Jenny's D-PlanWhat's a D-Plan?
FallOn CampusFavorite Class: Sociology 001
I looked forward to this class every week, partly because of the professor and partly due to the content. We read books on a wide variety of topics, ranging from privilege and how it affects our interactions with others to restaurant kitchens and the hierarchies inherent in surgical residencies.
WinterOn CampusFavorite Class: Biology 013
Biol13 is structured so that you have to work as a group on difficult class problems and even on some exams, which was novel to me and pushed me to really understand the material. This class inspired me to pursue research (both off-campus and on-campus) related to genetics.
SpringOn CampusFavorite Class: The Body: The Nude in Western Visual Art
Although this class was daunting to me in the beginning, given that I had little to no experience in either Women's, Gender, and Sexuality or Art History, it was also one of the classes in which I became the most engaged in. For our final project, I investigated the history of allegories in Western art and why they were so often portrayed as women.
I interned at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA under Dr. Livingston. I explored the mechanism by which BRCA1 acts as a tumor suppressor. It was really rewarding to be able to apply what I had learned in Biol13, including specific procedures and techniques we had been tested on, to a real-life laboratory setting.
FallOn CampusFavorite Class: Organic Chemistry
This class is notorious for its difficulty, and I would not call it an easy class. Nonetheless, it was my favorite class because I loved Professor Jacobi, who has taught at Dartmouth for 22 years, and I appreciated learning mechanisms behind why certain reactions happen. Instead of rote memorization, this class relied on being able to predict the products of a reaction, a skill picked up from lots of practice.
WinterOn CampusFavorite Class: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Although this was an introductory class, Professor Craig made it more dynamic and interactive, with several visits to the Hood Museum of Art, ethnography labs, and weekly discussion posts. I learned about everything from the Gebusi culture and their rites of passage to the opioid epidemic. For my final paper, I conducted an ethnography studying the social dynamics that take place in Baker Lobby and how that relates to the exchange of capital.
SpringOn CampusFavorite Class: Introduction to Programming and Computation
Though I had taken four years of computer science before (mostly in middle school), I did not have a very good experience with coding prior to taking CS1. However, the professor was one of the best professors I have had, explaining jargon in understandable ways and even giving out chocolate bars to students who answered the most difficult questions she would ask in class. I was certain that there was no way I would be able to create the lab assignments (such as a revolving solar system animation and map of Dartmouth that calculated the shortest possible route between two points), but she enabled all of us to through exercises, short assignments, and exams.
SummerOn CampusFavorite Class: Sex, Gender, and Society
I took this class for a distributive requirement and ended up loving it. Each student was assigned a day to present on a certain topic - mine being patriarchy. I decided to analyze relationships in Crazy Rich Asians through a lens of the patriarchal bargain. We explored transgender issues, the history of feminism, gender identity, and so much more. Would highly recommend!
FallOn CampusFavorite Class: Sports Analytics
As someone who didn't know the rules to pretty much any sport, I tentatively signed up for this class. However, the professors made it clear that everyone had a different sports background, so I never felt at a disadvantage. We used Markov chains to predict winners of tennis matches, analyzed field goals kicks using logit models, and listened to guest speakers from a variety of industries.
I spent the winter at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, studying epidemiology and global health. I was first involved on a project using data surveillance and social media to model Ebola outbreaks in the DRC, but as soon as the COVID-19 outbreak started, I transitioned to that. I was even able to publish my first paper!
I was planning to study in Rome for the term and practice my basic Italian skills, but unfortunately the program was canceled. Instead of taking classes, I decided to continue working at my winter internship at NIH. Some of the research I conducted involved analyzing data on excess mortality as a method of estimating the true burden of COVID-19.
I continued my research at Fogarty while also working part-time as a Learning Fellow for BIOL13 (Gene Expression and Inheritance), a job I also did my sophomore summer. It was great to see some familiar faces and help with transitioning this very interactive class into something Zoom-friendly!
FallOn CampusFavorite Class: Design Thinking
I had heard about this class long before taking it my senior fall, as it's one of those quintessential Dartmouth classes. We had a total of six projects over ten weeks, many of which were group projects. They included everything from building rollercoasters, creating Photoshop posters to combat harmful misconceptions, and designing prototypes to improve student dorm life. I learned so much about what it means to design ethically and purposefully, and will definitely carry these lessons forward with me in my future endeavors.
Five Movies I Watched for Class
One of the things I enjoy most about Dartmouth is the fact that our classes are not only small and intimate, but also engaging in a way that goes beyond simple lectures and problem sets.
- No. 1
In my sex, gender, and society class, our final project involved analyzing the movie Colette and applying a few of the concepts we had learned throughout the term to it. The movie tells a story centered around the 19th century French novelist Colette. After watching it a few times, I felt compelled to write about gender performativity and how it is maintained by traditional gender roles.
- No. 2
Rabbit Proof Fence
While learning about indigenous culture and traditions, my introduction to cultural anthropology class watched Rabbit-Proof Fence, an Australian film that tells a story about two Aboriginal girls who escape from a native settlement to return to their families. It was an incredibly moving piece that brought the impact of discriminatory laws and policies into reality.
