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Cardigan Sunrike

Hello everyone!

I've been busy with some other pursuits over the last few months, including an incredible sophomore summer and an equally enjoyable off-term in New York. While all of these adventures and opportunities were a lot of fun, I've missed blogging. This was my first activity at Dartmouth, so I figured I'd return to the routine for winterim (Our winter break) and give a recap of some experiences, both positive and negative! 

To start, I figured I'd talk about my sophomore summer, a staple experience of every Dartmouth student's four years. For those who aren't familiar with what this is, sophomore summer is an on-campus requirement at Dartmouth, where all students must stay in Hanover and take classes for a summer term in between their sophomore and junior years. It's meant to be a time to not only learn and have a quality academic experience, but to also bond as a class during a period where nobody else is on campus, as we transition from underclassmen to emerging leaders at Dartmouth. '23s and '22s always described their summer experiences as incredible, hyping it up to be their favorite term on campus. It's a known staple of the Dartmouth experience, and to say I was excited for it would be an understatement. 

Going into the summer, I knew I would be undertaking a few different leadership roles around campus, so I wanted to make sure I didn't overcommit myself too quickly. Hanover in the summer is beautiful, with consistently warm and sunny weather, and I knew I'd want to have a lot of downtime to swim in the river and spend time with friends. Because of this, I only took two classes, instead of the usual three. I took an anthropology class about examining African and African-American culture with an anthropological perspective, but through the lens of film and media. We watched a number of films and art pieces and engaged in interesting and engaging discussions, and this class was easily my favorite I've taken at Dartmouth. The other class I took was equally exciting, a staple experience of the theater department. Summer Theater Lab is a term-long immersive course that focuses on new and developing works, and we participated in a number of residencies with visiting artists, including the New York Theater Workshop. This experience was deeply exciting and a great way to meet artists from across the country. I feel like students rarely get to work on new projects, so it was a very unique class to be able to take. 

Outside of academics, my summer was equally positive. I was one of the directors of Ujimelt, the summer version of Ujima, the dance troupe I'm a part of on campus. Each summer, the dance groups at Dartmouth hold open auditions for students to join for the term, focusing more on creating a positive, fun environment that's less intense or rigorous than the year-round counterparts. As one of the directors of Ujimelt, I was able to lead weekly practices, choreograph dances, and schedule shows for our group, which ended up being around 35 people. It was an absolute blast, especially because a lot of the dancers were good friends of mine, so the addition of a personal and social level made the whole experience even more fun. 

Picture from Ujimelt's final performance

In addition to leading Ujimelt, I also had a leadership role as a social chair of my fraternity, and had a blast scheduling and organizing a number of events throughout the term. Summer as a whole was an incredible time to strengthen the bonds between the '24s and I developed an even deeper appreciation for Dartmouth. I think the fact that we started our college experiences during the pandemic made our class extremely close to start, but having the summer to continuously make new friends and get to know everyone better was such a positive experience. Whether it was in rehearsal for a new play, dancing with friends, or napping by the river, I made tons of unforgettable memories this summer—it definitely lived up to the hype and I am so grateful to have had such an amazing experience. 

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