How to…


How to Argue
By Jay Heinrichs ’77

How to Make a Cell Phone Call at Bread Loaf
By Sandy LeGault, MA English ’87

How to Tell a Story in 140 Characters
By Sarah Franco ’08

How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill This Winter
By Jamie Hand ’08 and Thomas Hand ’05

How to Make the Perfect Sheet of Ice
By Butch Atkins

How to Take a Nap
By Judith Dry ’09

How to Take a Damn Good Picture
By Casey Kelbaugh ’96

How to Dance the Tango
By Ana Maria Wiseman, DML Spanish ’96

How to Bring Happiness to Yourself—and to Those Around You
By François Clemmons, Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence

How to Feed 2,400
By Middlebury’s Dining Services

How to Make History
By Jane Chaplin, Professor of Classics

How to Bake a Cake—Using Electrical Currents
By Noah Graham, Associate Professor of Physics

How to Spot an Art Fake
By Richard Saunders, W. Cerf Distinguished College Professor

How to Keep Stress Out of the Workplace
By Hanni Guinn ’99

How to Read a Poem
By Brett Millier, Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature

How to Find a Job—When You’re in Mid Career
By Jaye Roseborough, Executive Director of Career Services at Middlebury

How to Cry on Cue
By Mathew Nakitare ’10

How to Roll a Kayak
By Christian Woodard ’11

How to Beatbox (Come on, you’ve always wanted to know how, right?)
By Patch Culbertson ’09

How to Argue

By Jay Heinrichs ’77

The rhetorical question I like isn’t “How can I win arguments?” but “How can I win agreement without anger?” Some hors d’oeuvres to stimulate your argumentative appetite:

Set your goal. Your biggest mistake is to try to win for the sake of winning. Unless you’re debating for the fun of it, the argument itself is no goal. What do you really want? To talk your audience into making a particular choice? To get them to do something you want? Or to strengthen the ties that bind? (You know I’d do anything for you, even if it means spending vacation with your mother.) Win your goal, not the argument.

Switch to the future tense. Aristotle’s favorite form of rhetoric, deliberative argument, deals with choices, which are all about the future. The past is the realm of forensics—crime and punishment. (It’s the Republicans who got us into Iraq in the first place.) And the present? Values. (A good husband would pick up after himself.) You see what happens when our nation’s “blowharderati” favor blame and values over choices. The same holds for households and school boards.

Use your audience’s beliefs and expectations. To persuade a political independent to vote for gay marriage, don’t lecture her on homophobia. Play on most independents’ dislike of Big Brother in our private lives.

Most important, to gain agreement, be agreeable. Be someone your audience likes and trusts. Aristotle noted that trust carries more persuasive power than the most airtight logic. And Aristotle was a man to be trusted.

Jay Heinrichs ’77 is the author of Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion.

How to Make a Cell Phone Call at Bread Loaf

By Sandy LeGault, MA English ’87

Stand in the parking lot in front of the Bread Loaf Barn, closer to the Barn than to the row of pine trees. Check for a signal.

If there are no bars, put on your walking shoes and cross Rte. 125 in front of the Bread Loaf Inn, holding your cell phone aloft. With the Inn to your back, walk around the left end of the stone wall and head for the field. At any moment you might get a signal.

Or, you might not.

In pleasant weather there will be a mowed path that bisects the field and will take you to the top of the hill. In the winter it might be a little trickier. Check your phone as you proceed up the path (you might get lucky). When you’re at the top of the hill, make a sharp left and walk about 10 feet, heading east.

Right about . . . THERE. If you have the right cell phone company and if the winds are blowing your way and if the sun and moon and stars are in alignment, you should have enough of a signal, probably only one bar, to make your call or check your messages. Good luck!

Sandy LeGault is the director of admissions for the Bread Loaf School of English. She lived on the Bread Loaf campus for 25 years, during three of which she owned a cell phone.

How to Tell a Story in 140 Characters

By Sarah Franco ’08

Hemingway once told a story in six words: “For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” In the Twitterverse, tweets and twits get 140 characters.

Coleridge might say that a tweet is a lot like an epigram: “A dwarfish whole, its body, brevity, and wit its soul.”

It doesn’t seem like much, but one should never underestimate the power of a short, declarative sentence or a pointed question.

One could tweet on the banality of life in the face of death and be just as masterful as though one had written an essay. To wit:

While I agonized over toilet bowl cleaner, her friend called to say she was dying. The friend settled on Heaven; I settled on Mrs. Meyer’s.

