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!
This is a question that I get from a lot of prospective students and visitors, and before I go on to my more detailed answer I just want to say; Yes! Of course, I sleep!
Usually, this question is a response to the number of activities that I do on campus. I am heavily involved in a lot of different clubs, and it seems like a lot because this sort of involvement wouldn't be possible at any other school except for Dartmouth! My high school friends attending other colleges manage to juggle one, maybe two extracurricular in addition to their classes, study groups, and other mandatory college events. Because we have a three-class term here, I think there tends to be a climate of students wanting to get involved in a lot of different ways. At any other school, I wouldn't be able to be in the Outdoors Club and be the Vice President of an improv group, but at Dartmouth, I can. You have so much free time in college, that you really get to structure it how you want, particularly at Dartmouth.
If I want my evenings free I take classes in the morning and then have time to do my favorite 3 mile loop to Norwich, VT and back. If a class I really want to take is offered on Tuesday evenings one term, I can move my schedule around so that I can study in the mornings before class, and have the afternoons free. This sort of freedom to not only pick a schedule that works for you, but that also can change every 10 weeks is super liberating. It always makes each term feel a little different, so I don't feel as stagnated or anything. Obviously, time management is something that doesn't just come naturally to come people, and I was one of those people. In high school, I would literally run from meeting to meeting because of how poorly I planned things, but after just a couple terms at Dartmouth, I feel like I've got the hang of it.
So yes, I have plenty of time to sleep! I usually get between 7-8 hours of sleep a night (really) and still have time to study, do all the things that make me happy, and binge Netflix then and again. You don't need to be as busy as me at all, but if you're a person who likes to be involved in a lot of different things, you'll really be able to thrive here.