So last night I had to give a speech on behalf of the Posse at Middlebury Blog in front of educators, donors and politicians. My job there was to convey the missions of the blog, give a reading from selected posts and reinforce the importance of the Posse Foundation program in higher education institutions. I would be lying if I said that I was anything but a wreck. As I approached the podium, clutching articles that I had printed out just minutes before, I realized that I had forgotten to actually go through all the articles among the chaos and pick out what I wanted to read. “Aww heck,” I said in my head. Here I was, a representative and co-editor no less, standing in front of a roomful of some of the most important people that could make or break the program with nothing to show. I started to sweat profusely under the spotlight, both metaphorically and physically. My heart raced. My throat dried up. The papers spilled on the floor in my nervousness. And then, I woke up. (This dream actually did happen by the way.)
And so it happened, Las Chicas were finally in España. Las Chicas, of course, are Shipnia and myself; it’s a name we affectionately acquired while at Middlebury from our long-time Middlebury professor, Irina Feldman. The title was appropriate enough because Shipnia and I had started our Spanish language and culture immersion together at Middlebury. The two of us vowed over chocolate milk in the Ross dining hall that “neither of us could change our mind about going abroad without the other [during our junior of college].” So with the clank of our glasses, Las Chicas had begun the journey that would one day place us right in the heart of Spain – Madrid.
Posse scholars, regardless of where they come from (whether it is New York City, Boston, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles or New Orleans) are all chosen for their commitment and dedications to their community back home. So it should come as no surprise that Posse Scholars and the Middlebury Community Council have developed a long and faithful history together. Inspired by Dean Collado’s post this week, Walking the Walk, we decided to speak with two Middlebury Posse alumni on their experiences serving on the Community Council.
After nearly four years of working in commercial real estate, Sienna is now an English teacher at Mott Hall V, a public high school in the Bronx. “My last day of work was actually on April 1st and my co-workers made a big joke about it.” Not one to waste any time, Sienna dove right in and partook in the spring immersion program before regular corps training began in the summer. She spent 10 weeks observing in a special education English classroom before taking on the same position in the Fall when the teacher she observed left the school. Continue reading →
“Can you still recall the moment when you first found out what had happened? Where were you? Who were you with? What did you think?”
“On 9/11, I was a freshman in high school in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. I was in my advisory (homeroom) and we were discussing a Core Value that someone had picked at random. It was Peace. As we were starting to discuss this value, someone from my advisory came in and said that he heard on the office radio that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I recall that I laughed a bit because I couldn’t believe that plane would hit the tower while at the same time nervous. I didn’t see how severe the damage was until I saw a television showing it in my school’s lounge.”