VOL. CLXXIX NO. 16
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Class of 2020 to return for in-person Lyme Road housing commencement ceremony community session discusses transportation, sustainability and parking BY Adriana james-rodil The Dartmouth Staff
JULIA LEVINE/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
BY EMILY FAGELL The Dartmouth Staff
This weekend, members of the Class of 2020 will return to campus for a belated commencement ceremony, allowing them an inperson opportunity to celebrate after graduating virtually two years ago. The event was initially rescheduled to June 2021, but the College postponed festivities again due to COVID-19 concerns, according to vice president for alumni relations Cheryl Bascomb ’82. Approximately 2,500 graduates and their guests will attend the event, Bascomb said. She said these numbers are “smaller than would be typical” — as some students have conflicts or
have otherwise moved on — but are consistent with ceremonies at other institutions. According to the Class of 2020 commencement webpage, the ceremony will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in-person. According to Bascomb and the webpage, the weekend will feature traditional elements such as a procession, music and regalia for the ceremony. Associate director of alumni engagement Briana Stein said the planner s also tried to incorporate components of a typical senior week, including tours of the Hood Museum and Baker Tower; a reception for graduates and their guests; opportunities to gather as Greek spaces, athletic teams, senior societies and other identity groups and
a candlelight ceremony for the 2020 alumni. “I’m excited to see the hugs,” Stein said. “... I know a lot of the class members from when I was working with them as students, … and I just know how excited they are to see each other because this will be the first time a lot of them have been able to see each other since a really interrupted moment.” College President Phil Hanlon will begin the ceremony with opening remarks, with Provost David Kotz emceeing as in a typical commencement, Bascomb said. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Geeta Anand ’89 will deliver the keynote address. SEE COMMENCEMENT PAGE 2
Q&A with economics professor Doug Staiger
RAINY HIGH 90 LOW 68
BY EMILY FAGELL The Dartmouth Staff
BOMB THREAT TARGETS NONEXISTENT ROOM AT GEISEL PAGE 2
DIXON: IT’S NOT A CRIME TO BE CONSERVATIVE PAGE 3
DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM COMPLETES SUMMER RESIDENCY PAGE 4
WOMEN’S LACROSSE HEAD COACH AIDS TEAM USA WIN PAGE 5
THE REGENERATIVE NATURE OF SUMMER PAGE 6 FOLLOW US ON
@thedartmouth COPYRIGHT © 2022 THE DARTMOUTH, INC.
When the pandemic hit, economics professor Doug Staiger began to study the effects of remote and hybrid learning on students in grades three through eight. The report, published by Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research and co-authored by Dan Goldhaber, Thomas Kane, Andrew McEachin, Emily Morton and Tyler Patterson, found that remote and hybrid learning stifle academic progress. The Dartmouth sat down with Staiger to discuss his findings — the degree of academic stagnation, impacts on high poverty communities, potential solutions and possible implications for Dartmouth students. You recently co-authored a report on the effects of remote and hybrid learning. What were the results of your study? DS: The main finding was when you look at achievement tests, kids seem to have made much less progress than they would have in a typical year during the pandemic. That wasn’t surprising. The most interesting part was also showing that schools that went more remote during the pandemic year were further behind. And that was especially true in high-poverty schools. If you looked at schools that were entirely in person [the 2020-2021 school year], they all made less progress than in a typical year. The gap didn’t necessarily widen between high poverty and low poverty schools, or between white and Hispanic students or white and Black students. But when you look at the high poverty schools that went remote, all those gaps widened because it was a double whammy — not only were they more likely to go remote, but when they went remote, it had a much bigger impact on limiting how much they learned over that year. Why did remote and hybrid learning have such a disproportionate impact on low-
income communities? DS: There are two possible stories you could tell here. One is very much that the families that were highpoverty and more disadvantaged had a harder time maintaining learning, especially in a remote setting for a variety of reasons. But that’s not what our evidence suggested because the gaps within the school — Black and white and Hispanic kids who go to the same school — didn’t widen. What happened was the schools that poor kids, Black kids, Hispanic kids went to did much worse during the pandemic when they were remote. Those schools systematically were less able to adapt to the pandemic and to remote learning. And you can imagine a number of reasons for that — some just relating to basic resources at the schools. But also the school has to handle the student population as a whole, and when a large share of your population is in disadvantaged households, doesn’t have internet, and is facing all kinds of other struggles, nobody in that school will learn as much. How did you quantify the effects of remote and hybrid learning on academic progress? DS: We were using this fantastic data from NWEA [Northwest Evaluation Alliance]. We had over two million kids, in 49 of the 50 states, from 10,000 schools. The NWEA is a test that schools use to see how kids are doing throughout the year. It’s scored in a way where you can actually see the progress. NWEA has calculated how much a student learns in the typical week of instruction. We were able to use that information and use all the test data from the two years before the pandemic, 2017 to 2019, to basically figure out, “Okay, how much would people have typically learned?” Our instruments showed that, on average, students were about 12 weeks behind. In the high-poverty schools that were remote, they’re about 20 weeks behind SEE Q&A PAGE 2
On Monday evening, the College held the third of five community sessions to discuss and gather feedback for its plan to build three apartmentstyle residential buildings along the west side of Lyme Road. The session included presentations about transportation, parking and multimodal access and project sustainability goals. Vice president of campus services and institutional projects Josh Keniston said the College plans to complete the project by fall of 2025, with construction beginning “at some point next year.” Keniston added that the College must use “currently available resources” to fund the project, including institutional reserves or the infrastructure renewal fund. While the renewal fund cannot directly fund this project, Keniston said it can go toward building “swing space.” Estimated to house 400 underg raduate students or 300 graduate students, the complexes include gathering spaces in each of the three buildings, a fitness center and apartments for staff and faculty, according to Campus Services’ proposal. During the presentation, Jason Plourde, a transportation planner and traffic engineer at engineering firm VHB, said that development along Lyme Road will not have a notable impact on traffic. Plourde said he is still preparing a traffic study, conducting intersection capacity analysis and incorporating bike and pedestrian connectivity into development. In addition, the College announced plans to expand its campus shuttle system at the session. On Monday, new “Campus Connector” buses started running to housing in Summit on Juniper. Plans are underway to adopt an integrated campus shuttle system and see the headway reduced to six to seven minutes rather than the current 15-minute intervals. Director of campus planning Joanna Whitcomb alongside development consultant Joe Shevell also described plans to create a mobility hub at the entrance of the apartment complexes, which will include a shelter for waiting for pick-up and drop-off. The hub will serve as a centralized place for transportation needs, including electric vehicle charging and bike and scooter shares. The College plans to create 110 parking spaces where the apartments will be located — 100 for students and 10 for guests and staff – with the potential to add an additional 57 extra spaces if the College were to expand westward into Pine Park. Government professor and president of the Pine Park Board of Trustees Linda Fowler expressed concerns regarding the possibility of expanding westward. She noted that the west side of Lyme Road is “very flat” but then drops down to the Girl Brook ravine, which is steep. Fowler added that Pine Park has experienced problems of erosion from the Dartmouth golf
