Daily Debriefing

A college diploma is becoming the lowest minimum requirement for low-level positions in many industries, The New York Times reported. Many law firms now only hire college graduates, even in positions that do not require college-level skills. College graduates appear more goal-oriented to prospective employers, having invested in their educations and futures. Degree inflation is becoming a national trend, as jobs across various industries that typically did not require a college diploma now require degrees. Some jobs in the supply chain management and logistics industries now require employees with more advanced skills than before. Employers are also hesitant to hire overqualified college graduates because there is a risk that they will leave once the economy improves, The Times reported.

Harvard University hired a Title IX coordinator to ensure that the university complies with gender equality legislation, The Harvard Crimson reported. The university will not announce the name of the appointee until the coordinator begins the position in March. He or she will collect campus sexual assault statistics, distribute information on assault prevention and release annual compliance reports. The position was created last fall due to new guidelines by the Department of Education, which stipulates that all colleges receiving federal funding are required to have a Title IX coordinator. Dartmouth is now the only Ivy League school that does not have a formally appointed Title IX coordinator.

A new book from Columbia University and Ohio State University sociology professors, “The Rise of Women,” shows that women are more likely than men to earn high grades, attend college and major in subjects other than science and mathematics, Inside Higher Ed reported. As early as kindergarten, girls have better behavioral and social abilities than boys, giving them an advantage in their academic pursuits. Men tend to be overly confident about their ability to earn a high salary despite being less educated than some of their female peers. The book emphasizes the need for schools to set high standards and encourage students to invest in their education by obtaining college degrees. Universities can help students complete degrees by emphasizing the non-economic benefits of earning a college degree, such as better health and job satisfaction.

Panelists discuss hopes for Haiti’s development

Students attend an exhibition as part of

A Haitian proverb says that the goat’s business is not the sheep’s business. Put simply, one should mind one’s own business. But in light of continued poverty and political strife in Haiti, University of Texas Health Science Center professor Ruth Berggren said that it may be time to “turn that proverb upside down” in favor of Haitian unity.

Berggren moderated Thursday’s panel discussion “The Imprint of Haiti on One’s Life,” which featured Haitian students and health leaders. The seven panelists had a wide range of cultural and familial backgrounds, hailing from both small Haitian villages and the nation’s capital.

When describing their childhood experiences and hopes for the future, the panelists emphasized Haiti’s natural beauty, sense of community and untapped potential, in addition to its poverty and violence.

Belle Verwaay ’14 described the challenge of adapting to life in Miami after leaving Haiti at age 13.

“I thought so much was taken for granted,” Verwaay said.

Her roots influenced her decision to orient her academic career around bettering the lives of Haitians. People should use their education to improve their community, Verwaay said.

Manuela Rodriguez Tu’14 emphasized her rural village’s community bonds and natural beauty.

While the end of the Francois Duvalier regime was “a dark place in history,” Rodriguez still remembers Haiti as a beautiful country.

She reiterated the importance of education for Haitians, and added that Haiti should improve access to capital for entrepreneurs and human resources.

Daphnee Charles, a graduate of the Haitian Education and Leadership Program, said she often skipped lunch as a child in Haiti in order to save money for schoolbooks, but has become more resilient and capable of dealing with adversity as a result of her experiences.

Charles expressed concern for environmental issues, particularly flooding problems, prevalent in Haiti, and shared the harsh conditions Haitian political officials often face.

“If you get into politics in Haiti, at some point, you’ll have to leave the country with all your family,” she said, referring to its history of violence and government corruption.

Yves-Marie Duperval ’14, who attended three months of classes at an engineering school in Haiti, said he felt lucky to receive an education because many Haitian children do not have the same opportunity. He stressed the poor quality of the Haitian education system.

“Some people who are studying electronics have never seen a transistor,” Duperval said.

The issues Haiti must address cannot be solved through financial donations alone, and the country must develop a stronger educational system, Duperval said.

“Free stuff is just going to last for a month,” he said. “Education is lasting for a lifetime.”

