Summer is upon us, bringing with it a change to the normal routine of our lives. Our graduates are heading off into the world. Language Schools are starting, and the campus will soon be bubbling into an international metropolis. Around Middlebury, we’ll shortly see gardens overflowing with color and fields mowed into transfixing patterns of light and dark. There are so many wonderful moments that make a summer—from great bike rides and tall glasses of lemonade to the hum of swirling fans—but they all lead to the same place: coming back in the fall, restored and refocused.
I’ve had an incredibly busy year in my new role. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve been challenged. And now, at the end of the year, I remain completely excited to serve in this role. While I want to get some rest this summer, I also want to make the most of this precious break from the routine. I want to devote some time to thought and reflection and to trying something new. I’d like to encourage each of you to do this as well: Be adventurous, relax, and then relax some more.
In looking back through the blog, I see a theme running through it—the importance of integrating rejuvenation and discovery into our lives. My guest bloggers and I have talked about the value of striving to discover who you are, of taking chances, pushing your boundaries, and stepping outside your comfort zones. At the same time, we’ve discussed how important it is to take care of ourselves, to accept and welcome our individual physical, spiritual, and emotional needs—to find balance. This summer offers us an opportunity to put these ideas into practice.
I want to thank my guests for taking the time to write posts that have challenged us to think about interesting ideas. I also want to thank all of the people who chimed in with their comments, sharing their thoughts and experiences, sometimes disagreeing. You helped make this blog a lively place.
My sincere thanks go to guest blogger Karen Guttentag for challenging us to aspire to high standards of personal honor; to Natasha Chang, who shared her story about finding her sense of identity; to Raymond Queliz ’11, who inspired us with his experience as a student leader and his ideas about how students can shape the College; to Jennifer Herrera for sharing her story about when community engagement awakened in her; to Mike Schoenfeld ’73, who so clearly demonstrated the ongoing importance of Middlebury in our lives; to Jacob Udell ’12 for reminding us that language has power and that it can shape a community; and to Lisa Gates, who explained how the Center for Education in Action is critical to a liberal arts education and encouraged us to think about how we spend our time.
I’ll be back in the fall to let you know how I spent my summer and to hear from you about all of the things you did.
Until then, have a restorative and engaging summer.