Ola! Welcome to my Dartmouth journey. I'm Adrian, a '25 from Harare, Zimbabwe. With an insatiable thirst for investing, finance, and nature, I'm excited to dive into a major that combines all four passions—perhaps a modified economics major? The possibilities are endless! When I'm not tackling problem sets or immersed in "Things Fall Apart," I'm out and about on campus, discovering hidden gems and capturing countless memories on my phone. Join me as I embark on this incredible adventure!
Economics and African and African American Studies
This was a course that exceeded my expectations and left an enduring impression, serving as an important introduction to the captivating world of calculus. As someone initially hesitant about delving into this mathematical realm, I was pleasantly surprised by the immense value and personal growth it offered. Through thought-provoking problem sets and engaging class discussions, I honed my critical thinking skills and gained a deep appreciation for the beauty and practicality of mathematical concepts within the calculus framework. The supportive community of dedicated instructors and enthusiastic classmates played a vital role in my journey, providing guidance and encouragement as I navigated this new academic terrain. Math 8 not only ignited my passion for analytical thinking but also equipped me with the tools to apply mathematical principles in real-world scenarios.
ECON 1 became a truly transformative and enlightening experience within my academic journey, resonating deeply as a student with roots in Zimbabwe, a country navigating its path in the realm of development. This course fully immersed me in the intricate world of resource utilization, income distribution, and the intricate interplay between economics and society, allowing me to witness its direct relevance to the economic landscape of my beloved home country. Through its comprehensive exploration of topics such as industrial organization, labor economics, and international trade, I gained invaluable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities that Zimbabwe and similar economies face. This course not only served as an eye-opening introduction to the captivating field of economics but also reignited and fortified my unwavering commitment to addressing the pressing issues that confront my nation and the broader global community. It has instilled in me an unyielding determination to contribute to positive change and foster sustainable development in Zimbabwe and beyond, serving as a guiding light in my pursuit of economic transformation and social progress.
This course took me on a captivating and deeply personal journey as someone of African heritage. It explored the historical mapping of race onto Africa, allowing me to engage with the arguments of historians and gain profound insights into the complexities of racial identity. Analyzing motion pictures as primary sources, I discovered the influential role of cinema in perpetuating racial othering and reinforcing colonial agendas. This transformative course challenged my preconceptions, deepening my understanding of the intersection between race, Africa, and representation. Equipped with the tools to critically analyze and challenge stereotypes, I feel empowered to contribute to inclusive dialogue and promote understanding in our shared human experience.
SummerOff-Term (Hanover, NH)
For my freshman summer, I made the deliberate choice to take a well-deserved break in Hanover. After a rigorous academic year filled with learning and growth, I felt the need to recharge and rejuvenate before diving into the next chapter of my academic career. It was a time for self-care, reflection, and exploration. I embraced the opportunity to indulge in personal hobbies, spend quality time with loved ones, and embark on new adventures.
Beyond the surface, this course delved into Africa's connections to diverse African Diasporas and the notion of mobility, providing a deeper understanding of the continent. Throughout the course, we critically examined the production and contestation of African cultural, racial, and political identities. The moment of independence for many African nation-states served as a pivotal point, allowing us to analyze economics, race, politics, and artistic expressions. Concepts like "tradition" and "modernity" were thoroughly explored, uncovering representations of Africa and the complexities of commodification. Witnessing the range of cultural and political responses was inspiring. The course not only broadened my understanding of Africa's rich tapestry but also ignited my passion for African studies. It empowered me with a critical lens to analyze and contribute to ongoing conversations surrounding Africa's narratives and its global significance.
AAAS 87.09, "African Popular Culture," was a captivating and deeply personal journey that immersed me in the vibrant world of African popular cultures. This course offered a comprehensive exploration of cultural, economic, and philosophical aspects, all within a global socio-historical framework. From the beats of Ghanaian music to the narratives of Nigerian literature and the rhythm of South African dance, I was captivated by the diverse and expressive works that shape African identities. Engaging in lively discussions and delving into the influential works of artists like Fela Kuti, I gained a profound understanding of how these creative mediums contribute to the production and contestation of Africanness. The course fostered a welcoming and inclusive environment, bringing together students from different backgrounds and inspiring meaningful conversations. It ignited my passion for uncovering the intricacies of cultures and left me with a deep appreciation for the transformative power of African popular cultures. This course not only expanded my knowledge but also sparked a personal connection to my heritage and strengthened my commitment to celebrating and sharing the richness of African cultures with the world.
This course opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on the challenges faced by developing countries, offering a profound understanding of the global economic landscape. As someone intimately familiar with the realities of a developing country, ECON 24 resonated deeply with my personal experiences. It delved into the underlying reasons behind pervasive issues like extreme poverty, hunger, limited access to education, gender inequality, environmental degradation, high fertility rates, and child labor that afflict many developing nations. Through the lens of economic analysis, I gained invaluable insights into the complex factors that shape decision-making processes in these contexts, including the roles of markets, organizations, policies, and institutions. This course not only expanded my knowledge of development economics, but it also fueled my sense of purpose and determination to contribute to positive change. It reinforced my belief in the potential for transformative solutions and empowered me to actively work towards creating a better future for developing countries like Zimbabwe and their people.