Sarah Franco ’08 tweets under the moniker @sarfrancisco

How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill This Winter

By Jamie Hand ’08 and Thomas Hand ’05

  1. Attics: There are often many leaks from the living space into unconditioned attics. These can be sealed with materials like caulk or spray foam. Also, it is often cost-effective to add additional insulation. We generally recommend cellulose for open attics.
  2. Doors: Add weather stripping to exterior doors. Don’t forget basement doors.
  3. Programmable thermostats: These allow you to set back the temperature automatically, for when you are not home, not using certain rooms, or asleep.
  4. Regular maintenance: Having your heating system serviced annually will improve its efficiency and decrease potential safety issues.
  5. The chimney: Try to avoid using open fireplaces on the coldest days. When smoke goes up the chimney, the same amount of outside air is sucked into the house, resulting in a net loss of heat.

Jamie and Thomas are the owners of Hand Energy Services, an energy-efficiency company. They say that it is typically cost-effective to cut heating costs by around 30 percent through efficiency. An energy audit from a BPI-certified contractor will help you evaluate the exact costs and savings of these and other projects. Also, check out dsireusa.org for information on financial incentives in your state.

How to Make the Perfect Sheet of Ice

By Butch Atkins

Acquire a Zamboni. Start by shaving off the exact amount of old ice. Add the precise amount of hot and cold water to the surface, making sure your blade is sharp. Mix everything while maintaining the correct speed. Add a wave and a wink to an excited crowd.

Butch Atkins is a fixture at Chip Kenyon Arena, where he joins Stan Pratt in operating the Zamboni at Middlebury hockey games.

How to Take a Nap

By Judith Dry ’09

First, scope out your spot. Naps can happen anywhere! At the library, push two comfy chairs together so you can stretch out. Mix it up by napping in a friend’s bed. Adventurous earthy types: try sleeping in the grass!

If in private, take your pants off. Waking up with jeans on is hot and really confusing.

Silence your phone. You’ll sound groggy if you answer, and the person who wakes you up will be too polite and will insist on calling back later.

Clear your mind. If you’re this exhausted, you’re probably pretty stressed out. Fuhgeddaboutit. You’re napping now. That’s all that matters.

Judith Dry’s favorite napping spots at Middlebury were the brown leather couches in the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

How to Take a Damn Good Picture

By Casey Kelbaugh ’96

The most important thing to consider as you reach for the camera (or iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) is, what exactly you are trying to capture? In other words, you want to pre-visualize what you want the image to look like within the four corners of your frame. It’s a big world out there, and when pressing the shutter, you are deciding what is in and what is out.

It’s important for you to know what your subject is because you want to fill the frame with that subject. If you are taking a picture of your kids, get in close and really make the picture about the children, rather than their chaotic or distracting surroundings. Sure, placing them in their environment is important in many cases, but it should be clear, in an instant, what or whom the picture is about. There are many ways to isolate your subject from the background—such as focus, lighting, color, contrast, and depth of field—but regardless of the tool, your images will only benefit from clarity of purpose. Keep it simple.

Taking pictures is a physical activity, and it is important for you to move around and experiment with different perspectives and angles. Suppose you are on holiday in Tuscany. You are overwhelmed by the beauty of your surroundings and don’t want the moment to pass without some photographic documentation. There are many ways to capture this, so try a number of approaches. If you want to highlight the plump lemons hanging from the tree limbs, then get right up under those lemons and capture them beaming against the clean blue sky. If you want to get a shot of your travel partner walking along the trail beside you, then try shooting right over your shoulder as you walk. Or perhaps you want to capture the totality of the scene: the silver olive trees, the hills tumbling to the turquoise sea, the distant islands, and your partner in a bright red shirt. In this case, pull back, climb high, get low, zoom in, zoom out, shoot through the vines or between the leaves, but think about the various layers that make up the scene and make that your subject.

Without light, we have no photography. Ideally the lighting conditions in your photograph should work to emphasize your subject. Let the existing light do most of the work, and if you have to augment it with a little flash to delineate your subject, then do so. But try to think about keeping the existing light, and the artificial light from your flash, as balanced, or similar, as possible.

Photographer Casey Kelbaugh’s work can be seen at www.caseykelbaugh.com.

How to Dance the Tango

By Ana Maria Wiseman, DML Spanish ’96

*A must: good posture.

*Never look down, but if you must, try not to be too obvious about it. *Hold on tight, but know when to let go. *Keep in mind that slowing things down is always more difficult than speeding them up. *It’s always harder without a good pair of shoes. *Never force anyone to jump unless you plan on being there to catch them. *Maybe my feelings for the tango are like Lunfardo (Argentine slang): I can’t describe them; I just have to show you. *One last universal thought I learned from this experience: When in doubt, improvise. *Exit, and start again.

