Author Archives: Julie Seo

About That Time

As sad as I am to end another school year (and can you believe, I’m finally out of here!),  I am excited for the final hurrah because it’s time for SENIOR CRUSH LISTS! It’s a tradition that has everyone swooning neck over neck to see the masterpieces that the seniors have created, listing every crush they’ve had during their time at Middlebury. They are posted on the walls of the dining halls so that everyone can see them. Seniors go all out for this tradition and fellow students casually peruse the lists to see if their names are posted. I’ve seen some really creative ideas over the years and I can’t believe it’s finally my time!

Professors’ names are known to have made appearances on these lists, FYI.

Yes, that is a Croc on the upper left corner.


This year’s crush lists have emulated themes of “Games of Thrones”, stolen Add Cards from the registrar’s office, a letter from the “Dean of Admissions”, etc. My crush list is going up tomorrow and I hope this campus is ready for the saucy captions that follow my crushes’ names!

Good thing that the Last Chance Dance is happening during Senior Week, right?

Weekend plans

Prospective students and parents always ask:

“What do you guys do for fun on the weekends?”


Well here is a line up of what’s happening this weekend at Middlebury!




one of my class is cancelled! yippee!
Free Friday Film: Man On a Ledge




Spring Asian BBQ– sponsored by the Asian organizations. SOOOOOO DELICIOUS. I mean, who can say no to Korean BBQ?
Cook Carnival– four hour festival involving trampolines, circus performers, games, prizes
KDR– daytime rodeo at one of the social houses
DMC Block party and Basketball tournament  – fun, food, and basketball!




MCAB staff brunch at Waybury Inn (yummmm!)
Middlebury Maple Run- half marathon
Museum dinner catered by Tourterelle 
lots of homework

College MUST-BRING checklist

So the week before we left for spring break, the weather was absolutely phenomenal. I’m talking 80 degrees, maximum sun with the perfect breeze—-sheer perfection. My friends and I basked in the glorious sun before taking off for spring break because who doesn’t want that perfect base tan to kick off Beach Week? Naturally, I packed up all of my winter belongings and shipped them home. I mean, what are the chances that the temperature will drop in APRIL, my goodness? Imagine to my surprise when I came back to New England and realized the gravity of my mistake. In order to help you guys out, I decided to make a checklist of things you should always have in your possession in college, particularly at Middlebury College.
-nice sunglasses. I “borrowed” my father’s vintage Ray-bans and I consider this a prime decision. (I’ll tell him eventually…) They’re classic folding wayfarers and you just can’t go wrong. Besides, you’ll use them all year round to block out sun and/or snow reflections.

-good fleece. Your Pata-gucci will protect you from the winter in May if it just starts snowing on you.

-stapler. You will be the most popular kid in your class if you show up with one of these on a day an assignment is due.

-shower shoes. This is not optional.

-tape. You never know when your MLK’s “I Have a Dream” poster will just fall on your face while you’re sleeping. Better to be prepared than sorry.


Chilly for Chili

Saturday was the annual chili festival here in Middlebury! It is one of my favorite events of the year because it really strengthens my belief in a community that I have come to appreciate during my time here. Also, it began my freshman year so I feel like I’ve ‘grown up’ with this annual festival in a way.

So pretty much, the downtown area is closed off to vehicles and hoards of vendors (close to 50 this year!) from local restaurants/businesses set up shop along Main Street to give out samples of delicious chili. (Cornbread optional) There are tons of people from the town of Middlebury, the college, and even surrounding towns who travel to partake in this festival. I loved bumping into familiar faces and chatting about who had the best chili and which vendor’s line was worth waiting for. To add to the excitement, I even saw a pig or two there; guess they were the lucky ones that managed to avoid being processed into non-vegetarian chili. Is this appropriate? 

photo credit: Better Middlebury 

I just may have to come back for next year’s chili festival. It’s that good.


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:



Eclectic. Relaxed. Informal.

So you’re probably wondering where Midd kids hang out when they are not busy with their studies or extra curricular activities.

There are various places on campus where we sit back and enjoy being stress-free, such as the Grille and/or Crossroads Cafe in McCullough Student Center, the comforts of the common room in our respective dorms, the Wilson cafe, or the quads, but there are times when we find ourselves wandering around the town of Middlebury.

51 Main is an obvious choice for many of us. The dim lights, delicious food, numerous board games, and the live music draw a large crowd every night it is open.
The live music varies from mellow singer-songwriter types to a full blues-jam night, showcasing Middlebury students, local acts, and musicians on the rise from nearby areas. Trust me, you want to get there on the earlier side if you want to be guaranteed a seat.

