College Street

Quote/Unquote

“I always dreamt of one-upping David Letterman by having my Top 10 list simultaneously translated into seven languages.”

—Sunder Ramaswamy, humorously presenting the “Top Ten Reasons I’m the President of the Monterey Institute of International Studies,” at a brunch on inauguration weekend.


Go Figure

2

Middlebury’s final standing in the national Learfield Sports Director’sCup

6

Consecutive finishes in the Director’s Cup top five

1

NCAA national championships won this year (women’s cross country)

29

National championships won by Middlebury since 1995

9

Consecutive years the men’s soccer team has made the NCAA tournament

2

All-American honors earned by Kaitlyn Saldanha this year (Indoor and outdoor track)

5

Number of times alpine ski racer Andrew Wagner achieved All-American status in his career

12

Consecutive NCAA tourney appearance for men’s lax

4

Panthers named NESCAC players of the year in ’08-09


Excerpt

“I find it far easier to teach “difficult” works like Vivre sa vie or L’Avventura than it is to teach transparent works like Casablanca or Winchester —and I’m talking about formal and aesthetic analysis here, not ideological.

With the former films, students come in confused, perplexed, maybe irritated, but always in need of help understanding—help that I am well-equipped to give. But the latter films, so it seems, require no critical explication: they are so obviously what they are, and what they are is obvious. And therein lies the challenge.”

—From “Otto Preminger and the Surface of Cinema,” written by Christian Keathley, an associate professor of film and media culture. This article appeared in the autumn 2008 issue of the film journal World Picture.

Excerpt

“If one separates owner from commodity, that last item violates parallel structure; it does not belong under the rubric ‘characteristic.’ But in this play, things are syntactical elements inseparable from persons, not objects removed from subjects. Lear’s parsing of land with daughters unfolds into a ‘character’ of himself—as an attachment to the very land he surrenders.”

—From “The Properties of Character in King Lear,” written by visiting assistant professor of English and American literatures James Berg and included in the book Shakespeare and Character: Theory, History, Performance, and Theatrical Persons , which was published last year.


Gene Wagon

Jeremy Ward, an assistant professor of biology, was recently award a National Science Foundation grant that will fund molecular biological research. Part of the funding was predicated on a community outreach effort involving Ward, Midd undergrads, and area middle school and high school students. Ward and his students are developing a mobile DNA analysis lab that will visit local secondary schools, where students will be involved with experiments ranging from isolating and visualizing DNA to DNA fingerprinting and forensic genetics. And while we were disappointed to learn that this lab will not actually be part of a vehicle, we were fascinated by what it will include:

•    A DNA amplifier known as a PCR machine
•    Gel electrophoresis equipment
•    A centrifuge
•    All the tips, tubes, and solutions needed to isolate and analyze DNA
•    Lab coats, lab glasses, and gloves


On the Air

“There is something deep in us that loves gift exchanges. [Scientific] findings reinforce something ancient philosophers said long before we had neuroscience. Gift-giving reinforces social bonds; generosity was a classic Greek virtue, one of the most important of the social virtues.”

—Last holiday season, Middlebury associate professor of philosophy Martha Woodruff spoke to CBC radio about the philosophical significance of generosity. Woodruff recently wrote a paper titled “The Ethics of Generosity and Friendship: Aristotle’s Gift to Nietzsche?”

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