Category Archives: Etiquette

Virtual Videogame Hangouts

Virtual Videogame Hangouts

Neil Verma
Milton, Georgia

Informant Data:
Neil Verma is an Indian-American male who lives in Milton, Georgia. He is currently a rising sophomore at Texas A&M university and studies computer engineering. He was supposed to be on campus during the Spring, but the coronavirus epidemic cut his time there short, so he is back home and has looked to other forms of entertainment in order to interact with his friends. He values his interactions with his friends, even if they are virtual, so these activities have become a daily routine for Neil.

Contextual Data:
Because of the coronavirus epidemic, many of the typical outdoor activities that many kids and teenagers alike enjoy have become impossible to do. As such, many kids have started relying on video games such as Call of Duty: Warzone to have fun and still interact with their friends. For many, these videogames have become daily parts of their lives, replacing the in-person interactions with safer online interactions.

Yeah… it definitely wasn’t ideal when I first heard I wouldn’t be able to go back to [Texas] A&M. As a freshman, I definitely felt like I had found my people and had gotten into the groove of college life. It’s great to be back home, but I still miss the new friends I’ve made in college. I know that I will see them at some point, but it’s still fun to interact with my friends by hopping on a [PS4] party with them. Pretty much every day now, I’ll get on [Call of Duty] Warzone with my friends from college and play a couple rounds with them, and I’ve found that even these virtual interactions can help me get through the difficulties of social distancing.

Aditya Choudhari, 20
12982 Waterside Drive
Milton, GA, 30004
Dartmouth College
Spring 2020

Class of 1953 Commons: Dark Side versus Light Side


1. Title: Dark Side versus Light Side

2. Informant Information:

Matt Marcus is a graduating senior who was a member of the Dartmouth Lightweight Crew Team. As a result of being on an athletic team, he always went to eat at Foco (The Class of 1953 Commons) after every practice. He is also on the 20 meal plan, meaning that he more than often goes to Foco to eat his meals throughout the day.

3. Type of Lore: Customary Folklore

4. Language: English

5. Country of Origin: Hanover, New Hampshire, United States

6. Social/Cultural Context:

The idea behind the customary folklore known as “Dark Side versus Light Side” is that students who do not participate in athletics sit on the “Light Side” of Foco, while the remaining student-athletes sit and eat on the “Dark Side”. This piece of folklore has been around long enough to become very widely known as well as generally obeyed.

7. Associated File: N/A

8. Transcript:

“Part of being on an athletic team is always going to Foco after practice. It’s just that convenient…. And more importantly, uh, it’s all you can eat, so pretty much perfect for anyone that plays on a sports team. I guess I’ll start at the beginning before I became an athlete. So when I got done with Trips and all that and then went to Foco for the first few weeks of school, as every freshman does, I had heard a few people tell me about the Dark Side/Light Side issue. When I questioned what it was I thought it was kind of ridiculous how there’s an actual, I guess you could say “custom”, around it. But you know, everyone obeys it so I did too, until that moment when I joined the Crew Team. I was so happy to call myself an athlete, and I got to experience the “glory” of eating on the famed Dark Side…. haha…. or so you could say. I think the reason that people actually seem to obey this “rule”, or more specifically freshman, haha, is because of just the intimidation factor of it.”

9. Informant’s Comments:

“I think I see this piece of folklore coming from, like, new freshmen students being somewhat afraid of, like, finding a new group of friends other than their trips group. Sometimes it’s hard to do that, and one of the more, uh, intimidating groups of students to try to becomes friends with are student athletes. Like they already have their friends and have found their group on campus, so they dont need to worry about that as much as others do.”

10. Collector’s Comments:

Instead of this Dartmouth “custom” being representative of the fear of freshmen to branch out and find new friends, I think that this folklore represents something more prevalent and that extends further into one’s Dartmouth career than just freshman year: the dichotomy between student-athletes and regular students. Whether it’s on Yik-Yak (an app on which anonymous posts are made by users), in social life, or even in class, this dichotomy is often mentioned or pointed out, and sometimes even jokes are made. It is actually quite easy to differentiate between a student-athlete and student here at Dartmouth, whether that’s due to physical appearance or personality, nobody is entirely sure. What is clear is that this relationship within the student body is often highlighted, and can be easily characterized by the “Dark Side versus Light Side” relationship in Foco. This is an interesting phenomenon, as most of the other pieces of folklore in this collection tend to reflect a unification of the Dartmouth community instead of a division.

