Poetry Reading from “Please Do Not Remove: A Collection Celebrating Vermont Literature and Libraries”

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Please-Do-Not-Remove_cover-front-finalWe are pleased to present, along with the New England Review as part of their VT Reading Series, a reading from Please Do Not Remove: A Collection Celebrating Vermont Literature and Libraries. This special event will take place in the Davis Family Library Special Collections and Archives Room 101, at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10. The book’s editor, Angela Palm, and three contributors—David Dillon, Karin Gottshall, and Gary Margolis—will read from and discuss selections from the anthology. A reception will follow, and copies of the book will be given as a door prize. Free.

Please Do Not Remove (Wind Ridge Books, 2014) is an anthology of twenty works of prose and poetry by writers who represent Vermont’s rich literary tradition. Each piece in the book is inspired by an old library check-out card and incorporates libraries in some way. Corresponding color photographs of the cards, taken by Nick Adams, accompany each work. Ten percent of the book’s net proceeds will be donated to the Vermont Library Association for as long as the publication is in print.

David Dillon is a poet who lives and writes in Vermont’s iconic Northeast Kingdom town of East Albany. His poem “Northeast Kingdom Wind Song” recently was selected as the winner of the Vermont Broadside Poetry Competition. He was born in Vermont and worked as a journalist in New York, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C., before returning home. His most recent book is From the Porch.

Karin Gottshall is the author of Crocus, winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize, and several independent press chapbooks. Her new collection, The River Won’t Hold You, won the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Prize. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, FIELD, The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, and many other journals. She teaches at Middlebury College.

Gary Margolis, PhD, is Emeritus Executive Director of College Mental Health Services and Associate Professor of English and American Literatures (part-time) at Middlebury College. His third book, Fire in the Orchard, was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His poem “The Interview” was featured on National Public Radio’s “The Story” and Boston’s ABC Channel 5 interviewed him on the Middlebury campus reading his poem, “Winning the Lunar Eclipse,” after the 2004 World Series.

Angela Palm is the editor of Please Do Not Remove. Her essay collection, Riverine, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2016 and is the recipient of the 2014 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. She is a contributor at BookTrib and owns Ink & Lead Literary Services. She lives in Burlington, Vermont

For more on the New England Review and the NER VT Reading Series see http://www.nereview.com/ner-vt-reading-series/

Livi on her Shepherd Internship

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
2014 Fall Family Weekend Saturday 10/25/2014

Before my summer as a Shepherd Intern, I knew almost nothing about refugees. I didn’t know there are currently 10.4 million people seeking what is called in state department jargon “third-country resettlement.” This number grows daily as conflicts around the world, especially in the Middle East, go unresolved. An initial shock for me was to learn that less than one percent of these refugees reach third country resettlement, and those who do often have been living in squalid camps for ten to twenty years, having fled their homes due to political, social, or religious persecution. I recall picking up from the airport an 87 year-old Somali woman named Udbi who, according to her family had “a bum leg,” only to learn at a doctor’s visit a few days post-arrival that her right hip had been out of its socket for at least fifteen years. The family had been living in a camp in Ethiopia. 

My involvement with Community Engagement enabled me to go through this deep and invaluable learning process over the summer. I’m so grateful that Community Engagement allowed me, as a student immersed in the world of academia, to apply my interests to a practical matter, and to learn about individuals like Ubdi, and the pervasive problem of poverty in the United States. ​

 

-Livi Raggio ‘15.5

To learn more about Shepherd Poverty Internships go here or Contact Tiffany Sargent at tiffanys@middlebury.edu!

Learn about Americorps

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

news&events2

What: Join AmeriCorps members as they reflect on their experiences and share service opportunities for you to consider! AmeriCorps is a national service organization that employs some of today’s best and brightest individuals to serve in communities around the country.

When: Monday, March 9th, 2015: 12:15-1:15 PM *lunch will be provided

Where: CCI Library (Adirondack House)

For more information, contact Quanteshia Tennyson ’14 at qtennyson@middlebury.edu.

Interested in becoming a Fellow with Challenge Detroit and learning how make your own social impact in the Motor city?

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Challenge Detroit is a proven model for revitalization by attracting and retaining top talent, and offering the opportunity to contribute to a great city by providing the opportunity for tomorrow’s leaders to live in an urban setting, work at a leading area company, experience the cultural aspects of the city, and partner with nonprofits to […]

The time of the year to apply to Addison County Shepherd Internships has arrived!!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Check out this poster for more information about Addison County Shepherd summer internship opportunities for this summer!! Summer 2015 Addison County Shepherd Internships (1)

The Reign of Monogamy

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Durkheim and the reign of monogamy

I started practicing polyamory[1] three years ago in an attempt to free myself of the unbearable attachment, dependency and conditionality that came with monogamous relationships. Needy, shattered and incapable to fulfill my deep need for love and intimacy with others, I longed for change. I first heard about the tempting concept of “love without attachment” at a meditation retreat in Thailand. Soon after starting to open myself to the possibility that relationships may be built on mutual respect, love and appreciation instead of fear of losing the other, desire to dominate or fit social expectations, I was ready to embrace polyamory. The freedom and happiness it brought me inspired me to celebrate it, share it, spread it. I knew it was meant to be challenging, because of the normalcy associated with monogamy in society, yet I thought the status-quo was reversible and people only needed to learn about polyamory to at least give it a try, if not adopt it.