course in the past because of the steep slopes. “If you start pushing parking farther west, you pretty soon come up against the fact that you’re right on the edge of that very steep ravine,” Fowler said. During the session, Hanover resident Bill Hamlen ’84 also inquired into whether the College plans to build underground parking, which administrator s said they would consider. “The College and the town should be exploring more underground parking,” Hamlen said. “We live in an area with snowfall three or four months a year, and Hanover begs for underground parking from a land use point of view but also from an environmental concerns point of view.” Monday’s community session ended with a discussion about the College’s sustainability goals, which entails addressing the goals in the “Our Green Future” report, and its commitment to Hanover’s transition to 100% renewable energy. Fowler said that she “objects strongly” to moving undergraduates so far from the center of campus. She added that Dartmouth’s faculty “overwhelmingly” voted in February against building student residences on Garipay Field. In the 2020 master plan of the project, the College originally planned to build housing on Crosby Street, according to Fowler. In comparison to the original plan, Fowler believes the location alongside Lyme Road is too far for students. “All the College has done is move [the project] across the street,” Fowler said. “The faculty feels very strongly that we’re a residential college, and that means residences.” O n We d n e s d ay, t h e P i n e Park Association and the College met to discuss environmental concerns associated with the project, Fowler said. “We need to identify the risks that we see of having a large concentration of undergraduates right on the boundary of Pine Park and … start exploring what resources [the College] is going to put towards minimizing those risks,” Fowler said. Keniston said the conversation was “really productive,” and that the Pine Park Association helped the College think about how best to be a partner while also engaging students. Student Assembly president David Millman ’23, who also served on the Lyme Road student housing focus group this year, said he felt the sessions were “very directed towards the non-student population in Hanover,” which has resulted in a lack of student engagement. “ T h e re h a s b e e n n o d i re c t advertisement towards students on campus or off campus,” Millman said. “ In addition, these sessions are held in the summer where the majority of students are not on campus.” The College’s next session will be held on Aug. 4 and focuses on programming and student experience, which Millman said he hopes will collect student feedback more effectively.
CAROLINE KRAMER/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
The College is in the process of gathering feedback for the new apartment buildings, with construction slated to begin sometime next year.
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Bomb threat targets nonexistent room at Geisel, other N.H. schools
MICHAEL LIN/THE DARTMOUTH
Hanover Police searched the Vail building at the Geisel School of Medicine in response to a potential bomb threat, one of approximately 10 called in to higher education institutions in New Hampshire.
BY The Dartmouth Senior Staff This article was originally published on Aug. 2, 2022. Hanover Police received a bomb threat call on Tuesday directed at the Vail building at the Geisel School of Medicine, according to an email from Safety and Security director Keiselim Montas. The threat targeted a nonexistent room in Vail. Hanover Police lieutenant Michael Schibuola said that Hanover Police checked the building and did not find any suspicious devices. He added that the specified room number was close to other room numbers on the second floor,
so the department decided to “check the area that was given,” Schibuola said. The responding officers cleared the area at about 2:30 pm. Schibuola said that the call was likely “spoofed,” meaning the phone number did not correspond to a specific individual. “These have happened before too, where you received this kind nebulous bomb threat,” Schibuola said. “So we did have the availability to call the resources in, and the state was prepared to do so if we needed to call like a bomb dog … Everything was ready to go.” According to the Union Leader, approximately 10 higher education institutions across New Hampshire
received calls from the same spoofed phone number today. Montas wrote that the threat to Dartmouth lacked the necessary specificity to be considered credible. Schiboula added that other false bomb threats lessened the need for a full evacuation of the building. “There was no credible threat to campus based on the similarities between this incident and multiple recent false alarms called in to schools across the country,” Montas wrote. Montas added in his email that the Hanover fire department also completed a search of the building and found no threat.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
Class of 2020 to celebrate delayed Commencement FROM COMMENCEMENT PAGE 1
“I accepted the invitation to speak at the celebration because I feel a deep connection to Dartmouth where I had really significant experiences and met incredibly inspiring people who changed my life,” Anand wrote in an emailed statement. “I am going to share a little about my life’s journey and what I have learned and some advice on how to find joy and meaning in this strange, scary, but also incredibly awesome world.” Many members of the Class of 2020 reported excitement for the weekend, despite two years of delays and some initial feelings of frustration. “For a while, I think I actually felt like this was a hassle,” Max Farrens ’20 said. “I’ve moved on with my life. I’m trying to pretend I’m a pseudo-adult, and … to fly from the west coast [to the] east coast [is] expensive. They were going to charge us for the dorm. And I was like, ‘Oh, it’s so annoying.’ But now that I literally just touched down in Boston, I’m very excited.” Farrens said that many classmates are treating the weekend as a “practice reunion” rather than as a graduation, adding that he is not “really excited at all about the ceremony itself.” Rather, Farrens said he looks forward to reuniting with classmates and revisiting classic locations in the Upper Valley — such as Mink Brook, White River Junction and Stinson’s. Hannah Marr ’20 also said she is excited about the reunion aspects of the weekend, adding that she plans to go camping on Saturday night and hopes to visit a diner and go on a hike. “I don’t have a ton of plans … except to see everybody and just let things happen how they happen,” she said.
