Hello there, friend! My name is Love and I am a '23. Aside from being on the pre-med track, I'm currently interested in studying math and public policy. I have a penchant for old things, learning languages, and the arts. I also love personality tests, irrespective of their actual validity—in case you're curious, I'm an INFJ, Scorpio, dragon, and type 2w1.
BIOL 11.07 (Major Events in the History of Life and the Human Genome) is a very unique class. We learn topics such as oxidative phosphorylation in conjunction with evolution and paleontology. In other words, where and when did ETC come from, and how can we support our hypothesis? Though not an easy class by far, every day the material I learn amazes me with the wonder of life, which is how biology should be!
MES 7.03 (Jerusalem: Vision and Reality) was my First-Year Seminar and such an interesting class to take! We explored Jerusalem through three main viewpoints (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The class had a bit of religion, literature, anthropology, sociology, and even geography—all things I love to study but don't necessarily have the space for with our three-class quarters. I often found myself going to office hours just to talk with my professor about questions I had outside of the reading!
COSC 10 (Problem Solving with Object-Oriented Programming) is a data structures course and the last pre-requisite for the computer science major. Though I added it as a fourth class on a whim because of COVID-19 and remote learning, it quickly became my favorite class this term because I loved the problem solving that CS has to offer. It is a difficult class but the emotional and academic rewards make it all worth it!
This was one of four classes I took during fall term and it was super interesting! We learned about healthcare systems and innovations from around 4 guest lecturers per week, and were able to do research on our own and propose a new system at the end of the term. Students came from all over campus and the course was very enlightening for me in terms of understanding how care is dispensed in the U.S. and how we can improve it.
Though this was my first "foundation" course in the Biology department and I still found it challenging, I really enjoyed learning the material and found it all super exciting! We learned about DNA replication, mRNA transcription and protein translation, genetics, and had the opportunity to do a literature review at the end of the term.
The dreaded Organic Chemistry sequence of my pre-med track came upon me faster than I thought it would, but it surprised me by being one of my favorite classes to date! I found it intellectually interesting (even though it was time-consuming), probably because I treated it like a STEM-and-logic puzzle instead of pure STEM or pure memorization. Am I great at it? Not necessarily. Do I remember everything I've learned? I'm not too sure! Am I mentally ready for Organic Chemistry 2 next term? Not at all! But I had a lot of fun doing this class and surprised even myself with how I tackled it.
What do you like about the D-Plan? What are the traits/goals of someone who would likely benefit from it?
Though I'm just a freshman, being able to schedule my own college experience has given me a lot of freedom as I look to the next four years.
A D-Plan allows you to have more flexibility within your college career. If you want to avoid Hanover winters, you can do that your sophomore and junior year! If there are certain internships or programs that are not available in the summer, you can take off any other quarter and thus have access to a wider variety of opportunities (not to mention that you would be competing against fewer people for the same number of spots). Want to do something in government and work for a candidate during election season? You can! If you are pre-med and not aiming to do a gap year, you can take spring and summer off your junior year and study for the MCAT without the additional stress of academic coursework. The possibilities are endless and the D-Plan is easily adaptable to best suit most hypothetical needs.
Dartmouth's D-Plan basically means that you have to have 3 off-terms (normally "summers") and 12 on-terms—you can even stack your three off-terms together to take a gap year in the middle of your Dartmouth education and still graduate on time. How people take advantage of this quarter-system is completely up to them and you are still able to do a traditional fall-winter-spring all four years if you so choose. In this way, more conventionally-minded along with more creative people can benefit from the D-Plan system, although I would say that the person who could make the most of it would be someone who has precise and concrete ideas for how they want to structure their time away from college.
Does anyone want to take an off-term to go see the Aurora Borealis?