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!
When I was heading into Dartmouth, one of the things that I was most afraid to ask about but most curious to learn about was social life, parties, and what students did for fun! It can be a lot to have to think about starting an entirely new academic journey, let alone making new friends and figuring out what to do outside of classes.
My first "social" group was actual my improv group, Casual Thursday! In addition to rehearsing and doing improv, we would go out to meals, watch movies, and hang out to get to know each other better. A lot of times, money that we made from performances would cover these outings, so we wouldn't have to pay a cent. We even rented a karaoke machine and did karaoke last year, and whenever we get new members we make sure to throw a big party to welcome them.
Secondly, my fraternity has been a big social avenue for me. Not only have I been able to meet people and make friends from London to South Korea, but we spend plenty of time having barbeques, playing IM sports, or dancing to DJ parties. You don't have to rush if you want to be a part of the Greek community, though, because any Dartmouth student can go to any Greek event that is open to campus! Having the ability to choose whether you want to be a member or just go to events makes it super inclusive to whatever kind of social event you are looking forward to.
Lastly, the Collis Center and the Office of Student Life throw different events all the time! One of my favorites events featured going into a giant hamster ball and playing soccer against other students. They turn our great hall into a skating rink, host free movies on the lawn, and have pottery painting events. Some are more mindful and focused on reflection while other events are all about meeting new people.
No matter what kind of social scene you are looking for, Dartmouth has plenty to offer, from huge DJ parties to potter painting with your friends. I know that it can be overwhelming to think about, but know that if I just had the courage to ask somebody I would have felt a lot more confident going in. Nevertheless, I have been around the block a few times and hopefully these suggestions can help you find some ways to relax after class!
In the spirit of being another term closer to finally going back to Dartmouth, I thought I would talk about a few things this term that have still felt distinctively Dartmouth, even though I'm thousands of miles away.
But at the end of the day, when people ask me what my favorite Dartmouth memories are, I'm always thinking about the place. Ice skating, pink sunsets, riverbanks, or canoeing? That's my highlight reel.
In a world where proper social distancing is so important, Novack Café has fulfilled a unique desire for current on-campus students; it's a place to study, hang out with friends, and grab a snack—all while staying COVID safe.