SummerOff-Term (Harare, Zimbabwe)
As an international student, my sophomore summer presented an exciting opportunity to return to my home country, Zimbabwe, and engage in a remarkable social impact project I designed called JEKA. This initiative was made possible through the renowned Davis Projects for Peace Program, generously sponsored by the Dickey Center for International Understanding. JEKA specifically focused on addressing the pressing issue of substance use and abuse among Zimbabwe's youth, aiming to empower them with the necessary skills and knowledge to create a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Throughout the summer, we provided comprehensive support by equipping young individuals with essential 21st-century skills such as computer programming and entrepreneurship. Additionally, we facilitated educational sessions that highlighted the adverse consequences of substance use and misuse. Witnessing the personal growth and transformation of the participants was incredibly rewarding, and I was grateful for the invaluable support and resources provided by Dartmouth. This experience solidified my belief in the transformative power of grassroots initiatives and community-driven projects. I left the summer with a strengthened commitment to making a lasting impact, armed with the knowledge that collective efforts can bring about positive change.
A Gastronomic Adventure: Dartmouth's World on a Plate
I love food and cultural-oriented food as well, so what's there to eat at Dartmouth?
If the world can be explored through its flavors, Dartmouth promises a voyage of epic proportions. Nestled amidst the natural beauty of New Hampshire, Dartmouth's culinary offerings weave a tale of global traditions, student passions, and local bounty. Let's embark on this detailed epicurean journey.
1. Dartmouth Dining Services (DDS): Where Every Meal Offers a Story
Class of 1953 Commons ("Foco"):
The Setting: Inspired by grand European dining halls, with sections dedicated to varied world cuisines.
Daily Offerings: Beyond the staples, Foco takes pride in its themed international nights. A monthly calendar ensures you can plan for your favorites!
Deep Dive: On Italian night, you don't just get pizza and pasta. Expect regional specialties from Sicily, Lombardy, and Tuscany, to name a few.
Atmosphere: Picture a bustling European market square. Ideal for long chats, study breaks, and of course, food explorations.
Notable Offerings: Custom-made salads, smoothies, and a special section dedicated to vegan and vegetarian delights.
Deep Dive: Collis regularly collaborates with international student associations, hosting evenings where students prepare and share dishes from their homeland.
The Courtyard Café in the Hopkins Center ("The Hop"):
Vibe: Art meets culinary. A space echoing with creativity.
Must-Haves: Artisanal sandwiches, and their in-house bakery items are legendary.
Deep Dive: The café often introduces dishes influenced by the performances at The Hop, making dining a thematic experience.
2. Cultural Culinary Galas: A Canvas of Global Traditions
The Backdrop: A luminous space reminiscent of an Indian palace courtyard.
Signature Offerings: Samosas, butter chicken, aromatic biryanis, and the creamy dessert rasmalai.
Deep Dive: Traditional music, dance performances, and even henna tattooing stations make it an evening to remember.
Lunar New Year Banquet:
Ambiance: Evoking Beijing's festive streets with reds, golds, and lanterns galore.
Star Dishes: Dim sum assortments, hot pots, and the sweet delicacy, nian gao.
Deep Dive: Interactive stations teach calligraphy, paper crafting, and other traditions.
3. Beyond Campus: Hanover's Eateries Crafting Stories with Flavors
Vibe: Classic American diner with hints of world influence.
Specials: Seasonal ingredients make their way into globally-inspired dishes. Think maple-glazed salmon with a side of Japanese-inspired slaw.
Deep Dive: Lou's is not just a restaurant; it's a Hanover institution. Their breakfast rituals are something Dartmouth students and alumni bond over.
Base Camp Café:
Setting: Himalayan warmth meets modern style.
Signature Dishes: Savor the rich, layered flavors of their thukpa (noodle soup) and the fiery yet delightful chilli momos.
Deep Dive: They host Nepali cultural nights, complete with folk music and dance.
4. Students at the Culinary Helm: Passionate Ventures and Pop-Ups
Food-Forward Student Groups: From the Dartmouth Culinary Society hosting workshops to cultural associations running pop-ups, students are at the heart of Dartmouth's dynamic food scene.
Special Nights: Remember the evening when the Korean Students Association took over a dining hall for a K-pop and kimchi night? Or when Latinx students showcased a salsa evening, both dance, and sauce? Such events are hallmarks of Dartmouth's vibrant community.
Dartmouth's Food Journey
Food at Dartmouth is a celebration, an education, and a bridge between cultures. It's a reflection of the community's spirit, diverse, vibrant, and ever-evolving. As you traverse through Dartmouth, remember to let your tastebuds wander as freely as your academic pursuits.
When we think about the process of choosing a university, it often revolves around factors like rankings, financial aid, location, and class sizes. It's a logical approach, but it totally omits the spirit of the institution. Let me explain.
I often think back at the Why Dartmouth essay. Would I answer this question differently now? Yes. Would I know how to squeeze everything in 100 words? Still no, but I would love to share my new "Why Dartmouth" as a Dartmouth first-year.