Henry Baldwin ’20, Th ’21 — who said he is “ridiculously excited” for the weekend — said he thinks the two-year delay could turn the event into “a happy, not sad time,” unlike a typical commencement. “It’s funny,” he said. “It’s like a mini reunion … because everyone’s going to be pretty happy. It’s not like senior week where everyone is depressingly sad. Once everyone goes home, it’s like, ‘Oh, college is over.’ This is like everyone coming back just for an incredible time.” All three alumni said they are staying in College dor ms for at least one night. While Baldwin said attendees were initially asked to pay for housing, he said an anonymous donor ultimately “covered it all,” making the stay in dorms free of cost. “They did a good job of making sure if anyone wanted housing, they could have it,” he said. “It didn’t seem like people were scrambling.” Stein explained that the planners surveyed the Class of 2020 and “utilized all of that data to really find things that were important to them — including [offering] as much housing as we could provide.” While commencement ceremonies are typically planned by the Student Affairs office, Stein said the Alumni Relations office became involved to better represent the Class of 2020 — who are now alumni, rather than graduating students. “President Hanlon really gave us the directive to include and involve the Class of 2020 as much as we possibly could because it is their ceremony,” Stein said. “We wanted to make sure that as alumni, they would still have that opportunity to provide that kind of input as a class.”
Professor Doug Staiger shares research on impact of remote learning FROM Q&A PAGE 1
— more than half a school year behind. How can — and how should — school districts make up for the delays in academic progress? DS: There aren’t many interventions that will move kids ahead an additional 20 weeks. One intervention that has been found to be very effective, particularly in high poverty schools, is high dose tutoring — an hour a session, three sessions a week all year in each subject. Now for high poverty schools that were remote and that are
roughly 20 weeks behind, that means every student has to have high dose tutoring, in at least math and reading. That turns out to be quite a challenge, both financially but also logistically. Another possibility is extending the school year. It’s expensive. You’re going to have to pay teachers. But the good thing about that solution is if you can work with your teachers to do this, you have the staff, the building, the curriculum. In principle, that’s logistically easier. You can imagine politically it’s quite difficult. Do any of your findings extend to
remote learning for students at Dartmouth or to higher education in general? DS: I don’t know yet. The question would be, “how would you measure it?” We can look at your earnings, but we have to wait a while for that. And, if earnings are affected, we aren’t sure that’s [due to] learning, as opposed to mental health. But you could imagine a study that looked at variation at the college level in terms of how remote they went. In theory, we could use that variation to see if it affects life outcomes 10 years after graduation. I already am thinking, “Okay, in 10 years, it’ll be the
paper I’ll have students write.” You’re speaking to the New York Association of School Boards in Albany this month to present your findings. What are some of your other next steps with this research? DS: Part of the mission of [the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard] is not to just admire the problem but to do something about it. So we’re definitely doing outreach wherever we can. We wrote a Vox article last week and an article in the Atlantic. The goal at [the meeting in
Albany] is to help people understand the magnitude and that they’ve really got to do something here with some of these concrete options. We’ve been trying to get other parties to just come together and agree and focus and to actually build momentum. It’s not like the usual case where you might be trying to get funding. The funding is potentially there. It’s more trying to build the political will and awareness of the problem, so districts will all want to take action on this. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
A Tale of Wedding Tails: The Origin of the Greek Life Tradition BY ARIELLE FEUERSTEIN
The Dartmouth Senior Staff
In recent weeks, Greek houses across campus have been gathering amongst themselves for a classic Dartmouth tradition: wedding tails. The basic premise? A sorority and fraternity pair up, and one person from each house acts as a bride and groom, respectively. The two houses then host a faux wedding for their chosen couple, complete with an unofficial officiator, vows, bridesmaids and groomsmen. Nearly every house has their own spin on the ceremony, but where does this tradition come from? Believe it or not, the practice was inspired by a real wedding — one between Gwyn Prentice ’96 and Andy Atterbury ’96. The pair got married during their sophomore summer, according to Prentice’s former roommate, Margie Block Stineman ’96. “Obviously it was a little bit shocking, but … we embraced it and decided to support them and make it as memorable as possible,” Stineman said. While in college, Prentice was a member of Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority, along with Stineman. Atterbury was a member of Beta Alpha Omega. Stineman said that the couple got married on Chase Field, and the ceremony consisted of approximately 20 members of KDE, 20 members of Beta and a justice of the peace to officiate the ceremony. Afterward, there was a reception held at KDE to celebrate the wedding. “It was pretty simple and obviously never dreamed that it would become a tradition of our house,” Stineman said. According to Stineman, the couple is still married to this day. It took several years for wedding tails to become a Greek life tradition, even within houses involved in the original wedding: Stineman said that she did
not recall any additional celebrations during her junior or senior year after the initial wedding. There is little record of when the first reenactment of the wedding began, but in present day, KDE and Gamma Delta Chi have a history of recreating the wedding ceremony, in addition to other Greek houses. Although the original wedding was between members of KDE and Beta, now KDE reenacts the tradition with GDX. According to Ross Parrish ’24, the GDX groom at this year’s wedding tails, Atterbury was also a football player, and at the time Atterbury was in college, many football players were affiliated with Beta, but after Beta was derecognized by the College in 1996, GDX evolved to house more football players. The tradition has also spread to other Greek houses. This summer, in addition to KDE and GDX’s ceremony, several other Greek organizations have hosted wedding tails of some variety — Alpha Phi and Beta; Alpha Xi Delta and Phi Delta Alpha and Chi Delta and Alpha Chi Alpha are among them. For KDE and GDX, the event is a week-long tradition, according to KDE member Renesa Khanna ’24. However, for the majority of houses that host their own wedding tails, the events are more constrained to a single day’s ceremony. On Monday, Khanna said that KDE hosts a competition to determine who will act as the bride, the maid of honor, the five bridesmaids and other wedding positions. On Tuesday, Khanna said that KDE holds a bachelorette party, and on Wednesday, the sorority has joint meetings with GDX — during which, all of the positions were announced. The next day, the sorority holds a “rehearsal dinner,” which Khanna said took the form of a barbecue with GDX, and then the wedding ceremony takes place on Saturday.
