B-E-T-O! Let’s Go Beto!

Beto O’Rourke broke into the national consciousness when, as a sophomore member of Congress, he challenged Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race.  Although initially given little chance of unseating Cruz, O’Rourke parlayed an unconventional  grass-roots campaign (he visited all 254 counties in Texas) and savvy social media presence, fueled by record-breaking […]

Weekly Web Updates – July 15, 2019

Updates

  • Drupal config_perms 8.x-1.2
  • Drupal media 7.x-2.22
  • WordPress duplicate-post plugin 3.2.3
  • WordPress wysija-newsletters plugin 2.12
  • WordPress seriously-simple-podcasting plugin 1.20.5
  • WordPress accelerate theme 1.4.2

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Fixed an issue with caching on the Library site where the desired cache lifetime of the Library Hours banner and RSS feed were not bubbled up to the page level and inconsistently cleared. The cache lifetime of a page with an RSS feed is now one hour. Other pages with the Library Hours will have their cache expire at midnight.
  • Updated the dates on the Language Schools inquiry form to properly show upcoming years.
  • Removed all use of the PECL_HTTP library, allowing us to remove a custom external package repository from our system configuration.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new “Offices” site for institution-wide anchor functions.
  • Creating new Drupal 8 sites for our schools and programs.
  • Upgrading the Course Hub to Drupal 8.

Interlibrary Loan Service changes

Dear Library Patrons:
You may have noticed that turnaround times to complete ILL requests
have of late at times been slightly longer than in the past.  As a
result of workforce planning, we have reduced the number of staff
working in this department by .5 FTE. We will of course continue to
fill requests as quickly as we can, but do bear this in mind when
submitting requests with hard deadlines. Please note the following as
well:

* ILL requests submitted with incomplete or erroneous bibliographic
information may be returned to you as unfulfilled and/or in need of
additional information

* ILL staff may not be able to devote quite as much time as in the
past to filling requests for particularly rare or hard-to-acquire
items

You should continue to use our online form
(http://go.middlebury.edu/illiad) to submit ILL requests and as noted
above, provide as much and as accurate bibliographic information as
possible.  If you need to speak to a member of our dedicated ILL
staff, you can stop by the Davis Family Library circulation desk
during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-3pm

We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may cause. If you have questions or comments about these changes, please feel free to contact:

Michael Roy, Dean of Libraries (mdroy@middlebury.edu)

Terry Simpkins, Director, Access and Discovery Services (tsimpkin@middlebury.edu)

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The Times, We Are Campaigning! (Starting With Biden)

Those readers familiar with my 2016 election coverage remember that I strongly believe that to fully understand a presidential candidate, it is necessary to see them in their natural environment: on the campaign trail, speaking to, and with, voters.   Without attending the rallies, it is easy to let prior assumptions drive election analysis, as happened […]

FREE Med School Secondaries Q&A Webinar with a Former UCLA Application Reader

We’re excited to share InGenius Prep’s FREE webinar on “How to Succeed with Your Secondaries,” which will take place on July 23rd at 8:00 pm EST.

Secondaries are quickly rolling into inboxes and it’s important to submit them as early as possible to make a strong impression on med schools.

The webinar will be hosted by Chantal Lunderville, a Former Med School Application Reader & Interviewer from UCLA and an InGenius Prep counselor.

This webinar will be Q&A style! Students can submit any questions they have ahead of time to catherine.kannam@ingeniusprep.com, tweet @InGeniusPrep with the hashtag #secondariessuccess, or ask them live at the webinar.

You can register here.

Homelessness away from home

Middlebury Privilege & Poverty interns stay the summer in Vermont, engage with issues of poverty throughout Addison County.

This is the first in a series highlighting the work of our CCE Privilege & Poverty Interns, who are working in organizations, nationally and locally, that intentionally engage in issues of poverty. This week I sat down with Cynthia Ramos (intern) and Samantha Kachmar (co-director), of Charter House in order to enrich my own reflection about what it’s like working around poverty.

Photo courtesy of Charter House website

Cynthia Ramos is one of several Middlebury students who have been thrown into the daily operations of various social service organizations throughout Addison County this summer. From homelessness, to access to nutritional food, to advocating for women and migrant rights, Privilege and Poverty Interns are engaging with manifestations of poverty on a daily basis, and gather weekly to reflect and discuss their experiences. 

Cynthia is working at Charter House this summer, a non-profit, volunteer based organization that provides basic necessities like food and shelter. Though her job description might sound simple at first – cooking and cleaning, checking in residents – it has quickly become much more than what it seemed at the beginning.

“This job has been both easier and harder than I expected. I don’t have to know calculus to do it, but I have to have endless willingness to always do more, take on more. I have to be generous with not only my time, but my emotional availability…it’s exhausting, but not in a bad way. I feel more fulfilled now than I do during the school year,” says Cynthia.

Exhausting, yes. 

Worth it? Definitely.

Samantha Kachmar, Co-Director of the Charter House, agrees that the experiential learning that Privilege and Poverty Interns are receiving is unique in its own right – and difficult to digest at times. “It gives [students] a chance to really see it – in its reality. And it’s not always a pretty really. Sometimes learning and knowing something from material you’ve read or watched is much different than when you’re faced with that reality.”

“It’s exhausting, but not in a bad way. I feel more fulfilled now than I do during the school year.” – Cynthia Ramos

There’s a quote that hangs, pinterest style, next to the front door of my parent’s house that says “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

That’s about as corny as they come (right behind “Live, Laugh, Love”, “Family is FOREVER” and “You can find me at the beach”). Nevertheless, I have always felt unduly motivated by its message. This summer as a Privilege and Poverty Intern through the CCE myself, I am beginning to understand not only the value of living into that quote, but the value of the home that holds that sign up.

At times the John Graham Shelter in Vergennes, where I have been placed, seems not twelve but twelve thousand miles away from the housing, dining, and education that I often take for granted in the middle of a semester at Middlebury. But perhaps the most valuable lesson I’m beginning to learn is that these “different worlds” are not so different; all it takes is intentionality and effort to connect the two.

That connection, perhaps tragically for the more bookish of us (myself included), takes place beyond the essays we read, the money we donate or the “likes” we give on Facebook. Ultimately, however, that connection gives us the chance to discover universal aspects of human nature. 

“It allows people to see that though we come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, we have a lot in common. And everyone has the same desire for a stable life, and just different ways to go about it, different resources to attain it,” says Kachmar.

As my first full year of living in Middlebury draws to a close, I have become more and more conscious of the divisions between college and community, wealthy and poor here in Addison County. Whether you are from “up the hill” or “down the hill”, or whether you shop at the co-op or Hannafords, has tangible consequences on how you perceive Middlebury – and how you are perceived by others. Undoubtedly, there are some parallel realities of experience here, just like in many other places.

But (as I’m beginning to see, thanks to my work this summer) more often than not the effort it takes to bridge these divisions is smaller than we think. And I’m grateful to be given the chance to try.