First days at Dartmouth College

I just arrived in Hanover, NH to start a new position at Dartmouth College. I earned a fellowship from the Neukom Institute for Computational Science. William Neukom is Bill Gates’ old lawyer, and he was an alumnus of the College, and it seems he wanted to give back by funding interdisciplinary research that involves computers. For the next few years, he’s funding mine.

The town is very pretty. Also tiny: ten times smaller than Bloomington, IN, the previous smallest town I’ve lived in. But there’s plenty here for me, and plenty of goodness. Something tells me that, despite the deep deep isolated winter, life will be easier here than it was in Switzerland. I’ve already started mapping the local fruit trees, many of which are in action now. I found hops, which I’d never actually seen before, but which I recognized from beer bottles. Lots of micro brews use hops flowers as a motif to ornament the labels of their brews. Ha! The flower looks more like the bud of a flower than like a lower itself. If you grab it and mash it up in your fingers it smells delicious. It might actually be edible, though not every part of the flower is as palatable as others. And I’ve had another unexpected find for this latitude. I was walking along an ivy-covered wall, or at least I assumed it was ivy, and found it was grape-vine-covered instead. And I found another bunch of grapes vines later that day. All way under-ripe, but I’ll be paying attention as the season passes. I’ll be totally surprised, and utterly pleased, if edible grapes grow around here in the fall time.