Winter Fun: The Top 10

On March 1, 2012 by Grad Forum

It’s now the end of February, and I’m sad to say as I write this article, it is a balmy 40°F outside. Let’s be honest—at this point, snow looks pretty hopeless. Though there’s a chance that old man winter still has a blizzard or two tucked up his sleeve, it might be time for the Upper Valley to get ready for mud season.

So, what’s there to do during the rest of this “miserable” (yes, some may disagree with this adjective) winter?

Well, here are this season’s “Top 10,” divided into two categories—snow-positive and snow-negative—so no matter how you feel about the cold, you can enjoy the rest of the winter!


1) Go for a hike

Wait, is this a repeat from this summer’s “Top 10”? Yes—but not really! With snow on the ground you can grab some cross-country skis or snow shoes and hit the trails. If you don’t own any but want to learn, visit the DOC house and rent some. If you’re not quite read to venture into the White Mountains, then try the friendly trails that wrap around the Hanover Country Club—they’re a great place to start!

2) Be a kid again!

Make snow angels, build a snow fort, go sledding, or get in a friendly snowball fight with your housemates. If you’re in the middle of studying for quals, or chipping away at your dissertation, be sure to get outside and do whatever made you happy as a child—or, in the case of many graduate students, what you missed out on during your warm-climate childhood.

3) Explore the world’s Polar Regions—from your favorite easy chair

In the final chapter of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein chases the monster he created across the sea ice that surrounds the North Pole. Want to experience the thrill of the Artic without hitching a team of Alaskan Malamutes to your favorite sled? Then, try reading a work of literature—like The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, the only full-length novel written by Edgar Allan Poe—that takes place in the world’s Polar Regions

Not into fiction? Then zip up your down jacket, walk over to the Rauner Special Collections Library, and take out a journal of Vilhjalmur Stefansson, one of the twentieth century’s leading Artic explores! Stefansson is credit for discovering a number of landmasses between Nunavut and Greenland, and carefully documented his adventures in a series of notebooks, most of which are held in Rauner.

4) Throw yourself down a hill at obscenely high speeds whilst keeping your feet on the ground
Well, at least that’s how I see skiing or snowboarding. Though, with modern snowmaking, you really you don’t need to wait for a Nor’ Easter to hit the slopes, it’s a bit more enjoyable with natural snow.

Don’t worry—if you’ve never skied or snowboarded before, there are plenty of experienced skiers on campus. If you’re intimidated by ski lifts and black diamonds, just ask one of your friends for an introduction to the sport!

5) Grab a warm cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea

So, it’s cold out, and you’re a graduate student. Chances are you already start your mornings—regardless if the season—with a warm beverage, and have enjoyed a cup-o-Joe while burning the midnight oil on more than one occasion.

In celebration of winter, everyone here at The Graduate Forum has decided to share his or her brew of choice in Hanover:

Erin: Lou’s Brew coffee with cream from Lou’s Restaurant.
Dan: Hot Chocolate from Morano’s Gelato.
Wes: Dancing Goats coffee with milk and sugar from Rosey Jeeks.
Tennile: Guatemala-Antigua Fair Trade Organic blend from Dirt Cowboy; it’s perfect with a little cream and sugar. I’m also a big fan of their Mocha Latte—both are delicious!


6) Enjoy a film with the Dartmouth Film Society (DFS)

Each term, the Dartmouth Film Society (DFS) hosts a themed film series that features a mix of older films, cult classics, and new blockbusters. Students and community member have the option of purchasing a “DFS Pass,” which is valid for all of that term’s movies, or single tickets.  This winter’s theme is “End of Times,” and includes movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Toy Story 3, and Children of Men. Each term, the theme is different, so be sure to check the DFS website to see what’s in store for Spring Term.

On Wednesday, March 7th, the Graduate Studies Activities Coordinator (Erin O’Flaherty) and the North Park GA (Regina Salvat) are also sponsoring a “Graduate Night at the HOP.”  The first 30 people to sign up here will have their tickets to the Oscar-winning film “The Iron Lady” paid for by the GSC.  After the film (and in honor of Ms. Thatcher herself), there will be a reception with proper English tea and crumpets at 14 North Park.  The reception is welcome to all North Park residents, graduate students, and their guests.

7) Check out “Science on Tap” at the Montshire Museum

Wait, isn’t the Montshire a kids’ thing? Well, yes—but each year the museum also plans events for adults. The “Science on Tap” program allows those of age to enjoy a local beer while experts in various academic fields present seminars on their research. Perhaps the best thing about “Science on Tap” is after the presentation, the museum is yours to explore and giddily enjoy; it’s really cool to see the exhibits during after hours, sans-children.

In addition to “Science on Tap,” the Montshire also offers advanced classes for adults: this winter, these courses include the history of English gardens as well as the ecology of wetlands.

8) Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group 

by Tennile Sunday

Your Farm carrots from Tuck-organized farm share package.

As March approaches, the farmers of Vermont and New Hampshire are starting to gear up for the coming growing season. Want access to fresh produce throughout the spring and summer? Then think about joining a Community Supported Agriculture group!

CSAs are structured to allow the consumer—in this case, a Dartmouth graduate student—access to fresh, local vegetable throughout the growing season. When joining a CSA, the consumer pays the farmer a sum of money—which varies depending upon the needs of the consumer—before the farmer plants the season’s crops. Then, throughout the year, the consumer then gets a share of the crops to take home. Usually, the consumer goes to the farm to pick up the crops, while in some cases, a box of produce is delivered to a predetermined place. Since you pay for your portion of the produce so far in advance, it feels like you’re getting free veggies throughout the growing season.

Right now is the time to sign up for CSAs! If you don’t have a car, or don’t want to make the weekly drive, Your Farm—a farm in Fairlee, VT which offers CSAs—delivers shares of produce to the Tuck School of Business on a weekly basis.

9) Play a game of pick-up hockey

If the ice is thick enough, gather up a group of friends, grab a few sticks, and play a game of pick-up hockey. The college maintains a skating rink on Occom pond, so if the conditions are safe, head over after you’re done in the lab, and pass the puck around.

If you think you’re ready for a little competition, then sign up for Dartmouth’s Graduate Student intermural hockey league, DartMoose. If you decide to play in one the club’s weekly scrimmages, make sure to fill out a waiver.

10)  Show some school spirit!

Ok, this one makes most of the “Top 10s,” but attending Big Green sporting events is one of the best things about being a Dartmouth student.

This winter, stay warm by attending an indoor sporting event like squash, basketball, hockey. Or, if you’re a snow sports are more your pace, get outside and cheer on one of Dartmouth’s ski teams.

Whatever sport is your cup of tea, make a point to get out of the laboratory or library and support your team!


by Dan Osipovitch and Wesley Whitaker
color photo by Tennile Sunday
black and white photos by Wesley Whitaker 

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