Category Archives: Midd Blogosphere

Important Tax Information

As you prepare to file your 2016 income taxes, you may be asked about a form called Form 1095-C. The Affordable Care Act requires employers to furnish Form 1095-C to current and past employees who were covered in the employer sponsored medical plan for all or any portion of the tax year. In November of 2016, the IRS extended this year’s deadline for employers to furnish to employees the Form 1095-C from January 31st to March 2, 2017.

Please be aware that the extension to employers should not impact or delay a tax filer’s ability to file their income taxes as usual. Individual income tax-filers are not required to submit Form 1095-C when they file their taxes this year.  When the form does arrive (around March 2nd), be sure to keep the form with your personal tax records as documentation.

You may need to know the answers to a few basic questions when preparing your return:

  • Does Middlebury’s plan meet the minimum essential coverage criteria as mandated by the Affordable Care Act?   Yes it does.
  • Were you covered for all 12 months of the year? Each employee should know the answer to this.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Benefits Department in Human Resources at 802-443-3372.

Here are several links to the IRS website where more information on this topic can be found:

https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families/Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision

https://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/ACA-Information-Center-for-Tax-Professionals

J term Book Club

Chaplain Laurie Jordan will lead a bookgroup focusing on Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom on Wednesday afternoons during J-term. The group will meet Jan. 18, 25, and Feb. 1 in the Scott Center living room at 4:30. Please let Laurie know (ljordan@middlebury.edu) if you’d like a copy of the book at a reduced rate of $5 per copy. Presented with funding from the Wellness Committee.

TIAA ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH ERIK MOREAU

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January – June, 2017

  • Wednesday January 18, Davis Library 150C
  • Wednesday February 1, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday February 15, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday February 28, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday March 9 , Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Wednesday March 15, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday March 30, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday April 12, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday April 20, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Tuesday May 2, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday May 11, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Wednesday May 24, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday June 7, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday June 21, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).

Staff Council Learning Lecture and Tour

Staff Council Learning Lecture and Tour

Thursday, January 19, 2017

12:15-1:15 p.m.

The Timing Room (the room that overlooks the track in the Virtue Field House)

 

Suzanne Cota, Assistant to the Director of Athletics, will offer a presentation and tour of the new athletic facilities for staff on Thursday, January 19.

Light refreshments will be available, but feel free to bring your own bag lunch.     

        Sponsored by Staff Council

 

 

Weekly Web Updates – January 9, 2017

There was an issue in the recent WordPress 4.7 update that caused problems with our custom permissions group syncing to that system. If you are the member of a group that is sync’d to WordPress but have different permissions than most members of that group (for example: administrators of the “Classifieds” blog), your permissions to the site may have been set to the lower-level permissions if you logged in to the site over the holiday break (this was fixed by 1pm on January 3rd). If that’s the case, let us know and we’ll restore your permissions.

We have added the Inline Footnotes and BE Subpages Widget plugins to WordPress.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The server hosting the Course Catalog was updated using the Chef server configuration tool to better provide system updates and versioning. Additionally, all requests to the Catalog are now handled over HTTPS.
  • We applied a security update to the system that sends mail in WordPress which is causing issues with the email preview function in the Wysija / MailPoet plugin. The plugin author promises to have an update available shortly that will fix this.
  • Improved the Online Directory’s handling of connections to the Active Directory to ensure that system resources are properly recycled after searches are run, preventing the server from spinning out of control.
  • Increased the timeout and improved error handling for photo fetching to the Athletics History Wall to better ensure we import as many photos as possible.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • A responsive design for the Dining Menus site.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Little, Big Things (Day 2 in Sierra Leone)

English Below🙂15970280_10211556745265251_1052737214_n

Спане

Първата нощ, без да знам, че трябва да се изпъне мрежата за комарите, и изтощена от дългото пътуване се бях завила с нея като с одеало. На следващия ден май ме бяха усетили и като се прибрах, мрежата беше здраво изпъната, а аз се засрамих, че не ми беше хрумнало. (И в Тайланд съм спала с комарник, но там беше различно.)

Комари

От колежа ми ми предписаха и купиха Маларон за защита срещу малария (въпреки че предпазвал само в около 75% от случаите и имал много лоши старнични ефекти). В Сиера Леоне маларията е най-разпространена през дъждовния сезон юни-август, а през Януари няма толкова комари, което обаче не означава, че не може да се заразиш. При все това на мен ми се искаше да избегна маларона и реших да не почвам да го пия преди да ми стъпи крака тук и сама да видя как стоят нещата. С мрежа или не получих няколко ухапвания още от първата вечер и след като прогресивно ме завладя параноя, на втория ден реших, че ще се надявам на най-доброто и яе започна послушно да пия антималарийните лекарства.

15941988_10211556743905217_1301865972_n

Сим Карта

Колегата ми Арнолд ми донесе СИМ карта, но след като се оказа, че телефонът ми работи само с мини такава, въпросът беше набързо разрешен с помощта на най-обикновени ножици. За момента обаче все още не мога да звъня, тъй като явно трябва да ида някъде и да регистрирам номера с паспорта си.

