Simon's D-PlanWhat's a D-Plan?
FallHanover, NHFavorite Class: LING 1: Introductory Linguistics
I'd known since middle school that I wanted to major in linguistics, but this was my first chance to take a formal linguistics class, and I absolutely couldn't wait! "An introduction to the scientific description of human language," my (virtual, it was fall 2020) LING 1 class covered phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, language revitalization, and so much more! Prof. Coto-Solano couldn't have been a better introduction to Dartmouth linguistics; he's one of the kindest people I've ever met and, of course, unbelievably knowledgeable.
WinterHanover, NHFavorite Class: LING 23: Semantics and Pragmatics
But really, is a hot dog a sandwich? It's all just semantics; take this class to find out! Another Zoom favorite of mine, Prof. Pulju made every day in this course entertaining. I learned so much about the vast changes in perception and meaning that can come from the tiniest change in wording that most people don't even consciously pick up on. I wrote a final paper investigating the gray area between different past tenses in French--classic word nerd stuff, but so much fun.
SpringHanover, NHFavorite Class: ANTH 44: Language, Gender, & Sexuality
As a queer language nerd, this course naturally landed squarely at the intersection of my interests. This was my final virtual term at Dartmouth, and Prof. Billings made it a great one! We discussed the ways quotidian language use reinforces misogyny and transphobia, as well as the nuances of negotiating various iterations of femininities and masculinities through language--we all mediate our genders through language every single day, mostly in ways we don't even notice. The highlights were definitely presenting to the class on language and gender in Dorian Electra's "Flamboyant" and coming to a new understanding of my own identity through the sociolinguistic discussions we had throughout the course.
SummerMorrison, COFavorite Class: Summer at Home and Leading Orientation!
Still amidst the pandemic, I spent my freshman summer at home with my family and working a food service job. Outside of work, I had the chance to let the chaos and intense learning experience that was my first year settle behind me and reflect on how I wanted to shape my Dartmouth experience going forward. My freshman roommate, who's from Massachusetts and I've stayed close with to this day, visited me in Colorado, and I had so much fun showing them around! At the end of the summer, I went back to Hanover a little early to serve as an Orientation Leader and had a great time getting to know the 25s and helping them through their first days on campus in various capacities.
FallHanover, NHFavorite Class: LING 35: Field Methods
This six-person class with Prof. Stanford was one of the coolest classes I've taken throughout my whole time at Dartmouth. We spent the entire term learning linguistic field methods by doing collaborative research on the Georgian language alongside another Dartmouth student who's a native speaker of the language! I wrote a 45-page paper for this class on Georgian morphosyntax and really enjoyed it; finishing that paper was one of the most fulfilling moments of my Dartmouth career. The small class size was a wonderful chance to bond extensively with my classmates, and I also appreciated the challenge of being the only 24 in the course alongside more experienced Linguistics majors, from whom I learned so much.
WinterHanover, NHFavorite Class: ENGL 63.04: Arts Against Empire: Fictions of Revolution and Solidarity in the Americas
This was my first English class at Dartmouth, and the one that made me decide to declare an English minor. Prof. Stuelke, who's fantastic and inspired me to take another class with her (Contemporary American Fiction) my sophomore summer, assembled a brilliant syllabus that introduced us to an array of artistic activism traditions across time and geography. We read theory alongside memoirs, and examined photography and film alongside poetry and painting. Our final project was to create political art of our own, and I had the chance to photograph a number of trans and non-binary Dartmouth students as an exploration of stereotype, homonationalism, and transnormativity. I'm still friends with some of the students I photographed to this day, and it was a great joy to hear and tell the stories of so many of my fellow queer community members on campus!
