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.
FallNew Orleans, LA
Favorite Class: Native American Literature and the Law
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!
Favorite Class: Native American Literature and the Law
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.
Should I submit a peer recommendation as part of my application to Dartmouth?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: absolutely, totally, certainly, most definitely, resoundingly yes. And here's why.
Here at Dartmouth, we practice holistic admissions. What that means is simply that there isn't one recipe or right combination of factors that can seal your admission to Dartmouth. Rather, it's a dynamic blend of everything that constitutes you as an applicant, from your track record of academic achievement, to your extracurricular commitments, to anything and everything that you include in your application. All of those factors are evaluated according to your own contexts, and no two applications are the same!
But how does that relate to the peer recommendation? If you remind yourself that Dartmouth practices holistic admissions, then the peer recommendation is another piece to you that you can share with us. Your personal application materials might tell us a lot about what you love to study or how amazing you are at U.S. history or calculus, your counselor recommendation will tell us about you and your work in your school community, and your teacher recommendations will tell us about how you are as a student. But how often do you get to share what you're like as a friend, a classmate, and a peer? This is your chance!
Submitting a peer recommendation is a really unique and different way to demonstrate another side to yourself, from the perspective of someone close to you or someone you trust to present their perspective of you in a truly unique way (read more about the peer rec here). You can ask whoever you trust to share that side of you, but definitely recognize and take advantage of the unique perspectives a peer has as opposed to a teacher or counselor.
The peer recommendation is definitely something unique to Dartmouth—I didn't submit a peer recommendation to any other school—but I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to do so. For me, I asked a good friend of mine that had shared so, so many classes with me since freshman year, from STEM classes to English classes to a ton of different social studies classes. I didn't ask my best friend, but someone that got to see me through that lens and could share details about how I asked questions in class, or where I devoted all my time when I wasn't doing homework, or what it was like to have to listen to me rant on the way to class—it's the little things. But just like imagery in any good writing, letting your admissions officer see through the eyes of someone close to you is just another way to illustrate the truest version of you.
If you're thinking about applying to Dartmouth, I know you're not required to submit the peer rec, and I understand that asking your BFF to endorse you can be a tall order sometimes, but I promise you that it truly is just another way that Dartmouth is as holistic as possible. Take advantage of it! I hope this helps!
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.