"KDE: The house I never thought I’d join, but I couldn’t be me without." –anonymous KDE ’07
We found this written on the basement walls and thought it rang really true! Also you made us all sniffle during rush whoever you are, anonymous ’07…
The phenomenally tacky, the bright and beautiful Claire Monagan was kind enough to write a few words about her new adult life! READ IT– you’ll laugh, you’ll cry etc.
It feels strange to write this letter, since this is the first time I’ve been approached to do something as an actual “alum.” (Well, I guess donating to the class of 2012 was really the first, but I don’t count that since I was allowed to pay with Da$h). I don’t have too much perspective as an alum, since I don’t feel like I’ve put Dartmouth too far behind me since graduation. But really – I worked based out of Hanover for the entire summer so saw more than my fair share of Molly’s, West Wheelock Street and, of course, the ever-so-bright KDE basement.
I spent the summer with fellow senior year housemate Madeline Baird (KDE ’12) working for Cabin and Trail through the Dartmouth Outing Club. As I’m sure she would agree (or currently agrees, as she is presently sticking with CnT for the whole nine weeks while I gracefully (shamefully?) took my departure after a particularly grueling week 5), it was Type 2 fun. Type 2 fun is a subset of fun that is only fun in retrospect. In retrospect, CnT was fun. In the present, there were times when I wanted to shoot my own foot off just to avoid lifting another rock or splitting another piece of wood. That being said, it was ideal to spend the summer in the beautiful New Hampshire and Vermont outdoors, to become more familiar with Dartmouth’s prized Moosilauke mountain, and to meet some interesting members of the DOC. A little pocket money was an added bonus, since I’m throwing down more than I’m really comfortable with for rent for my New York City apartment, so this way, maybe I can afford food for the first week or two.
As I lay in bed at the pathetic hour of 9:00pm writing this, I can’t wait to get down to New York City to start a (hopefully) exciting life as an analyst for a brand consulting agency called Lippincott (with Amaka Nneji, KDE ’10). I’m bored at home and feel antsy to get started with the next chapter of my life. I know that in less than a month, however, I’ll despise myself for ever willing time forward from such a peaceful state of idleness and relaxation. For God’s sake, my mom does my laundry – why would I ever leave? But I’m moving into a wonderful apartment in the Lower East Side with Alex Maceda (KDE ’11) and Corrinne Rotter (Dartmouth ’12). Who’s to say what the real world will hold for me, but I’m definitely excited that at 2:00am, I will have more food options to choose from than just EBA’s – though I doubt that anywhere in the world can make a finer BBQ chicken pizza.
I also know that KDE will remain firmly entrenched in my heart and mind. KDE was my rock through my sophomore, junior and senior years at Darmouth – the one constant in a campus environment that is kept in constant flux by the seasons and the D-plan. Sure, I did other things on campus – I was s psychology major, I worked in the psychology lab as a presidential scholar, I was a writer for the Dartmouth, I played club basketball, I participated in and subsequently ran the Dimensions show, and I spent a term studying abroad in New Zealand – but none of those activities were nearly as meaningful (or delightfully time-consuming) as being a member of KDE and serving on the executive board as social chair. In addition to being an experience through which I met incredible, inspiring and like-minded people, and in doing so grew to know and become more comfortable with myself, it is absolutely where I had the most fun and made memories that I couldn’t forget if I tried (though for some, maybe I should try a little harder). I’m talking about those nights when I’m LGB (last-girl-in-the-basement) status, even if it means I’ve played three games of harbor (you other seven, you know who you are) and have tried to take a nap on multiple different surfaces of KDE, such as the kitchen couch, the first floor toilet, and the president and houseman’s bed. I’m talking about when my three roommates and I rocked the attic junior fall and throughout a particularly rowdy term, appropriately christened it the frattic. I’m talking about when it’s finals and there are zero spots in the library and a bunch of my KDE study buddies and I turn the what-used-to-be inoperable sisters-only room into a beautiful, functional study room, with a pong table as the table, obviously. I’m talking about sobbing in a bush outside of KDE for several hours after losing m@sters to Sigma Delt, and then, despite the loss, throwing the best party on campus later that night. I’m talking about pulling an all-nighter the night before graduation and watching the sun rise on the KDE roof while playing pong, hugging, crying and toasting my amazing sisters. I’m talking about walking next to a stranger along frat row and then peeling off where the sidewalk leads up to those coveted K-D-E letters and feeling so lucky that this is my final destination.
When I think back on KDE, a flood of happiness, energy, warmth, and hilarity surges through my body. From staring around a room of strange and unfamiliar ’12 faces during bid night to crying in the arms of each and every one during senior week, I think it’s safe to say they are faces I won’t forget. Also because I plan on abusing the ‘12s blitz list until I’m listed in everyone’s spam. Though there will be times when I positively long for KDE – such as Wednesday nights in the office when the clock reads 10:00pm and I can almost hear Celine from the meetings room – the friendships and relationships that have made it so special to me will continue to flourish and develop. Heck, there must be at least 50% of recent KDE grads in the city of New York (call me maybe? – but seriously). Moments of gold and flashes of light exist in the real world too.
Before we post on our new class of minions, I’d like to offer an opinion. As a senior, I guess I’m becoming a little sappy and perhaps a touch introspective. For two years now I have been a part of this house. What that really means is each year being a part of a new house; each class that graduates takes something, and each class that rushes gives something. After rush is perhaps the most obvious wave of the new tide; the new sisters bring new enthusiasm, new connections, new love. As each wave is different, so too is each term; no two terms are ever the same. With some sisters off, some sisters newly arrived, and some sisters soon to leave, it sometimes seems like you are being thrown by the force of the wave crashing and then tossed by the whitewater breaking. Sometimes your other activities will take dominance and it’ll feel like the rip tide is pulling you away from KDE.
But as changing and undefinable as waves are, they are still constant. You can trust the air to drag the water into shores, you can trust the tide to always return, and you can trust this house. It took me awhile to trust this house; I haven’t always been the most active or the most dedicated, but regardless I, with all my massive amount of trust issues, trust this place, these people, and this family. My junior fall I was off in New York and I took the coach up to Dartmouth one random weekend. Of course, it was cheaper to take a bus from New York to Boston and then the Dartmouth Coach from Boston to Hanover. Well, wouldn’t you know that my first bus was delayed and I therefore missed the last Dartmouth Coach out of Boston? I didn’t make it into Hanover until 2am by means of a really random Greyhound. Anyway, the friends I had planned on staying with were already asleep, my ID didn’t work, and I thought, “Shit.” I guess I’m sleeping outside tonight. But then I remembered KDE! I didn’t know anyone very well who was living in the house, but I got the door code, found a futon, and fell asleep within a half an hour of getting to campus. To this day, I think about what it would’ve been like had I not had a house to go to or sisters to help me out.
Maybe when we all graduate, they will no longer dance the wobble at meetings, maybe they won’t win flag football every year (LEGACY!), maybe they won’t wear tackies anymore, but I trust this house to support itself and its sisters. I’m so excited to welcome the new wave of sisters into the house and to tell you: don’t let this house put you in a box, don’t let it make you feel like you must be a certain way, but rather, know that this house needs and appreciates how different and special you are. Don’t let the house change you, but change the house. In the end, the tide remains.
By: Chloé Moon, Alumni Chair, Class of 2013