Tag Archives: weather

The Question

Where is the snow?????

It’s all anyone can talk about. This winter has been mysteriously snowless, with several flurries followed two days later by a spurt of rain. The rumor is that every twelve years Vermont has a snowless winter, but who knows? All we know is that the winter is warm and brown and somewhat confusing.

You’d think, being from North Carolina, that I’d love the respite from the snow and subzero temperatures. I’ve surprised even myself, though, by how much I miss Winter. Somehow making it to spring doesn’t seem quite as exciting or hardcore when the coldest I ever got was 30 degrees… and I miss the snowy playground that replaces campus for five months!

I hoping for at least a few inches before Winter Carnival this weekend, but if not, I suppose I’ll have to resign myself to my last Winter being non-winter. Unless we get another storm like the Valentines Day Blizzard (watch til the end, it’s worth it)…

Reasons the Looming Winter is No Cause for Alarm

People in New England never seem to get bored of talking about the weather.  Although cold temperatures are a yearly guarantee, I’m always asked how I can deal with Vermont winters, coming from sunny San Diego.  But truthfully, I think having been denied snow for so many years makes me more excited than most for the first snowfall…

3 Reasons the winter is something to embrace, and not to fear.

1.  J-Term

J-Term is a glorious time at Middlebury College.  Usually about the time that fall midterm exams are getting underway, there are murmurings of “I can’t wait until J-Term… it’ll be so nice when J-Term is here…”  When we all return to campus after winter break in January, we’re looking forward to a month of one intensified class.  Students can choose to take courses ranging from Chinese Painting, to Middlebury Entrepreneurs, to the ever-grueling Organic Chemistry.  Classes meet with greater frequency and for more hours per week than during the fall and spring semesters, but this is a time to really dive into a subject, focus your energy, and be creative.  I’ve been looking forward to my Introduction to Painting class for a few weeks now, and can’t wait to take my first-ever art class!  Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1-4pm, so there is plenty of time for skiing, making snowmen, and taking a Wine Varietals workshop.

Student and visiting instructors also put on workshops that students can choose from—yoga, “Cooking to Seduce,” Intro to Guitar, Tap Dancing and more.  J-Term is a time to hone new skills, experiment with new hobbies, and enjoy Middlebury’s diversity.  We also have the pleasure of hosting many visiting professors during January as well.  Other students choose to do an off-campus internship or volunteer work for the month.  Whatever the case, J-Term is a time to experience Middlebury life like never before!

2.  The Snowbowl

The Middlebury College Snowbowl is a great place to spend a few hours getting outside during those frosty months.  A student life pass is an affordable $150 for the entire ski season, and the ACTR shuttle passes by Adirondack Circle every hour to take you the quick 25 minutes up to the mountain.  We have a new tri-chair lift to get you up the hill and a student-run ski patrol if you take a bad turn on your way down Kelly or Lang.

My favorite Snowbowl routine is to head up to the mountain, take a few runs with friends, stop for a hot chocolate and head back out if it’s a nice day.  If it’s an especially icy day, I’ll grab the book I’ve inevitably brought with me and read a few chapters while admiring the snowscape outside the lodge’s windows.  It’s fun to watch all the little kids walk awkwardly in their ski boots and be impressed by that kid who sits next to you in history—who knew he was a nationally competitive ski racer??

3.  Winter Carnival

Winter Carnival is a long-standing Middlebury tradition.  Reasons to love it: we have a day free from classes.  The ski team hosts their home races.  The winter sports teams have some victories at home, and the students guarantee an active (and vocal) fan section.  We have a great concert or two.  There’s a bonfire AND fireworks.  Ice sculptures!!  The Carnival ball is always a blast, thanks to our MCAB Traditions board.

So have no fear!! Yes, sub-zero temperatures and icy sidewalks are coming soon, but so is J-Term…


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!!!!!!!!