Duperval hopes to see a change in Haiti’s international image. Online photos reflect the nation’s poverty, as foreigners who have Internet access post photos “trying to prove a point” to raise money for their organizations, he said.

Nathalie Rouzier, a junior at Northwestern University, said she remembers Haiti as a violent country.

She recalled not being allowed to wear school uniforms outside in order to avoid attention.

Rouzier said she will use her education, a privilege most Haitians are denied, to help level the playing field in the country.

Scott Dowell, director of the global disease detection and emergency response division at the Center for Disease Control, also spoke on the panel.

Symposium and panel organizer Amita Kulkarni ’10 said she thought Thursday’s panel discussion was the most intimate of the three in the conference thus far.

“I think their stories really resonated with the audience members that attended,” Kulkarni said.

Audience members said they believed the panel highlighted important issues.

Kristen Jogerst Med’17 echoed the speakers’ sentiments that Haiti has untapped potential.

“There are so many smart Haitian people,” she said. “They just need the opportunity.”

Natalie Cantave ’16 said the discussion reminded her of her parents’ descriptions of their childhoods in Haiti. She wished that the panel featured a discussion of problems with Haiti’s health system.

Julia McElhinney ’14, who participated in other symposium events, said the conference reaffirmed the “power of conversation” because experts from each field combined different perspectives.

The event was part of “Haiti and Dartmouth at the Crossroads,” a Porter Foundation symposium that continues through Friday.

Cantave is a member of The Dartmouth staff. Kulkarni is a former member of The Dartmouth senior staff.

Weinman to become Amherst CFO

Assistant vice president of finance Kevin Weinman will leave the College on May 1 to become Amherst College’s first chief financial officer. Amherst president Biddy Martin announced Weinman’s new role on Feb. 15.

Suzanne Coffey, chair of the chief financial officer search committee and Amherst College athletic director, said the position will have duties similar to that of a college treasurer, but the title was updated to reflect the senior level position on the president’s senior management team.

Weinman’s responsibilities as chief financial officer will include accounting, financial reporting, fiscal planning, risk management, heading an investment team and balancing the college’s budget. He will also perform financial analysis for Amherst’s strategic planning process.

Weinman said he hopes to take what he has learned during his six years at Dartmouth to his new role at Amherst. He faced his greatest challenge during the 2008 recession, but used this experience as a learning opportunity.

“The economic downturn showed even very wealthy schools, such as Dartmouth and Amherst, that they need to be very careful in how they manage money and that money is directed towards students and fulfilling their mission,” Weinman said.

Even during periods of financial uncertainty, Weinman helped present a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees every year.

Mike Wagner, interim chief financial officer, said in an email that Weinman’s new role at Amherst is a “testament to his talent.”

“Kevin has been an important and valued member of Dartmouth’s finance team for many years and will be missed,” he said in the email. “As an alumnus of Amherst myself, I am especially proud and pleased that they are getting such a fine man in Kevin.”

As he looks ahead, Weinman said he hopes to spend the first six months listening to and identifying Amherst’s needs.

The search committee selected Weinman for his dynamic personality and vast experience in finance, Coffey said.

“I’ve been impressed with Kevin from the start,” she said. “He has experience as a senior leader and with strategic planning, comes up with great ideas and can explain financial planning in a way that’s accessible to everyone. He told me he works outside his office a lot, taking meetings to other people’s offices, so he can be truly accessible.”

Also on the search committee was Amherst director of academic engagement programs Sarah Barr, chief investment officer Mauricia Geissler, computer science professor Lyle McGeoch and economics professor Beth Yarbrough.

Weinman is from Queens, N.Y. and double majored in accounting and history at the University of Notre Dame. He received his MBA from the University of North Carolina, a master of arts in history from the University of Colorado and is writing a doctoral dissertation at the University of New Hampshire. His professional background includes accounting and financial management positions at Arthur Andersen LLP, Agilent Technologies, Deluxe Corp. and Western Union.

