Things That Happened, Things to Do: Week of 2/6

Our regular recap of goings on at the College and a look ahead to events on the horizon. As always, we hope to call your attention to items that captured ours and alert you to events that you won’t want to miss. If you have a news item that you think we’d be interested in, drop us a line at


  • On February 3 and 4, the “Febs,” plucky scholars who delay their entrance to Middlebury for a semester of precollegiate adventure, gathered with their families for a weekend of events celebrating the conclusion of their studies. A highlight was their signature “ski down” at the Snow Bowl. Four days later, the new crop of Febs arrived on campus and started their orientation. What’s so special about being a Feb? We asked, and they (the graduating ones) answered.

  • Tuesday, February 7, Bill McKibben accepted an invitation to Montpelier to weigh in on how climate change took a bad storm—Irene—and made it worse. The Middlebury scholar in residence, author, and activist told the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee that Irene fit “precisely with what the climatologists have been telling us to expect.” McKibben was invited to galvanize environmental action at the state level, especially since D.C.’s collective head is still firmly buried in the ever-warming sand.

  • Smart men can jump. Taking note of two unlikely top-ranked teams in Division III men’s basketball, Sports Illustrated profiled the upward trajectory of Middlebury and MIT. The Panthers’ recent 1-point, non-NESCAC loss to Keene State ended their 8 weeks as number one but hasn’t slowed the 21-1 team. SI tells how smart guys play and how Middlebury’s Language Schools helped Coach Jeff Brown’s recruiting. Yeah, it also talks about MIT. The Panthers travel to Trinity on Friday.
  • Green Drinks, not to be confused with one of those Lawn Smoothies served at health food stores, is a national movement encouraging people to talk environmental topics over liquid refreshment. Local folks meet at 51 Main the third Wednesday of the month from 5 to 7 p.m. Drink discounts, snacks, door prizes—and this month’s topic, “Green Burial.”  Why just “look so natural” when you can be so natural to the very end? (Questions about the afterlife? Make it a double-header with the lecture below.)
  • Diarmaid MacCulloch was just knighted by the Queen. He’s the BBC’s tour guide to religious history, an author of blockbuster books on religion, and a professor of religious history at Oxford. He was making his way in the family business—Episcopal priesthood—but left because he refused to hide his gayness. “I would now describe myself as a candid friend of Christianity,” he says, saying that while he still respects the Church, “I live with the puzzle of wondering how something so apparently crazy can be so captivating to millions of other members of my species.” Doesn’t he sound like fun?  Hear him discuss “Refiguring Christian history for readers and viewers,” on Wednesday, February 15, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Robert A. Jones conference room.

  • This Valentine’s Day, have dinner with some jerk—of the Caribbean spice variety. 51 Main at the Bridge will be serving up island flavor on Tuesday from 5–10. Afro-Caribbean music starts at 8. The public is welcome, and reservations are a good idea. Hosted by Alianza Latinoamericana y Caribena. Here’s the menu.

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