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Blue-ish sunset at Occom Pond

One special opportunity I did not utilize my fall and winter term is the "Take a Faculty Member to Lunch" program offered by the Undergraduate Deans Office. This program allows students to invite a professor out for a meal at either our fine dining restaurant PINE in the Hanover Inn (just right across the Green), or the 1953 Commons (aka FoCo) dining hall — all on Dartmouth's dime! Additionally, "Take a Faculty Member to Lunch" can be utilized every term as a way to encourage students to engage in conversations that can range from academic interests to general life experiences with the professor of their choice. As my friends spoke excitedly about taking one of their professors to lunch during the last two terms, I made it one of my spring term goals: identify a professor early on that I would like to get to know more outside of the classroom; timely, this happened to be my seminar professor Dr. Stefan Link of the history department — I really enjoy the way Dr. Link initiates discussions in our class about the Green New Deal, and how attentive he is when responding back to our thoughts, which makes my ability to participate in the class to be of a mixture between excitement and delight.

My classmate/friend Laurel and I decided to invite Dr. Link out to lunch together since the program allows for a maximum of three students and one professor to attend, which I find to be comforting if you are feeling a bit nervous about what conversations to initiate or if there will be any awkward pauses during the meal.

Initiating the voucher was very easy as all I had to do was click on the tile in my DartHub (the student portal) labeled "Take a Faculty Member to Lunch" and then fill out the date of the meal, the professor's name and department, meal location, and any additional students. For PINE restaurant, each individual is given $30 for their meal, so our voucher's total was $90.

At first, I was a little nervous about my lunch with Professor Link because I wasn't sure how the lunch would go, or what exactly I would discuss with him; but, I'm really grateful Laurel decided to join me on this lunch since she was really great at initiating conversations with us all, as well as her upbeat attitude that made this meal a lot more enjoyable.

In all, I'm very grateful to have utilized this program as I got to learn a little more about one of my professors outside of the classroom setting, and Dr. Link's research area of interest when not discussing the Green New Deal. Dartmouth's faculty are some of the most brilliant specialists in their field, but I'm grateful to be introduced to another facet as I recognize they are also real people too.

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