ZOORIEL TAN/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
“[The ceremony] started at 2p.m. and it was just the time for everyone to be together,” Khanna said. “I was fake dressed up, laughing, excited. We all walked to the Green together and then everyone set up and it was this big, fake ceremony in front of Baker-Berry.” Unlike the original wedding, wedding tails does not take itself too seriously; Khanna noted how part of the ceremony included a “priest” — another student — cracking jokes to amuse the audience. “The priest was super funny. She’s [made] a lot of jokes and everyone was just laughing at how absurd this was,” Khanna said. Khanna appreciated how the history behind the tradition gave the event more significance. “It was really cool to see that this
is something that so many KDEs and GDXs have done before,” Khanna said. This year, KDE and GDX’s wedding tails coincided with the alumni reunion for the Class of 1996, and Stineman was able to witness the tradition derived from her friend’s real wedding over 25 years after it occurred. She noted that wedding tails have deviated so much from the original wedding. “It’s sort of, at this point, separate [from Prentice and Atterbury’s wedding] because their wedding was real and it lasted — they’ve created this incredible life and it’s beautiful,” Stineman said. “Part of it’s a little weird that there’s a fraternity, sorority tradition made out of our friend’s wedding, but at the same time, it was so joyous and fun and neat to see it, and it’s something that just happened very
organically. I’m glad that they have so much fun doing it.” Parrish noted that the event served as a bonding activity for the participating houses. He said that he enjoyed that “everyone was involved in some way,” and he said that turnout for the wedding ceremony was higher than for most other events, like regular tails. “I met a bunch of new people through it, or even people that I knew but wasn’t very familiar with, I got closer to. I guess [I liked] the way it brought people together,” Parrish said. For Khanna, she said she appreciated how her experience with wedding tails strengthened her sense of community. “These are the traditions that make Dartmouth: It’s so stupid, it’s so absurd, but you feel like you’re a part of something,” Khanna said.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
GUEST COLUMNIST: ETHAN DIXON ’24
It’s Not A Crime To Be Conservative There needs to be renewed political dialogue at Dartmouth.
I grew up in a liberal area of Maryland. I was raised by two liberal parents. I went to a liberal school. You get the idea — a young liberal man raised in a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood. My first experience with true, cold-blooded conservatives was when a bunch of 7-year-olds ran by and screamed “Fuck Joe Biden” when I was hosting a Democratic booth at the state fair. Really transformative stuff. I came into Dartmouth an impressionable teenager, drunk on the romantic idea of open debate at a liberal arts school. I even toyed with the idea of creating an informal political discussion club, as I spent days arguing with my friends about economics, politics and religion. And yes, I shunned those who held views different from my own. Especially those god-forsaken Trump supporters. I, in the start to my bright career as an activist, spent hours roasting Trump supporters on Twitter. Believe it or not, it took rushing a fraternity for me to snap out of my echo chamber (yes, Dartmouth administration, Greek life is useful for things other than partying!). I jumped into a new social space and learned to like people without knowing their politics. Over time, I learned that many disagreed with my politics. However, even these relationships remain meaningful. The most fruitful conversations I have are with those friends who categorically disagree with me on most issues. That is, assuming I manage to rein in my sarcasm. Our discussions are at times frustrating, and at times passionate, but what is life without a little healthy debate? I’ve found that the best way to clarify my views, and practice empathy and patience, is to open my mind and try to understand the views of others. What I’ve come to realize as a cynical sophomore is that students on campus talk and
talk about politics without truly debating. We discuss everything from gun control to abortion to voting rights and climate change; we protest for certain movements with no counter-protests. What is the point of a debate if everyone agrees? We are so locked into our political views that debates are just discussions concerning the degree to which everyone agrees with each other. Let’s look at the facts. 46.1% of the country voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Yet, as of Aug. 3, the Dartmouth Democrats dwarf the Dartmouth Republicans on Instagram, 1,052 followers to 52. I know about three million outspoken liberals, yet only one or two outspoken conservatives. For some reason, I really doubt that the distribution of political views on this campus is that lopsided. The only way I hear the views of all the other conservatives on this campus is in furtive snippets, their eyes downcast. As if being conservative is something to be ashamed of. The issue begins with political parties. Membership in a political party encourages the development of “in-groups” and “out-groups.” In 2015, researchers found that implicit partisan attitudes cause people to be nicer to those in their political party, and to despise the other political party. Research indicates that politically active citizens tend to use elite cues from their party to make decisions, rather than considering the pros and cons of policies. Citizens choose policy stances based on the party proposing them, not the policies themselves. Seems logical. The partisan gap even affects romantic relationships. A study in 2017 found that political identification is on par with education level when screening a potential significant other, especially when on dating apps. In 2022, Tinder now has the option to use a “Pro-Choice” sticker and
Hinge lets people put their political views in their profile. Can you count on one hand how many times you have swiped left because someone had a Trump flag in their profile, or a picture with a gun? I can’t. Move over mismatched socks, being conservative is the newest “ick” of Dartmouth dating. So, where are the conservatives on Dartmouth’s campus? They’re hiding. From us. From the majority, full of supposedly “inclusive” liberal Democrats. The harsh truth of our society is that some people are scared to speak up about their views, for fear of being shunned by the majority political group. In my desperate search for some kind of legitimate debate, I often pretend to be a Trump-supporting, gun-toting conservative. Gotta do what you gotta do. Just as there is nothing inherently wrong with believing in big government, climate change action and social spending, there is nothing inherently wrong with believing in a small government, individual freedom and the right to bear arms. All are legitimate views. Shunning people because they voted for someone you don’t like, say, Donald Trump (a man who stared directly at the solar eclipse), is ridiculous. Politics shouldn’t define a person. People can and should compromise on most issues. Some may argue that these conversations won’t change anyone’s minds, or would only lead to corrupt, inefficient and immoral compromises. I challenge them to find a political issue that would not be improved by a little compromise. Of course, some disguise discrimination as political views. Homophobia, transphobia, sexism and bigotry are unacceptable. On these issues there can be no compromise. However, we still need to talk to people who hold such views. How else will they learn the errors of their ways?
Others will assert that there is no point arguing with illogical and immoral views. However, we call those views immoral and illogical because we approach them using our internal logic; we can’t know the “out-group’s” justification for their views without talking with them. We all choose a set of beliefs to help interpret our path through this chaotic world. We respect the religion our peers follow, whether it be hardcore Roman Catholicism or the spirituality of moodchanging rocks and astrology; we must also respect our peer’s politics. I challenge every student to take thirty minutes every week to talk to someone you disagree with. The options are endless—argue with your outspoken grandmother about the war in Ukraine, talk with a Republican about America’s obsession with guns or discuss classical economics with a self-professed socialist. Respect their rights to hold those views. Challenge them. The topic does not matter; what matters is that we reopen political dialogue. The seventh point in Dartmouth’s core values on its admission website states that Dartmouth promotes the “vigorous and open debate of ideas while encouraging mutual respect for diverse opinions.” What a wonderful idea, in theory. In practice, however, Dartmouth fails to live up to such an ideal. For a campus that prides itself on open and honest conversation, we fail miserably at including all viewpoints. Ethan Dixon is a member of the Class of 2024. The Dartmouth welcomes guest columns. We request that guest columns be the original work of the submitter. Submissions may be sent to both opinion@thedartmouth. com and email@example.com. Submissions will receive a response within three business days.