- No. 3
Rosso come il cielo
Everyone knows that the best way to learn a language is to listen to music, watch movies, and follow TV shows in that language. Rosso come il cielo, in Italian, introduced a young blind boy and his passion for music-mixing. Although it was pretty difficult to understand what they were saying without subtitles, given that we had only started learning Italian for a few weeks, it definitely helped us get used to the face-paced nature of the language.
Seven Songs that Remind Me of Dartmouth
I think it's cool to keep track of the unique mood of each term at Dartmouth with a specific playlist capturing my favorite songs at the time. Here are some (in chronological order) that remind me of Darty.
- No. 1
Every Time We Touch by Cascada
This just had to be on the list. Though the song is 14 years old, the First-Year Trips program keeps it a timeless classic. One of the ways that freshmen bond on Trips is through learning dances together to songs such as this one. However, the moves are kept fresh in most of our minds, given that it’s played at pretty much every single formal for sentiment’s sake.
- No. 2
Pretty Face by PUBLIC
The first Friday of every fall term features a concert, Fallapalooza. My freshman year, PUBLIC was the artist. Although this was the first time I had heard of the band and their songs, I found them so captivating that I started following their music afterwards. The uplifting rock/pop is a perfect throwback to my first term as a college student - a time of excitement and novelty.
- No. 3
Waking Up the Giants by Grizfolk
Less connected to Dartmouth and more to my own experience, this song reminds me of my freshman winter, when I had just discovered the Dana Biomedical Library. Many afternoons and nights were spent there with a checked-out Genetics textbook, listening to this alternative rock album.
Things to Know About Studying Abroad at Dartmouth
I originally thought that only those studying foreign languages could study abroad, but boy was I wrong.
- No. 1
Any major can do it!
I originally thought that only those studying languages could study abroad, but boy was I wrong. There are two main types of study abroad programs sponsored through Dartmouth — foreign study programs and language study abroad programs. While you can certainly speak and read Spanish in Barcelona or French in Paris, there are also opportunities to study government in London, music in Vienna, and art history in Rome, just to name a few.
- No. 2
Studying abroad fulfills major and minor credits
One of the most common reasons why students study abroad is because the classes help them graduate! A professor in the department usually travels with the group of students (around 15) and teaches one of the courses. The other two classes are either taught by Dartmouth faculty or the local college faculty. Oftentimes, all three classes fulfill the major or minor, and it can be a great way to knock out several requirements in one term. They can also go towards distributive requirements as well.
- No. 3
Financial aid carries over
If you are worried that studying abroad may be too expensive, have no fear! The financial aid you receive on a typical Dartmouth term extends when you are abroad. However, study abroad programs are typically a little more expensive given that you will be traveling and exploring a new place, which can include eating the local cuisine, going to museums and shows, and food, history, and culture. Many of the meals may be covered by a host family and some group outings (including excursions elsewhere) are covered by the College.
A Year in Review: Dartmouth through the Seasons
It's officially 2020, and seeing as I won't be returning to Dartmouth until next September, I thought it would be fitting to reflect back on my past year (most of which was spent on-campus).
- No. 1
Not to anyone's surprise, snow was a common sight most mornings of my winter term. I fully embraced the season and took skiing lessons every Saturday with my freshman year roommate. Besides a minor fiasco where I lost my phone on the mountain (a stranger kindly and miraculously returned it), I enjoyed every second! My older sister, who lives in Boston, also visited me for the Winter Carnival, which this year, was Ice Age-themed. We looked at the ice sculptures, climbed the Baker-Berry tower, and I showed her the skiing skills I had learned at the Dartmouth Skiway.
- No. 2
In the spring, it became warm enough to study outside, which is something I love to do. Sitting on the patio of Haldeman, I frequently worked on my coding assignments and read my physics textbook while people walked to and fro to class. I also attended some cool events, such as a talk by Margaret Atwood, one of my favorite authors! I bought a copy of her novel Alias Grace as a companion to my worn-down The Handmaid's Tale. There was also an organic chemistry symposium held for my organic chemistry professor in honor of his retirement. A few of my classmates and I attended, and while most of the technical knowledge flew right over our heads, we did enjoy seeing a few photos of our professor as a Ph.D. student.
- No. 3
Back to (summer) school! Sophomore summer finally rolled around and it did not disappoint. Weeks were full of Bachelorette viewing parties, trips off-campus to Vermont, canoeing and kayaking, Wednesday farmer's markets, and a lot of sunlight. It was also my first ever term without a class with a laboratory component, which meant an extra four hours a week of free time. As It was gearing up to be full-blown 2020 presidential campaigning season, I attempted to attend a few for a better understanding of each of the candidates' platforms. After narrowly missing being allowed into a Joe Biden event, my friends and I made sure to line up early to hear Pete Buttigieg speak. We even got a photo with him!
Handmade Dumplings, Pocky, and a Taste of Home
Sometimes I crave homemade Chinese food, which was part of my daily life for 18 years. Luckily, the Dartmouth Chinese Culture Society and the Office of Pluralism and Leadership Asian American Mentoring Program organized a dumpling making event!