I recently came across some photographs in an old photo album, photos I took at Dartmouth when I was a high-school junior touring colleges around the northeast. They are from the summer of 1981; although it’s hard to be certain, there are clues in some photos that suggest it was likely June or July. It has thus been forty years since I first arrived on the Hanover Plain!
Little did I know then that I would return one year later to be taking classes from faculty like John Kemeny and exploring the many mountains and rivers of New Hampshire as a leader of the Dartmouth Outing Club. Nor that I would later return to join the Dartmouth faculty as a professor in computer science!
About two weeks ago, when down at our dock on the Connecticut River, I was surprised to see three large, gelatinous spheres attached to a rope that ties the dock to the shore. Each was slightly larger than the next. I’d never seen anything like them before, and assumed they were frogs’ eggs.
I have climbed Smarts Mountain many times, by many routes – including some now-abandoned routes and by bushwhacking Grant Brook – but I don’t think I have ever hiked the Daniel Doan Trail.* Finally, today, we did.
Although today began cloudy, conditions slowly cleared throughout the day. Lelia and Andy and I headed for Moosilauke, climbing Gorge Brook, and then heading down Carriage Road and Snapper.
Unfortunately, there were many, many other people out hiking today – a holiday here in the US – because it has rained for the past five days and this was the first (somewhat) nice day for a week. Still, a fine day for a hike! Read on and check the Photo gallery.
On Independence Day it finally stopped raining. It has rained, more or less non-stop, for four days. True, it was a welcome respite from the hot and humid weather at the start of the week, but it the rain was getting a bit tiring. So I was eager to get outdoors, and jumped at the chance to hike Mount Cube with an old friend. The trail was wet – to be expected on Mount Cube under almost any circumstances, but especially now – but the forest was lush green, and the bugs seemingly washed away. Although there were no views – low clouds still clung to the hilltops everywhere – it was a fine day to be out.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of my return to Dartmouth to join the faculty. In July 1991 I became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, one of only a handful of computer scientists on the faculty. In those early years I repeatedly experienced two odd reactions when I met other faculty on campus: (1) they mistook me for a grad student, or (2) they thought I was from the computing services (I.T.) organization and worked maybe at the help desk or as a programmer. Indeed, at the time, few on campus even recognized “computer science” as an academic discipline.
Dartmouth (and I) have changed a lot in three decades – my original office building (Bradley) was torn down years ago, along with the central computer center (Kiewit); Mathematics and Computer Science are now two separate departments; I am now the most-senior member of the CS faculty; and nobody seems to mistake me for a student any more. ;=)
Today also happens to be the day that I return to my fourth tour of duty in the administration, this time to spend a year as Interim Provost. I look forward to the opportunity to give back to an institution that has given me so much for so many years.