Category Archives: Midd Blogosphere

Weekly Web Updates – June 27, 2016

Our team spent much of last week finding and fixing a number of errors related to the Drupal production environment migration to Chef.  If any additional errors pop up that we might not have caught, please let us know via the Helpdesk.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • A “More Link” field has been added to the rss_page content type on
  • We copied over some missing rewrite rules for from our old Drupal cluster.
  • The URL fragment has changed from “studentlife” to “student-life” on
  • The case in FetchProxy where multiple entries existed for the same header is now being properly handled.
  • After our production environment switch, Course Hub roster photos were failing to sync. This has now been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue in the Course Hub that prevented instructors from being able to create spaces for lab/discussion sections.
  • An Runtime Error has been resolved on, when attempting to view a list of results in which one row did not contain an email field.
  • The WordPress language files have been updated.

Al-Manhal Arabic e-books and journals (trial ends August 16, 2016)

Through mid-August, our Middlebury and Monterey campuses have trial access to this database from Al-Manhal, the only provider of full-text searchable databases of scholarly and scientific publications from the Arab and Islamic world. AlManhalAl-Manhal’s over 13,000 e-books and 300 peer-reviewed journals can be searched through the user-friendly platform linked above. The full-text content is also fully indexed in Summon. (Allow a few days after this post for all Al-Manhal content to be find-able in Summon by Middlebury and MIIS users.)

Let us know what you think – email or your liaison.

The Bread Loaf Preservation Project: Photo exhibit in the Davison Library

In June 2015, Middlebury College and the Vermont Land Trust, with the support of Louis Bacon ’79, signed a conservation easement forever protecting Middlebury’s 2,100 acre Bread Loaf campus. A photo exhibit in the Davison Library for the summer celebrates this initiative. Photographs by Brett Simison and stories from people involved in the conservation project illustrate not only the campus’s natural beauty, but also its literary lineage, ecological diversity, and imaginative space. This exhibit helps explain why Bread Loaf is a landmark place, and celebrates its perpetual protection. We invite you to come see these photos, read the stories, and think about why Bread Loaf is important to you.

Sponsored by Middlebury College’s Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

Observatory Stargazing Open House Nights – Summer 2016

Middlebury College Observatory and Middlebury Physics will again host stargazing open house nights this summer. These Observatory events are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, June 29, July 6, 20, 27, and August 3, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM and are weather permitting.

Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars will be in the evening sky on many of these dates. A variety of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae will also be visible through the Observatory’s telescopes. The Observatory includes a 24-inch telescope in a dome and smaller telescopes on the roof.

Observatory open house nights are free and open to the public. As these are minimal language events, they are also appropriate for Language Schools students. These events will take place only if the sky is expected to be mostly clear. Please check the Observatory web site at go/observatory or call the Observatory at 443-2266 after 7 PM on the evening of the event for weather status.


There are currently 2 faculty positions, 52 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 2 internal job postings on the Middlebury employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities:

Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs (on campus), (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus), (off campus)

Join the Friends of International Students Host Program!


Dear Faculty and Staff-

Our Friends of International Students (FIS) host program recruiting and matching process for the recently admitted Class of 2020 has begun! The Class of 2020 will include more than 70 international students, including some U.S. students who have lived abroad and international exchange students. Please contact us if you’re interested in hosting in the fall and spread the word in our community.

International Student & Scholar Services will hold a series of information meetings about the program  on the second floor of the Service Building. We ask that new hosts attend a meeting so that we can meet them and share more information about the program. If you are an experienced host, we welcome you to join us as your stories and insights are vital to friends who are new to FIS and trying to decide if they would be a good fit for the program.

Here is our summer meeting schedule:

  • Thursday, June 30 from 12:30-1:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 13 from 12:30-1:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 4 from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, August 15 from 12:30-1:15 p.m.

To register for a meeting, please email ISSS at (subject line: FIS Host Program) or call us at 802.443.5858. Feel free to bring your lunch to our afternoon meetings.

You can learn more about the FIS Host Program on our website at: .

Please share this information with friends and family who do not work at the College.

We invite all who are interested to become a part of this wonderful program!

We look forward to hearing from you!


25 Km to Cherry Garcia

The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe has long been among my favorite places to cross country ski – with lots of challenging climbs and breathtaking descents. It is also in a stunningly beautiful location – one can understand why Maria and the captain chose it as their home when they escaped to the US. I had often thought that it would be a great place for trail running as well, so when I learned of the Catamount Ultra a race with a 50 Km and 25 Km option, I immediately registered for the challenging, but hopefully not injurious shorter distance event. So, on a sunny Saturday that promised to get blisteringly hot before the day was though, I arrived at the starting line for what promised to be a fun event.

