Jan 08, 2015

Home (in Hanover) for the Holidays

By Isaac Ipson T'15

Isaac is in his second year at Tuck and is loving his life in Hanover with his wife and two sons (one and 3 years old). As an undergrad, Isaac studied economics and took a two year break to serve a two-year mission for his church in Poland. Immediately before Tuck, he worked in Chicago for Sears Holdings. He intends to head to Dallas after graduation to work for the company with which he interned, DaVita Healthcare Partners.

After a summer that included visiting and living with a lot of family, my wife and I decided to spend our long winter break in Hanover instead of flying back West with our two boys. We figured our time in New England was short and that it would be fun to finally do our first Christmas with just our own family. So, while I was still occasionally jealous of my classmates' photos from around the globe I saw on Facebook (either from OnSite Global Consulting projects or just their own vacations), we still had an excellent holiday. Here’s the quick rundown of how we spent our break from before Thanksgiving through to the New Year.

Thanksgiving. We took a road trip to Rochester, NY where my sister lives with her family. My parents flew out there as well, so we actually did see some other family over the break. On the way there, we stopped by a cage/fence-free farm that had a welcoming sign. There were not people but the turkeys, goats, and chickens were all quick to run out and greet us.

Dartmouth Tree Lighting Night. The night they light the huge Dartmouth tree on the green is a big celebration night in Hanover. Lou’s (a breakfast/lunch restaurant) has gingerbread-making, Santa’s at the bank, the hotel has a train exhibit, hot chocolate and carolers on the green, and people everywhere. It’s a fun night that really makes me love being in a small town. I saw professors with their kids at every place we went. My son is obsessed with horses so he loved the horse-pulled carriage ride in the freezing cold.

Tuck Partners Events. We enjoyed going to the Tiny Tuckies holiday party again this year. My wife also sold took part in the Tuck Holiday craft fair.

Tuck Business Bridge. One thing that I love about Tuck is its focus on the full-time MBA program, however, Tuck offers other programs including joint degrees, executive education, and Tuck Bridge. Tuck Bridge has been around for a while as a fast-track summer business 

program for college students who typically come from liberal arts colleges. This year, Tuck launched a three-week December version of this program and I was lucky enough to serve as one of six TAs through the 

program. This amounted to pretty much a full-time job during those three weeks but definitely made sticking around in Hanover worth it. I’ve always enjoyed 

teaching and helping other students. I was blown away by the work that these undergrads, who has limited business training, did. They were taught by some of the same professors in the MBA program and were taught the same type of content Tuck students are taught. It’s an incredible opportunity for them and was a great experience for me too.

Tuck Holiday Party. A big perk of TAing for Bridge was that I got invited to the Tuck faculty and staff holiday party! My family joined me and we had a great time with great food and with the people who make Tuck such a special place. This year’s was extra special as it was Dean Paul Danos’ final one as dean of Tuck.

Weekend in NYC. The weekend before Christmas (when I finally had zero obligations), we jumped in the car for a four-hour drive to New York City. I’ve always wanted to visit New York at Christmas; we all had a great time. Thanks to a friend’s empty apartment over the holidays, we were able to stay comfortably for a few days.

Food with friends. We live in Sachem village where there were actually a fair amount of friends who stuck around for the holidays because their partners were still working or other students with families didn’t travel for the entire break. We enjoyed having a lot of friends over for lunches and dinners when everyone was relaxed with no classes to attend.

Christmas at home. With our oldest son being three-and-a-half years old, he was really into Christmas this year and my wife and I felt some serious pressure to make it magical. Turns out it’s pretty easy to do that for a three year old. Our only complaint was that, instead of the dumping of snow that hit Hanover this time last year, we didn’t get any snow leading up to, or after, Christmas. I’m sure it will be here again soon enough.

Needless to say, it was a great break. It would have been hard to believe when we first got here that we chose to spend almost all of our six-week break here in New Hampshire, but it really does feel like home to us. I’m ready to start classes up again but I am definitely not ready for the next five months to pass by.

*Main photo: Dartmouth College campus; Photo on top right: Tuck December Bridge program attendees; Photo on bottom right: The lighting of the tree on the Dartmouth green; Photo at left: My son with Santa at the Tiny Tuckies holiday party.