Tag Archives: First Year Seminar

Tweeting 88 Keys

Ross Common Heads Pavlos Sfyroeras and Maria Hatjigeorgiou, Professor Bettina Matthias and MCFA Events/Administrative Coordinator Shannon Bohler-Small organized a small post-concert reception following the Paul Lewis piano recital. This reception was exclusively for the students in Matthias’ first year seminar class “The Cultural History of the Piano.”

We tweeted a small amount of the conversation (below) that transpired between pianist Lewis and the students. What would YOU have liked to ask Paul Lewis?

Not Dead Yet

Film and Media Culture professor Hope Tucker has a thing for outmoded instruments surpassed by modern technologies.

First-Year students are required to choose a seminar within their residential commons to experience familiarity and confidence in a small class among peers.

And thus, a course is born.


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“Dead Technologies,” with Tucker at the helm and a dozen first-years from Wonnacott Commons, is one of 45 first-year seminars. Like all first year seminars, the course is a good introduction to academic expectations at Middlebury and combines a writing intensive syllabus with analysis, research and comprehension skills. In addition to providing a comfortable all-freshmen class, first-year seminars create an opportunity for faculty to teach something that may not be in their area of professional study. So Tucker gets to explore a personal interest—and the students get to learn something a little off the beaten path for a typical intro-level class.