Ana Maria Wiseman is the dean of international programs at Wofford College. She teaches the tango each summer as a faculty member in Middlebury’s Spanish School.

How to Bring Happiness to Yourself—and to Those Around You

By François Clemmons, Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence

When you wake up in the morning, smile.

Exercise.

Eat modestly.

Sing. Loudly!

Though he achieved fame as Officer Clemmons on the Emmy Award-winning public television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, François Clemmons is best known in Middlebury for his rich tenor voice and his booming laugh. How does he stay so happy? He says: “I sing to the coaches and lifeguards at the natatorium, my peers, my friends, and I sing to myself. At night I even sing to my little doggie! She seems to like it, and it calms my day.”

How to Feed 2,400

By Middlebury’s Dining Services

OK, you have the perfect meal for six: chicken with a cider glaze, roasted fingerling potatoes, green-bean sauté with mushrooms and red pepper, and mixed green salad. Great. Now adapt it to feed 2,400.

Menu Design

Our recipe may be perfect, but can we access enough of the ingredients to feed more than 2,000? “When we use Misty Knoll poultry, we have to include a five-week lead time to grow chickens and eight weeks for turkey, to acquire the volume that we need,” says Middlebury’s executive chef, Bo Cleveland. “Seasonal fluctuations in price need to be factored in, as well. Prices can change without reason, but often they follow patterns of peaks and valleys that you have to include in your calculations. Produce has availability issues that we have to consider also, when selecting a vegetable, salad, or garnish. Changes in weather patterns are crucial when trying to predict when to purchase fresh products for them to arrive at the peak of their flavor. We have to order, receive, and store these large food quantities, which traditionally overlap with our regular business of feeding the College community.”

The Execution

“It takes the manpower of our three kitchens to turn the raw ingredients into items ready for service,” Cleveland says. “We do as much as we can in advance and then calculate the remaining time sequences for what has to be finished the day of the event. Salad greens are washed, tossed, and dried; desserts are finished; bread is baked; sauces and soups are prepared.”

Of course, Cleveland adds, timing is key. “Items that hold well are cooked earlier, allowing us to wait closer to service for more delicate items to come out. Volume also comes to bear, as you have to calculate the rotation of cooked food in the oven with the time it takes to cook serve.”

What You’ll Need

4,800 chicken breasts

75 gallons of cider, reduced

500 pounds fingerling potatoes

400 pounds green beans, trimmed

75 pounds mushrooms, sliced

90 pounds red pepper, chopped

108 pounds butter

240 pounds mesclun lettuce

15 flats cherry tomatoes

100 pounds carrots, grated

15 gallons balsamic vinaigrette

Bon appétit!

How to Make History

By Jane Chaplin, Professor of Classics

The phrase “making history” is most obviously taken to mean “doing something that is certain to be remembered.” In practice, however, a great deal of history is made after the fact, by the rememberers rather than by the actors. The German title Kaiser and the Russian title Tsar (most recently echoed in the appointment by American presidents of various administrative “czars”) are versions of Caesar, but this name was immortalized not so much by Julius Caesar himself as by his posthumously adopted son, who for the first 17 years of his public life (up until the Roman senate bestowed on him the honorific name Augustus) styled himself Julius Caesar. This act of preservation and perpetuation led to the inclusion of “Caesar” in the imperial nomenclature and hence to its availability as a designation for executive authority in the modern world.

This spring, Jane Chaplin will teach a first-year seminar titled Making History. In the course, students will look at the ways everyone, from the Greeks and Romans to Oliver Stone, has made Alexander truly “Great.”

How to Bake a Cake—Using Electrical Currents

By Noah Graham, Associate Professor of Physics

Disclaimer: We know that we’re telling you how to do this, but please Do Not Try This At Home! 1) Preheat oven. Connect electrodes to 120 volt Variac power supply. 2) In a bowl, combine 2 boxes of cake mix, 2 eggs, and 2 cups of warm water. Mix well. 3) Place electrodes into ungreased 13″ x 8″ Pyrex pan and pour in mixture. 4) Set power supply to 100 volts. 5) Cook for 50 minutes; current should be approximately 5 amperes. 6) Disconnect power supply, remove electrodes, and enjoy!

This cake is cooked with 100 percent organic electrons and is energy-efficient cooking at its finest: 100 percent of the electrical power goes into the cake. Noah Graham would like to credit Bob Prigo for bringing this demonstration to Middlebury.