Weinman formerly sat on The Dartmouth’s Board of Proprietors.

Dimensions show to be canceled

Dimensions of Dartmouth, the College's annual prospective students' weekend, is slated to undergo a number of programming changes.

Originally a hodgepodge of fake prospies, performers decked out in flair and a medley of Top 20 songs adapted to describe Dartmouth traditions, the Dimensions show will no longer headline admitted students weekend if proposed changes are put into place.

Dimensions of Dartmouth, a three-day event designed to give prospective students a feel for student life, is slated to undergo a number of programming changes to focus on intellectual life, including more student research showcases, a new program about the Dartmouth Plan, a student leaders mixer and a new intersectionality program by the Office of Pluralism and Leadership to feature diversity.

The event’s organizers plan to incorporate elements of the original Dimensions show into residence hall welcomes, as the show will no longer be held in Leede Arena.

“We hope these changes will take the shape of a multimedia event that will capture the breadth and depth of our students’ intellectual experiences,” said Katherine Madden, associate director of admissions.

The heightened focus on how Dartmouth helps students achieve academic success is consistent with Dimensions’ goal to give regular decision students the opportunity to explore the intellectual life of the College firsthand, Madden said. Dimensions organizers will strongly encourage students who applied early decision not to attend the event.

Admissions staff proposed the changes to Dimensions based on information from a number of sources, including surveys of prospective students after past Dimensions weekends and anecdotal evidence from those who previously worked the event.

Madden said she hopes the changes will strengthen the administration’s relationship with this year’s Dimensions crew. The students working with the program will manage the residence hall shows and advise prospective students about the activities put on by the College that are most relevant to their academic interests.

“I think seeing people here who are excited about what the College has to offer will have a big impact in who decides to come to Dartmouth,” she said.

Ashton Slatev ’15, Dimensions Show 2013 director criticized the academic and intellectual focus of the new program for its inconsistency with the student body’s best interests.

“It’ll be an obvious turn-off, at least relative to what we’re used to seeing,” Slatev said. “We can try to gauge our weekend off of Harvard and Yale and Princeton but the fact of the matter is, when we give up what makes us Dartmouth, we’re really giving up our identity and selling out.”

Slatev said the changes will likely have an adverse effect on matriculation rates at Dartmouth.

“I blitzed out to the ’15s and the ’14s and within five minutes I had received 45 blitzes, paragraphs long, explaining why this was a terrible idea and that they had been thinking about other schools but hadn’t gone because the other weekends were boring,” Slatev said.

Emphasizing what upperclassmen have already achieved may alienate prospective students.

“Having the most accomplished students that Dartmouth has to offer to speak would be intimidating,” he said. “It wouldn’t be very suitable.”

Students had strong reactions when told that the Dimensions show would be forgone in favor of smaller residence hall welcomes.

“I personally enjoyed the Dimensions show because it wasn’t serious,” Alice Hong ’16 said. “A lot of people that I was talking to were between colleges, and they all said that Dartmouth’s Dimensions show changed their minds. I am so upset that they’re taking it away.”

Callan George ’16 said the school’s reputation for academic excellence makes this shift in focus redundant.

“Everyone knows about the academics and how the school is in that way, but seeing how excited and involved the students were and how they could be themselves and be so crazy and fun made me want to come here,” she said.

Pilar Brito ’16, who applied for the Dimensions 2013 crew, said that though she did not see any harm in incorporating more intellectual events into the program, she preferred having the traditional show, which is what convinced her to come to Dartmouth.

“I think honestly now Dartmouth is just going to look like any other Ivy League school, which is maybe what they want,” Brito said. “I knew I was going to get a great education here. If anything, I feel more passionate about being on the crew because since our role is being toned down I want to show people how great this school is.”

Ian Blanco ’14, Dimensions Show 2012 director, said he was not convinced by the admissions office’s justification for moving the show into residence halls welcomes.

“I really love Dartmouth and it’s given me so much, but in this instance, we as a student body have been failed by the admissions office,” Blanco said.

