In thinking about Dickinson literacy, one specific event comes to mind. It was very early in freshman year, before I was aware of all the “lingo”. I was aware of one term though, “the snar”. I could not even tell you where I learned to call it that, but I knew it was what I was supposed to call it. When I asked my roommate if she wanted to go to the snar for lunch, she did not like that I called it by its nickname. It was not that it offended her, more that she thought it was too early for us to know to call it that, that using the Dickinson lingo that early in freshman year would make us look bad or like we are trying too hard to fit in. Her saying this made me wonder if there is a time line for becoming literate at Dickinson. Is learning all the nicknames for everything a privilege you have to earn with time at Dickinson? Do you have to serve your time and prove you are worthy before you can use them without seeming like a try hard?
To me, being literate at Dickinson means being apart of the community. If you understand all the nicknames and abbreviations, you are able to fit in and make plans. If you do not know it all and you have to ask for translations, you are on the outside. It is like going to a different country and not being able to communicate with the natives. Being a student at Dickinson, you have to speak the language and communicate with your fellow native Dickinsonians so you too can one day be considered “one of them”.