Morning Mountain Meadow Views

Morning Mountain Meadow Views

The starting line was set up right by the touring center building, and after getting my bib and race swag, I had some time to look around, and I was amazed at how the Trapp Lodge complex had grown over the years to become a rather extensive resort on the side of the mountains. It even has its own Von Trapp microbrewery now, which I knew I would be looking forward to at the end of the race. I was also amused by the oversized inflatable mammoth (perhaps a shark would have been better, since the race did indeed occur during the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”), clearly related to one of the race sponsors, and briefly considered means of tying it to the roof of my VW Beetle to take it home, but then came to my senses and left it for others to enjoy.

The mammoth inflatable mammoth

The mammoth inflatable mammoth

The participants in the longer, 50 Km race had apparently started their two lap trek at 7:00, and start time for those of us who had chosen to only take one time around the daunting looking course lined up at around 8:30 for our start. Looking around at those lining up, I thought to myself that this bunch did not look at all like the “B-team” – they were as ectomorphic a bunch of distance runners as one would expect at a race like this, which promised 2500 vertical feet of climb and descent over the 25 Km distance. In the moments before the race started, the opening guitar riff of “Sweet Child of Mine” started blasting over the PA system, which seemed a good omen, as it has always been one of my favorite “get psyched” songs.

When the gun went off I stayed comfortably in the middle of the pack, as the group of runners, 150+ strong headed up the backside of the first hill “Telemark”. It was interesting comparing running styles with other competitors. I have always been gravity prone, climbing at a steady but slowish pace, but able to cut loose on downhills. I had fun chatting with another runner who joked that she was just the opposite – and as a result she passed me on every climb, as I roared off into the distance on the descents, only to be caught again on the next short climb. After coming down off of Telemark, there was a short flat section before the major climb of the race. The next few miles, with most of the climb coming on the Lower Parizo Trail and Chris’s Run (for those who know the ski area) followed by a short mild climb up to the high point of the race, the cabin. While the cabin has wintery snacks and hot chocolate during ski season, the water station, after the early challenging climb was just what the doctor ordered. Most, albeit, not all of the next six miles were descending, and this is where I made up most of my time – I found myself passing a fair number of competitors, some of whom caught me later and some didn’t.

By this point, the heat of the day was starting to kick in – while most of the run was in the thick forest, the second half, at lower altitude, had several large open meadows which had great views, but were starting to get pretty hot.  I also found myself walking more and more of the climbs, the closer I got to the finish line.  Many of these uphill sections were of the pitch that would not phase me had I been running at a normal workout pace, but in the later stages of an actual race, I had to get through them at a slower pace.  Alas, I saw several men with grey hair pass me by at this point, which ended up costing me a few places in my age group place at the finish  line.  Finally, I came to a flat section which I recognized as the home stretch, and I picked it up a little until I ran under the banner signifying the finish, meeting up with a few friends who had finished before me, and waited, cheering on those who finished after me.

I don’t make a habit of talking about how well I actually did in races – I mostly want readers to learn about the pleasures of running trails in new places.  But as I approached the finish line, knowing that while my race was less than perfect, it felt darn good to be out there and running well, I realized that I needed to think about the competitive component of these races with my own set of arbitrary age groups.  So, I have decided from this point on, I will compare myself against the “Jeff age group” which only consists of runners my age, or older.  Measured against this group, I did quite well, thank you!

Most races of this sort, have a post-race feed, and the Catamount Ultra was no exception.  Besides finish line snack, the sponsoring microbrewery had a freebie for everyone (YES!), but the main course was pizza, which I am sure was delicious, but I passed on, as it wasn’t what I wanted at the moment.  As I sat down in my car to drive home – I knew exactly what I wanted:  Since my trip home passed through Waterbury, I knew that I would pass by Ben and Jerry’s old headquarters, so I stopped by there and treated myself to a generous (and frankly, pricey) cone of my favorite flavor, Cherry Garcia, and that energized me for the ride home!

All in all, this was a seamlessly run, fun race.  The trails at Trapps are generally broad and fast, with good footing, and the scenery is spectacular.  I would run it again in a minute…..or at least a lot of minutes.

google earth of the run

The starting point at the “bed” icon, running clockwise

altitude profile