Both Slatev and Blanco felt that a more intellectual weekend and the Dimensions show are not mutually exclusive.

Reducing Dimensions crew members to “glorified tour guides” will only create a rift between prospective students and their hosts, Slatev said.

‘Admission’ penned by alum, turned into film

Since her first day at Dartmouth in 1979, Jean Hanff Korelitz ’83 knew she wanted to become a writer. Her career began in the oak-paneled nooks of Sanborn Library, her favorite place to write. The bright and old-fashioned space even appears in her fifth novel, “Admission,” and her experience at the College in its early years of coeducation color the pages of her work.

“Admission” was adapted for the screen and stars Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, and will be released in theaters next month.

“I got to write about Sanborn in Sanborn,” she said.

Coming to the College unsure of herself, Korelitz looked to her writing to find her place on campus.

“I was admitted off the waiting list, and I came in with a feeling that I had to prove myself,” she said.

At the time, the creative writing program was largely underdeveloped, with only had two professors: one who taught fiction and another who taught poetry. Although she was an English major, Korelitz did not have many opportunities to practice creative writing until after she had graduated.

But the absence of such opportunities may have been to her benefit.

“I don’t know if just studying creative writing in college is a good idea,” Korelitz said. “Take religion, history, philosophy, literature, all that other stuff. You’ll have plenty of time for writing later.”

Korelitz’s experience at the College had a major impact on her work. Her 1999 novel, “The Sabbathday River,” is set in and around Hanover. A major plot component of “Admission” centers on the protagonist’s time at the College in the 1980s.

“Dartmouth creeps through my novels in all sorts of ways,” Korelitz said. “There are themes that just keep recurring, like the idea of remote natural beauty or the feeling of being a liberal person surrounded by conservatives.”

When she was a freshman, the College was in its seventh year of coeducation and a period of transition, and these changes strongly influenced her writing.

“I kept thinking about how the 1960s became the 1960s, how we went from being slightly more conservative to slightly more crazy,” she said. “I think I thought about this because we were in the middle of all this change because of coeducation.”

“Admission,” Korelitz’s fifth novel, was published in 2009 and tells the story of Portia Nathan, a Dartmouth alumnus who works as an admissions officer at Princeton University.

“I think I’ve really broken true with Admission’,” she said. “I’m so lucky because I’ve done five novels, and I’m still going.”

While researching the application process, Korelitz worked as an application reader at Princeton and interviewed dean of admissions and financial aid Maria Laskaris.

“We talked about the fundamental parts of the process and how we focus on students as individuals,” Laskaris said.

Korelitz said one of her toughest decisions was whether to set “Admission” at Dartmouth and Princeton or at fictional equivalents.

She chose to remain true to the actual schools because it felt “too satirical” to create mock institutions in the novel. She hopes that “Admission” conveys her love of the College.

“I have really warm feelings for Dartmouth,” Korelitz said. “I come back for reunions and my daughter did a language program here one summer.”

Though the Dartmouth portions of the book were cut from the film adaption, Korelitz said she is satisfied with the movie’s interpretation of the book.

“It’s not an exact translation of the book,” she said. “It’s a variation on a theme.”

Dartmouth Bookstore general manager Bernadette Farrell said the store may put up a special display to advertise “Admission” when the movie is released, but details have yet to be finalized.

Overheards

’13 Guy: I can scissor with the best of them.

’15 Girl: I just need to stop at Heorot and get a jacket.

Government Professor: So he calls this “The Twilight Zone,” like the TV show. Is that before your time? I’ve never seen it either. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I’ve seen the movie “Twilight” though.

’14 Guy: My printing bill is equivalent to the GDP of a small African country.

’16 Guy: I feel like as child I thought I was a black woman.

’13 Girl: He’s kind of an asshole. ’15 Guy: That’s okay, he’s in Dragon.

’15 Guy: My stock portfolio is up 35 percent in the last six months…not bad for a self-taught finance genius.

