Tag Archives: fun

Moving In!

Moving in to your dorm for the first time can certainly be one of the most stressful parts of starting college.  Having just moved in to Middlebury for the last time (it was more enjoyable this time around), I find myself looking back on those previous move-in days.

When I was a Feb orientation leader a few winters ago for our incoming class of February first-years (see http://www.middlebury.edu/admissions/apply/february for more information), I remember running like crazy from dorm to dorm, all the while lifting mattress pads and hauling winter coats up numerous flights of stairs. It was also a blizzard and freezing cold out which didn’t make things easier. I loved meeting these new students and their families, but man, I got a workout that day. I guess that’s one upside to moving in: you get a great workout, even in the middle of a Vermont winter.

When I myself was moving in as a first-year Feb, I needed so much help from a combination of multiple Feb leaders and my parents to move my things in. I brought so much stuff with me to college. I remember I had a plastic box full of Colgate Advanced Whitening Gel, because, in my mind, it was so important to me that I not be distracted from making new friends and meeting professors by going to buy toothpaste. Little did I know that Midd Express was right on campus and that Kinney Drugs was just a short walk away. I was so nervous about making meaningful connections that I over-packed myself with toothpaste. So random, right? I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet bought more toothpaste in Middlebury, Vermont –– six semesters later. That’s how much I brought.

Once your bed is made, your posters are hung, and your desk is organized, the hard part is over. You’ll then have a great orientation with some awesome leaders and will meet plenty of new friends. You might even travel in packs (it’s a thing) to the dining hall and all around campus, figuring out which building is which. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

Moral of the story –– you’ll have time to buy toothpaste in college. Don’t worry.

Family Tree

Back in the day when I was a little elementary school-er I remember having multiple assignments about “family”.  One in particular was creating my family tree.  For me, that usually included my immediate family and my extended family (i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins).  Once, I got super into the assignment and traced my lineage back to ALL the European Royalty of the 11th century (lots of incest back then), boy did I think I was cool after that.  Since these assignments I haven’t thought much about my family lines. Of course, I still joke, as I always have, about my “brotha from anotha motha” which is one of my best friends from home, along with my “adopted sister” who has been my best friend for 16 years and counting.

But only recently, has my family really grown.  Now, what am I talking about? It all started with a picture taken at a retreat for Freshman earlier in the school year.  One of the retreat leaders and I posed for the photo along with two freshmen, both much taller and of different complexions than I.  Immediately after the picture was uploaded to Facebook, comments popped up.  “Look mami, papi, baby and baby,” one read; and so it began.

Quickly, the family grew adding sisters, parents, cousins, a family pet hamster named Pepito and even a “niece-n-law”, which included a very long conversation including diagrams and even charades explaining what that was to my suite-mate/sister.  My “daughter” even drew me a picture of our family tree which now hangs on a wall in our suite for all to see.  Our suite’s refrigerator even has my “kids'” assignments hanging to showcase their good grades.

Last weekend my friends came up to visit.  Both my worlds, the people that mean the most to me, combined.  My friends from my hometown were integrated into the Midd family tree.  My best friend became my children’s god mother and my other two friends became the “cool aunts.”  (Have I gone overboard yet?)

It has always been hard for me to be away from my friends back home, yet as I went from year to year here at Middlebury it is clear that not only are my friends here just as special, but they also are willing and wanting to add to “the family”.  You don’t find that everywhere.  I am so lucky to be here at Middlebury sharing my time with my family.  I look forward to our time together and seeing my family continue to grow.


Middlebury students may be in the library on Sundays, but Fridays and Saturdays are a bit of a different story.  One of the things about Middlebury that most surprised me as an incoming first-year was the fact that most students do not leave Middlebury on the weekends, with some exceptions such as in-season athletes travelling to compete.  I thought that I would be spending a decent amount of time in Burlington (45 mins) and Montreal (2.5 hours).  I’ve only been to Burlington a few times and Montreal probably the same amount.  Other than those few short trips, I’ve spent my weekends here.