15871880_10211571115464497_5374948146352636405_nПари

След като обмених пари се почувствах като милионер: никога не бях държала повече пачки с банкноти, но разбира се- за жалост!- стойността им хич не е висока. Пет хиляди леона се равняват на по-малко от 1 долар (който върви за около 7,500 леона, ако имаш късмет и според това какви банкноти обменяш- така, например, се оказа, че най-ценени са банкнотите от 50 и 100 долара, по-дребните се обменят на безценица).

15965986_10211571107664302_3535818377553219637_nКъпане

Както вече писах в предишния си пост, бях изненадана, че имаме баня с течаща вода в къщата, по-друго си го бях представяла. Като се събудих след първите няколко часа сън след пристигането ми, бях толкова потна и преоплена, че страхът от студената вода се изпари. Процедурата по къпането не е сложна, но е странна за повечето от нас, които сме свикнали, всичкото усилие, полагано за къпането, да се изчерпва с едното пускане на душа. Тук наливаш водата на тънка струя в кофа, започваш бавно да се обливаш, търкаш, пак наливаш и повтаряш много пъти… Разбира се, трябва да съм благодарна, че не се налага да се носи водата от кладенец- нещо, което е реалност за голяма част от хората в Африка. В тази връзка преди година взимах клас на тема глобални здравни практики и вместо поредния изпит преподавателката ни ни беше поставила предизвикателство: цяла седмица да разполагаме само с по 10 литра на ден, които сами да пренасяме от фитнес центъра (на края на кампуса) и която трябваше да ни стигне за пиене, къпане, миене на зъби, пускане на вода в тоалетната (за което се изхабяват около 2л. вода при всяко пускане!). Всеки ден трябваше да си водим бележки и да размишляваме върху преживяването, което беше доста нелеко, времеемко и изтощително. невероятно е да си дадеш сметка колко мнгоо време и усилие ни спестяват неща, които дотолкова считаме за даденост.

Следвайте постовете ми за още истории и впечатления от престоя ми в Сиера Леоне. Възможността да пътувам до едни от най-невероятните кътчета на света и да общувам с хора от целия свят до голяма степен се дължи на това, че знам и свободно говоря на няколко езици. Ако искате да подобрите уменията си по Английски по най-ефективния и бърз начин в интернационална среда с нейтив спийкърс, непременно разгледайте сайтът на новия ми проект: Immersion Language & Leadership Academy


15970280_10211556745265251_1052737214_nSleeping

Not knowing that the mosquito net should be stretched well before you crawl under it, I spent the first night sleeping covered with it as if it were a blanket. My housemates must have figured out what had happened, so when I came back the mosquito net was spread as it should be and I felt a bit silly for not figuring it out by myself.

Mosquitos

Back at Middlebury the Health Center prescribed and bought Malarone (antimalarial drug) for me to use while I’m here. Learning about the many side effects of the drug, as well as its only partial protection (it works in only 75% of the cases), I decided to first set foot in SL and then figure out the mosquito situation. Even with a mosquito net, however, I got a few bites on the very first day and started getting paranoid. In Sierra leone malaria is most prevalent during the rainy season in June- August, yet infection can occur throughout the year. At last, I decided to hope for the best (that is few and weak side effects) and began taking malarone.

15941988_10211556743905217_1301865972_nSIM card

My colleague Arnold brought me a SIM card, but it turned out it was too big for my phone which only supports mini sim card. The popular solution turned out to be quite simple: just take some scissors and cut the sim card in the size you need!

15871880_10211571115464497_5374948146352636405_nMoney

After exchanging money I briefly felt like a millionaire: I had never held so much money in my hands! Sadly, their value isn’t that high, with 7.500 Leons equal to just a dollar. Interestingly, not all money are created equal: in Sierra Leone $50 and $100 bills are valued more and exchanged at higher rates than $10 and $20 bills.

15965986_10211571107664302_3535818377553219637_nBathing

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was surprised that we have a bathroom with running water in the house, my imagination had painted a different picture. When I woke up after several hours of sleep since my arrival, I was so warm and sweaty, my fear from the cold water evaporated. The bathing procedure isn’t complicated, but it’s pretty weird for those of us used to not having to put any effort into it, other than turning on the shower. Here, you begin by pouring the water on a —- in a big basket, then pouring it over yourself, and repeating this many times before you decide you are good to go. Of course, I’m quite grateful that we don’t have to bring the water from a well somewhere afar- as is the case with many poor people in Africa. My bathing experience here reminded me of a challenge my Global Health professor at Middlebury had given us instead of yet another exam. For a week those of us who accepted the challenge, could use only 10 liters of water per day to bathe, brush teeth, drink and flush the toilet (one flushing alone is equal to 2 liters of water wasted!). Moreover, we had to daily bring the water from the Middlebury fitness center (located across the campus).   Every day we had to take notes and reflect on this time-consuming and exhausting experience. Its incredible to realize how much time and effort the things we take for granted save us.

Follow my posts for more stories and observations from Sierra Leone🙂


Foreign Affairs Information Technology (IT) Fellowship Applications Due Feb 13

The Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship was launched by the State Department to address its growing need for technology expertise in the field of diplomacy, in addition to increasing the representation of diverse groups among its service. The Fellowship is designed to attract outstanding individuals from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds who have an interest […]
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