Brandon's D-PlanWhat's a D-Plan?
FallHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Politics of Israel and Palestine
This was definitely my favorite class of fall term—the readings were heavy, but they all felt incredibly relevant to the coursework. For each class, we read both Jewish and Arab perspectives throughout history. Moreover, Professor Avishai has a vast network of connections with important members of Israeli government, and even figures who we read about in the history books (including former prime ministers!). Overall, that class was a lot of work but very effective in helping me understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
WinterHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Intro to Middle Eastern Studies
Professor Smolin's lectures were always something for me to look forward to. In this intro class, a wide variety of subjects regarding the Arab world were covered. Topics such as culture, Islam, literature, poetry, politics, and history were covered from the pre-Islamic period to the more recent Arab Spring. The readings were fascinating, and the professor also incorporated a wide variety of video resources to accompany the readings. I loved this class!
SpringHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Arab Political Thought
I found myself regularly engrossed in Professor Fishere's lectures in Arab Political Thought. Tracking the development of political ideologies from the 1800s until today was fascinating, the discussion-based classes helped me get to know tons of my peers.
SummerRabat, MoroccoFavorite Class: Arabic 21
While in Morocco this summer, I had the chance to take intensive Arabic 21 and Arabic 22. Working with a local teacher, Ilham, I had the chance to study both standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic .My favorite part of the class was the opportunity to engage with the language in cafes and shops.
FallHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Ancient Greek & Roman Philosophy
Ancient Greek & Roman Philosophy was definitely a class that took me out of my comfort zone. Having never taken a class on philosophy, I had lots of fun studying readings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Furthermore, I liked that the class focused heavily on group-work, with weekly group meetings and write-ups being a critical component of the class.
WinterHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Modern Media Theory
This class made me think critically about how we use different media, and how different media use us. I always considered media and technology as tools we use to navigate life, but never thought about the ways that media influence us and perceptions of the self. Taking this course inspired me to be involved more with digital humanities in order to think critically about how different media can alter the meaning of a message.
SpringKuwait City, KuwaitFavorite Class: Off-term Internship at the American University of Kuwait
I had a great spring term living in Kuwait while interning at the American University of Kuwait! Working as an intern with the Oral History Project and International Relations departments, I met many amazing friends and gained experience with oral history and digital humanities. As someone who wants to continue doing research on the Arab Gulf, this experience was incredibly valuable.
SummerHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Filmmaking & Visual Culture
Filmmaking & Visual Culture was about the intersection of filmmaking and anthropology, and I really enjoyed the course. The course looked at film through a post-colonial lens, thinking about how it can be used as a tool to tell stories, empower communities, and challenge structural violence. As a final project, we were required to make our own films with the broad requirement that they had to tell some kind of story or narrative. Having this sort of creative freedom was lots of fun: I did a short film project about a farmer in the Upper Valley.
FallHanover, New HampshireFavorite Class: Human Functional Anatomy
This was the first science course that I had ever taken at Dartmouth, and I actually really enjoyed it. The course was focused on being able to identity the names and functions of the bones and muscles in the human body: we covered a lot of ground in a short 10-week term. In addition to studying human anatomy, we also studied the anatomy of monkeys and chimps, comparing their evolutionary trends to those of humans. We also had the chance to visit the Geisel School of Medicine cadaver lab on multiple occasions to review for exams, which was definitely a unique experience. Overall, I'm glad I took the opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit with this class!