10 Times The Mindy Project Perfectly Captured Life at Dartmouth

Explaining Big Green culture to someone living outside the Dartmouth bubble is never easy. Trippees? Drill? ‘Shmob? What the hell is a Foco? Luckily Mindy Kaling, one of our more famous alums (and former cartoonist for The D), is bringing Dartmouth life to the big screen in her TV series, The Mindy Project. While it’s true that Mindy Lahiri never attends Dartmouth in the show, we can’t help but notice that a few of her experiences perfectly sum up life at Dartmouth:

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The Wild, Wild World of Homecoming Alums

The leaves are beginning to fall, the mornings have become cold and S&S is just giddy with excitement over the dorm parties they’ll break up this weekend. It’s Homecoming. A magical time when a wide array of alumni gather in Hanover to reminisce over their four years — they’ll say that’s when Dartmouth was at its peak. They are parents, lawyers, businessmen and women, lovers and fighters — and they’re ready to throw down. Alums come in all shapes and sizes, however, so here’s a quick look at what you’ll be in for this weekend.

P.S. If you’re locking your door during Homecoming, you’re missing out.
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Why I Hate Winter Carnival

Professors are cancelling classes, there’s a giant conglomerate of ice and wood in the center of the Green and my friends are talking eagerly of finishing tomorrow’s midterm so they can start binge drinking immediately afterward. Ah yes, Winter Carnival has finally arrived.

Yet while the rest of campus gears up for a weekend packed full of activities, I’m sitting in the back of Collis grimacing at everyone’s growing excitement. This big weekend is by far my least favorite, because I just don’t understand the hype. I’ve been called a Grinch, and there’s likely a visit from the spirits of Carnivals Past coming my way. While my inner resentment toward our wintery holiday sometimes confuses even myself, I’ll try and explain a few reasons I’m over the hype.

Complaints about the snow sculpture – I’ll admit, I was slightly disappointed when I saw the unveiling of last year’s sculpture. After seeing old pictures of giant pirate ships and towering wizards, my expectations may have been a little high. But my biggest pet peeve about the weekend has got to be people who feel the need to endlessly complain about the sculpture. You may not have liked it, but where were you when they were building it? Blitzes are constantly being sent out asking for help, but I never see more than a couple of people out there. If you want an amazing sculpture that belongs in the history books, go out there and help make it. I’m just tired of hearing people complain about how disappointed they were by the sculpture that was slaved over as they sat in their rooms watching Netflix.

Outdoor Activities – This is definitely a personal vendetta, but I just hate the winter. I hate the cold, the snow and the early sunsets. I can’t understand why students spend five weeks complaining about the temperature and posting weather app screenshots on Facebook, only to plan an entire weekend around the outdoors. See, most people say it’s because I’m from Kentucky but we have winters there. too. It snowed for a week before I left for Hanover. When that happens though, Kentuckians know to stay inside. Why do people want to jump into a frozen pond? A human dog sled race? WHY? Winter Carnival annoys me because somehow I’m the strange one because I don’t want to wear a lime green tutu from Party City while my friends drag me around in the snow.

Overzealous Alumni – While not necessarily exclusive to Winter Carnival, the presence of alumni certainly adds to my apprehension toward the weekend. I think it’s great that they want to come back to dear ol’ Dartmouth, but there’s a fine line between appreciating your alma mater and trying to relive the glory days. Last Carnival, I was berated in my freshman dorm by two alums for not having a condom to give them. Another man later insinuated that I could help him complete his “Dartmouth Decade.” It’s sad when college students refuse to behave like adults, but it’s far worse when alums do. Worst of all are the alums who tell stories about playing pong. I’m not interested in the fact that your dad “ran table” over Carnival, just like I wasn’t impressed when you told me the same thing last Homecoming and Green Key. Alumni are great, but not when they’re added to the already messy drunk people running amok.

Themes – This one probably makes me sound like I’ve reached my peak as a crotchety old man. Honestly though, I hate that everything over Carnival has to have a theme. What does the theme even mean? Other than the poster and sculpture, I have yet to see where “Game of Thrones” has come into play. More than that, every single event this week has to have a theme, that is actually just a veil to cover the true point of the party. Why can’t we all just admit we want to get belligerent without having to dress up in flair, pour sand on the floor or drink André out of plastic flutes? At least over Green Key, we admit that we’re literally drinking to celebrate the temperature passing 50 degrees. Winter Carnival just seems like an elaborate ruse for people to emulate the themed house parties from college movies. 

Kaling ’01 and Rhimes ’91 make Time 100 list


This year’s TIME 100 list names Mindy Kaling ’01 and Shonda Rhimes ’91 as two of the most influential people in the world. The list is divided into five categories (titans, leaders, artists, pioneers and icons) and includes a wide range of societal powerhouses, from Kate Middleton to Pope Francis. Kaling is listed as an artist, and Rhimes a titan.

Kaling played Kelly Kapoor on The Office and currently stars in her own show, The Mindy Project. Her Office costar Ed Helms, said that he was proud to call her a friend and colleague.

Helms described Kaling as a mad scientist with her qualities of “being brilliant, wonderful and hilarious,” which he claims are impossible to find in one human being. Kaling defies expectations through her work by “simultaneously command[ing] respect and affection,” Helms wrote, adding that she is skilled at creating opportunities for herself.

Rhimes is lauded in by Oprah Winfrey for her work in the entertainment industry. Rhimes created the hit show Grey’s Anatomy and its spinoff series, Private Practice, as well as the hugely popular show Scandal.

Winfrey noted that through her storytelling in Scandal, Rhimes captures all sides of humanity that make the show powerful and relatable to its viewers.

“She understands that every dream is valuable and every identity deserves inspection through the looking glass of television,” Winfrey wrote.

Winfrey also commented on the lead roles of African-American and Asian characters in Grey’s Anatomy, adding that Rhimes masterfully tells everyone’s story.

“Gay, straight, single, divorced, lost, searching — everybody gets a seat at Shonda’s table,” Winfrey said.