ZOELLA LIN ’24: CLASH OF THE SUBJECTS LIT MAJORS
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FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
Dance Theatre of Harlem completes its third and final summer residency at the Hopkins Center for the Arts By madeline sawyer The Dartmouth
This summer marks the last year of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s three-year residency at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The collaboration, which began in 2020, has included master classes, pop-up shows, collaboration with theater classes, a visit to the Hood and previews of The Hazel Scott Project, which developed over the course of the past three summers. The Dance Theatre of Harlem’s inperson interactions with the Dartmouth community have primarily occurred this summer, as it is the first time that all the dancers have been able to live and work in Hanover due to the pandemic. According to founding member and artistic director Virginia Johnson, engaging with the Dartmouth community is a vital part of the dance company’s presence on campus — in addition to their classes and rehearsals. “We interact with the students, which is really a wonderful thing and this is an important part of the residency — that we are doing our regular work but that we also get a chance to interface with Dartmouth students in different ways,” Johnson said. Pop-up shows around campus — including on the Green, Collis patio and the Hop plaza — are an innovative way for company members to connect with Dartmouth students. They engage with students by teaching simple movements and encouraging them to participate. “[The pop-up shows are] to give the students here at Dartmouth the chance to do some of what we do, to interact with us on a one-to-one basis,” Johnson said. Students also had the opportunity to learn from Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers through a master class series at the Hop taught over the course of three Wednesdays in July and early August. Students learned from professional dancers including Virginia Johnson, Derek Brockington and Ingrid Silva. “I really think the master classes are a great way to learn,” said Camille Dizon, a dancer from the Lebanon Ballet School who attended the third master class. “It’s a lot different than what I normally do day-to-day, and just seeing the different styles that come out of different teachers.” Three classes — two held at the Hop Garage and one at the White River
COURTESY OF DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
Ballet Academy — were geared toward students of varying skill levels. Despite their focus on classical ballet technique, some students said they felt that the classes differed from other ballet classes they have taken. “I really enjoyed how passionate [Silva] seemed about dance,” Dizon said. “A lot of my movement is very strict and very technique-based, and it felt a lot more free and more focused on the movement in this class.” Attendees of an artistic encounter at the Hood Museum last Thursday witnessed four Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers responding to the “Drawing Lines” exhibit. The artistic encounter — held in the Hood Atrium — expressed the dancers’ interpretation of the exhibit. “These are visual artists who are expressing line in really interesting ways,” Johnson said. “My idea was to expose a group of dancers to the exhibition and see what comes from them.” The artistic encounter also included two choreographed dances, two
improvisational pieces and a Q&A with the dancers, in which they provided attendees with insight into their creative process. “We’ve mostly been talking to [Johnson]…she’s telling us about their process, how they do things,” Kai Lord ’23 said. “It’s surprisingly dancer-based, like the performance they did in the Hood Museum was pretty much all their choreography. She gave them free reign. It’s interesting to see how there’s a lot of control the dancers get.” Creative collaboration among Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers and Dartmouth students and faculty has also been the focus of a theater summer course for the past three summers. The course combines theater and dance, focusing on the dance company’s storytelling through ballet and on developing performance works. “We’re learning a lot of dance history and Black history through dance, which is super cool,” Lord, a student in the class, said. “Another third is actual movement.
[Professor] John Heginbotham teaches some contemporary ballet moves but then also has us choreograph based off of our experiences…The last third is with Dance Theatre of Harlem, we watch some of their stuff, watch their rehearsals, talk to them.” According to Johnson, the course played a role in developing the ballet “Sounds of Hazel,” which previewed at the Hop on Thursday and Friday, August 5-6. Choreographed by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, the ballet honors the life and legacy of classical and jazz piano virtuoso Hazel Scott. During summer 2020 — the first time that the class ran — the course researched Scott as an artist and an activist. Students conducted a traditional exploration of the biographical aspects of her life, providing background for the ballet. Work on the choreography started later that summer. Last summer — the second year of the course — a handful of Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers visited for three days and collaborated with the class to
build a performance based on the play “The Purple Flower” by Marita Bonner. Interactions of this kind continued this summer under the direction of professors John Heginbotham and Monica White Ndounou, although the course’s focus differed from previous summers. “There is a little bit of Hazel Scott still as part of it, but I think the course this summer is more about narratives through movement, so it’s more open-ended,” Johnson said. “It’s really more focused on dance, how dance can tell stories.” Dance Theatre of Harlem’s goal of storytelling through dance is reflected in all of its projects, aiming to encourage meaningful discussions among the community and dancers. “I think it’s been really nice being here at Dartmouth, because the quality of inquiry is very stunning,” Johnson said. “The students… have a way of looking at the world that is not just ‘give me the facts.’ You’re interested and engaged, and you’re curious. And that’s been really exceptional.”