What can a town of 8,000 (Middlebury) offer that an international metropolis of 2 million (Montreal) can’t?  A good place to study, you may joke.  That’s true.  However, Middlebury realizes that it doesn’t have 2 million residents and that it has to work harder to keep students entertained.  To this end, the College and students themselves take it upon themselves to offer a wide range of weekend activities for students with a variety of interests.

Take this past weekend, for example.  Friday night, Inception was screened three times in Dana Auditorium as part of the Free Friday Film series.  The Free Friday Film Series is a series of recently released films offered free to students by MCAB (Middlebury College Activities Board), the student-run activities board.

After Inception, my suite hosted the pirate party, an annual tradition of the Sailing Club.  The Sailing Club is a three-part program: it runs a PE class, offers a recreational sailing program that allows anyone to get out on the water, and competes in regattas as a member of the NEISA (New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association).  The team is incredibly tight, even when they’re mock fighting in pirate garb (witnessed Friday night).

Saturdays are usually fairly relaxed.  This past Saturday, you could’ve gone down to Alumni Stadium, gotten involved in a tailgate and watched the football team end their season with a win over Tufts.  On any given weekend, you could grab a few friends, hike Snake Mountain and spend a while admiring the beauty of the Champlain Valley.  You could also explore town, pick up some fresh cheese at the Farmers Market, grab a sandwich at Noonie’s and eat it overlooking the falls on Otter Creek.

This past Saturday night, MCAB brought us Yeasayer.  They gave a great show with the crowd going especially wild for one of the lead singer’s jumpsuit.  MCAB is able to bring a lot of great acts here for concerts.  In recent years, we’ve seen: The Roots, Girl Talk, Regina Spektor, and many more.

Scene in Nelson on Saturday night

This past Sunday, a lot of people skipped the library (at least for a while) to watch the mens’ soccer team win the NCAA DIII regional championship.  The soccer team will advance to sectionals next weekend, hopefully moving onto nationals after that.  The team is no stranger to the NCAA DIII National Championship, having won it in 2007.

As you can see, Middlebury doesn’t give students much reason to want to leave campus.  That said, I will be going up to Burlington tomorrow to see the midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter.  Pumped.

I Don’t Want to Grow Up…

The more time that I spend at Middlebury, the more I’m convinced that this is just a campus full of big kids.  I have to admit that I was not born a Halloween lover, but Midd has made me a convert. This year there was a bit of confusion about what day to celebrate on, but that just meant that we celebrated from Thursday to Sunday.  The weekend included a great mix between informal parties thrown by students, and formal activities, such as the Annual Commons Creep with mini-parties around campus, trips to haunted corn mazes in the surrounding towns and pumpkin carving. The 3rd Annual Middlebury Spooktacular was a great opportunity to remember that as students at Middlebury we are part of the town community as well as the college community.  It was a special treat to see faculty and staff out with their families on the town green for all the Halloween and bridge opening festivities and to hand out candy to all the kids who came trick-or-treating at the student houses on the edges of campus.   I’m pretty sure that I caught some Middkids mixed in with the groups of parading kids.

Seeing everyone decorate their dorms and get dressed up for Halloween is an annual reaffirmation of the fact that Midd is a big kid’s paradise, but Midd is really a playground everyday.  Muggle Quidditch was born here for a reason, and Mchaka and Midd for Play are regularly attended throughout the year, whether it’s finally getting down the lyrics to all the Tanzanian running songs during the colder months, or a game of Capture the Flag in the snow.  These are just a few examples of fun that’s become institutionalized as offerings for the entire college community, but if you ask around everyone is doing something to relax and let go.  I for one, can’t wait to see what type of beer my friends are brewing this week or what film the boys down the hall are watching for Bad Movie Friday.

While college is a major step toward adulthood, that doesn’t mean that fun dies once you walk through your first college classroom.  In fact, I’d say half the fun of being at Middlebury is the opportunity to be somewhere where you have enough resources and fun-loving peers to bring your childhood whims to fruition.  For example, during last months’ Fall Family Weekend, the Middlebury College Activities Board (MCAB) transformed McCullough social space into a roller skating rink and students are often found at the  ice hockey rink enjoying free skate time with friends.

We all come to Midd to learn, but we do a great job of not forgetting to play at the same time.