’15 Guy: If she were a deceased Dartmouth dean she’d totally be Craven Laycock.

’15 Girl: If you want good overheards, you should just follow me around all day.

Top 5 Things We’d Do If We Had All the Time in the World

  1. Learn a ton of languages! And we mean really learn, not just memorize the foreign sex phrases and pick-up lines in Urban Outfitters books.
  2. Watch every episode of “Law and Order: SVU” in order, if only to pick up on instances of subtle sexual tension between Stabler and Benson.
  3. Memorize an infinite amount of inane trivia to finally best that smug Ken Jennings (and Watson) on “Jeopardy.”
  4. Do your laundry, vacuum and go to the gym. Come on guys, the basics.
  5. Go through the Buzzfeed archives and read every list in history. Corgis in sweaters and Beyonce gifs never get old.

Through the Looking Glass: Seeing New Colors

Editor’s Note: We welcome submissions from all members of the community both past and present who wish to write about defining experiences, moments or relationships during their time at Dartmouth. Please submit articles of 800-1,000 words to [email protected]

At first, I thought I had a hangover. I was working my shift at Left Bank Books, feeling like my head would burst. It had been two full days since I’d woken up with the numbing pain of this headache on Thursday. It was now Saturday.

I thought of all there was to do: homework, my job, going out. I closed my eyes to try and focus. My brain thrashed against my skull. That’s when it hit me. It was a strange feeling. It was almost like deja vu. I opened my eyes to see that the store was spinning. My vision blurred. I reached for my phone but couldn’t read the words on the screen. My stomach turned into a pit of nausea. The store was empty. I had to call for help.

I checked into Dick’s House for the night. The nurses treated me for a sinus infection. A full 24 hours passed and my “sinus infection” wasn’t getting better. I started presenting other symptoms: confusion, tingling in my left arm and leg. That’s when the nurses decided to send me to the emergency room. They didn’t know what was wrong.

They shook me awake to tell me. I was still half-asleep. Confusion turned into terror. I couldn’t think straight. I wished I wasn’t alone. I called my mom. I remember sitting in the Safety and Security car on the way to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, hoping I would be alright. Once there, the nurses got me checked in right away and sent me to get a cat scan. That’s when they discovered that there was bleeding in my brain.

I wasn’t told anything right away. The first few days there felt like a dream. Every moment blended with the next. I was half asleep most of the time.

I never knew who I was talking to. It could have been a nurse, a neurologist or just another patient. I had no appetite. Each day felt the same as the last. There was a pain between my legs that I later learned was a catheter.

My clearest memory is seeing my sister’s face appear at the foot of my bed. She was the first of my family to make it to me. She was smiling. I smiled back. Finally, I wasn’t alone.

As time went on, things became clearer. I slowly regained the things in life I used to take for granted: my appetite, the ability to walk, the ability to go to the bathroom. The doctors tried to explain what had happened to me.

“You had a minor type of stroke,” they said.

That’s when it all settled in. I had been in DHMC for more than six days.

Everyone here knows that missing one week in Dartmouth time is like missing an entire year in the normal world.

I couldn’t even begin to wrap my mind around the amount of class, gossip and life I’d missed. I wasn’t done healing from the blood clot, and already I was stressing about school. I couldn’t breathe.

I was released from DHMC on Friday afternoon, over a week since I first woke up with my headache. I’m still on my feet. I decided to stay on campus and finish my classes. I didn’t come this far just to quit.

The best moments of being back have simply been the days I can go outside.

Fresh air is stunning. The colors of the sky are more vibrant. Each time I look up, it’s like seeing a new color for the first time. Clouds amaze me. Their shapes and the way they float through the sky. Listening to music is a full-body experience. I can feel the sounds echo within me.

A simple conversation leaves me overwhelmed. Never before have I been so aware of the vibrancy of my surroundings. Smells and sounds come at me like a rainstorm. It feels crazy in the best possible way.

I’ve realized that the most important thing to have is happiness. Before, it was easy to get caught up in everything else and lose sight of being happy.

