Hey there! My name is Simon and I am a ~Junior~ (which is scary) but 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!
What is Pre-Law like and what if I want to go to Law School?
A recently accepted 23(!!!!!!!) recently emailed me and thanked me for a tour I had given him a couple of years ago. At the end of his email, he told me that he was interested in pursuing pre-law at Dartmouth, and knew that I was following that path and wanted some advice/direction in that area. I thought that it would be helpful to lay out some of the decisions I have made to get ready for applying to Law School, and what being "pre-law" at Dartmouth is like!
While the pre-med course at Dartmouth is much more structured and contains specific classes and end with a minor, pre-law at Dartmouth is much less structured and focused more on a very holistic image of what it takes to prepare a student for law-school. The first thing pre-law advisors can do is recommend classes to begin exploring the broad sub-fields found in the law. "Environmental Law", "Constitutional Law", and "Federal Indian Law" are all classes I have taken as a result of recommendations from pre-law advisors. I always recommend students interested in pursuing law school take a few of these classes just to get exposure to different legal fields and jargon in general before they take the next step: pursuing an internship.
There are so many different internships you could pursue in the legal field. Clerkships, Big-Firm internships, or Non-Profit work are just a few of the common paths that pre-law advisors and the Center for Professional Development can help arrange for you if you are interested in pursuing law! Personally, after taking several classes in my freshman year and sophomore fall, I decided to do a 12-week internship with the Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i (see the blog about that!). I worked in Non-Profit Family Law and got tons of professional development experience. For me, the internship process, if you choose to do it, is critical in figuring out if its something you really want to do after undergrad. After my internship, I knew that law school was going to be the path for me. This led me to another internship, this time in private family law and criminal defense, during my Junior Winter.
The last step I have on my path to law school is simply studying for the LSAT and applying! Pre-law advisors can help you find schools that are right for you, proctor practice exams, and help you organize the final steps towards law school. Currently, I have been studying with some practice books and taking tons of practice tests, and when I go back to campus I'll be working closely with pre-law advisors to find schools that are right for me. Hopefully hearing my experience may help some of you who are curious about the pathway from Dartmouth to law-school, and I can't wait to talk to you guys next time!
Sophomore summer is a Dartmouth classic, and something that captures a lot of what makes this school special - small classes and amazing professors, a close community, and boundless opportunities to explore, in all senses of the word.
Something that is relatively important to a Dartmouth term that has an unnecessary mysticism about it is the elusive period of testing at the end of every term known simply as "finals." While they are certainly difficult and do take a lot of work,