners who actually knew what they were doing and for the study buddies who walked me through the citric acid cycle. I know it seems weird to be bidding farewell to the biology department when winter term isn’t even over (and I live in dread that someone will tell me that Biology 51 isn’t going to count as a culminating experience because I took it junior year). But not clicking the “Biology” tab during course selection seemed important enough to merit a column. I’m also taking yoga this term, and it’s hilarious to see how the yoga teacher’s version of physiology differs from that of my biology classes. I’m skeptical about whether breathing in a particular way is going to kick my parasympathetic nervous system into gear and bring me back to a “balanced state,” but one of the things I’ve learned from the English department is that suspension of disbelief is necessary. Biology has also taught me that you can’t underestimate the placebo effect, so I’m going to just lie on the mat and think calm thoughts and continue to believe that everything is going to work itself out in the end.
DARTMOUTH’S WINTER OLYMPICS By LUKE McCANN
The Games: Collis Decathlon — Athletes will be released in waves during Collis Cafe’s busiest hours and required to successfully obtain items from its 10 various stations – stir fry, pasta, soup, salads, sandwiches, ice cream, smoothies, baked goods and that high-tech soda machine. All competitors must wear a backpack during the competition. The event will close when participants successfully use a combination of meal swipes and DBA to pay for their goods. All athletes will be judged on time completed, quantity of facetime and quality of goods (extra points for those who take the time to make the perfect dragon roll). Golf Course Icebox Curling — The only team competition at the Dartmouth Winter Olympics will involve groups of four in a curling-like adventure. One team member will sit upon a large ice block, which a fellow team member will gracefully slide down the golf course. The other two members will rush down the hill, clearing the path with various squeegees gathered painstakingly from pong tables across campus. The team who lands its ice-blocked teammate closest to Occom without breaking the ice will be crowned the winner. Olympagram — The name of this game, which will span the entire Olympic season, says it all. Contestants are encouraged to take photos of various events relating to the games. During the closing ceremonies, all Instagram photos tagged “DartmouthOlympagram” will be judged on their originality, editing, message and captions. The use of various editing apps is encouraged, and any picture with the hashtag “no filter” will be immediately disqualified if found to have used a filter.
The Judges: Collis Staff —These people have undoubtedly already passed silent judgements on the hundreds of students that meander through Collis each day, and it’s time to let their voices be heard. These people are likely to fill the Randy Jackson role on the judge’s panel — they’ll be brutally honest with you in the nicest way possible, and no matter what, you’re going to leave feeling like you just made a new friend. Keggy the Keg — The unofficial mascot of our student body, Keggy will serve as the liaison between the people and the judging decisions. Although many other options may exist, including the “Big Green” and some moose-like creature, there is perhaps no person more qualified to pass judgment on us all than a giant, animated barrel of warm, cheap beer. Carol Folt — The true wild card of the bunch, our previous interim president will return to her former queendom. Even if you’ve never caught her walking across the four-way stop in her sunglasses and umbrella, you can tell this woman means business. Will she become the Simon Cowell-like antagonist, or does she promise more Paula Abdul-like antics? The most pressing question is, how will she react when President Phil Hanlon takes the stage for his infamous ice dancing routine?
Olympic Village: Where to Stay — As any student who has ever inhabited a two-room triple can assure you, residential space can get slightly cramped on campus. Organizers will arrange for the Olympic Village to only include rooms in McLaughlin and East Wheelock clusters, as well as Fahey-McLane Hall, but the office of residential life’s inevitable “computer error” will cause countless relocations to the River, Choates and the Lodge. Pictures of the hamster-like tunnels and consistently moist bathroom walls will likely appear on Twitter and Instagram, with captions like “Olympic Village, or a portable toilet at a construction site?” Expect to see #“bringbacksochi” trending. What to Do — Along with any great sporting event come the hundreds and thousands of coaches, families and spectators who are there to have a good time and pretend to know something about synchronized skating. When the games themselves aren’t going on, or when people need a break from eight hours of watching luge, they will inevitably need something else to occupy their time. While the local scenery will offer a great sightseeing experience for visitors, many will likely ask what else there is to do during their trip to the Upper Valley. Apple-picking season is over, and it’s a couple of months until Green Key, so their guess is as good as anyone’s. Where to Eat — With lines already frustratingly long during rush hours, the increased attention and excitement around the games is likely to cause even more confusion about who is standing in the omelette line and who is waiting on their stir fry order. As previous renovations did not significantly reduce wait times, critics are still curious if Collis can handle the games. To accommodate the influx, FoCo will bring back the classic salad bar arrangement to stop people from staring blankly at the spot where the tomatoes used to be, and the Hop will start distributing physical copies of the secret menu.
KELLEY LIN // THE DARTMOUTH STAFF