How to Spot an Art Fake

By Richard Saunders, W. Cerf Distinguished College Professor

• First of all, it is important to know that by fake we mean a work of art that is being sold with the goal of intentionally deceiving the buyer.

• An art fake may be a work that is recently made, but advertised as being old.

• An art fake may be an object that is old, but has been intentionally modified (such as adding a fraudulent signature) to enhance its value.

• An art fake may be an object that is recently made to simulate a legitimate work of great value (a mass-production print made to look like a rare, limited edition)

• In other words, art fakes abound.

Keep in mind:

• Fakes have been around almost as long has there has been commerce.

• If there is money to be made by selling some type of object, then a fake probably exists.

• If lots of money can be made by virtue of selling something rare and desirable, then you can be assured fakes of it exist.

• When buying at auction read the fine print so you understand your legal recourse if a disagreement develops later regarding the object’s authenticity.

• When buying from a dealer, ask for a written explanation of the return policy. It probably will be of greater value to you than any “guarantee of authenticity.” And, remember, art dealers can go out of business, too.

Ways to avoid be taken:

• Read and look (a lot).

• As with most things in life, it helps to seek advice before taking action.

• If you are going to spend a lot of money, hire an art consultant to help guide you.

Caveats: the buyer’s mantras. Each of these should be said out loud by anyone reaching for his/her wallet, checkbook, or VISA card:

• If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

• “If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?” —Thomas Huxley (In other words, anyone can make a mistake, even knowledgeable collectors, dealers, and others in the art trade.)

• “There is a sucker born every minute.” It has been long thought that this expression originated with P. T. Barnum, but its origin is now disputed. Regardless, it still rings true.

Bottom line:

• If you cannot afford to buy it, then don’t.

• Buy only what you are prepared to live with and enjoy, even if it turns out to be a fake.

• Beware hubris: there is always someone out there smarter than you are.

• Skip the whole challenge of how to detect art fakes and read Edward Dolnick’s The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century (2008), a fascinating account of the Dutch painting forger Han van Meegeren. If you borrow it from your local library, it won’t cost you anything!

Richard Saunders is the W. Cerf Distinguished Professor and director of the Middlebury Museum of Art. He says that the museum would be glad to consult with readers about works of art they own. Though the museum is prohibited by law from giving monetary appraisals, the staff can provide names of people who offer this service.

How to Keep Stress Out of the Workplace

By Hanni Guinn ’99

Start your day right.

Relaxation begins before you get to the office. Give yourself time in the morning to sit down and eat breakfast. Before you start to eat, take in 10 deep breaths and set your pace for the day.

Meditate

Meditation can be done anywhere and is proven to relax your body and mind. Breathing techniques can be done throughout the day to help relieve you from the building stress of the workday.

Breathe deeply

Breathing isn’t just for meditation. Every breath you take should be full and deep.

Create a clutter-free environment

Clutter is distracting and adds to your stress. Tidy up your desk and see how this changes your mood.

Wear headphones

In work environments where you are sharing space, wear headphones to mute out distractions and let people know not to bother you. Play music that boosts your concentration and has a calming beat.

Use your lunch hour to relax

Take the full lunch break. Don’t eat and work at the same time. Think about your food and chew it completely. When you are done, either get up and take a walk or lie down and take a mini nap.

Avoid distractions

Turn off your IM and avoid checking e-mail when not necessary. By eliminating distractions, you are able to concentrate and create a flow. Being focused and productive can be quite calming.

Laugh

Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?

Hanni Guinn ’99 is a licensed massage therapist and owner of Green Mountain Body Works.

How to Read a Poem

By Brett Millier, Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature

Reading poetry is different from reading prose. A poem is a concentrated experience, and so is reading one. Because of this strict economy, poetry must use multiple strategies to convey meaning. If prose makes meaning primarily from words, poetry makes it through the shape of the poem itself, the length of the lines, rhyme, meter, rhythm, and sound, as well as the words themselves and the images and ideas they express. William Carlos Williams said that a poem is “a machine made of words.” Reading poetry involves recognizing the working parts of the machine.

First, remember that most poems are written in complete sentences. Find the sentences (subject, verb, object) that make up the poem. Remember that a single sentence may stretch over several lines or even stanzas. Then try to paraphrase the general meaning, paying attention to verb tenses and word choices. Ask yourself: What moved the poet to write? What is the problem being described? What kind of poem is it? (A plea? A prayer? An apology? A description?) Try to describe its tone.

Consider the poem’s form, its architecture of rhyme and meter. What patterns emerge? Is it a sonnet? An ode? A villanelle or sestina? How does the poet use these strategies of form to add meaning?

