Monthly Archives: November 2010

Proctor Love

In response to Ben Weitz’s post about the food on campus, I want to talk about my affection for another spot to eat. Middlebury College has fantastic food options, and I eat almost every meal at Proctor Dining Hall, which is located near Mead Chapel.

My first year here, I fell in love with Proctor Dining Hall. At Proctor, we are blessed with panini machines, fantastic salad ingredients, homemade peanut butter, local maple syrup, Vermont apples, vegetarian stir-fries, wild salmon… the list goes on. It is hard to be bored by the food there. A large spice and dressing rack plays a major role in students’ creations of sandwiches and salads. And there are always great desserts and ice cream.

The spaces to sit in the dining hall are a big part of my love for Proctor. The dining hall has been renovated since my first year, but it has retained its cozy feel with the booths in the back, the outdoor tables, and the Woodstove Lounge (that some people refer to as the ski lodge) in the front. Depending on the time of day, these spaces can be very peaceful and quiet or full of energy and socializing.

Another factor in my affection for this dining hall is that so many of my friendships at Middlebury have developed over long meals at Proctor. From weekend brunches to weeknight dinners, meaningful relationships have grown out of our countless hours at booths and round tables. The atmosphere of Proctor fosters the shared understanding that work, obligations, and responsibilities can be put aside for some time while open conversations and bonding take precedent.

MCMP Presents: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

 It’s Opening Night! After over six weeks of rehearsals, my show, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, opened last night at the Middlebury Town Hall Theater. “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” tells the story of 6 quirky middle- school students as they compete to be the top speller! In addition, audience “spellers” are asked to participate in the bee, therefore every show is a new surprise! As a director it is always an amazing feeling to sit back and watch a show for the first time with an audience. Hearing their applause and the positive reactions is such a gratifying experience.

Since my first semester at Middlebury I have been involved with MCMP (Middlebury College Musical Players). MCMP is student organization that produces a full lenght musical every semester. Everything is done by students: directing, music, choreography, costumes… etc. Now with renevated space at the Town Hall Theater, MCMP is able to perform in a professional 200 seat auditorium for both students and members of the Middlebury town community.

Theater has always been my greatest passion. While I decided not to study theater at the college, I still wanted to be involved with the theater community. After acting in MCMP’s production of “Reefer Madness” , I decided to direct “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” in my second semester.  I had never directed a full lenght musical before, but I was up to the challenge. It was from this experience that I realized that I while I enjoyed the attention on stage as an actor, I could be more creative backstage as a director.

MCMP has not only given me the opportunity to continue to pursue my interests in musical theater , but has also challenged me to participate in the greater Middlebury town community.

PS. You can still get tickets at the Box Office! The show runs tonight (Friday) at 8:00pm  and tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm and 8pm! You won’t want to miss it!

The Grille

One of the things that often goes over looked when students are looking at colleges is campus dining.  When many students start thinking about college they think about classes, professors, social life, roommates, etc., but lose track of how important food is to a college experience.  Think of it this way; you will take 36 classes while you are at Middlebury.  You will only live in four different dorms and have four different roommates (at most), but you will eat many, many meals.  Let’s do the math.  You will be at Middlebury for 30 weeks for four years.  Seven days in a week makes 210 weeks and three meals in a day makes 630 meals.  If you are like me and you prefer to eat four, five, or even six meals per day, you will be approaching if not exceeding, 1,000 meals during your years at Middlebury College.  Sure, the food at our dining halls, Ross and Proctor, is good, but my favorite eating option on campus is The Grille.

The Grille is located on the second floor of the McCullough Student Center in the middle of campus.  It is a retail dining option (which means that it does cost money, but believe me, it’s worth it.)  At The Grille you can order student favorites such as the Dr. Feel Good (Grilled cheese, fried chicken tenders, and barbeque sauce), the Love Me Tender (Chicken, ranch, tomatoes, and lettuce), or the infamous Heart Attack (I am not even going to attempt to describe the various fats and calories which go into this healthy and nutritious selection.)  If you are looking for more traditional options, you can also order subs (my go-to order is a turkey sub, wheat roll, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo), burgers, pizza, etc.  The Grille also has vegetarian options and healthier choices if fried meat and cheese is not quite your style.

The Grille is also a hub of campus life.  There is a pool table, T.V.’s which are convenient for watching Monday night football, and student dance, singing, and instrumental performances.  There is Karaoke, Pub night (on Thursday’s for the 21+ crowd), and so much more.  Just last night, two Political Science professors held a special event for the elections.  They had a big screen T.V. and a projector set up and were giving running commentary and predictions on the elections for quite a few hours.  A couple hundred students showed up for this event (although many left disappointed after the GOP took back the House of Reps.)

