Tag Archives: Vermont

Missing Midd

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.


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.

Already Nostalgic

The reality of time hit when we returned for our final semester at Middlebury after February break.

I spent my break with eight wonderful friends from Middlebury, on a road trip from here to Savannah, Georgia. Six of those eight friends had just graduated as Febs, and the other two and I flew back to campus for the spring semester while the graduates continued the adventure and drove to San Francisco, California.

Watching the Febs graduate and then returning to campus without them made me truly acknowledge that this is our last semester. In the first week, my friends and I threw a potluck, went for walks, and talked about everything we want to make sure to do before we leave the utopia that is Middlebury College. Sure, there are stresses here at times, and yes, not everything is always perfect, but it is hard to complain about life here.

So I will use this week’s blog post to list my favorite aspects about this college — both the deeply meaningful and trivially glorious things — that I want to appreciate at all times for the next four months before graduation:

– Professors who take the time to get to know us, and remember our names.

– The beauty of Vermont in all seasons.

– Our amazing dining hall food and friendly staff.

– The beautiful, comfortable, and clean dorms.

– The ability to take courses in completely new areas while still deeply focusing on my major.

– Constantly meeting new and wonderful people who are passionate.

– Dance parties whenever we want.

– Cross country skiing around the golf course or at Bread Loaf.

– Singing with the Mischords (my a cappella group).

– Having someone willing to go on an adventure with me at any time.

– Hiking around Vermont.

– Apple picking in the fall.

– The Middlebury farmer’s market.

– The friendly businesses around town who remember us.

– Good Vermont cheeses.

– Road biking on sunny days.

– Running with friends around the golf course.

– Having amazing speakers and events available to me for free all of the time.

– Fresh air.

– The diversity of interests that my friends have.

– The cool accomplishments that people have made.

– The potential to get on board with a project anytime.

– Free dance and yoga classes.

– Subsidized music lessons.

– Hanging out on the lawn with friends in the spring.

– Learning a new language with an enthusiastic professor who is a native speaker of that language.

– Making brunch with friends on the weekends.

– Themes parties for no good reason other than to have a theme.

– The variety of activities that I get to participate in every day.

5 Reasons to LUV Spring

It’s a NEW semester! While the Fall semester is full of fall foliage, apple picking, and trips to harvest festivals,  the Spring brings new life and adventure on campus! Here my FIVE FAVORITE Spring events:

5. Winter Carnival

One of the biggest weekend events of the year, Winter Carnival is both a celebration of skiing and the beginning of a new semester filled with outdoor winter activities, snow sculptures, an 80’s Dance,  and an elaborate Winter Ball. Oh… and did I mention… it’s a 3 day weekend! Buy your tickets now to all the great events!

4. Spring Break

Just when you have had enough of the snow it’s time for SPRING BREAK. While the snow is still melting in Vermont it’s time to escape the cold and find refuge in the SUN. You will need that extra splash of Vitamin D for final exams ahead.

3. Shorts/ SUN

As soon as it is over 50 degrees it’s time to put away the heavy winter coats and bust out those long awaited shorts! I think this is a phenomenon that only occurs in the state of Vermont. In Arizona 50 degrees is definitely still winter weather. However, when the shorts are out the sun and warmer weather are only days away! While I love the colors of fall foliage, there is nothing more beautiful than watching the flowers and leaves come back into bloom just in time for Spring!

2 . Lake Dunmore

One of my favorite days of the Spring Semester is the sunny Saturday when half the campus goes and spends the day at Lake Dunmore. This local lake only 20 minutes from campus is definitely a student favorite!

1. New Febs

Maybe I am biased, but the energy and the excitement of the 100 new Febs makes the cold winter a little warmer. You can always spot a new Feb because they are the ones that will always smile at you along the path or introduce themselves to you at the salad bar in Proctor.

From FEBS to better weather there is clearly a lot to look forward to during the Spring at Middlebury!

I LoVermont

Coming from Scottsdale, Arizona the winter weather and the New England culture took some getting used to… but after I learned how to appropriately bundle up in the cold and once the snow melted into Spring, I fell in love with my new surroundings and this beautiful new state that I can call home.

Here are my Top 5 reasons why I LOVE VERMONT:

1. Fall Foliage

Fall has always been my favorite season… but in Arizona I never got to truly appreciate the change of seasons. As soon as late September/ early October rolls around I am obsessed with the magic of fall. The trees on campus and in the mountains are alive with bright yellows, reds, and oranges… it is impossible to look away!

