To current students and prospective students; to friends and friends that have become so close as to constitute family, especially the men of Homestead House; to all staff: Connie for cleaning Homestead and leaving us spontaneous chocolates and friendly notes, Pat^3 at Atwater dining hall for constantly bringing a smile to my face, Mrs. Ross for running that place like a benevolent drill sergeant; to my faculty this semester: Professor Dry for absolutely destroying my finals week, Professor Schmitt for somehow making multivariable calculus fun, Professor Callanan for sharing with us the birth of his beautiful son, and Professor Viner for introducing me to the insufferably reproachable TruTV program BaitCar; to faculty past, for enriching these four years in a way I never imagined could be possible; to the inspired and hilarious writers and journalists at MiddBeat for creating something simply wonderful; to the hard-working leadership and senators of the SGA; to my fellow admissions-office staff members: my quirky senior fellow colleagues, Barbara and Val, Lori and Nikki and Sara, and everyone that makes that office a delightful place to work; to the Nelson family, my mother, father, and two little brothers away from home; to Scott Barnicle for inviting me to play platform tennis with him and the old-timers; to my parents for putting up with my post finals-week listlessness; to all of the new faces that are going to make 2014 memorable, unique, unpredictable, and rewarding…
A very happy new year.
In the words of current hit “Let Her Go” by Passenger (check out the cover by Jasamine Thompson– it’s better in my opinion) “you only know you love her when you let her go.” While the song’s sentiment is a little more dramatic than my life is right now, it is true that sometimes it takes distance to reflect on how much I love something. For me and Midd, winter break often provides that time. It’s a break just lengthy enough that I begin to long for my bed at school and my friends and Proctor apples. This is my fourth winter break during which I anticipate a return to Middlebury in early January, and it being my last one it is particularly thoughtprovoking. Some things I am missing about Middlebury right now:
– Burger Night at 51 Main. A quasi-religion for me, burger night provides the iron and companionship that makes me my best self. I live in a vegetarian home, and sometimes I just really miss Vermont beef and the friends I eat it with.
– Wilson Cafe Booths. Great light. Just enough activity to provide the white noise I need to focus best on whatever it is I’m doing.
– Sunsets. I say it often, but there is something about Vermont sunsets, something that sets them apart. I think it’s the way they take you by surprise. People often observe sunsets when they expect them to be beautiful: at a mountain’s summit, at the beach, at your cousins new condo “with the greatest view”. But at Middlebury, the sunsets sneak up on us as we leave class and cross the street, head to the library, or sit at an early dinner. The seep under doors and through windows. They intercept your regularly-walked routes. The everyday sunsets in Vermont have an undeniable edge on the competition.
– My friends being near. Next door, down the hall, or across campus, friends are all close. The convenience and closeness it brings is something I take for granted when I’m there, but miss most when I’m away.
It’s about to be 2014, and I’m looking forward to returning to a familiar place for a new year.
Although the month of December will bring dropping temperatures and finals (and lets hope not dropping GPAs), Middlebury has a wonderfully cheery way of keeping everyone’s spirits high. This finals week was particularly memorable and cheery for me as I chose to ride out the snow storm crossing the northeast here at school instead of racing home to beat out the storm. While there was a part of me that could not wait to get home, there was a larger part of me that wanted to spend an extra few days here on campus to finish up some final papers slowly, relax with friends, and go romping in the snow for study breaks. Below are a few photos from the week (frosty Middlebury below was from pre-snow…probably won’t see this image again for a few months)
A stop at the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op will surely delight that finals crazing. My fave? The soups. Any of them. There is nothing like something warm and toasty on those cold winter nights.
And how about some hot cocoa on the way back to campus from the co-op? The Middlebury Hot Chocolate Hut downtown is a perfect stop. For only 25 cents (does anything cost 25 cents anymore??) you can treat yourself (queue best day of the year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsABTmT1_M0). Please note “The Works.”
And no matter what time you are heading home from the library, you are sure to have a smile walking past our gigantic holiday tree.
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since there is no (better) place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let is snow…
It’s that time of year on campus: FINALS WEEK.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that I have a very strong love-hate relationship with this week. Sometimes I think about the structure-less time where I can wake up as early (or late) as I like and study whenever I want. I have the leisure of going anywhere on campus and walking into a classroom to study without running the risk of walking into a 30-person lecture and having to turn right around and go somewhere else to work. I can choose to have a day where I don’t even need to shower or leave my house! I can cook, work, sleep, and procrastinate without stepping into the cold!
And then I start to think about the work: the papers, the exams, the study guides, and I remember the “hate” part of the relationship. It’s the time of year when the library is so crowded you would think it was a (insert name of your favorite band here) concert – except it’s not.
But then you look at the stress-buster posters and go get some snacks with DMC and get a massage by MCAB and the Office of Health and Wellness, and then you play with some therapy puppies, and all the stress temporarily disappears…
Until it’s 10pm and you realize your final tomorrow morning requires you pulling an all-nighter, but no worries. The library is open 24/7 during finals! You can go to midnight breakfast from 11pm-1am and get some grub to help you power through or bond with friends over communal suffering (chocolate chip pancakes can get you through anything!!)
Despite the bad rep finals week gets, we do it pretty darn well at Middlebury, plus it means you’re one week closer to the holidays!