SpringHanover, NHFavorite Class: LING 17: Sociolinguistics
After Field Methods, I had to take another class with Prof. Stanford, and I was so glad I did! This class was the ten-week, more in-depth version of those "pop/soda/coke" maps that you see online. We explored social speech patterns and how they vary (or don't!) across different geographic regions, genders, cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic status . . . the list goes on. This is one of my favorite subfields of linguistics, and I'd been excited to take it ever since I found out my freshman fall that it was offered. A large component of the class was an independent group research project; my group did a perceptual dialectology study on how L1 American English speakers (randomly selected from the Novack Café study area) viewed the Malaysian English dialect in comparison to American English. The survey results were fascinating, and I ended the class wishing I could spend another 10 weeks on the material!
SummerHanover, NHFavorite Class: FILM 44.01 Handmade Cinema
In the spirit of sophomore summer and trying new things, I decided to sign up for my very first film class at Dartmouth this term! I had no prior film experience, but every single day in this class was beyond exciting. The primary focus of the class was hands-on learning; every day, we found ourselves attempting a new cameraless film technique, from bleaching film to painting on it to splicing it together (and so much more)! At the end of the quarter, each student made their own film that screened at an open-to-campus event (complete with movie theatre snacks and drinks)! It felt great to see my work on the big screen when just ten weeks ago, I couldn't have told you a single step of the process that would go into creating that final product.
FallHanover, NHFavorite Class: WGSS 41.06: Transnational Feminisms
During the last of my five straight terms in Hanover, I really enjoyed this class with Prof. Huang. I'd taken classes in other departments that were crosslisted with WGSS before, but never signed up for a class that was exclusively in the WGSS department; that changed this term, and I'm so glad it did! The syllabus included "scholars and activists from diverse social and geopolitical positions through coalitions across global, regional, national, and local borders, within and beyond the nation-state." Our readings and topics we covered were just as wide-reaching and varied as they sound, from Palestinian feminist collectives to queer diaspora to disability justice activism in the context of the pandemic. At the end of the course, I got to produce a zine with a classmate as a final project!
WinterTāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Aotearoa New Zealand, and Rarotonga, Cook IslandsFavorite Class: LING 54: Foreign Study in Linguistics
I first read about the Linguistics FSP as a high schooler, and it was a big part of what drew me to Dartmouth in the first place, so this program was quite literally a dream come true. I can't say enough good things about this FSP and how transformative it was: the first six weeks were spent at the University of Auckland taking classes with seriously incredible Māori professors on te reo (language) Māori and te ao (world) Māori, followed by four weeks spent in the Cook Islands, doing research for Cook Islands Māori language revitalization initiatives at the University of the South Pacific. Our professors and classes prioritized Indigenous history and perspectives in a way that's almost unheard of in the US, and everything beyond the classroom offered boundless opportunities to learn and make new friends, from watching the sunset on Maungawhau and talking late into the night to snorkeling with turtles on the Rarotonga reef. No small paragraph could do this experience justice, but just know that I truly cannot recommend this FSP enough!
SpringHanover, NHFavorite Class: ANTH 50.17 Rites of Passage
I signed up for this course to have more time in the classroom with Prof. Craig, who was present for much of my FSP in Aotearoa, is a truly incredible teacher and human, and co-taught this class with Dr. Mishra. This course featured an unbelievably wide array of unconventional learning opportunities: we attended weekly yoga nidra sessions and were each paired with an older Community Partner to bond with so as to reflect and process both of our life experiences from our opposite ends of the "life timeline." Our small discussion group, which met for the final hour of class each Wednesday evening, was something I always looked forward to, as we were able to be genuine and vulnerable with one another throughout our discussions, something I've never experienced to quite the same degree that I did in this class.
SummerHanover, NHFavorite Class: Working as an Admissions Senior Fellow!
