Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Revisiting the Libya Question (Or, My Silly Term Paper)
One thing that has always bothered me about college is that we students are expected to be little academics. This never made much sense to me. If you can think back to high school, then you can think back to your chemistry teacher spending one day at the beginning of the year on laboratory safety procedures. Except you didn’t have a laboratory—you had just another classroom, except with a few sinks. And you were informed at length about proper use of sterilized safety goggles. Except, again, you didn’t have sterilized safety goggles—you had rubber flabs which were put underneath a ninety watt incandescent bulb for eight hours each night. After all of that forewarning, you spent the period sniffing the various gasses and throwing frog parts at your buddies. You were not a scientist.
Anyway, here’s the point: Most people in college, including me, are not academics at heart and will never possess any business card which contains the words: “The H.R. Pennypacker Professor of Political Science.” Especially us folks interested in goverment—we won’t be professors. Political science professors—well, just some of them—have jobs that include taking ten facts which speak for their personal political preference and nine facts which speak for the opposing view, and writing those nineteen facts into a “paper” which purports to reach an objective conclusion to a question which usually has no objective answer to begin with. For example: “Why did Libya cede its nuclear weapons program to the United States in 2003?”
That’s the question I chose to answer—or, rather, craft an extended op-ed in favor of my answer—for the close of a course I was taking this past term. (Dartmouth students take classes during the summer at the end of their sophomore year.) The paper is called “How Libya Was Won.” The thing is mostly polemic, really. I refuse to believe that I am in some extreme minority of twentysomethings who cannot numb themselves to all personal views in relentless pursuit of the facts. I’m just being honest about my biases. And advocating really is more fun than analyzing, isn’t it? Especially when what you’d have to analyze is not an experiment but a slice of history which, with its parsecs-deep complexity, doesn’t especially lend itself to the scientific process. And so here are my twelve pages telling you why I think the Iraq War was what provoked Qaddafi to dismantle Libya’s nuclear weapons program. [PDF]
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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