I was always thinking of something else. I certainly never appreciated the colors of the world as I rushed to class everyday.

All I need now is the joy of seeing and hearing the world. If those things aren’t being taken away, than there’s no reason to worry.

I’ll still have my happiness. I’ve lost my fear of missing out. Everything around me is so bright and engaging. I don’t have time to worry about what I’m missing. There’s always something amazing happening at the moment.

It’s all about perspective. You can decide if something looks good or doesn’t. When you look at anything next to the New Hampshire sky, things have a way of appearing pretty good from here.

The Bucket List

Much like life, the sport of ice fishing involves long periods of tedium punctuated by brief spurts of excitement. The action starts when someone yells “FLAG!” This indicates that the little flag on the tip-up, the wooden contraption that rests across the hole in the ice and holds the reel that allows the line to sink in the water, has popped up, signaling that a fish is on the line. When a flag goes up, the fisherman or woman in question will probably run at a pace directly proportional to how competitive they are about the chance to take off their gloves and wrap their freezing hands around a slimy, squirming body, remove the hook and perhaps take a picture.

Though our location may deprive us of cultural variety, Dartmouth is one of the few colleges in the country where learning how to ice fish can help you get your degree. The ice fishing PE class is taught by Ray Crosby, known affectionately around campus as “Collis Ray,” bearer of breakfast sandwiches and master of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity’s annual Pigstick roast, who will bestow the name “Bubba” upon boys if they’re lucky. Crosby makes ice fishing worth taking for several reasons, not least for his crazy fishing stories, like one about a friend who once stuck his arm into the mouth of a fish because he didn’t want to lose it. But the absolute best part of working under his tutelage is the fact that he brings a grill on the culminating day-long fishing trip and cooks a smorgasbord of meat for the class.

“Any tofu-lovers in here?” He inquired when we met the week prior to the excursion. Silence from this diehard carnivore and the seven other males in the room.

“Good, because it’s gonna be a meat-market.”

Meat-market it was: hotdogs, cheddar-wursts, bacon, venison and hamburgers, plus high-fives from Crosby if you got seconds or thirds. Oh, and a taste of a freshly caught perch. We made Moses Pond in Plainfield into a little camp with a fire-pit for keeping warm, a stove with a kettle to heat water for hot chocolate and the grill for meat, peppers and onions. We carried all of this, in addition to the fishing equipment, by dragging Thule ice boxes down to the pond. Crosby parked his truck on the property of the generous man who lets us fish on the pond. This is a man who also owns two massive, scary oxen that definitely gave us dirty looks as we passed.

We had two drills, a motorized and a manual, which we (i.e. the boys) used to cut through the foot-thick ice. We cleared out the holes and surrounding areas with a skimmer, which basically resembled a large, flat spoon and was used to take the remaining ice chunks out of the hole. Then the hooks were baited, tip-ups set up and we waited for flags to rise. Set it and forget it, as they say. In the first 20 minutes, flags were popping up like crazy. We brought in some big fish, some of which, by my poor estimation skills, must have been around 17 inches long. When the fish were coming, it wasn’t hard to pull them in. For me, the most difficult thing was actually touching them.

Learning how to ice fish is something I might never have done were it not for the College’s three PE credit requirement, but what I got from the trip was a glimpse of New Hampshire that you might never glean from Dartmouth.

Hanover is quaint and wonderful, but it’s not really New Hampshire. Meeting some of the people who lived by the pond, one of whom had risen at dawn for coyote hunting, and stopping at a bait shop run out of someone’s basement, 15 miles from the J. Crew and Starbucks of Hanover, I felt like I was finally seeing some of “live free or die” New Hampshire.

Moderately Good Advice with Gardner and Kate

Dear Gardner,

I made out with this girl from my floor a while back. We got FoCo the next day, but she hasn’t been answering my texts for the past week. I heard that she hooked up with another guy, but I’m not sure. I think I like her, but she doesn’t seem to be into me at all. How can I fix this?

