Monthly Archives: February 2012


Last night was single handedly one of the greatest nights I’ve ever had at Middlebury.

Why, you ask?

It was the annual Winter Ball and those who haven’t been quite keeping up with our Senior Fellows Blog, read Sara’s explanation of what Winter Carnival is all about here at Middlebury.

Thanks to MCAB‘s Traditions committee Nelson Arena had been completely revamped for the special occasion and the place looked incredible! I loved seeing my friends all dressed up to the nines and just about everything about the night was perfect. There was delicious food catered by Cafe Provence (I am still savoring the taste of those perfect little salmon rounds in my mouth right now) and I’d be lying if I said that DJ Funkmaster Flex, one of NYC’s hottest DJs at Hot 97 radio station, didn’t have us all breakin’ it down on the dance floor. NO WALLFLOWERS HERE!



This was, of course, the party started.
These photos were taken from my trusty little Android.


Watch the master at play:



Carnival Weekend!

Here at Middlebury, this weekend, our 89th Annual Winter Carnival, has been eagerly anticipated since the beginning of the year.  Winter Carnival is one of Middlebury’s oldest and best loved school traditions, and it involves a wide range of activities that bring the school community together over a celebration of winter, snow and skiing.  Although the weather up in Vermont this season has left a little to be desired (ironically, there is NO snow for this weekend’s Carnival), there is plenty of fun still to be enjoyed.  Festivities kicked off last night with a huge bonfire, a spectacular fireworks show, a special ice cream flavor in the dining halls for dinner, and the well-loved 80s dance, with music by Orange Crush.  Today, the festivities continue with ski races at the College Snow Bowl and a comedian tonight. Throughout the day, the Middlebury Mountain Club will be sponsoring a “Northern Lights” competition, in which students compete in teams in several different winter sports (human dogsledding is always a highlight to observe).  Tomorrow, the main event features a formal Winter Ball with catering from a local restaurant and a DJ.  All in all, the weekend is packed with events to bring the entire school community together in a celebration of winter. Over the past four years, Carnival festivities have been some of my most favorites memories of Middlebury, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of my final Carnival this weekend.


And…there is snow in the forecast. Wonders never cease.

The Question

Where is the snow?????

It’s all anyone can talk about. This winter has been mysteriously snowless, with several flurries followed two days later by a spurt of rain. The rumor is that every twelve years Vermont has a snowless winter, but who knows? All we know is that the winter is warm and brown and somewhat confusing.

You’d think, being from North Carolina, that I’d love the respite from the snow and subzero temperatures. I’ve surprised even myself, though, by how much I miss Winter. Somehow making it to spring doesn’t seem quite as exciting or hardcore when the coldest I ever got was 30 degrees… and I miss the snowy playground that replaces campus for five months!

I hoping for at least a few inches before Winter Carnival this weekend, but if not, I suppose I’ll have to resign myself to my last Winter being non-winter. Unless we get another storm like the Valentines Day Blizzard (watch til the end, it’s worth it)…

First Last Day

Early Sunday morning, as soon as Megabus dropped me off in Burlington, a friend of mine picked me up and drove me to Middlebury. It was a good hour commute, but we spent all that time updating each other on school, work, and family news.  I was surprised to tell her that this was going to be my last semester in Middlebury College. That starting on Monday, it was going to be my first and last day on campus, and every day that followed will also count as my first and last days in Vermont.  I was surprised because I did not feel  the time fly by, and I wondered…what have I done all these years to become the person I am today? I also asked myself if I honestly felt like I have grown as a person in MIddlebury College and if  I made the right choice by coming to Vermont. “After all these years,” I started and my friend listened quietly as she drove up and down the green hills on the way.

When I was a high school senior in 2008, I remember applying to eight colleges, but none of them was Middlebury College. I did not even know Middlebury College existed until my guidance counselor brought it up one day. For some reason, he strongly believed that Middlebury College was the right place for me. At the time, I was clueless about my future, career, and choices.  Also, I had no idea what major in! All I wanted to do was to submit my applications and get over the stressful college application process.

However, my guidance counselor had other plans. He had set an appointment with me to review my applications, personal statements, essays, SAT scores, etc. He said that I was set to go, but he wanted to make a suggestion. I thought the suggestion was related to editing my personal statements or retaking the SAT II exams. But he suggested something completely different: apply to MIddlebury College!  All I said was, “Middle-what?” but he went on and on about the green hills in Vermont, the diversity on campus, and strong language program. 

I applied because he asked me to. A few months later, I was accepted to all nine colleges, and I had to make a life changing decision. I crossed out six colleges off my list, and Middlebury was not one of them. For Preview Weekend, I visited the campus, and I fell in love with the green hills in the background, the white snow that trickled and delicately sat and sparkled on the ground, and the small-sized town that grew silent in dark hours. I was lured by Vermont’s uinque lifestyle and the fact that Middlebury College provided that lifestyle as well. I wanted to get away from New York City because it was too loud, too distracting, and too much for me. I know some people will disagree with my statement, but as a New Yorker, I needed a break from the stressed environment.  I took a huge risk on basing my decision on my gut feeling instead of on academics, facilities, and community life, but it was one I don’t regret.