Behind the Scenes: Student Bands at Dartmouth
BY Jayanth Uppaluri The Dartmouth
When a fraternity announces that a student band is playing, you’ll typically see a rush of people attempting to get into the venue. Inside, you’ll find a sea of students crammed together as an audience, with fellow students shredding, singing and grooving along to their own live music. With such an entertaining product, most students overlook the two essential questions: How does this whole scene work and what goes into each performance? As someone who has played in all four campus bands this summer — Exit 13, Gibberish, Tightrope and The Stripers — I’m well equipped to answer. To start, there is no central database of bands or fraternities to go to for booking. In my experience, if a fraternity wants a band to perform at an event, they usually ask through a personal connection. Similarly, if a band wants to perform at a particular fraternity, they will use their personal connections. There are pros and cons to this system; the informal nature of these interactions makes it easier to find bands and easier to request venues, but it also makes it harder when it comes to haggling payment and scheduling. Before a band even begins to rehearse, they have to choose a setlist. A band has to balance several factors when choosing which songs to play, such as the popularity of the songs, the difficulty of the repertoire and
what genre they want to be known for. These considerations are important for determining the reputation of the band, which affects future performances, so bands take extra care in choosing songs that will appeal to all audiences while also giving them a unique sound. When I perform with a band like The Stripers, which has two skilled guitarists doubling as lead singers, we choose songs that highlight their talents. On the other hand, a band like Tightrope, which has a skilled horn section, will need a repertoire that showcases their skills. Rehearsal is an obvious part of the creative process, but it still bears mentioning. Even if individual musicians are experienced, it takes constant practice in order to maintain the cohesion that separates the good bands from the great ones. Most bands rehearse in the Hop for two to four hours a week, and that does not include the time that individual musicians rehearse beforehand. These rehearsals are focused, but we know how to have fun as well. Some of my best memories from this summer have come during breaks in these practices, where we talk about our weeks or just spontaneously start jamming. When audience members arrive at a performance, the amps are already set up and the sound is clear and balanced. However, with the rare exception of Dartmouth-sponsored performances, there are no stage hands to help with equipment and a soundcheck; we have to do it ourselves. This summer, I’ve
COURTESY OF SAM LASKIN ’24
done setups with limited equipment that take “only” about an hour and a half. Yet, my performance with The Stripers on July 29 required the setup of a full PA system with microphones on every instrument, a gargantuan process that took nearly four hours! The venue also determines the necessity and cost of rentals. As most
bands do not have the luxury of having their own PA system and performancequality amplification, they are often dependent on the sound system and equipment of a fraternity like Bones Gate or Zeta Psi. Other fraternities do not have performance equipment, and therefore students must rent from Hanover Strings, which requires extra preparation time and costs. Even with all the preparation time, the performances can still throw curveballs. When I performed with The Stripers on July 29, our lead singer forgot how to sing the third verse of a song. We had obviously never practiced this scenario, but we listened to each other and made quick changes, improvising an entirely new section of
the song as our lead singer ad-libbed a speech to the crowd. I can’t say I’m entirely sure what he said, but the crowd sure loved it. Overa ll, fo r each o n e h o u r performance, a band can expect to spend upwards of six hours on practicing, setup and troubleshooting. None of us are professional musicians, and we all have to balance our schoolwork and other extracurriculars on top of our performances. However, it’s all worth it when you see the crowd of your fellow students, some of whom you know and some of whom you’ve never seen, cheering wildly at the product you’ve just put out. It’s a feeling that sticks with you long after the concert is over.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
THE DARTMOUTH SPORTS
Women’s lacrosse head coach Alex Frank aids Team USA win at 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship
COURTESY OF ALEX FRANK
BY CAROLINE YORK The Dartmouth Staff
On July 9, Big Green women’s lacrosse head coach Alex Frank helped lead the the U.S. women’s lacrosse team to a gold medal in the 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship as assistant coach. For the first time in the championship’s history, the host team won the championship with the U.S. winning on home turf in Maryland. The game had been postponed since July 2021 due to the pandemic.
Frank said her decade in coaching collegiate lacrosse prepared her for the obstacles the U.S. team faced at the World Championship. She led the US to the gold medal with a 11-8 win against Canada, ending with an 8-0 record. “Every game presented new sets of challenges… but it’s a really fun experience every time you play,” Frank said. “Obviously the gold medal is what everyone is aiming for, so anytime you are able to meet your goals you are happy about the success you are able to get.”
Frank started her lacrosse career as a star at Northwestern University. She led her team to the 2009, 2011 and 2012 national titles, was an AllAmerican player in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and served as team captain her junior and senior year. After graduating from Northwestern, Frank served as an assistant coach for Boston College women’s lacrosse for three seasons. She then went on to coach at University of Colorado Boulder, where she received her first call from the U.S. women’s national team head coach Jenny Levy
to be an assistant coach for the World Championship originally scheduled for 2021. According to Frank, Levy has been a personal mentor ever since she tried to recruit Frank to play for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fr a n k a l s o p o i n t e d t o h e r coaching experience at Dartmouth as preparation for the world stage. She said that coaching student-athletes taught her how to coach lacrosse players who also have schoolwork and commitments outside of the lacrosse world. “Being able to coach in these last ten years has been something I have appreciated,” Frank said. “Once I knew I was done with playing, I wanted the next way to give back to the game, and that embodied [in] the sideline, whether it be at the collegiate or international level.” Michelle Yu ’21 played for the Hong Kong women’s lacrosse team at the championships, which finished in 16th place with a 2-6 record in the tournament. After missing her junior and senior seasons with the Big Green due to the pandemic, Yu said she was excited to get back on the field to represent Hong Kong. Yu added that playing alongside her sister, Vanessa Yu, for Hong Kong was “incredible,” especially after competing against one another in Ivy League play, as her sister played for Yale University. She also explained that representing Hong Kong was special because the team helps promote the sport of lacrosse in Hong Kong. “We had the opportunity to play
the US team, which was a once-ina-lifetime experience because they have the best players in the world and because they were coached by Frank,” Yu said. “After the game, it was a great reunion.” Amy Shohet ’23 competed for the Israel team as a dual citizen and finished sixth in the tournament, winning six games and losing two. She expressed her admiration for Coach Frank’s leadership style on the field. “ C o a c h Fr a n k e m p h a s i z e s communication, and as a goalie, that was especially important in the World Championship with new coaches and players,” Shohet said. “Her experience as a successful player helped her know how to guide a team of women in a direct manner.” Both Shohet and Yu expressed that they devoted a lot of time and effort to the championship. Shohet went to Israel for four months in the fall of 2020 to train with the team. According to Shohet, she had to juggle online classes while living in a different time zone, with limited wifi and intense team training. Similarly, Yu took off time from her healthcare consulting job for training. Frank said she aims to bring both the success and lessons from the World Championship back to Brophy Field in the fall. “To be able to get a gold medal at the international level is something I will never forget,” Frank said. “I hope we can continue to find success at Dartmouth and have the opportunity to raise a trophy with my players here at Dartmouth. It was a full circle moment for all of us.”