11. Tags/Keywords: Food, Athlete, Student-Athlete, Class of 1953 Commons, FoCo

Bootcamp and Training

Title: Bootcamp and Training

Informant info: Informant name is Jason Laackmann. Jason is twenty-eight years old and attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as a United States Army Veteran. Jason served in the Army for five years in active duty and continues to serve in the Minnesota National Guard. Jason also served as a paratrooper and attended and graduated flight school. The locations in which he has served are Fort Bend, Georgia, Fort Riley, Kansas, and overseas in Eastern Afghanistan.

Type of lore: Customary Folklore

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA

Social / Cultural Context: Jason was interviewed at Dartmouth College. He was asked to talk about his boot camp/training experience during his time in the military. Due to his serving in various locations over the past couple of years, Jason didn’t go into much detail, but rather gave a general summary of what his bootcamp/training experience was like.

Associated File: (start at 0:45)

Transcript:  [I have recorded the item exactly how it was told to me in the interview]: The training experience was… was pretty simple, pretty cut and dry. It was sixteen-week officer basic course for infantry. Uh, it centered around tactics, um, platoon and squad level operations and then how to write orders, um, and then how to plan those operations. Um, I did eight of the sixteen weeks where we’re out in the woods actually training where the other ones were just either refitting, uh, resetting your gear and doing, like homework assignments. Um, the officer basic course is much different than the original, uh, basic training of boot camp that enlisted soldiers go through. Um, but I did do a, uh, a basic training as well at Fort Knox, Kentucky where the drill Sergeants come after you, attack you for no reason, verbally. And uh, build the core which they desire.

Informant’s comments: Jason stated that he vividly remembered being yelled at by his drill sergeants. He commented that at the time it was a bit intimidating but the yelling had the purpose of molding them to be strong soldiers.

Collector’s comments: The informant was straight to the point when recalling his experience, but smiled when he remembered being yelled at by his drill sergeants.

Leaving 5 Seconds

  1. Title: Leaving 5 Seconds Behind
  2. Informant: Sierra Levene, 19, Female.Sierra grew up in Wyoming and currently attends Dartmouth College where she is a freshman.  She just began swimming competitively on the Dartmouth College Club swim team this year.  When interviewed, Sierra discussed various aspects of swimming that were difficult to understand when she first joined the swim team.  This included etiquette and proper behavior at swim meets, as well as phrases and expressions that make up a unique “language of swimming.”
  3. Customary: Etiquette
  4. Language: English
  5. Country of Origin: United States
  6. Social / Cultural Context: In practice, swimmers will leave 5 seconds behind the swimmer in front of them.  This is not an estimation- since training in swimming is interval based, it is important to leave 5 seconds to maintain your own set of intervals.
  7. (Audio Only)

  8. Transcript: Definitely leaving 5 seconds”
  9. Informant’s comments: Sierra emphasized the importance of leaving 5 seconds behind a person so that you do not swim right behind them “on their feet” and annoy them
  10. Collector’s comments: 5 seconds seemed to be the universal magic number for how long you should wait before going after the person in front of you.
  11. Tags/Keywords: Etiquette, 5 Seconds

Climbing Etiquette

Informant Info
Mallory Bird, an 18 year old freshman undergraduate at Dartmouth College, grew up in Durango, CO with a family of climbers. She’s been climbing with her family for as long as she can remember. She loves the puzzle-aspect of the sport and simply finds it enjoyable. Her biggest fear while climbing is being high during windy conditions. Mallory learned the etiquette when she was young while learning how to climb with her family.

Type: Customary

Language: English

Country of Origin: US

Date Collected: May 12, 2016

Location Collected: Jonathan Belden Daniels Climbing Gym, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Social Context
An important aspect of trad climbing is the gear (pictured below) that is placed in the wall and is needed to keep the climber safe. The pieces of protection can often get stuck in the wall– certain etiquette surrounds these situations.

Associated File:

200933_29553_XL   137745_17533_XL

Lore: If you lose someone else’s gear while climbing at the end of the day you’re supposed to buy them a beer. Similarly, if you come up after someone and free their stuck gear and return it to them then they should buy you a beer.

Informant Comments: An important part of climbing is what you do at the end of the day. There’s usually a lot of down time, especially if you’re camping near the wall, so there’s a well-defined after-climbing culture. It usually involves alcohol.

Collector’s Comments: Trad climbing etiquette is a good example of how climbers are not a groups of adrenaline-high thrill-seekers looking for danger. Although the group has many traditions which might suggest delinquency, there is a strong sense of trust and community shared by all climbers. It’s necessary when your life is in the hands of your belayer.