Now read the poem again. Let it resonate. Poet A. R. Ammons suggested that meaning in poetry works like “a bell rung in a gold surround.” Or you can think of a pebble dropped in a pond, with expanding rings of meaning—always a mix of your own experience and the poet’s—moving out toward the edge of consciousness.

Brett Millier is the author of Flawed Light: American Women Poets and Alcohol

How to Find a Job—When You’re in Mid Career

By Jaye Roseborough, Executive Director of Career Services at Middlebury

Follow the “80/20 Rule” Spend 80 percent of your available job-hunting time (40 hours a week?) in outreach and networking activities and only 20 percent— at most—searching the Web and applying for advertised positions (should be easy to stick to below 20 percent for this!)

Avoid spending much time going to gatherings set up for job hunters. Networking groups are full of other job hunters, not people who can get you to the people who hire.

Avoid “ain’t it awful,” negative types of people. You need to surround yourself with people who are upbeat. Make discussion of your job search off-limits to those who aren’t.

It is a JOB getting a job. Pretend that you are a sales rep and that everyone you meet with is a potential customer down the line. Focus on developing good relationships, not getting the sale.

You are not your former job title or field. Stay open minded. ID some possibilities. Remember to focus on your problem-solving skills and not just on your last job title or field.

Treat yourself to some “time off.” Evenings and weekends are for recharging your battery. Exercise is important for keeping your spirits up. Laughing is mandatory.

Jaye Roseborough has been offering career advice for BLANK years. She encourages all job seekers to make use of Midd resources at www.middlebury.edu/administration/cso/alumni.

How to Cry on Cue

By Mathew Nakitare ’10

*Develop an awareness of your body and your breath and be able to free yourself of muscular and vocal tension.

*Notice what your body naturally does when you cry. The greater awareness you have about this, the easier it will be to cry amid the pressure of performance.

*Find the stimuli in the play that causes your character to shed tears.

*Determine what kind of crying it is and see if you can have the same physical physicality and energy without the tears. This can help take your focus off the tears as the end product and allow you to develop a better sense of your body in “cry mode.”

*Exterior stimuli—a certain light, a light change, a music cue—can help you to trigger the tears.

*Rather than trying to cry, try not to cry. Seeing a character struggling not to cry is often more believable to an audience.

*If, at the end of the day, you still find that you cannot summon tears, just do what a director once told me, “Cover your eyes with your hand so the audience can’t see, screw up your face, quiver your bottom lip, and pretend.”

Mathew Nakitare ’10 recently appeared in a theatrical reading of the play After Darwin.

How to Roll a Kayak

By Christian Woodard ’11

So, you’re underwater, upside down, and strapped in a kayak. Don’t panic.

  1. You’re probably blowing bubbles. Stop. Now count to three.
  2. Tuck forward to keep your face away from any rocks.
  3. Reach the paddle out to the side until you feel air on your hands
  4. Imagine a calm, happy place—breakfast in Proctor with the Economist and a gourd of mate, for example.
  5. Sweep your paddle down, and use that brace to snap your hips in one movement.
  6. Your obliques will contract, rotating your butt from pointing at the sky to pointing back toward the bottom of the river. You should be sitting upright, breathing air.
  7. Blow water from your nose and check to make sure no one saw you. If they did, call out “I was just getting a little warm!” and throw a big fist pump to the sky.

Christian Woodward ’11 is a veteran kayaker, who counts PLACES as some of his favorite places to paddle and roll.

How to Beatbox (Come on, you’ve always wanted to know how, right?)

By Patch Culbertson ’09

Hydrate. They call it “spitting” for a reason. In fact, you may want to laminate this page

before commencing your lesson. Repeat the following phrase: “do ts pft dobuh ts buh do pft.” Repeat. Again.

Repeat until your roommate or family gets mad and kicks you out of the room/house.

Once you’ve mastered step two, let’s review another technique, scratching. For a simple scratch, say “kiwi” with a great deal of air: “kehhweh.” The other simple scratch is called a vocal scratch. Try saying the following phrase: “ebideh wha eh woah.” That’s it! You’re doing great!

As for making trumpet sounds and all that jazz, those discoveries come randomly on a chairlift or in the shower while listening to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The only tip I can provide for instruction makes me sound like a language workbook: listen and repeat.

Remember—beatbox practice makes improvement, not friends. Know your surroundings, and only perform vocal percussion in designated areas. Those include a cappella practices, a cappella concerts, and solo car rides.

Patch Culberson ’10 is one of the best vocal percussionists ever to grace Middlebury’s campus.

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