Luckily, I fell in love with the English department and took classes on Creative Writing. I learned two languages  (Italian and German), took several political science, sociology/anthropology, and women and gender studies classes, and became a part of several cultural organizations. The best part of my college experience was my creative writing workshop classes because that was when I truly grew as a writer and a person. I sharpened my writing skills and learned to discipline myself into writing hours on end every other day while I managed to do super well on my four classes, commit to volunteer work, and run an organization. In my freshman year, I wrote 234 pages on a novel I am still working on today, seven poems, twenty five short stories, and a few blurbs on my notepad. But I know for a fact that I could have not done it with the help of my professors who, like my guidance counselor, also believed in the power and talent of my writing.

“After all these years, I honestly feel like I learned a lot. I gained enough experience to feel ready to go and about in the real world,” I told my friend. She said that was a cheesy comment, but I knew for a fact that it was one I truly meant and felt since the day I stepped on campus as a prospective student.


Welcome back to the Middlebury Spring Semester. This is my last term at Middlebury College and by far the busiest too. Its tough balancing all the demands that come with being a student that’s about to leave. Finishing senior theses, spending time with faculty/friends, and thinking about what I want to do in the next phase of life is pretty time-consuming. Add the late new-years resolution of going to the gym and calling home more frequently to the mix… and it’s pretty chaotic. Soon enough though… it will be all over. In less than four months my fellow ’12 classmates and I will be leaving this place and moving onto different things. We’ll have to make some important decisions in the coming months about where we want to be and what we want to be doing – of course, having that choice is a luxury too.

For many of you reading this blog, you’ll have to make some choices too. Soon enough, you will be hearing back from the many (or perhaps few) colleges that you applied to. Good luck! Once all the mail is on the table, there will be offers from various schools and just like the people getting ready to leave college, you’ll be faced with similar perplexing questions about where you want to spend your next for years and what you want to do while you’re there. I honestly can’t offer any advice except to try and be true to the process. Get in touch with current students at the colleges you’re interested in and ask them about obscure things that matter to you.

Rice in the dining hall? Yes. Important to me.

Proximity of laundry facility to room? Yes. Important to me.

Quality of coffee? Yes. Important to me.  (Thankfully something I can control)

Water pressure in shower? Yes. EXTREMELY important to me.

Reach out, talk to people, visit if you haven’t visited already. Whether or not Middlebury is your first choice or not (it wasn’t for me) each school has different things to offer and if you take some time to figure those things out, it will make your overall undergraduate experience better wherever you decide to go. Once again, good luck in the coming weeks. Before you know it four years will fly by.

Liberal Arts

I initially decided on a liberal arts education, as I had no idea of what I wanted to major in and didn’t want to carelessly commit to a department. With the distribution requirements at Middlebury, I trusted that one of the 8 regions would tempt me and quickly make the decision for me. My freshman year, I took courses in 6 out of the 8 departments and unfortunately, had no revelations and ended the year feeling equally confused as I had at its onset.  However, the confusion was more fulfilling, as it was comprised of a love for three regions, coupled with indecision on where my passion was strongest. I was torn between French, Spanish and Psychology.  After continuing French into my sophomore year, I decided that I was smitten by it and declared the major. However, human nature had me quickly reassessing my seemingly rash decision and feeling as though I had betrayed my first true love of Spanish. After persuading some professors, I managed to receive approval for the last ever, joint Spanish-French major. Satisfied, I entered my fourth semester with a course load free of the English language and loaded with Garcia-Marquez and Alexandre Dumas and had a thrilling semester, practically hidden in my two preferred romance languages. The year after, I decided to stay at Middebury for the fall and study abroad in Argentina in the spring. However, this decision rendered the possibility of completing my joint major impossible. While this was disappointing, I didn’t wish to spend a year away and was happy with committing to the Spanish language. The semester before going abroad, my psychology course load outnumbered my Spanish classes 3:1 as I wanted to complete the minor.  Going abroad directly after such a rich immersion in psychology courses prompted me to look into the Psychology department at my school abroad. Amazingly, the university was known for its program and had extensive courses. I was intrigued by the idea of learning psychology in Latin America, with an emphasis on psychoanalysis and Freud, and again, maintained the 3:1 ratio in Argentina. Soon after attending my classes, I realized that psychology was what most excited me and that as much as I adored Spanish and French, it was the speaking that intrigued me and less the literature. Readings in psychology never felt like homework but rather like chosen outside reading. I was excited to attend class and quickly became a psychology enthusiast, eagerly getting my hands on fascinating journals or texts. I spent many of the first few afternoons frantically making calls to the department chair to see if switching to Psychology was a possibility. With extensive analyzing and planning, I was given permission to switch and happily entered into the department as a senior. Although it took me longer than most to decide on my major, I couldn’t be more sure of my decision and have thoroughly enjoyed every course, knowing that it is certainly what most enlivens me.