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

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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.

Greenways marks 40 years of coeducation

This weekend, Dartmouth celebrated 40 years of coeducation with the “Greenways: Coming Home” Conference. Running Friday evening through Sunday morning, Greenways included 16 panel presentations, a keynote address given by comedian, author and actress Rachel Dratch ’88 and the screening of a PBS documentary produced by Pamela Wagner ’81.

Panels featured a mix of alums, faculty and the occasional student. Topics discussed ranged from personal experiences at Dartmouth to professional experiences in law, medicine, politics and more. Despite fascinating topics and well-qualified, articulate speakers, many panels were not well attended. Continue reading

Jun ’14 and Schutz ’14 spread awareness about alumnus known as ‘Korea’s favorite American’

JunandSchutz
Courtesy of Dartmouth Now

Many have overlooked the significance of the Dartmouth graduate who lived for 20 years in South Korea as one of eight Americans, advocating for Korean independence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Homer Hulbert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer_Hulbert), a member of the Class of 1884 and a descendant of Eleazar Wheelock, is known as “Korea’s favorite American” for his efforts to establish an education system in South Korea and his protests against Japanese rule in Korea.

Jun Bum Sun ’14 and his roommate Karl Schutz ’14 have been working in South Korea and now at Dartmouth to increase awareness of Hulbert’s legacy. Jun, a citizen of South Korea and a History major with a focus on colonialism, discovered Hulbert’s connection to Dartmouth while studying in Hanover.

Jun said he was only able to discover one Korean book on the subject: a biography, Homer B. Hulbert: Crusader for Korea, written by Kim Dong Jin (http://www.koreabusinesscentral.com/video/dong-jin-kim-homer-hulbert?xg_source=activity). Upon returning home to South Korea last summer, Jun contacted Kim and learned that he had founded an organization in Seoul — the Homer Hulbert Memorial Society. Jun then decided to volunteer at its offices.“The long-term goal of the society is to spread awareness of Hulbert’s efforts for Korean independence,” Jun said. “By virtue of him being a non-Korean and an American, he has been virtually ignored by Koreans.”Jun was involved in translating Hulbert’s Dartmouth senior thesis about Korean vocal music into English. Jun said Hulbert was the first person to transcribe a Korean folksong into Western sheet music. After Jun completed the translation, the Homer Hulbert Memorial Society published and distributed it at the Memorial Service for Hulbert over the summer.

A statue of Hulbert will be unveiled in Seoul this October, which is evidence of the success of the society’s work. Hulbert was also named Korea’s “Independent Activist of the Month”, the first non-Korean to receive the award.

Schutz, a History major and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies minor, became involved in the project during his off-term in Seoul this fall. While working at the offices, Schutz typed up, filed and cataloged Hulbert’s hand-written letters, extracting the pieces relevant to the society.Schutz is fascinated by Hulbert, as he led a traditional American life up until his sudden decision to travel to Korea, which was an “unexpected trajectory,” according to Schutz. Schutz finds the relationship between Hulbert’s American background and his passionate views in favor of Korean autonomy to be very interesting.“He was against imperialism and tried to stand up for Korea, and at the same time, he was an orientalist and an American,” Schutz said.Schutz also appreciated the glimpse into Hulbert’s personal life that the letters afforded him, as the culture shock Hulbert expressed in his letters was very relatable to Schutz’s experience in South Korea.

The reason behind Hulbert’s unexpected interest in Korea can most likely be attributed to an educational Korean mission in the United States in 1884. There is evidence that Dartmouth was a stop on the tour. Soon after, Hulbert’s father, the president of Middlebury College, agreed to send Hulbert to Korea in 1886 with two other American instructors, as part of a U.S. Department of Education initiative to improve the Korean education system.With the start of the Japanese annexation of Korea, Hulbert resigned from his position and protested Japanese rule to the United States and the Hague in the early 1900s. His book published in 1906, The Passing of Korea, encourages the removal of Japanese forces, which resulted in his expulsion from Korea in 1907.

Jun said he hopes that future Korean history majors will become involved in the project. Jun said he only knows of one previous Dartmouth student who has studied Hulbert, a ’12 who wrote his senior thesis about the activist. However, Jun and Schutz seem to be making progress in their goal of raising awareness about the society and Hulbert, as a member of the Class of 2016 plans to also work at the offices in Seoul.

As part of a continuation of their short-term involvement in the project, Jun is currently translating Kim’s biography into English, while Schutz will polish the text with his skills as an RWIT tutor, hoping to “frame it for an American audience,” he said.

As more of a long-term goal, Jun, who plans to be an academia in South Korea after graduation, hopes that the efforts to spread awareness about Hulbert will make North Korea more receptive to Americans.

Rembert Browne ’09’s Twitter named one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best

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Time Magazine featured Rembert Browne ’09’s Twitter as one of the top 140 feeds of 2013 in an online feature Monday.

The digital list highlighted the year’s most witty and inspirational feeds in categories such as food, politics and fashion. Browne’s feed was included as one of 10 in the “culture critics” category. His feed has recently covered media events including Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster and the South by Southwest Music and Media festival.

Browne is currently a staff writer for Grantland, a website owned by ESPN featuring sports and pop culture recaps and commentary. He has recently recapped the shows “Pretty Little Liars” and “Splash” for the blog.

Time magazine’s feature of Browne’s feed can be found at http://techland.time.com/2013/03/25/140-best-twitter-feeds-of-2013/slide/rembert-browne/

Browne’s Twitter feed can be found at https://twitter.com/rembert.

Phil Klay ’05 reflects on deployment in Iraq

ASHLEY GILBERTSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES
ASHLEY GILBERTSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES

The New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog last week featured a memoir by Iraq War veteran Phil Klay ’05.

The blog published Klay’s account as part of a six-part series commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq, which occurred on March 20, 2003. Klay and 15 other veterans shared their experiences on the dates of both the initial invasion and the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. The veterans reflected on how the war had altered their lives in the period between these two dates.

Klay’s account, titled “Forces,” describes his experiences on spring tour with the Dartmouth club rugby team when the U.S. first invaded Iraq in 2003. Klay watched then-President George W. Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam Hussein from his hotel room in Ireland with a fellow rugby team member. Klay planned to join U.S. forces in Iraq after graduating.

The piece also includes Klay’s account of the date of the war’s conclusion, Dec. 15, 2011. Klay met a friend, an Army medic, at a bar to mark the event of the end of the war. He reflected on efforts to protect the local Iraqi population during the height of the war.

Klay concludes the piece by considering how the war’s scope affected more than just American lives.

After graduating from Dartmouth in 2005, Klay served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, serving in Iraq from 2007-2008. Since returning from deployment, Klay authored the short story collection “Redeployment” and contributed to the book, Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. He will publish his own Iraq-related short story collection through Penguin Press in 2013.

Klay’s piece in The New York Times’ blog can be found at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/19/a-war-before-and-after-part-4/.