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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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Isaiah Berg: 40 Towns
This space has previously covered one of Dartmouth’s bright lights, English Professor Jeff Sharlet. On the subject of student writing at Dartmouth, Professor Sharlet shared the following:
I’m not sure what accounts for the disconnect at Dartmouth. I think both sides of the equation suffer for it — creative writing would benefit from more students who want to go out and find their material in the world, and The Dartmouth would certainly benefit from a more powerful sense of storytelling — including the kind of storytelling that involves asking tough questions about motive and meaning.
A few months after writing this, 40 Towns went live. Dartmouth Now ran a story on the new online magazine, a “periodical of literary journalism about the Upper Valley by students in Jeff Sharlet’s creative nonfiction courses at Dartmouth College.”
I have been working my way through 40 Towns since then. It is filled with deep and captivating work, no doubt a reflection of the students’ abilities and also Professor Sharlet’s skill as a teacher.
Danny Valdes ‘13 wrote “The Shady Lady,” which explores the lives of people who call a gritty motel in White River Junction their home. His descriptions are evocative and unexpected:
The Shady Lawn Motel has no lawn, just a big dirty concrete parking lot. Behind the motel is an alley way and houses. On one side, the train station and on the other more houses. I walk down the stairs past two stacks of old TVs and a rusty bike. A woman comes out from her room with two little dogs. “Come on, assholes” she yells while pulling their leashes.
Lindsay Ellis ‘15 authored “Kings of the Counter,” which details her time spent at the counter with the regulars of The Fort:
The more facts of his pre-Fort life Stan gives me, the more gaps I see in his story. The dates and places switch in his retellings as he rubs his temples, kneads his hands. Korea. 2nd Battalion, 2nd Division, 23rd Infantry Regiment. He worked for a few years at the mills in Hartford, but fires, spurring layoffs and closures, gutted the industry. Then, H.W. Carter, “cah-tuh,” shipping and warehouse advisor for thirty years. Stan stayed, but ownership changed, from the Jackson family to residents of Foxboro, Maine, then to a New York firm.
Valdes and Ellis have written my favorite stories from the first issue, but there are more I have yet to read. Many students come and go from the College having never appreciated the local context and history of the Upper Valley, and the way that many of its people live in a world apart from an Ivy League liberal arts college. Professor Sharlet’s students will not have that problem, and hopefully their work will make richer the world of their readers.
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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