Hey there! My name is Simon and I'm a Senior (which is scary) enjoying my time here in Hanover! In addition to being a Blogger, I am a Tour Guide, I am involved with Greek Life, the German community, Performing Arts, Club Sports, and a bunch of other things on campus! I blog a lot about whatever I am interested in at the moment, and also love to use this as a place to reflect on my time at Dartmouth. I hope you enjoy my blog and let me know if you have any questions!
I came to Dartmouth as a Bio-Medical Engineering hopeful, and after my first week in class with Professor Murphy studying the classics of political philosophy, I totally changed my mind! I had never taken anything even close to a philosophy class in High School, so this was an amazing opportunity for me to be exposed to a field that I had never seen, and now love! I also loved bringing in the work I did in my other class (German 1) to this class so that I could read some of the pieces in German!
With my new found love for Political Science, I decided to take one of the biggest requirements for the major, Gov 10. I worked with Prof. Horiuchi to do a really cool research project on the effect of fake news on American voters in the US! We actually looked into getting funding to work on the research and publish it in a journal. I was pretty worried about taking a super math heavy class, but it ended up working out pretty well.
This spring in Hanover was one of my favorite terms! I had my first Green Key (which was my first concert ever) and I got to work in the admissions department with all of our visiting admitted students! I ended up hosting 6 students across the 2 weekends of "Dimensions", our admitted students weekends and ended up getting really close with a few of them. I still see them around on campus and they have hosted students of their own now!
So I did kind of a crazy thing and decided that I wanted my first time abroad to be a fully immersive home-stay study abroad with Dartmouth! I flew almost 18 hours from Hawai'i to London where I stayed with a really good friend and fellow Sophomore before jumping on a plane to Berlin. My host family and I got on immediately over our shared love of Lucky Charms, and I skype them almost once a month still! I will never forget riding down the cobblestone streets in my suburb of Berlin every morning and stopping by the Backeri to pick up a muffin on my way to class. It was such a surreal experience and something I would never have thought of doing before I came to Dartmouth. Also, fun fact, I got my first tattoo in Germany!
I took this amazing class with Susan Brison where we not only analyzed case books and took an in depth look at how the constitution is interrupted in various ways by various justices, but also had visits from law professors from all around the world! The class worked really well for me because it met twice a week during the evening, so I had time to schedule other events during the day.
Through the help of one of my academic advisors and with the information I learned in my fall law class, I was lucky enough to get an internship at a non-profit law firm in my home town! I got the call while I was sitting eating breakfast in Collis, and because I was not in school during a time when a lot of other students are, I was the only intern and the first undergraduate intern the office had ever had. I got to work with the family law unit, and really made an impact that I was happy with.
On a limb, I decided to apply for a class that looked at indigenous ways of knowing and how they proceeded or are intertwined with scientific study. During this class, I got to scrape a moose hide to make a traditional drum, learn from one of the foremost black ash basket makers in the world, and do biodiversity studies on local streams. This class was definitely one of the best I have ever taken at Dartmouth, and professor Reo is now helping with an independent study project!
Junior Fall is turning out to be a really interesting term! I am suddenly an upperclassman and starting to look at what I want to do after Dartmouth, which is a really interesting thing to pursue. I am excited to meet the '22s and do all of my favorite Fall things, but also excited to be off next term and see where my plans take me.
This Winter I am back home, working for a law firm and spending tons of time with my family! My regular day starts with breakfast with everyone, going into the firm and working on some cases from about 9:00am-2:00pm, and then heading to the beach before coming home for dinner. I am super happy to be home, studying for the LSAT and getting some work experience, but am excited to get back to Hanover.
It feels kind of weird to be back on campus because most of my friends were also gone, so its this interesting amalgamation of seeing people for the first time in 4 months but also all getting re-acquainted with the campus we know so well. I'm excited to take some classes that are a little bit different than what I would normally feel comfortable with, and I will share all about them in blogs to come. I am ready for Spring so catch me outside on the Green or in the sun as much as possible!
For the first time since Sophomore Summer all of the '20s are back which can only mean one thing, its senior year! I am so excited to watch peek foliage from inside with some nice cold apple cider. I am taking two seminar classes to finish my double major, and am excited to jump back into academics. Hopefully, the cold will stay off just long enough for me to get some good fall runs in, but I am eagerly awaiting the first snow!
With course selection for the upcoming Winter term bearing down on students, a lot of my friends have been asking each other what cool classes they should take, what upcoming distributive requirements they can fulfill, and talking about how they are about to finish their majors and or minors. Luckily for me, I have gone through more than 20 classes here and am finishing up all of my requirements but have had so many great experiences that I am happy to help people figure out their schedules and reminisce on some of my favorite classes. This week, I wanted to share how a couple of those classes have gone and give you all a window into the kinds of classes you can take at Dartmouth!
So as a Government and Philosophy double major and Environmental Studies minor, the last thing I expected to take in college was an art class. At Dartmouth, you have to fulfill a requirement that has some aspect of performance or art, allowing you to show your creative side and contribute to your education in a different way. To fulfill my distributive requirement, I decided to take a class called "Borderlands Art and Theory", a class that was cross-listed between Art History and Latin Studies. The class examined how borders, both real and imagined so-called "cultural borders," inspire and create art. Not only did we get to learn about the basics of art and art history, but we actually took a class field trip to New York to examine some of the art we looked at in class! We also had guest speakers who work in border art come and speak to us and went to the Hood Museum to handle pieces of art firsthand and learn from them directly. The classroom was an entirely different and inclusive experience for me, and it was all because of just one distributive requirement I had to fill.
The next class I love to brag to people about is a class I actually took this term called "Media and Advertising in Political Campaigns." In addition to studying from readings and lectures, the entire class also functioned as a fully-fledged campaign simulation in which we worked in groups to try and market successful campaigns based on what we had discussed from our readings. We got to create a candidate and develop ads, marketing material, and respond to realistic campaign stimuli like controversial statements, national emergencies, and press releases. Even though our candidate didn't win, it added a totally new dimension to how I studied government by actually being in it, and the simulation definitely helped me cap off the end of a fantastic major.
I could talk about how every class I have taken at Dartmouth has been fantastic or changed my learning because they all really have! We have such a wide variety of course offerings and so many incentivized changes to take classes outside of your comfort zone, so reach out to students and make sure to ask them about their favorite classes.
I am writing this blog post as I enter week 9 of my spring term. The weather is so sunny, refreshing, and awesome (it reminds me a lot of the weather in California). I am dedicating this post as a reflection on my week 8.