It didn’t take long to figure I was wrong. While I remain optimistic for the sake of not losing my energy as an agent of change in society, I now see the invisible strings that control it. “The practice of having a single sexual partner during a period of time”[2], or otherwise monogamy, fits Emile Durkheim’s concept for a social fact, introduced in The Rules of Sociological Method. Social facts are ways of thinking, acting or being which are normalized, generalized throughout society, constraining and external to the individuals who perform them.

One doesn’t need statistics to establish that monogamy reigns over Western Societies and is deemed “normal” and “normative”. Monogamous couples caress each other with lips, touch and public acknowledgement practically everywhere. Yet, expressions of intimacy between their “deviant” counterparts are not to be found in the daylight, out in the open. Non-monogamy is only allowed to exist in secret locations, particular subcultures and specialized online communities.

My personal experience with polyamory showed me that the influence of the social act lies in that “it asserts itself as soon as I try to resist” (Durkheim, 51). As long as I complied with monogamy, I was oblivious to its great coercive power. Once I dared to reject it and self- identify as polyamorous, I found I now had to deal with a number of negative stereotypes (polyamorists are “sluts” being one of them) and consequences (such as sexualization, shaming or being emotionally abused by partners because of my choice). Choosing to comply with the rules of monogamy seemed to be the only way to restore the violated social order and to bring myself and others peace. It seemed more like an ultimatum.

11004518_972925636058611_161370367_n My friends often tell me: “I get it, but I know I can’t (do polyamory)”. Monogamy, I am told, feels “innate”, it is our “nature” and therefore inalterable. But is it? Durkheim says that: “we are the victims of an illusion which leads us to believe we have ourselves produced what has been imposed on us externally” (Durkheim, 53). Children’s fairytale books, Hollywood movies, popular songs all project the images of idealized monogamous romance as the only way to experience love and happiness with another. As if nothing else exists. “All education consists of a continual effort to impose upon the child ways of seeing, thinking and acting which he himself would not have arrived at spontaneously” (Durkheim, 53)- Durkhaim claims, yet, how can the grown child perceive something as external to herself if it’s all she has seen and no alternatives have ever been presented?

Monogamy, as a social fact, perpetuates itself through a number of cultural tools, indoctrinates individuals and transforms them into blind followers who reproduce the very same devices which have been used to inculcate them. Furthermore, if monogamy was “natural to” and “inborn in” individuals than all human societies would be monogamous. According to George Murdock’s Ethnographic Atlas, however, globally: “of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry”.

Coming to Middlebury, I expected an environment that was more receptive to polyamory due to its increased media coverage in the US, as well as the relative “abundance” of individuals and communities practicing polyamory compared to other places in the world. However, I was surprised to find that not only wasn’t this a “hippy school”, but even the largely popular “hook up culture” on campus served as a perpetuator of mono-normativity. Both hooking up and having multiple romantic and sexual partners are seen as profane alternatives to the sacred long-term, committed monogamous relationship. Yet, only the former is perceived as a legitimate substitute.

Hooking up allows busy, career-oriented, fun-loving students to “have a good time” without the commitments and effort involved in sustaining a committed relationship. An important aspect in being successful at hook ups is to make sure the person knows you are not actually having a relationship with them (also helping you to maintain position in the power game and remain desired). You don’t need to answer their every text. You don’t even have to be that nice to them. They are not your partner after all. Vulnerability and being real with each other are treasured as a domain held exclusively by one-on-one relationships. The hook up happy ending, thus, mirrors monogamy in that it requires the rejecting of others by choosing a preferred partner and coupling of.

512d9d9c8b780.image                 Social facts are hard to shake. Neither a single person, nor a small group of people can negate the overwhelming presence of social facts with their choice and actions. Whether or not I decide to be polyamorous instead of monogamous is irrelevant with regards to overcoming the stifling rule of the ideology of monogamy. Ironically, even when we reject the social fact, it influences us beyond our imagination. By allowing hooking up as a temporary alternative to monogamy, yet rejecting polyamorous relationships in which people build committed relationships with multiple partners, a paradoxical situation is created in which it is so hard to find a sole person to be with that monogamy is embraced again by lack of any other alternative. Practicing polyamory necessitates the presence of a diverse community of independent, mature individuals who value and seek relationships (whether monogamous or not). Within that arrangement one can hope and expect to meet and connect with a manifold of potential romantic and sexual partners with varying preferences for relationship styles. Yet, at places like Middlebury where relationships are feared, viewed as a hindrance to personal progress or otherwise rejected, if one “hits the jackpot” and finds someone willing to be with them, they would hardly risk the relationship by suggesting alternatives to the assumed monogamy.

[1] Defined as “the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time”, Marriam Webster Online Dictionary

[2] As defined in Collins English Dictionary

References:


Wireless Updates

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Hello everyone,

There was a minor technical issue that prevented us from making the wireless change planned for today (removing midd-unplugged and adding MiddleburyCollege). We are back on track to make the change tomorrow morning, March 3rd.

Further updates as events warrant. Please contact the Helpdesk (x2200) with any questions.

Sincerely,

~Zach Schuetz
Middlebury College ITS