In this post we recognize Cindy Myrick, Operations Assistant in Library and Information Services, for her 25 years of service to Middlebury. Cindy shares how much she has enjoyed working with students over the years, skiing at the Snow Bowl, as well as her love of new adventures! Read on to learn more about this native Vermonter who in addition to working at Middlebury has also worked in areas from bookkeeping to being a fitness instructor.
What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?
I was living in Bridport where I was raised and raising my own family. In high school I was a housekeeper for Shep and Richard Colman Jr (former Director of Athletics at Middlebury), after high school I worked at a number of places including Tarbox & White Geo-Hydrology, as a hostess at Rosie’s restaurant, a hotel desk clerk at the Middlebury Inn, a bookkeeper at Norrinsberg’s apple orchard, a vegetarian cook in a private home, a fitness instructor (favorite job ever!), a nutrition counselor (before you had to have a degree), ABS Press (printer) typesetter and graphics assistant, typesetter at a newspaper, two stints with the State of Vermont, one with Vocational Rehabilitation and one with the Department of Health, and perhaps a few other minor jobs.
What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?
I was employed in various offices in temporary positions plus joined the catering team and was hired permanently part-time to support the Manager of Telephone Services.
Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?
I was mothering four of my five children; the fifth was about to join us. 80% of our children were born at our home in Bridport so I was getting good practice at that. My husband Steve and I both grew up in Bridport and we’ll celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary March 26th. We’ve always had a garden and raised chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, pheasants, goats, beef, and horses using my parents’ farm for the larger critters. We also produce maple syrup and gather honey. I was concerned about affording good foods and took matters into our own hands. It might be more work than most people are willing to do, but healthy living has always been a priority for me. I eventually began vending at Middlebury Farmers Market to offset the cost of producing our own foods selling beef, eggs, jellies, maple syrup and honey.
What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?
The things that are most significant are enjoying living at the lake in the summer, driving my motorcycle and touring in my kayak every chance I get. I’m always looking for new adventures. 11 grandchildren capture some of my attention. They all live in Vermont and are ninth generation Vermonters. I have also developed a signature product for farmer’s market that is on the verge of being distributed widely.
In the early years I took advantage of the Snow Bowl and the children learned to ski. I used to love going there often, but that withered out. This year I bought skis and have had the chance to go up to the Bowl just four times. Since winter really hasn’t arrived yet, there is hope I will enjoy more visits and maybe even find someone to ski with! As the children fell away from the home it has opened up an opportunity for me to think about me and what new adventures I might like to pursue. I’m as active as I can afford to be.
My fondest memories have to be the winter term workshops that I’ve led including making Feta cheese with goat milk, jams and jellies using some fruits harvested here on campus, made and fermented Kimchi and taught a class on herbal home remedies. I enjoyed being involved with a portion of the student population of young adults appreciating similar interests. That was pretty amazing to see how different our backgrounds were, yet we had similar interests. They had a thirst for knowledge even for those simple real life subjects.
Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?
The proximity to home and a steady paycheck really are what kept me here and especially having a job with a fairly flexible schedule.
What are your plans for the next 25 years?
Stay healthy and active and take some leaps when opportunities for adventure arise.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?
Ride with the tide and go with the flow.