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a picture of daffodil flowers

Last Sunday, I left my dorm with a legal pad, a second legal pad (just in case), a notebook, several pens, and two phones with full battery in my bag (for recording). I was more than prepared to interview Dartmouth alumna Elise Tillinghast and properly report her story, as a true journalism student. After leaving my dorm, I crossed the Green, and waited in front of Hanover Inn for my journalism professor to pick me up. I don't have a car on campus, but I needed a to somehow reach Elise's home, and my journalism professor kindly proposed to drive me.

Professor Jetter, who picked me up from Hanover that Sunday and drove to town where my interviewee lives, has taught the class ENGL 6, Journalism, for more than twenty years (I think). One of the most memorable assignments that she has assigned to many students over the years is to find someone over thirty and interview them in their home: in other words, get to know that person as well as possible and write a profile of them.

A few weeks into the spring term, I went to Professor Jetter's office hours, so we could discuss potential people for me to interview. Before we started talking about school work, however, she asked me about my interests and my ambitions. Soon enough the words writing, bird-watching and nature bubbled to the surface of our conversation, and Professor Jetter immediately thought of someone whose interests uncannily-well align with mine: Elise.

That's how I found myself a few weeks later in my professor's car, driving up from Hanover to the town where Elise lives. After I met Elise, her two kids, her husband, and her lovely dog Pompy, Elise and I went on a two-hour walk through their woodlands. I interviewed Elise for my journalism assignment, but I also learned so much from her: not only about the natural world that surrounded us (she taught me the names of a lot of wild-flowers and little creatures we saw) but also about being a mom, finding what you want to do in life, overcoming challenges, and enjoing life.

Before coming to Dartmouth, I would have never thought that I'd be spending my college weekends going on walks with alumni, interviewing them about their lives and riding in their car with their charming dog in my lap. Well... that's what some of my Dartmouth weekends actually look like.

And one last thing: Elise also writes a blog, and just as she's featured in MY blog here, I was also featured in hers! (I spotted an eastern garter snake that she took a picture of for her nature blog. You can check it out here).

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