November 6, 2011

BORROWED, BUT A TRADITION:

Hollisto's World (Chad Hollis, 11/04/11, The Dartmouth)

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "Every tradition grows ever more venerable -- the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe."

Throughout Dartmouth's expansive history, the College has developed many of its own holy and awe-inspiring traditions. We build a massive bonfire for Homecoming every fall, and we sculpt an intricate snow sculpture for Winter Carnival. No term passes without a streaking incident and it is not uncommon to see girls in fairy costumes storm the library during finals period, offering shots of vodka and rum to overstressed classmates.

If you ask most students about the history of these practices, they will not be able to tell you how, why or when these traditions started. These same students, however, would likely fight you to the death before they let you take away one of the traditions that make Dartmouth special.

Big Green athletics also have several long-standing traditions. Nearly every freshman class has a few members rush the field during halftime of the Homecoming football game. This past Homecoming, a large slew of freshmen rushed the field during Columbia University's marching band performance and disrupted the band's formation. One band member broke away from his pack and tried to chase down one of the instigators. Moments like this are why I love this college.

My favorite Dartmouth athletics ritual occurs when the men's hockey team plays Princeton University at Thompson Arena. For freshmen who do not know, it is a time-honored tradition to throw tennis balls onto the ice after Dartmouth scores its first goal against Princeton.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2011 8:38 AM
  
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