I have come to love the community in Hanover and at Dartmouth. It’s possible to form a real community here, albeit a strange one. There’s this closeness that you don’t experience at other institutions because the College is so small and Hanover is way out in the monte. I find this especially true given that I have worked at the University of Buenos Aires or at Michigan, which are so large that there tends to be a disconnect between students, faculty, and the surrounding city.
That’s not to say there aren’t disadvantages to the smaller community. Sometimes I feel as though Dartmouth students do not know how to address difference and disagreement amongst themselves. I think disagreement is the only way a community can express itself, but many students here have this grand, idealistic idea of equality. That is basically impossible because there is so much racial and geographic diversity here. And that diversity isn’t just in the admissions pamphlet photos; it’s a real, tangible diversity, which you can see in the way someone perform their activities.
For me, the thing that I perform which gives me away as different is language. When I meet someone they assume that I’m not from here because of my accent, and only occasionally because of my clothes. Everywhere I go, someone asks where I from and how I ended up in the Upper Valley. It’s not bad, it’s just something I notice and I think it is part of what makes Hanover and Dartmouth College unique.