The menu is phenomenal. It consists of food items to fit every budget ranging from hummus and pita chips to Brazilian Skirt Steak and weekly soup/salad specials. But make sure you leave some room for dessert because the chef is known for his fabulous “51” Chocolate Mousse, described as a decadent dark mousse with a hint of vanilla and essence of lush Cabernet Sauvignon, topped with seasonal fruit and whipped cream.

You never know who is going to be sitting at the table next to yours. It could be Julia Alvarez, the writer-in-residence who has published many novels and poems. The director of Admissions? Perhaps it’s your future sociology professor. Maybe it’s President Ron Liebowitz himself.

The next time you’re in Middlebury, be sure to swing by for a delicious meal (lunch or dinner) and say hello to the chef!


Thanks, Middlebury!

By committing to Middlebury College, we, the students, have decided that this institution was the place where we’d trade in $200k+ and 4 years of our lives in exchange of its stellar undergrad experience. Sure, we all expected to take ECON105 and maybe discover a new passion for History of Africa, or even take part in a theater production but personally speaking, I think I have grown exponentially during my time at Middlebury far beyond the academic setting.

People have referred to our campus as a ‘country club’ in its remarkable facilities and general easygoing atmosphere. I won’t deny that we attend an institution that runs like butter but I think sometimes the  tangible aspects get in the way of realizing the little things. So I will take a stroll down memory lane of all the things I am thankful for as an attribute to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.

1. Perks of traveling abroad as a Midd student. 
a)I was never afraid to travel alone because I knew that if I ever got lost, I would have contact information of someone who can help me. I cried tears of joy when my friends came to my rescue when I was lost in Gare du Nord with severely limited French comprehension skills.
b) I literally ran into a Midd student when I went to visit Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Talk about a total coincidence!
c) I was able to receive personal recommendations from students studying in various parts of the world while planning out trips.

2.  Meaningful internships
I’ve had the opportunity to spend time in Costa Rica by partaking in an arts/literacy program in San Jose, Costa Rica during my sophomore year J-Term. Funding to participate in this program was available by the Middlebury Arts Council, who provided a generous stipend to help cover traveling and living costs.

This past summer, I secured an internship through the Career Services Office and I spent time in Louisville, Kentucky as a summer school teacher for at-risk youth. It was probably the hardest I’ve worked and boy, did it make me appreciate my teachers a whole lot more, but the outcome was well worth my efforts.

3. Good school-sponsored activities
Middlebury is the farthest thing from identifying as a metropolitan city. The school realizes this and makes a strenuous effort to ensure that students are entertained. There are numerous guest lecturers, LNDPs (late night dance parties, duh), small and large venue concerts (can we bring Kid Cudi back please?), comedians (Judah Friedlander, you are the MAN)—-and these are only activities that are sponsored by MCAB! Each campus organization is given a budget to have fun and events are open to the entire Middlebury campus. I love that I don’t have to make a huge effort to figure out what I’m doing this weekend; I can just open up my email and see what all is happening.

4. (lack of) meal plan
I am extremely thankful that this institution does not make me pay for every food item that I consume on a daily basis. We also do not have a swiping system and it makes this place feel more like home, as I can walk into all three dining halls and eat as much as I want. Already looking forward to the next Breakfast for Dinner!

5. School spirit
I love walking around campus and seeing everyone displaying their Midd apparel. Even more so, I enjoy seeing them off campus.
Midd hockey opened up its season last night against Colby and I must say, I have never been prouder to be sitting in the Student Section with my best friends cheering for our boys. (special shout out to PRESCOTT HOUSE)

One in Four

25% of our student body is a varsity athlete.

For a school of roughly 2400 students, this number is significant in that one in every four students plays a sport (or more if you want to be technical). I think this adds to the sense of community that Middlebury fosters within the campus. I love that these student athletes are not mere names with celebrity-status that are constantly reproduced in the school newspaper or announced over the loudspeaker at games—but in fact, they are our roommates, lab partners, the person who asked for the salt shaker at Proctor dining hall, etc. They are our friends.

The love and support we show to our fellow peers by attending their games and cheering as loudly as we humanly can adds another dimension to our community as students of all walks of life convene at these sporting events. It is not just other athletes who attend to support the other teams. It’s everyone. Perhaps they used to play in high school or they’ve never picked up a lacrosse stick. Whatever their views on sports is, none of it matters because for that time block of when they are sitting in the stands, their level of enthusiasm for Middlebury surpasses all else.

