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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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Tanzania Diary: The Elephant Walk
I’m no hiking fool, but I can happily walk for hours through the plain and brush of 11,000-acre Ndarakwai Ranch in northern Tanzania with Nkarsis and Risiki, two elephants whom the owners saved as one-year-olds after the rest of their herd had been killed. The girls (they are sixteen and seven now; they won’t be full-grown until age 20) forage and stroll, pause to chat with each other, and occasionally come over to visit their human friends. They extend their trunks, and one is expected as a sign of greeting to blow into the outstretched nostrils.
A particular interaction is hard to properly describe — the language of spirituality has been so debased — but when one stands closeby to either Nkarsis or Risiki and inclines forward, and human forehead and the fleshy part of an elephant’s face just above the tusk come into mutually agreed contact, and stay there for thirty still and silent seconds, it is hard not to believe in the kinship of living things.
Addendum: The slaughter of Africa’s elephants proceeds apace. A decade ago, herds as large as 200 elephants migrated down from Kenya to Ndarakwi. Today a large grouping would be thirty animals. Overall populations have dropped by as much as 90% in some African nations over the past decade as China’s demand for illegal ivory drives a massive, corrupting trade (China leads the way, followed now by the U.S. market). The Times notes that, “More than 100,000 elephants were killed for ivory since 2010, according to a 2014 Colorado State University report.”
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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