It’s springtime in Vermont which means as soon as the mercury hits 60° I refuse to wear anything other than tanktops. That is not actually true, but it is pretty close to true. A product of dealing New England weather is that when it is nice out everyone gets super pumped.
Since Spring Break, I have divided my time evenly between reading, eating on the terrace outside of the dinning hall, and throwing a Frisbee as hard possible. Also getting very sunburned most days. In the last few weeks the weather has really taken a turn for the best and as a result everyone is much happier and much less work is getting done. I have had two classes taught outside since last Monday, and this Friday is Midd Mayhem—an all campus picnic on one of our massive grass quad areas known as Battell Beach. According to the email, Midd Mayhem promises to provide a slip and slide, a photobooth and beverages, among others. Also if last year is any indication, they’ll be handing out free tanktops. Sun’s Out Guns Out.
Every once in a while a Middlebury graduate becomes at least a little famous. This fall it was ’10 graduate Cassidy Boyd, who danced in Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” video (leopard print onesie on the left at the start). In fact, if you had been reading this blog a year ago it would be Cassidy posting instead of me. beForeshadowing?
This past week ‘09.5 graduate Jimmy Wong’s response to a… ah… less than politically correct video posted by a UCLA student racked up 2,067,001 views on YouTube. Jimmy is a multi-talented singer/actor/¿gymnast? who was best know at Midd for his band, which crushed parties all over campus. Keep up the good work Jimmy, also if you know any female celebrities who are looking for a boyfriend please let me know.
Aside from opening your school mailbox without looking like a total nerd, unlocking a door without revealing your key-card is perhaps the most essential MiddColl skill. Show up on your first day of orientation with these tricks in-pocket and wow that cute accepted student you met on Facebook in April.
1. The Bag
This is lame and will impress no one. Leave key-card in bag → rub bag on sensor → make sure no one was watching → enter dorm
2. The Shoe
A clever trick when going for a run, or to demonstrate your superb groin flexibility. Conceal key-card in shoe → approach sensor → kick (furiously) → enter dorm
3. The Back Bump
A strategic technique for when sensors are positioned higher than waist level or when your wallet is in your back pocket where it should be. Approach sensor in reverse → jump → rub butt on sensor → check to make sure everyone was watching → enter dorm
4. The Front Bump
This is hilarious and best suited for you front pocket wallet types. I am not going to tell you how to do it.
5. The Wallet Toss
This will never, never work and will consistently be slower than any alternative method. This is always the best possible option. Throw wallet at sensor → act nonchalant → see techniques 1–4
You’ve been to a carnival before right? performers and ferris wheels and fortune tellers and machines that turn you into grown ups? None of those things have anything to do with our Middlebury’s Winter Carnival.
Middlebury Carnival—which an email I just received tells me is in its 88th year—is the Middlebury Ski Team’s one home weekend of the year. Everyone loves Winter Carnival mostly because there is no school on Friday. L o n g W e e k e n d. Aside from the ski races there are also all sorts of activities happening on campus, like a performance by an 80s cover band that has come each of the last 88 years—no really get it? like an 1880’s cover band? Nailed it. There is also a snow sculpture contest in the quad, a Winter Carnival Ball, and new for this year Winter Carnival King and Queen (gender neutral). Its like homecoming in the winter except better because we get a long weekend and no one gets any work done.
So it’s finals week, which is usually pretty close to the apocalypse, but I had most of my big papers due the week before Thanksgiving so I am sliding into home from about 3/4 of the way out, which is to say I probably won’t make it. Luckily for everyone, the dining halls are now serving 4 meals a day: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Middnight Breakfast—11pm-1am my dorm that happens to be attached to a dining hall. So if, for example, I wanted to wear shorts and flip-flops and not go outside at all because it snowed 6 inches last night and eat for free in the dining hall 14 out of 24 hours of the day, I could.
The meal is standard breakfast fare: chocolate-chip pancakes, eggs, make-your-own-waffles, sausage, fried-potato-whatevers, hot cooked water, ice cream, and according to the menu “homemade pastries.” So even though WebMD is telling me that eating before bed will make my hips fat, you can catch me crushing tater-tots and apple juice at 12:45am. Oh, also ridiculous things happen at Middnight breakfast, but don’t take my word for it: YouTube.
Our fall teams are dominant: Men’s soccer, Women’s Volleyball and both Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country were NESCAC champions this fall. All four, along with the Field hockey team advanced into NCAA tournament play last weekend. Volleyball finished with a record of 25-6 and was one game away from a free trip to St. Louis for the Sweet Sixteen. The Middlebury College Rugby club, a multi-time D2 National Champion, is the undefeated northeast champion and will be heading to the national playoffs once the snow melts—there is no snow on the ground yet, I’m using figurative language. Both Cross-Country teams are in the air, like flying in airplanes currently, on their way to the NCAA championship in Iowa. Name one town in Iowa. Between the men and women, they have five NCAA D3 Championships in the past ten years, with any luck that number will be six before you read this post. Our men’s soccer team, which won the D3 National Championship in 2007, won its first two NCAA tournament games and will play in the NCAA sectionals at Bowdoin College in Maine this weekend. I am a bandwagon fan only I never fall off the bandwagon because all we do is win.
But what Middlebury athletics most famous for, beyond all the trophies and the looking great, is “Picking Up Butch,” a Middlebury tradition for the past fifty years. Just watch the video, on ESPN. Hopefully they’ll make you watch the Gillette Fusion Proglide commercial beforehand.
Not only is candy the cheapest because Halloween was Sunday, but this week Middlebury college students choose our J-Term classes. J-Term? don’t you mean Kan”Ye” Term? HOW DID YOU GUESS? Here at Middlebury College we are on what we call a 4-1-4 system: 4 classes in the fall, one class during January and 4 classes in the spring. That means during J-Term you take one class for 4 weeks and you get one credit, completing a semester of class in 1/4 the time. “That sounds really terrible” you might think, well you would be so wrong.
During January I will have class from 10:30am-12:30am Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for a total of 8 hours a week, or almost exactly 4.8% of the 168 total hours I have to spend every 7 days. That means I will have an impossibly large amount of time to do whatever I want, which I’ll probably divide evenly between Wii tennis and ski racing. If you are a skier, want to learn how to ski or just like to brag, you’ll be so amped to know that Middlebury has its own mountain—the Middlebury College Snow Bowl—to which a free shuttle runs every 30 minutes, every day during January. I only ask that you refrain from wearing your helmet and ski boots in the dining hall because it looks terrible and you get the floor all watery.
So when your friends at other college are pretending that they are really excited to have an extra month off during January to live with their parents and wish that they were back at college eating ice cream for breakfast, you’ll be hanging out here where its like summer camp, only it’s in the winter.
Oh, by the way don’t try to call J-Term, Kan”Ye” Term because no one will understand you.