I wasn't taking classes this summer, but I lived in Hanover and worked full-time for Dartmouth Admissions as a Senior Fellow! This summer, I wrote for 3D magazine, recruited panelists for virtual programming, delivered info sessions, started this blog (of course) and so much more. I really enjoyed that every day is a little different in the Admissions office and learning about how different elements of the office work behind the scenes. Best of all, there are always opportunities to meet new people visiting Dartmouth from all over and hear about their lives! I've linked Sydney's blog post above (she's also a Senior Fellow!) for the inside scoop on working for the Admissions office :)
Most Dartmouth students take their non-summer "off term" sometime during their sophomore or junior year. I changed my D-plan a few times and ultimately ended up with a slightly unconventional off term: senior fall! Since it's my last year here, I stayed in Hanover for my off term to be able to live alongside my friends for one of the last few times. Even though I wasn't in class, I was busy. I continued to work as a Senior Fellow and tour guide in the Admissions office (I loved answering prospective students' questions in Zoom student chats this fall especially) and also worked at two Dartmouth Dining Services locations. I performed in the color guard while acting as a co-social chair for the Dartmouth College Marching Band, and serving as both house manager and webmaster for my Greek house.
WinterHanover, NHFavorite Class: CRWT 40.12: Novels of Virginia Woolf: Radical Innovator
I signed up for this class as the final one to complete my English minor, and didn't entirely know what to expect going into it. I've been astounded so far by just how much I've loved it--this winter, you'll probably be able to find me alone at my desk with a cup of tea reading Woolf's work aloud to myself. Prof. Orner, who's an accomplished writer himself, is really encouraging us to really spend quality time one-on-one with the readings, and it's been fantastic for the reader and writer in me, but the reflecting-on-life enjoyer in me as well. Woolf's work seems to evoke ghosts a lot, Prof. Orner pointed out recently, in ways I hadn't previously understood to be possible.
Combining Data and Imagination in Historical Linguistics (LING 27)!
I've been having a lot of fun in LING 27: Historical Linguistics this term—here's what it's all about!
"Tied to the Earth with a Clamp": My Class on Virginia Woolf
I'm taking CRWT 40.12 as the final class for my English minor this term and absolutely loving it!
A Week In My Life: Hanover Off Term Edition!
For two of my off terms, I decided to stay in Hanover and work as an Admissions senior fellow. Here's a week in my life during one of those terms!
- No. 1
I had the time to sleep in this Sunday, which I always appreciate! This Sunday was mostly a day to catch up on things at home before the work week started: I did my laundry, cleaned my room and my rats’ cage, and organized some move-in logistics for my house’s residents this coming fall. I also had some time to call my mom, which is always nice because I almost never actually get to see her. In the evening, a friend of mine made some delicious tacos (seriously, probably the best I've ever had) that we enjoyed with our housemates and a couple of our next-door neighbors! Before I went to bed, I took some time to journal, something I’ve been trying to make a habit of recently.
- No. 2
My Monday morning started with a sunny walk to the Admissions office—I live just three blocks away, which is super convenient (I promise I'm happier than I look in the BeReal)! Once I got to work, I did some writing for my blog and sent some emails to recruit panelists for virtual admissions events, among other things. In the afternoon, I gave a campus tour to a group of prospective students and their families. Being a tour guide is how I got involved in admissions in the first place, and this was my 67th campus tour. I found out recently that I have the highest tour count of any current undergraduate, which was both surprising and exciting! After going home for the evening, I sat down to watch Coraline at my Greek house’s weekly open-to-campus movie night. It’s one of my favorite childhood movies, and it was a nice way to indulge in nostalgia and wind down for the night.
- No. 3
Today’s work day was a busy one—first thing in the morning, I delivered an info session to a group of students and parents before they headed out on their campus tour. The presentation entails 30 minutes of uninterrupted public speaking, which was a little scary leading up to my first couple of info sessions, but over the summer, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with it, and it’s a lot of fun! My favorite part is talking to families with questions afterward, especially because it always encourages me to reflect on elements of my Dartmouth experience I never would’ve otherwise. In my opinion, that's been the most rewarding part of working for Dartmouth's Admissions office overall: there are constant opportunities to engage in reflection on my own time at Dartmouth, which has been really positive for my personal growth. In the evening, I once again found myself getting ready to watch a movie with a friend–it’s been a pretty movie-heavy week so far, but I finally got to see Midsommar after months of hearing that I absolutely had to watch it, and it was definitely worth it.