Scene on Campus: Day Two
Every day this week, the editorial staff of Middlebury Magazine will fan across campus to record the goings-on as August gives way to September and a briefly quiet campus welcomes the arrival of students.
Seen & Heard on Hepburn Road, 10:47 a.m.
“Welcome to Brainerd! I’m Mukui, council co-chair. Can I help you with your bags?”
Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” the live version, blares from a window in Stewart. Various SUVs line the road, flashers flashing. A Public Safety officer smoothly manages the constant flow.
“I don’t think that will fit in your room.”
“Son, I really…”
“I’ll make it.”
New commons dean Natasha Chang lugs a box up to room 404. Behind her, three pairs of skis and dangling boots all but topple over the young R.A. toting them. A father, dripping sweat, pauses for water at the welcome table.
“Gifford’s that way. No, that’s Hepburn, the next one over. Well, that’s the chapel. But the one after that. Yup, that’s Gifford. You’re welcome! Good luck!”
An impromptu dance erupts as Smash Mouth churns out “Walking on the Sun.” A mom rushes by with a (melting) white and blue cake. A Midd Recycling truck beeps in reverse to load up a pile of discarded boxes.
“Hey you, wait up!”
“I think he said his name is Peter.”
“Well did he say which room he’s in? This carpet is heavy.”
A Middlebury Transit van pulls up and unloads. Several parents collapse in the shade of a maple and warily introduce themselves. Someone’s car alarm goes off and everyone laughs. A young woman sits in an Adirondack chair and knits.
“I’m just poking fun, honey.”
“It’s not funny.”
“Alright, I’ll stick to carrying bags. Where to?”
Giant stuffed suitcases roll up the sidewalk and rumble back minutes later, deflated and empty. Two parents open the hatch of their car and place a Middlebury College decal on the rear window. They kiss each other and laugh, then drive away.