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Have you ever wondered what a Dartmouth freshman's course of study may look like? The beauty of the D-Plan is everyone can customize their own schedules, so this term I'm taking International Politics, Global Health & Society, and Expository Writing.

GOVT005: International Politics

This introductory Government course is one of the most popular classes offered at Dartmouth and delves into the complex, theoretical field of international relations. Each week, Professor Brooks updates our Canvas class page with a variety of assigned readings from famous IR scholars and we listen to three podcasts that are around 20 minutes each. We also complete a weekly reading response sheet to solidify our learning. Since introductory classes are all generally large, I appreciate how Professor Brooks split the class into two groups based on last names for our synchronous meetings to facilitate more personal, engaging discussions. We meet once a week to go over any questions we may have and relate how the material we are learning in class pertains to current events. So far, it's been fascinating to learn more about topics like the democratic peace theory, levels of analysis, realism, and the security dilemma. Professor Brooks emphasizes that Dartmouth students have a high responsibility for thinking carefully about international affairs. In the future, I definitely see myself enrolling in more classes in the Government department!

GEOG21.01/INTS018.01: Global Health & Society

After taking Introduction to International Development last fall, I felt compelled to take another course cross-listed in the International Studies and Geography departments. Learning about infectious diseases is especially relevant while in the midst of a global pandemic. We just finished our first quiz on all topics covered so far, ranging from the differences between major international stakeholder agencies to chronic malnutrition and Ready-to-use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) in Haiti. Now, Professor Adams and Professor Butterly are switching gears to teach us about the specifics of smallpox, polio, malaria, and tuberculosis. Since a few of our upcoming class sessions have an optional in-person component for students living on campus, I'm super excited to experience my first time as a Dartmouth student learning inside a physical classroom. One of my friends from the fall is taking this class and is on for the winter as well, so I plan to go with her. I really appreciate how this class intersects so many disciplines – from biology to economics to public policy, I'm learning so much about the significance of global health.

WRIT005: Expository Writing ("The Foreigner Within: Metamorphosis and Otherness")

All freshmen must satisfy their first-year writing requirement with one of three tracks: Humanities 1- 2, Writing 2-3 and First-Year Seminar, or Writing 5 and First-Year Seminar. I decided on Writing 5 because of the wide variety of appealing subtopics to choose from – everything from "Happiness and the Law" to "Philosophy and Climate Change." Writing 5 is my smallest class at Dartmouth so far; with just 15 students, its intimate environment makes for lively class discussions and getting to know other '24s. On Mondays, Professor Godley posts a pre-recorded video covering tips for academic writing and previewing the week ahead. On Wednesdays, we meet synchronously to listen to our peers present live on readings and contribute our thoughts during discussion. On Fridays, we work on a collaborative platform called Slack to provide and receive peer revisions. I'm currently on draft two of my textual analysis essay for Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, working to build my close-reading skills as a college writer.

Now that I've been on campus for two weeks, things are starting to settle in. The end of quarantine means we're allowed to study at Baker-Berry Library (which no longer requires reservations!), along with so many other great indoor study spots around campus. Thanks for following along on my blog adventures, and stay tuned for more!

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