Aloha to the page of a wanderlusting writer juggling college life and several other hobbies into an eternally-short 24-hour day. I hope to shed light on the Dartmouth experience as I explore the brave new world of Hanover, NH and everything going to college here has to offer. In my free time, you can find me trying to learn a new language or building the perfect Spotify playlist (alternative/indie, anyone?). I hope you enjoy!
Taught by Gordon Henry, an Anishinaabe poet and author, this class taught me to explore Indigenous storytelling within digital contexts. I took this class with only seven other classmates, allowing us to really engage with films, comic books, and television shows in Indigenous languages or produced by Indigenous artists.
Taught by Timothy Pulju, this class taught me how to identify and understand how languages evolve over time and why. I analyzed and reconstructed fictional languages of imaginary nations in order to understand the link between language and culture, and ended up having such an appreciation for the complexity and beauty of language's place in history!
Taught by Lindsay Whaley, this class let me discover a newfound love for ancient apocalyptic literature. We analyzed ancient texts and compared them to modern apocalypses, looking at the zombie apocalypse phenomenon and other apocalypses in pop culture and comparing them to the ancient tradition of writing apocalypses. Additionally, I learned the Greek alphabet and now I can even stumble through ancient Greek passages.
Taught and organized by David Peterson, this class let me get into the shoes of a real linguist as we did fieldwork (virtually!!) with the Zophei language. I learned how to describe a never-before-learned language's phonology (sound system), how to characterize its grammar and words, and ultimately got to present my research to experts in the language family around the world in a workshop at the end of the term!
Taught by N. Bruce Duthu, this class taught me how Native literature can provide lens by which to evaluate, critique, and ultimately revise Federal Indian Law. During this class, I read works by Native authors like Tommy Orange and Louise Erdrich '76 alongside the opinions of definitive case opinions in American law and explained how literature can be a catalyst for Indigenous sovereignty.
Supervised by N. Bruce Duthu, I spent this off-term performing research after being awarded a Sophomore Research Scholarship to study contemporary Hawaiian cultural and linguistic revitalization. I studied 19th-century newspapers and contemporary Hawaiian texts in order to understand how Hawaiian language revitalization both past and present has advanced and continues to enable a contemporary bodied Hawaiian politic of sovereignty.
Taught by Laura McPherson, this class taught me about how languages create meaning through words. During this class, I learned how to analyze different languages' morphological processes and compare different approaches within the field as to morphological structures.
Taught by N. Bruce Duthu, this class offered me a glimpse into the lived realities of Native people in Indian Country Today. I learned about the economic, social, cultural, and historical roots for the struggles of Indigenous people today within the United States, and was able to write about the contemporary battle for Native Hawaiian visibility and Hawaiian sovereignty.
Taught by Laura McPherson, this class taught me how to engage in language documentation and how, as a linguist, we can put our skills to use to help communities seeking to document and revitalize their languages. I worked on the Satawalese language, spoken on the island of Satawal in the Federated States of Micronesia. Ultimately, my team created two dictionaries - one in English, one in Hawaiian, a website, and several materials that focused on the Satawalese tradition of wayfinding and non-instrumental ocean navigation.
Taught by Charles Eastman fellow Sunaina Kale, this class taught me about the role of sound in delineating, conceiving, and comprehending relations between people and the land in Indigenous musical traditions. Over the course of the class, we discussed Indigenous musicians, listened to music from Native peoples around the world, heard from masterful Indigenous musicians, and ultimately presented a project that creatively analyzed a song of our choice. My project focused on the song "Ask Yourself" by Foster the People, and I wrote a poem that integrated aspects of Indigenous languages and worldviews to answer questions posed by the song.
This term, I formally began the research process for my upcoming honors thesis in the Linguistics department on Hawaiian semantics! While living in Hanover, I also began working as a Senior Fellow with the Admissions department—a position I will be holding for the entirety of my last year at Dartmouth.
Making Connections: Faculty Engagement, but Virtual!
How do you create relationships with faculty at Dartmouth?
Getting to know Dartmouth faculty enriches school life in so many ways. It's simple, helpful, and often fun -- even virtually!
One of the biggest advantages to Dartmouth's liberal arts environment is the potential for meeting amazing faculty. I've frequently sung the praises of Dartmouth's faculty through a ton of my posts, especially my first year, but as a sophomore my ability to meet faculty hasn't been altered in the slightest through COVID.
Dartmouth class sizes tend to be small -- really small! One of my first classes at Dartmouth was a seminar-style class of only 8 people. That class, Indigistory, was my first experience being in such an intimate environment so driven by the class. It was never boring, my classmates never had those glazed eyes that might accompany a drawn-out lecture, and above all else, we knew each other well. My professor for that class, Dr. Gordon Henry, actually took myself and some of my peers out to breakfast and gave us some incredible advice about our academic careers and actively took the time to get to know us better, and because of that experience, I ended up diving into classes in the Native American Studies department.
But now, with classes held virtually, how does meeting people like that even happen? The answer: easily!
During the spring, I met with each of my four professors individually multiple times. Whether simply getting to know each other outside of the classroom, or receiving specific feedback about some of my work, or even looking to the future and discussing my future academic goals, my professors were a constant source of reassurance and actively engaged my educational experience. It's incredible how valuable a conversation can be!
Since my first spring term in 2020, which was Dartmouth's first online term, it's been a wonderful, stress-free experience meeting with my professors. Many of them set up virtual "office hours" -- office hours are basically times when a professor sets time aside to be in their office and speak with students, either to discuss course material in greater detail or even just to get to know students better. Though definitely intimidating at first -- I had no idea what office hours were when I applied to Dartmouth or even when I'd just arrived -- professors perfectly understand, but make themselves available precisely so that students can engage further with both the material and get to know the professors themselves. Nowadays, most of my professors set up another Zoom room that opens during certain hours where myself or my fellow students can simply drop in to say hi, ask (beg) for hints about a given homework assignment, or even get advice for research. Thanks to this time outside of class, some professors have given me some incredible insight into my own research questions, directed me to highly relevant material, and have been happy to write me a recommendation for different things I've tried applying for.
This type of engagement between faculty and students is a definite Dartmouth advantage in many ways. If you're seeking a professional degree or graduate school, recommendations are essential! When talking to friends from high school, they're often pretty wow-ed by how well professors have gotten to know me in the relatively short time period that is a Dartmouth term -- even more so that a lot of my meetings happen from a simple email! I'm beyond glad that my college allows for that kind of connection, because I can't overexaggerate how helpful and valuable my faculty connections have been as I consider my future plans. It's an incomparable aspect of the undergraduate experience that I can't encourage you all enough to consider as you determine the best school for you. Hope this helps!
To all prospective students who may be reading this, deciding on where to apply to college and where to commit is one of the most difficult decisions. I highly recommend you to take a step back to look at the amenities your university would provide.