Freddie Freshman ’16

Gardner: Your question brings to mind a quote by a famous Dartmouth alumnus. Robert Frost, Class of 1896, once said, “In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it’s a bitch.” Wait, nevermind, I think that was the philosopher Nas. Frost said, “It goes on.” Luckily both apply to your question. There are things that no piece of advice in The Dartmouth can fix. At a certain point you need to realize that although it may seem to suck now, life will continue and you will soon move on to another problem that our insight can hopefully help solve. And then you die.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

I always worry that I annoy people when I eat in the library. To what extent is food acceptable in the library?

Self-conscious Sarah ’15

Gardner: A good rule of thumb is that if you bought it in the library, you can eat it in the library. Your Sun Chips are not as loud as you think they are but there is simply no way that you’re so busy that you need to bring Collis stir-fry to the library. It’s going to smell, prevent you from actually doing work and really annoy the people around you. Hot Pockets are a notable exception to this rule. You should not eat Hot Pockets in the library because there is no place where you should eat a Hot Pocket ever.

Kate: There are tiers of judgment for eating in the library. The first and loudest tier is that of KAF and Novack. As these areas were created for eating and socialization, at these locations and these locations only can one feel free to shake their KAF salad without fear of repercussions. The next tier covers most of the library the Periodicals, the second through fourth floors of Berry and lower levels. Here, eating is acceptable, but take all possible precautions to minimize noise, such as unwrapping sandwiches prior to entering and avoiding aggressively stabbing croutons. Finally, we have the stacks and the Tower Room. You can eat here if you are prepared to deal with your crippling fear of shush-ing, a true challenge to see if you can stay cool under the judgmental eyes and oppressive stillness of the silent scholar.

Dear Kate,

I’m thinking about going to the Vagina Monologues next week but am kind of weirded out, should I go?

Pensieve Pat ’15

Kate: As a Sexpert, a two-time participant in the Vagina Monologues and a Women and Gender Studies-modifier of my major, I think my personal answer to this question is pretty predictable. Despite the gender-neutral nature of your name, I’m assuming you’re a guy as you feel “weirded out” and haven’t set up at least hypothetical Vagina Monologues dates already. I’ll avoid the clichd reasoning of “sensitive men arouse women” to argue you should attend. However, I will say around 25 percent of women on campus will either be performing or in the audience, so if you need to make faux controversial small-talk, here’s your bait. Even better, V-Week offers a built-in campus-wide hot button issue for poorly researched op-eds in The Dartmouth! Of course, this year the real draw is one thing: Gardner Davis in the audience experiencing extreme levels of awkwardness and discomfort.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

Do you have any class recommendations? I’m thinking about taking four but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.

Ambitious Alice ’15

Gardner: I have no gems to share with you, but I will tell you that you would have to be a crazy person to take four classes. Dartmouth offers so many chances to study interesting things that you can get carried away and think that taking four classes is the way to get the most out of your time here. The seemingly obvious logical flaw is that taking a fourth class means cutting out most if not all of your free time and fun. Especially in the spring, you should have fun with people you like without feeling overwhelmed and stressed out all the time. Spring term is a fourth class in and of itself. Don’t be a crazy person. No one wants to hang out with crazy people. I’m taking zero but recommend up to three.

Kate: One spring, I thought I could take four easy classes and still enjoy myself. Two and a half weeks into classes chosen purely for their names, I realized I was wrong. While it was with a heavy heart that I dropped “Sex, Celibacy and the Problem of Purity,” I realized it was for the best. The term ended up being an academic success, and I’ve stuck with my practice of taking three classes based almost entirely on their titles ever since. This spring, I’d recommend looking into “Unveiling the Harem Dancer,” “Gods, Demons and Monkeys” and “Beyond Sex, Drugs and Rock’n Roll: Radical Latinos in the 60s.”

In an attempt to elevate our collective social media presence to a level near that of Gardner’s 12th grade sister, please tweet questions in need of advice @lowsinks and @KateH_Taylor.