The Cheap Seats: Why the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf tour has led to ethical concerns, rivalry with PGA Tour BY LANIE EVERETT The Dartmouth Staff
This summer, the kickoff of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf tour sparked controversy with the PGA Tour – its competitor – as well as many who feel displeased with the Saudis’ human rights record. The situation poses questions, such as: what are the Saudis’ goals behind the LIV tour, and how have pro golfers taken sides? According to the New York Times, the LIV Golf tour is financially backed by Saudi Arabia as a part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s initiative to transform Saudi Arabia’s “conservative oil image” into one that aligns more with that of Dubai. The initiative plans to increase Saudi Arabia’s power on a global scale and expand its Western reputation. While the LIV tour can be seen as an attempt to make Saudi Arabia more of a luxury destination, the tour has simultaneously provided a distraction for MBS’s less than ideal human rights record. News of the Saudis’ murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, and their naval and land blockade in Yemen, which caused famine, disease and civilian displacement, has sparked outrage within some members of the golf community. In addition, the LIV tour has been designed to compete with the PGA’s tour, although the LIV tour’s structure differs significantly. For starters, while the tour name is pronounced like the word “live,” the tournament actually stands for the roman numeral 54, symbolic of the 54 holes that each player will complete in the tournament. The format of the LIV tour also includes a team component, involving a captain and selection of players with that team. Perhaps the greatest difference between the LIV Golf and the PGA tour is that the LIV tour offers a substantial payout. In the Saudis’ most recent golf tournament, winner Henrik Stenson came home with four million dollars. The potential of a high payout has attracted golfers Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson to join the LIV Golf tour, although their decision has led to pushback from golfers who have stayed loyal to PGA due to ethical concerns. Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers in the world and five-time winner of the Masters Tournament, has taken a stand against the LIV tour. Woods claimed those who have made an agreement to sign on — with multi-million dollar contracts in their corner — are “turning their back
ZOORIEL TAN/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
on what has allowed them to get into this position.” Woods also expressed concerns about how the LIV tour has swept up young players because he thinks the experience of competing in a 72-hole PGA Tour is more valuable to newer golfers, rather than a 54-hole tournament. Back in June, the PGA Tour announced that golfers who participated in the LIV tour were no longer welcome to play in any of the PGA tour events. The new rule suspended a total of 17 players, including Mickelson, who has probably faced the most media opposition with his move to join LIV. At a heated press conference in June, Mickelson responded to a question regarding whether or not he had considered Americans who died in 9/11 when he made the decision to play in the LIV tour. Mickelson addressed families impacted by the attacks, saying that he has the “deepest
sympathy and empathy for them.” Notably, Mickelson’s signing deal with LIV Golf is rumored to be around $200 million. At LIV’s most recent event at the Trump Bedminster golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, in July, the atmosphere of the event contrasted greatly with the quiet and professional atmosphere of the PGA Tour. Music blared, golfers seemed to have a carefree attitude for the day and the number of fans present was underwhelming. Many of the players received their payout before the event had begun, and a majority of the players – apart from the old guard of PGA pros who had come over to LIV – were not known to spectators. Meanwhile, only a few miles down the road, the activist group 9/11 Justice stood their ground. At the protest, the families, children and loved ones of Sept. 11 victims expressed their anger at the players, who, like Mickelson, accepted
tremendous amounts of money from the Saudis. In addition, attendees also protested in response to former president Donald Trump’s decision to allow the use of his golf club for the tournament, after previously blaming the Saudi government for the Sept. 11 attacks. On Wednesday, Aug. 3, breaking news struck: Out of the 17 golfers suspended by the PGA Tour, 11, including Mickelson, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour. The LIV tour players’ lawyer claims that the PGA Tour’s actions are unlawful, as even with one-time participation in a LIV event, the PGA Tour can restrict participation in PGA Tour events, such as the upcoming Fedex Cup Playoffs. Some players are pushing for a temporary restraining order in order to play at the Fedex Cup Playoffs. “It has threatened sponsors, vendors and agents to coerce players to abandon
opportunities to play in LIV Golf events. And it has orchestrated a per se unlawful group boycott with the European Tour to deny LIV Golf access to their members,” the lawsuit said, according to ESPN. The PGA Tour quickly dismissed arguments from players who opposed their suspension. “[The players] have walked away from the Tour and now want back in,” Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, wrote in a memo obtained by ESPN. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, golf ’s popularity has grown exponentially, and Saudi Arabia’s effort to back the LIV Golf tour could have positive economic effects for the country. While the LIV tour may suffer from backlash over ethical concerns, and the PGA Tour remains strong retaining the top 10 ranked golfers, only time will tell if LIV will actually be able to hold its ground next to the PGA Tour.
MIRROR THE DARTMOUTH MIRROR
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
Down in the D-Plan Dumps: Lessons Learned STORY
By Street Roberts
Introduced in the 1970s when Dartmouth switched to a quarter system, the D-Plan has become a staple of Dartmouth, an idea almost as inseparable to our culture as bad mouthing FOCO. The plan requires you to take at least one off-term during either a fall, winter or spring term and take classes during one summer term, which most students choose to do after their sophomore year. If you search for the D-Plan on Dartmouth’s website, you’ ll find phrases like “unparalleled opportunities for internships and research,” “customize your academic calendar” and other buzzwords that treat the system as a revolutionary, inspired concept. It’s so unique to this school that — in typical Dartmouth fashion — its name derives from “Dartmouth” itself. And it is attractive. The D-Plan was crucial in my decision to attend Dartmouth. My visit to campus occurred during sophomore summer, opening my eyes to a world in which afternoon river sessions and studying on Collis porch were the norm. I fell in love. When I asked alumni and current students about the quarter system — after a short hesitation and acknowledgement of the speed of each term — their voices would rise in excitement. “Only take three classes a term! More time to be focused on those classes! Sophomore summer! An offterm where you can apply for less competitive internships and travel to visit your friends at other colleges!” And now, over halfway through sophomore summer, the D-Plan seems to be working mighty well. Our time on campus during arguably the most beautiful of the New Hampshire seasons has offered our class a chance to bond in a much healthier way than the universal despair of our freshman year. Walking into Foco or Collis and running into a swarm of people I know has given me the chance to reconnect with people who otherwise would have been stuck with me in a perpetual loop of “We need to grab a meal soon!” Now, the obligatory ‘Let’s grab a meal soon!’ has turned into an actual meal. Sophomore summer has proved to be the shining jewel in the crown that is the D-Plan. As for the other parts of the D-Plan,
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there is some truth to their perks. Perhaps the internship I secured for the fall would have been more competitive during another season. Maybe I would have resented the inflexibility and stagnancy of a normal two-semester year. But like most admissions offices tend to do, Dartmouth failed to mention some of the more negative aspects of the D-Plan. At this point in my Dartmouth career, as sophomore summer has surpassed its midway point, I have become aware of how much the D-Plan — simply put — kind of sucks. Since planning out internships and off-terms and terms abroad, I’ve realized how much time I’m going to spend away from people I love on this campus. My off-term in the fall and my term abroad in the winter means I will only spend a singular last term with the ’23s, many of whom I’ve come to consider to be some of my closest friends. When I mention this to them, there’s a pause. We acknowledge the inevitability of it. And then, without fail, we proceed to say, “Man, the D-plan sucks.”
