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As you probably have heard a thousand times, Dartmouth is committed to a liberal arts education. As part of the liberal arts education, each student completes a set of distributive and world culture requirements before graduation. One of the distributive requirements is art: creation, performance, history, or criticism (ART). There is a wide range of courses you can choose from to fulfill the art requirement, but I will only talk about a few of them that my friends and I have taken.

During her freshman winter, Tianwen took SART 29: Photograph 1, an introductory course to the theory and practice of photographic methods. For one of their assignments, Tianwen used Jamie and me as subjects for some outdoor and studio shots. We not only got to see an aspiring photographer working on her craft, but also got to explore the photography studio in the Black Visual Arts Center. It was exciting to watch Tianwen work with lights in the studio and chemicals in the dark room. Tianwen admits that it is a very time-consuming class, but also a very intriguing and enjoyable one.

Tianwen in the studio
Tianwen and Jamie in the photography studio.

In her freshman fall, Jamie took THEA 30: Acting 1, which teaches the techniques for portraying characters authentically and creatively. No prior experience is necessary and there is great emphasis on self-expression and self-discovery. The class also promotes collective understanding and highlights building an ensemble. Jamie says her favorite part of the class was studying characters and making up a background for them with an acting partner. Jamie also took THEA 40: Technical Production, which introduces the technical aspects of live theater, anything from the construction of scenic items to lighting from sound to design.

This term, I am taking CRWT10: Introduction to Fiction. We focus on a different aspect of creative writing each week with short story reading assignments and writing exercises. It is a small seminar class, so we learn through discussions about our writing and the craft of experienced writers. Prof. Crouch, who is an author herself, brought multiple writers to our class, including Cris Sittenfeld, Flynn Barry, and Tillie Walden. She also took us to Still North Books and the second-hand bookstore Left-Hand Books to teach us about the publishing industry. Other than author visits, my favorite part of the class is certainly reading the stories of my peers. It is so inspiring and exciting to learn about their perspective through the stories they write.

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