The 2010-2011 academic year opened with disappointed over reduced Grille hours, but during the month of November hours will once again be returned to their former length and The Grille will be open until 2 AM most nights.  In other exciting Grille related news, the Juice Bar (which is located beneath the Grille and was shut down at the beginning of this year) will be reopening and will be STUDENT RUN.  A contest is currently taking place to determine which group of students can create the best financial plan to run the Juice Bar.

So if you are ever in the mood for a study break, some greasy food, a game of pool, singing some karaoke, watching Monday night football, or just hanging out with some good friends, I recommend The Grille (and maybe afterwards a quick trip to the gym to burn some of those Dr. Feel Good calories.)

I Don’t Want to Grow Up…

The more time that I spend at Middlebury, the more I’m convinced that this is just a campus full of big kids.  I have to admit that I was not born a Halloween lover, but Midd has made me a convert. This year there was a bit of confusion about what day to celebrate on, but that just meant that we celebrated from Thursday to Sunday.  The weekend included a great mix between informal parties thrown by students, and formal activities, such as the Annual Commons Creep with mini-parties around campus, trips to haunted corn mazes in the surrounding towns and pumpkin carving. The 3rd Annual Middlebury Spooktacular was a great opportunity to remember that as students at Middlebury we are part of the town community as well as the college community.  It was a special treat to see faculty and staff out with their families on the town green for all the Halloween and bridge opening festivities and to hand out candy to all the kids who came trick-or-treating at the student houses on the edges of campus.   I’m pretty sure that I caught some Middkids mixed in with the groups of parading kids.

Seeing everyone decorate their dorms and get dressed up for Halloween is an annual reaffirmation of the fact that Midd is a big kid’s paradise, but Midd is really a playground everyday.  Muggle Quidditch was born here for a reason, and Mchaka and Midd for Play are regularly attended throughout the year, whether it’s finally getting down the lyrics to all the Tanzanian running songs during the colder months, or a game of Capture the Flag in the snow.  These are just a few examples of fun that’s become institutionalized as offerings for the entire college community, but if you ask around everyone is doing something to relax and let go.  I for one, can’t wait to see what type of beer my friends are brewing this week or what film the boys down the hall are watching for Bad Movie Friday.

While college is a major step toward adulthood, that doesn’t mean that fun dies once you walk through your first college classroom.  In fact, I’d say half the fun of being at Middlebury is the opportunity to be somewhere where you have enough resources and fun-loving peers to bring your childhood whims to fruition.  For example, during last months’ Fall Family Weekend, the Middlebury College Activities Board (MCAB) transformed McCullough social space into a roller skating rink and students are often found at the  ice hockey rink enjoying free skate time with friends.

We all come to Midd to learn, but we do a great job of not forgetting to play at the same time.


Princess Snow White came a little bit earlier this year. So excited to see snow flakes flying around during Halloween weekend! They gently kissed my face and shyly disappeared. Although it lasted only a few minutes, Middlebruy was HAUNTED. Beautiful white winter is coming! Many mountains  in Vermont have already got snow caps– lovely white peaks. It was chilly these days, but the trees still stayed colorful. Under them fallen leaves and petals lied in profusion, with some acorns rolling around waiting for squirrels.<3

Every time I led info session I would ask the families if it was their first time being in Vermont and  what their impression on Vermont was.  Some said “beautiful”, some said “trees” and some said “snowy and cold”. Fall in Vermont is breathtaking. In early October my classmate and I drove to Waterbury to meet with a community partner of our class project (Environmental Studies senior seminar on Environmental Health) in Vermont Geological Survey. It was the most pleasant one-hour trip I’ve ever had. The mountains were covered by layers and layers of colorful trees, with birds singing and flying around in the clear blue sky. The scenery was way more beautiful than an oil painting.

The most beautiful season is almost over, but something more exciting will take place. Our own snow mountain called snow bowl will soon be filled by active student athletes, or clumsy but brave amateur like me 😀 . The ice hockey season will start soon as well. I love our Olympic-size ice rink, the wonderful games among NCAA, and of course, the super handsome ice hockey players… 😛

I look forward to Jterm fun already. Hard to choose Jterm class… So many good ones! Remote Sensing, Paleolimnology, Intro. to Architectural Design, Vermont Waters, or Evolution of Human nutrition?Wish I could have more Jterms on campus!!!!!!!!