T h e re ’s a l s o t h e s ch e d u l i n g nightmare of trying to see friends from home. The unique timing of our breaks means most of our time away from school occurs when our friends are still taking classes or working jobs, besides the few other colleges that are also on a quarter system. Not only that, but trying to have your friends visit campus while you’re sprinting through a term can set you behind on classes for a week or even more, an eternity in the context of a ten-week term. Then — forgetting about friendships for a minute — try having a relationship with someone who is on a different D-Plan than you. I know more friends here at Dartmouth that have had to pursue long-distance relationships than any of my high school friends – and let’s face it, long-distance is tough. Who wants to FaceTime for an hour every day when you’re in Germany or China or Argentina? How is one romantic when you’re thousands of miles from your other half ? Having yet to go on my off-term or spend a term abroad, I am unsure of what it is like to return to campus. I’ve
heard friends describe it as “weird,” almost as if they are dropped back into a place that has changed without them and now feel out of the loop. There’s a sense when you’re abroad that you are missing out on the things that make Dartmouth so special. Over Green Key, a friend texted this in a group chat: “Someone please tell me that Green Key wasn’t that fun. Experiencing serious FOMO right now.” FOMO is not unique to Dartmouth — other colleges have study abroad programs, and their students likely experience the same things. But the fact that we are required to take an off-term during the typical school year means this is an inevitability for everyone – not just those who choose to go abroad. Of course, you can choose to stay on campus during your off-term and take classes or work remotely, but with the career-oriented aspect of Dartmouth, there’s pressure to find that perfect, dream internship in a place like New York or San Francisco that will set you up for life. An offterm, away from Dartmouth, becomes
a requirement — not a choice — and that can lead to a serious sense of isolation. It’s the same isolation that we all felt when we were told we had to stay in our dorm rooms for two weeks during my freshman fall. It’s an isolation that can break you down. But with every hardship, there is a lesson. And boy, am I a big fan of squeezing lessons out of painful experiences. Usually, for me, it’s experiences that have already occurred. And usually, when I find the lesson in them, it’s easier to understand them because the experience has passed. But in this case, because I have yet to experience the hardships of the D-Plan for myself, it’s a little harder to find a lesson. Maybe the D-Plan underlies the importance of appreciating the time you have with your friends now. Maybe it’s about the importance of stepping outside the bubble Dartmouth creates and experiencing the world from a different perspective. But maybe the D-Plan just sucks. The lesson, then, is how to deal with things that suck.
The Regenerative Nature of Summer: Moments of Healing STORY
By Jessica Sun Li
It’s a little more than halfway through the summer now, which also means I’m a little more than halfway through the halfway point of my Dartmouth career. It’s really strange to think about because in so many ways, I feel like I just arrived. I just found my place at this school, and I just became comfortable here. I think that this feeling of time going by too quickly is due to the ’24s’ loss of a freshman year because of the pandemic. Classes weren’t in person, clubs weren’t in person and socializing struggled to be in person.
We weren’t even allowed to eat meals with friends until freshman spring. A vacant freshman year left the door open for a tumultuous sophomore year –– a year in which I totally deteriorated and then slowly began to build back up. A wave of depression that creeped in starting in the fall sent me to rock bottom in the winter. Generally speaking, I consider myself a content person. But as I entered this downward spiral of my mental health, I lost the stability of contentment. The sadder and hollower I became, the more I
felt like I was losing my personality. I hated who I was turning into. “I want to be who I used to be,” I wrote in my journal. Spring term, I finally began to heal. A variety of factors all culminated in me learning to be alone and to be with myself. I finished that term happy but uncertain –– I’d spent so long feeling so depressed that, that period of happiness felt temporary. After the past couple of terms, I also didn’t know who I was –– I definitely wasn’t who I was before. Coming into sophomore summer, I
ELAINE PU/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
honestly braced myself for the worst. The expectation to party during sophomore summer that I was told by upperclassmen, combined with the precarity of my mental stability meant that I was not sure how this term was going to go for me. I felt like the wounds of previous terms had just scabbed over, and any minor injury would reopen them. One Saturday morning, I woke up to a text in a group chat that read: “Anyone for a Gile hike this afternoon?” A response from another friend indicated that that afternoon might be too hot, which led to an amended proposal: “Anyone for a Gile hike in 30 min?” I was exhausted from the night before, and I was stressed about all the work I had to do that weekend. But I did not want to miss out on spending time with my friends, especially for something as easily procrastinated as homework. Hesitantly, I agreed to the trip. Halfway through the hike (and I am using the word “hike” very generously here), I realized just how much more important this experience was to me than any work I could have been doing. I also realized how much more meaningful this trip was in terms of nurturing our friendships as opposed to mere nights out in frat basements. I’m probably not going to remember things like a random Friday night out or a morning of cranking out assignments. But I am going to remember things like our long conversations at the top of the fire tower, feeling like we had all the time in the world. We must’ve sat there for nearly 20 minutes before another group of people showed up, and we
reluctantly headed down the stairs and back into the real world. “Pull over, pull over!” someone urged. It’s a few weeks later. My friends and I were driving back from the Class of ’66 Lodge, just off of the Moose Mountain trailhead. It was late –– a little bit past midnight. We had gone out there for a combined cabin trip with our sorority and a fraternity, but some of us decided against staying the night. It was less than five minutes into our drive home when we saw the car in front of us pull over to the side of the road. Curious, we pulled over too. Rolling down the window, our driver called out, “What’s going on?” “Look at the stars!” someone from the first car said. I was sitting in the middle of the back seat, so I pulled back the sunroof and gazed upwards. Those in the front seats got out of the car and sat on the hood. Now, I understand that stars are pretty, but I’m also from right outside of a major city, which means that my night skies are victims of significant amounts of light pollution. I’d never seen stars like that before. Out there in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of the night, I was in awe. We let time slow down, and we just took it all in. As I’m laying on a tube floating down the river, as I’m devouring banh mi from a spontaneous trip to Phnom Penh, or as I’m sitting on the Collis porch chatting with friends and enjoying the weather, I realize how content I am again. Maybe this summer wasn’t as “crazy” as the ’23’s hyped up summer to be, but maybe it didn’t need to be. And maybe I’m not who I was before, but maybe I don’t need to be.