Jonathan's D-PlanWhat's a D-Plan?
FallOn-CampusFavorite Class: Arabic 001: First Year Courses in Arabic
The best part of this class was just how fun and easy the professor made it to begin learning a new language. I had no background in Arabic before coming to college, so I was really nervous about just how different this language would be from what I was used to (Arabic has a completely different alphabet and it is written from right to left!) Thankfully, this professor took it nice and slow for us, and after ten weeks of hard, but good work, I felt like I had a strong grasp on the once foreign basics of Arabic.
WinterOn-CampusFavorite Class: Writing 005: The American Criminal Injustice System
This class was the hardest class I took this term, but by far the most rewarding. This was a first-year writing seminar meant to get our writing to a college level. The professor had extremely high standards for us, knowing that if we put the work in we could be great writers. While it was definitely hard to make it through the class, I definitely saw an extreme amount of improvement in my writing. The topic itself was also really interesting, and helped me decide that I wanted to go into law to potentially help correct some of the injustices present in our criminal justice system.
SpringOn-CampusFavorite Class: WGSS 7.15 Looks, Lookism, and the Law
This class was taught by the same professor that taught my writing 5 class, and she is easily one of my favorite professors now. It was really cool to have a writing professor two terms in a row, because I truly felt like I had someone tracking my progress and helping me improve the things that I needed specific help with. It also gave me my first opportunity to write a really extensive research paper; I finished the term by writing a 45-page policy report on height discrimination in the work place. It was a fantastic topic to write about and I now feel like I have a strong grasp on that topic!
SummerRabat, MoroccoFavorite Class: Arab 11
This class was an overview of Moroccan culture, government and history, which gave us a much better context of what we were experiencing as we lived there. The program had us living with host families, and I was specifically assigned to a Jewish family that kept kosher! It was really amazing to see that we had so many religious practices and values in common and could communicate through those, even if we didn’t fully understand each other perfectly through language. The program also allowed us to travel on our own around the country for two weeks, and since we had taken a class on all things Morocco, we went from merely being tourists to having a greater understanding of what we observed. If you are ever in Morocco, I recommend going to Chefchaouen or Essaouira, my two favorite Moroccan cities! Overall, it was a really great learning opportunity!
FallOn-CampusFavorite Class: Govt 10: Quantitative Political Analysis
I don’t think many people would consider this commonly taken government pre-requisite their favorite course of the term, however, I had an absolutely amazing time. I haven’t taken a math class since high school, so the idea of focusing my time on statistics really had me nervous. I was pleased to find out that the course mostly focused on teaching us a statistical coding program, R, and I learned I had a love for coding. Sure, it wasn’t traditional coding, but it was really cool knowing how to manipulate data to produce desired results! It was also cool because the people in this class were extremely willing to be collaborative, and I ended up making a lot of new friends because of it. Govt 10 was definitely a great class to kick off sophomore year.
WinterOn-CampusFavorite Class: Hanover FSP
This was my first Hanover FSP (term spent in Hanover not taking classes), and honestly it was a good experience. It was nice to not have the constant pressure of classwork and still have larger projects to work on in my own time. I had two research jobs this term. First, I was doing research on drone laws as they exist in New Hampshire and as they exist elsewhere, and the implications of implementing new laws vs. not implementing them. I also worked at Dartmouth’s game design lab, Tiltfactor, where I spent a lot of my time trying to create word puzzles that would help elderly people be less lonely (there is some psychology behind it that I am not fully familiar with, but it’s really cool!), and I also helped facilitate a virtual reality study (also really cool). Overall, it was a nice change of pace where I got to work on some really cool and impactful projects.
SpringOn-CampusFavorite Class: Arab 5.02: Arab Political Thought
I think of this term as my term of exploration into political thought. I took this course alongside a course in western political thought, and being able to take these classes side by side was an amazing way to contrast their roots, development, and impact. This class was great because I had no familiarity with the content beforehand, and wouldn’t even know where to find this information had I not taken the course. It was really a fascinating topic to explore, and certainly gave me a better understand of the underpinnings of the current political systems, factions and conflicts that exist in the Arab world!
