A few weeks ago, monks from Tibet's Drepung Loseling Monastery came to campus. Their visit featured not only a performance in the Hopkins Center (I attended another performance that night instead, see July 30th's post) but also a mandala sand painting. The monks created the intricate sand painting in Collis, our student center. I was walking through Collis to get a quick lunch from Collis Cafe and just stumbled across their painting. As I looked down over the balcony, I saw a monk huddled over a table concentrating on depositing sand in detailed patterns; it was quite unexpected...and incredible! Walking by later that day and the next day, it was easy to see their progress as it became more colorful and much more elaborate.
This approach of having performers, lecturers, and guests do multiple activities during their visit to campus is quite common here at Dartmouth. It's a mentality that benefits students and speaks volumes about the nature of our student programming. Artists, speakers, and lecturers present not only a performance or lecture, but additionally lead lessons, masters classes, and discussions, which promote interaction, dialogue and learning outside of the classroom.
For example, when the Big Apple Circus sets up their tents on the fields across from our own organic farm for performances, they also run 'master classes' in the art of clowning. My most memorable opportunity came during my sophomore summer when I met Margaret Cho immediately after she performed her stand-up routine in Spaulding Auditorium for 900 students and community members!