The athletic events adjoins Middlebury and its relationship with the town as many come to spectate the ‘college games’. There is honestly nothing cuter than seeing little tykes running around at a hockey game, wearing their favorite player’s jersey. Whether or not we are a college student or a townie, when we win, we all cheer triumphantly. When we cry, we cry together as one.

This weekend was a spectacular one for Middlebury’s wins as women’s soccer advances to NCAA Sectionals, field hockey makes it to Final Four, women’s volleyball heads to regional finals, football wins their final game of the season against Tufts, cross country teams qualify for NCAA Championships. Congrats, all!

Dolci delight

It has been said that Middlebury’s standards in its dining hall food surpass the norm. We have no meal plan nor swiping system that strategically keeps track of our every dietary consumption as everything is covered under the general comprehensive fee. All three dining halls– Ross, Proctor, and Atwater— offer special elements that keep ever-so-loyal regulars returning for each meal and cause people to check out the menu to see what the hype is all about because after all, checking the daily specials on go/menu is a favorite past time of all Midd students. For instance, Ross dining hall serves pizza every day, Proctor has awesome vegetarian selections present at every meal, and Atwater has ridiculous lines during peak hours. We also LOVE Breakfast for Dinner as lines are known to snake around the massive dining hall as students greedily help themselves to heaps of chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs done in southwest style (complete with red peppers, scallions, generous portions of cheese, cilantro, and salsa).

As great as our dining halls are, there will be times when students want to eat off-campus just to spice things up. This is where Dolci is introduced as a creative alternative to dining hall fare allowing students to enjoy a gourmet multi-course meal for free. Dolci tickets are available on Wednesdays at 9pm sharp and you may want to learn to be quick on the keypad as these tickets run out very quickly.

Pronounced “DOL-CHEEE”, this is an organization that enables aspiring chefs to use their skills in the kitchen and plan the most fantastic meals. This is all student-led. Generally, there are work slots for 3-4 prep cooks, 4 cooks, 2 dishwashers, and 4-5 waitstaff members. Work slots are also competitive as students find this to be a fun break from their studies. Themes vary by week; I’ve had the pleasure of attending several that ranged from just desserts to the most recent one— Harvest theme. The creamy beet soup was to drool over and the rack of lamb was worthy of being worshiped. The level of expertise and professionalism that is displayed in the food and service never ceases to blow me away.

It was wonderful to convene with old friends over this delicious meal and we laughed and cried (of happiness, of course) as we reflected on our freshman hall memories. Some formed new meaningful friendships as a result of this dinner and Dolci is just one of the ways that Middlebury fosters a sense of community in aspects of student life here.

I heard through the grapevine that the next Dolci theme will be Thai so make sure to get on board!
For those who are still skeptical, “it’s just a free dinner…” BRING A DATE!

Out of nostalgia

I remember this particular season, precisely one year ago. I was lost in a brand new  city and my friends and I wanted to embark on every adventure we could possibly encounter. As “Erasmus” students, international students in other words, who insisted on photographing every statue and dinner entree as part of their obligatory “study abroad photo album” that would later be posted on Facebook, our curiosities were destined to kill our cats as we set out to explore as much of Madrid as we physically and mentally could.

I could say I had some of the best times of my life during my time abroad, which actually felt like a 5 month long vacation. My eyes were open to extreme spectrums of culture as I learned to live and study alongside Spaniards. Discovering an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet that served sushi on conveyer belts (pure genius– I’d love to shake his/her hand), finding cute dance partners at El Kapital, the incredible 7 story discoteca that offers different types of music/DJs on every floor, running into familiar faces at Retiro Park, discussing ancient Greek comedy over delicious tapas and bottomless pitchers of sangria with my Spanish classmates—- are all fond memories that  I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.

That incredible semester abroad was a trade-off of what could’ve been an equally fabulous semester here at Midd.  But honestly, I had forgotten how mind-blowingly beautiful this campus is during foliage season! Being here during this time of the year is spectacular as the leaves turn all shades of red, orange, and yellow, and I can’t help but to fall in love with this place for the millionth time whenever I get a glimpse of the Green Mountains on the way to Bi-Hall or as I watch the sunset from the convenience of my seat at Ross dining hall.

I realize I will reach my expiration date here at Middlebury within a few months. (I mean, our 200 Days party is coming up!) For this reason, I intend to fully take advantage of everything that this fall season has to offer whether it be visiting the nearest alpaca farm, picking raspberries, or playing in the leaves like the 7-year-old child I am. At heart.

**WARNING: You may start comparing your friends’ faces to alpacas if you stare at these pictures too long.