SummerOn-CampusFavorite Class: Writ 43: The Written Judicial Opinion
I had wanted to take this class since my freshman spring since it was taught by the same professor that taught my writing 5 and writing seminar, and it did not disappoint! Every week we got to explore different current supreme court case opinions, and engage in deep rhetorical analysis. It was a little strange being able to openly criticize some of the justices’ opinions knowing that they are some of the most intelligent, well-educated, and powerful people in the country, yet everything was fair game if you had a solid argument and the evidence to back it up. This was also a great way to once again improve my writing ability, as it’s important to always keep improving and moving forward with this skill.
FallOn-CampusFavorite Class: Theater 30: Acting I
Acting I was more than just an ordinary class. It was an environment of ultimate self-reflection and self-discovery, where we learned to both be vulnerable and firm in ourselves at the same time. I know that sounds cheesy and cliché, but when you spend ten weeks breaking down your own habits and perceptions of normal behavior to best adapt to the stage, while sharing some of the most personal moments of your life with others, you are allowed to be a little cliché. I think one of the biggest take aways was realizing that a key aspect of acting is not merely pretending to be something you are not, but accessing and emphasizing different parts of your personality to fit a character. Even though I am a very chilled out person most of the time, I learned that there was a part of me that was quite loud and emotional, and that was as thrilling to learn as much as it was terrifying. I definitely will remember this course as one of my favorite Dartmouth experiences.
WinterOn-CampusFavorite Class: Hanover FSP
Knowing that I would be participating in domestic study program the term after this one, I decided I wanted to stay on campus and do some more research. This time I worked directly with a government professor. His main area of interest right now is exploring great power intervention in the domestic affairs of other great powers, and I had the opportunity to focus on British intervention and subversion against the USSR in the early cold war. It was absolutely fascinating, especially considering this is a topic that so few people explore. I hope to be able to continue working on related research in the future!
SpringWashington, D.C.Favorite Class: DC Domestic Study Program
Because I’ve been doing research on all of my off terms, I have not had any real internships before this term. This program gave me the awesome opportunity to find an internship and get credit it for it, while also taking some very interested policy related classes. I found an internship working for a congressman from New York, and honestly I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would! While I didn’t get to do anything ground breaking, I got a very good sense of what really happens and how things actually work down there on the Hill. It was just very cool being able to see all those politicians people know from tv just casually strolling to lunch in the hallways and whatnot. I also got to meet some pretty cool people, my favorite of which was Jon Stewart! I got to meet him on my second day, which was unfortunate because that meant the job peaked on its second day. Overall, I was extremely happy with this experience, and now know that I probably want to live in DC eventually.
Best Places to Nap on Campus
Many of us have had times where we've gotten tired in the middle of the day and just needed a quick snooze. But what happens when you don't want more coffee and you're too far away from your bed? Here is a list of my favorite places on campus to take a quick nap.
- No. 1
Ok, so this is certainly the most public of the list, and certainly the most seasonal, but when the weather is good the nap is better. There are plenty of trees to lay under and get some shade, and it’s always nice to wake up and know you are minutes away from whatever your next stop is. Also, you absolutely know your nap won’t get in anyone’s way!
- No. 2
First Floor Berry (FFB)
This one is still a pretty public place, but a great option during any time of the year. I like this option because it’s a great place if you need a quick break from studying while you’re in there. One minute you can be deep in your studies, the next you can be deep in your dreams.
- No. 3
The Cube (House Center B)
The housing centers are the most unknown option but some of the best. They are warm, there are several of them, and they have couches. Take the nap after 6 p.m. in the cube and you have a snack bar to provide a nice post-nap snack. Overall, a fantastic option for when you are both hungry and tired at the same time.
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From the pandemic to the election, to online learning, every month seemed to be a new level of Jumanji. However, we have made it. And though 2020 has given me great lessons and experiences, I am looking forward to this new year and for what it holds.