Things That Happened, Things To Do: Week of 2/13

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 middmag@middlebury.edu.

  • On February 13, Stephen Colbert put Bill McKibben through the comedic gauntlet during an interview on the Colbert Report. Undaunted, the scholar in residence and environmental activist was able to get in a few well-timed words—enough to explain the wide-scale alarm about the tar sands pipeline and to encourage people to sign 350.org’s petition to the Senate.

  • Andrew Forsthoefel ’11 left his Pennsylvania home in October with a backpack and a compass, with plans to walk across the continent and to listen and learn along the way. The independent newsweekly 7 Days caught up with him in Mississippi to ask some questions about his trekking experiences.

  • PBS released a video story about Jessica Beinecke, a Chinese School alum, who uses her fluent Mandarin and knowledge of social media to teach American slang to slews of devoted followers on the other side of the globe. Her online video program OMG! Meiyu has given her celebrity status among young people in China and is inspiring many language teachers.
  • Balla Kouyaté, considered to be one of the greatest players of the balafon, a West African instrument and predecessor to the xylophone, will be performing on campus with his ensemble, World Vision, February 17, at 8 p.m. Balla is a griot of the Kouyaté clan, and the music he plays has been passed from generation to generation for centuries. He has been featured on at least 45 albums, including Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy-winning Sounds of Joy and Peace.

  • If you’d like the inside scoop, curators of Environment and Object, an exhibition currently underway at the Museum of Art, will give an illustrated lecture February 16, offering insight about  the installation’s artists and art. Environment and Object, voted one of the top five exhibits in 2011 by the Albany Times Union, looks at how natural, urban, and economic environments are shaping contemporary African art.

  • The women’s swim team heads to the NESCAC finals this weekend at Wesleyan University. The three-day meet begins February 17 at the Wesleyan Natatorium. Live results from the morning preliminary races and evening finals will be available on the Internet. Wesleyan will also offer a video webcast of the evening finals.

  • And at home, the men’s basketball team will go up against Williams in a NESCAC quarterfinal contest on Saturday, February 18, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale and are expected to go fast. For those without tickets, the game can be watched live on the Internet.

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