Author Archives: Jimin Kang

Very Merry Middlebury

Oh, the charm of a small-town life. If you have visited Middlebury previously, you might not have been too impressed with the little town that surrounds our campus. Granted, it’s not exactly a bustling Metropolis, but Middlebury has its selection of lovely restaurants (American, Vietnamese, Italian, etc) and adorable shops. This isn’t all though. If you thought Middlebury was a boring middle-of-nowhere town, think again!

There are many ways you can get involved with the town. One way you can give back to the community is through the numerous community service opportunities. For example, my friends really love volunteering at local schools and day care centers. You can also volunteer at the Charter House, a housing facility which provides emergency housing for those in need. There are volunteer opportunities at WomenSafe, if you are passionate about the elimination of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women. I know a couple of friends who have worked on the 24-hour hotline service.

If you are musically inclined, every J-Term, Middlebury, in conjunction with the Town Hall Theater, puts on a musical production. You can audition for a role at the end of Fall semester. You can take it as a class, and the performances are extremely popular. This year, the musical of choice was Into the Woods, and last year’s performance was Hairspray. You need to purchase the tickets on the day they go on sale to have a chance at a seat!

The town has fun events going on throughout year . Better Middlebury Partnership  organizes these events. For Halloween, we have our Middlebury Spooktacular; they have a hay bale! For Christmas, we have Very Merry Middlebury. You can go on horse-drawn wagon rides, make your own gingerbread house, enjoy a free gift-wrapping service, participate in Lessons and Carols, and join a Hanukkah celebration. Of course, Santa makes an appearance!  Vermont Chili Festival happens this Saturday. You can taste over 40+ types of chili and vote for your favorite one! There were 5000 people attending last year. Who knows how many will show up this year, especially with the NCAA Skiing Championships being held at the Snow Bowl this year. I am planning going on the Ben & Jerry’s Factory tour Saturday morning and attending the Chili Festival in the afternoon. I have a feeling my stomach is going to hate me by the end of the day.



The first week of J-Term -also known as yay-term and play-term – has come to an end, and we are already half-way through the second week. It was only yesterday we were all freaking out about the apocalypse and wondering if we were going to make it to 2013! Time really flies during the month of January at Middlebury. I am taking a class  called Visual Data Analysis, which explores various ways of representing data using R, a statistical language. My friends are pursuing independent projects, writing their theses, taking a class on Immunology (just in time for the flu epidemic), working on the Solar Decathlon house, and taking an EMT course. Anyhow, my class takes place only on Tuesdays and Thursdays … which means I have a four-day weekend!

There are so many fun things going on during J-Term. Of course, you can always go skiing or snowboarding at the Snow Bowl. If you’re more of a cross country skier, the Bread Loaf campus has a lovely trail as well. If you are more inclined to stay indoors, this Thursday, Fun. (of Some Nights and We Are Young fame) is coming to Middlebury. The Dance Marathon is also happening this weekend. The proceeds will support  local families at the Vermont Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Fletcher Allen, in Burlington, VT. What a great excuse to dance all night long? This week’s Free Friday Film is Wes Anderson’s Moonlight Kingdom,  and Trivia Night happens every Wednesday if you want to test your ability to hold random facts.

I have to admit, though, all these fabulous events aside, some of my best J-term memories consist of long conversations with a friend over hot chocolate with a subpar reality show playing in the background.

A Magical Walk

As we are approaching the middle of the semester, I find myself needing to find some personal time. Don’t get me wrong. Reading Joyce’s Ulysses, solving combinatorial problems focusing on guaranteeing a great party, and writing my math thesis on entropy and its relevance to Bayesian statistics really do make me happy, but it’s easy to get lost in the work and lose perspective. I make an effort to make time for myself everyday.

Everyone has their own way of de-stressing, whether it’s having a dance party in your own room, doing your best impression of Kate Bush in the shower at the top of your lungs, engaging in some cardio ballet or going on midnight jogs (Note, I’m not claiming any of these comes from personal experience). My trick of letting the steam out regularly consists of two things: taking walks and lighting scented candles. The latter is actually a way to make the former happen when the weather makes it impossible to take a gander in the woods. I love the smell of moist wood, grass, and mossy air. I could go on and on about my favorite candles… contact me personally if you’d like a personal recommendation. Anyhow, it’s been raining here for a while, which means the surrounding areas have transformed into an absolute dream for the likes of me!

This past Sunday, I decided I needed a break from my three-hour thesis session in the library. I headed back to my room, put my boots on, turned on my iPod, and started making my way towards the college organic garden. The organic garden is about five minutes away from my room. You get to pass by twenty or so solar panels on your way there. The college organic garden has a great selection of produce (the kale looked particularly yummy) and flowers. You can sign up for a certain number of volunteer hours and depending on your hours (you can split with a friend) and get a CSA basket filled with goodies from the garden! Anyhow, here’s a little sneak peak of the garden.

The temperature is starting to drop, but I got to get see some flowers still in bloom.

The picnic table is a very popular place to eat out when it’s warm. The shed is such a cool spot as well!

This is from the greenhouse. There were some tomatoes starting to turn red and yellow, but for some reason, I love the look of green tomatoes so much.

After you walk through the organic garden, you come across a huge grass plain. (Couldn’t help the temptation of Instagram — doesn’t this remind you of Wuthering Heights?) Even though it was rainy, dark, and foggy, it was still so beautiful. After you follow the path for a bit, you see a small opening into the woods!

This segment is called the Class of ’97 trail, and it’s part of the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury). Many students, myself included, love running on the TAM. In the winter, the snow makes it an amazing cross-country ski trail as well. Anyhow, you cross a little bridge as you get deeper into the woods, you come across this lovely part of the trail.

Doesn’t this remind you of Narnia? Lord of the Rings? The Forbidden Forest? Whatever it is, this is definitely one of my favorite places. It’s so magical. Out of this world! You feel so removed from everything you know.

When you come out of the dense woods, you will see at least twenty cows on any given day. There are the oreo cows (with clear black/white/black coloring), cows with spots, and brown cows! Anyhow, I love saying hi to them, though I am perfectly aware they only come near me with the hopes that I will give them more hay…….

Went a little crazy with Instagram…. but look at this little guy! So precious! Speaking of cows, Middlebury sources our milk from Monument Dairy, which is literally less than 10 minutes away from campus. Happy Valley Orchard is also less than 15 minutes away and apple-picking is an amazing way to pass the time.

What I am so grateful for is that this “nature therapy” is very easily within reach. I just have to step outside of my room, with the right footgear of course. I usually spend an hour or so on these trails when I feel like getting some fresh air. Afterwards, I am so refreshed. My friend and I love puddle-jumping and mud-trailing, so we often go on walks together and end up having wonderful conversations.

When you come to Middlebury, please check out all the wonderful walkable destinations!

Till next time,



Hello! Welcome to our Senior Blog. Abigail, Charlie, Christopher, Dan, Emma, Joanna, Kyle, and I (Jimin) are so excited to be your Senior Fellows for this year. The Admissions Office started the Senior Fellows program so that prospective students and parents could get a peek of Middlebury life from real, living and breathing Middlebury students. We come from across the globe (Korea to Portugal to Kansas) and have dabbled a wide spectrum of academic disciplines as well as student organizations. Despite the differences in our own experiences, we share one thing in common: our love for all Middlebury has to offer! We are here to help you as you navigate through the college process (which can be very daunting!). Hopefully, the upcoming posts and the posts that our predecessors have left, will be helpful in figuring out whether Middlebury is a good fit for you.  If you ever have any questions, please comment on our posts or email us!

Looking forward to seeing and hearing from you.