Preliminary Observations: Springtime at Dartmouth
I have experienced summer, fall, and winter weather at Dartmouth, but hadn't experienced proper spring weather until this week, when the sun re-emerged and the temperatures rose to the 60°s-80°s (Fahrenheit – in Celsius, that would be about 15-25°). Being from Tennessee, it was the type of weather that started to remind me of home.
Disclaimer: as I start describing the beauty of a burgeoning spring, don't think it's because I hate winter. Dartmouth is utterly beautiful in the idyllic, snowy wintertime. That being said, once the snow melts and leaves behind brown grass and barren trees, everyone starts a subconscious countdown awaiting the greener, more vibrant springtime. And that countdown has finally reached 00:00: green buds have appeared on the trees, tulips and other flowers are popping up, the green grass has overtaken dead brown patches, and the Green (the grass-covered field in the heart of campus) is earning its name back.
Speaking of the Green: it has been the busiest spot on campus this week, with groups and individuals alike flocking to the quad for a variety of activities. Many have made use of the space for recreational athletics: spikeball and frisbee being the most popular, with volleyball and football (both kinds) making the occasional appearance as well. Sitting in Sanborn Library the other day, I watched a passionate game of football (non-American) partially played out on Baker Lawn – not the Green, but then again, more square footage is needed for a proper game of football than the crowded Green may have allowed. The Green and its surrounding areas have also been a popular study spot this week – I'm partial to the porch and patio of the Collis Student Center, and have done hours of classwork there this week. In addition to sports and studies, I've also seen numerous picnics; green2go's, the reusable to-go containers provided by Dartmouth Dining, have been the saving grace of many picnickers this week. Hoping to have a picnic of my own, I've added "get a picnic blanket from CVS" to my weekend to-do list. Even without a blanket though, I took advantage of the benches scattered around the perimeter of the Green to have an outdoor dinner with a friend.
I've also started to witness other consequences of the fair weather – the dramatic increase in the population of sunburnt individuals, for one (my current CVS list: blanket, sunscreen). In a similar vein, the campus attire has changed overnight. Sundresses, sunglasses, and shorts have been dragged out of closets and drawers and worn once more. Blundstones and Sorrels have been traded for Chacos and Birks.
Dartmouth Outing Club trips were in higher demand this week as well. Thursday, which boasted the highest temperatures of the week, found many people at the Connecticut River (on the west end of campus) to take the first dip of the season, myself included: the water was certifiably freezing. I was in for less than 10 seconds, but a memory was made nonetheless.
Unfortunately, temperatures are predicted to drop in the week ahead, plunging us right back into the 40°s and 50°s Fahrenheit (Celsius, 5-10°). Still, I'm more excited than ever for the warmth to return, and to experience the rest of springtime at Dartmouth.