2. Open Roads

Nestled comfortably between Route- 125 and Route-30, Middlebury is at an intersection of a world of open roads ready to be explored. Every road and every path that I have taken has lead me on a visually stunning tour of the beautiful Vermont landscape. From the rolling hills to the flat farm lands ever turn brings a new unseen beauty! While the roads may not be full of cars… I am never alone. It is not unusual to be riding along side a field of horses, cows, or sheep… or to even be driving next to a tractor cruising down the road.

3. Burlington/ Montréal/ Boston/ New York

While the 8,000 or so people in the town of Middlebury can seem small, Vermont is located at the heart of New England. It is so easy to travel anywhere on the East Coast from our location.

Burlington, Vermont’s largest “city”, is only 45 minutes north and is a great place to have dinner, shop on Church Street, or just watch the sunset over Lake Champlain.

Montréal is actually the largest major city to Middlebury and located only 2.5 hours north. If you want a little taste of Europe, Montréal is your destination. From cafés with crêpes to late night dance clubs, Montréal can be the perfect weekend or vacation destination!

Also, let us not forget that New York is only 5 hours away and Boston is 3.5 hours away (by car). Coming from Arizona all of these distances do not seem that far… when I think about how it takes 6 hours to get from Phoenix to Los Angeles … but with NOTHING in between! At least driving in Vermont is filled with open roads with small towns and stunning view of its natural landscapes!

4. Summer!

If you are student at Middlebury I would highly recommend spending a summer on campus… either working for an office on campus, doing research with a professor, or participating in a Summer Language Schools Program. Two years ago I spent the summer at Midd working for the Careers Service Office. During that time I really got to explore Vermont and know the town of Middlebury. I tried to blend in like a true Vermonter and searched for local “watering holes” and ate lots of Creamees (which a strictly Vermont term for soft serve ice-cream or frozen yogurt). My favorite place to relax and swim after work was at “Dog Team Road”, a small river beach just 5 minutes north of campus. I also made use of the wonderful summer agriculture! Every Saturday morning I went to the Middlebury Farmer’s Market at Marble Works. From delicious local goat cheeses to hand picked organic strawberries and blueberries I was constantly immersed in a culture of local foods!

5. Small Towns

While I still believe that Middlebury is the quintessial New England town driving through Vermont is like exploring a foreign country. Each small town has its own feeling and established way of life. From Vergennes to Bristol each town hosts its own Main Street with local restaurants and shops that are unique to that community. My favorite roadside town is Woodstock, VT which on Route- 4 south of Middlebury. The first time I passed through Woodstock they happened to be hosting their annual summer music festival. So naturally I stopped to get out and participate in the events! Not only does Woodstock have a beautiful Main Street with classic New England buildings and delicious cafés, but for this event they had closed the streets and hundreds of the members of the community were all dancing in the streets to the beats of the live music in the background! It is small towns like this that truly make me appreicate the sense of community and life-style that is unique to Vermont.


Princess Snow White came a little bit earlier this year. So excited to see snow flakes flying around during Halloween weekend! They gently kissed my face and shyly disappeared. Although it lasted only a few minutes, Middlebruy was HAUNTED. Beautiful white winter is coming! Many mountains  in Vermont have already got snow caps– lovely white peaks. It was chilly these days, but the trees still stayed colorful. Under them fallen leaves and petals lied in profusion, with some acorns rolling around waiting for squirrels.<3

Every time I led info session I would ask the families if it was their first time being in Vermont and  what their impression on Vermont was.  Some said “beautiful”, some said “trees” and some said “snowy and cold”. Fall in Vermont is breathtaking. In early October my classmate and I drove to Waterbury to meet with a community partner of our class project (Environmental Studies senior seminar on Environmental Health) in Vermont Geological Survey. It was the most pleasant one-hour trip I’ve ever had. The mountains were covered by layers and layers of colorful trees, with birds singing and flying around in the clear blue sky. The scenery was way more beautiful than an oil painting.

The most beautiful season is almost over, but something more exciting will take place. Our own snow mountain called snow bowl will soon be filled by active student athletes, or clumsy but brave amateur like me 😀 . The ice hockey season will start soon as well. I love our Olympic-size ice rink, the wonderful games among NCAA, and of course, the super handsome ice hockey players… 😛

I look forward to Jterm fun already. Hard to choose Jterm class… So many good ones! Remote Sensing, Paleolimnology, Intro. to Architectural Design, Vermont Waters, or Evolution of Human nutrition?Wish I could have more Jterms on campus!!!!!!!!