Monthly Archives: May 2012

About That Time

As sad as I am to end another school year (and can you believe, I’m finally out of here!),  I am excited for the final hurrah because it’s time for SENIOR CRUSH LISTS! It’s a tradition that has everyone swooning neck over neck to see the masterpieces that the seniors have created, listing every crush they’ve had during their time at Middlebury. They are posted on the walls of the dining halls so that everyone can see them. Seniors go all out for this tradition and fellow students casually peruse the lists to see if their names are posted. I’ve seen some really creative ideas over the years and I can’t believe it’s finally my time!

Professors’ names are known to have made appearances on these lists, FYI.

Yes, that is a Croc on the upper left corner.


This year’s crush lists have emulated themes of “Games of Thrones”, stolen Add Cards from the registrar’s office, a letter from the “Dean of Admissions”, etc. My crush list is going up tomorrow and I hope this campus is ready for the saucy captions that follow my crushes’ names!

Good thing that the Last Chance Dance is happening during Senior Week, right?

The Allergen Effet

The end is near. This is my last week of classes for my undergraduate career. The last time I will sit in class with the professors I have gotten familiar with over the last 4 years. The last time I live, work, and socialize on the same 320 acres. The last time I will be able to wake up 5 minutes before a meeting and still arrive at a decent time. Yet, despite this week of first, last times all I can do is sneeze. If it is one thing you will not be lacking when you arrive in the state of Vermont it will be the allergens. We have every type here from pollen: aspen, elm, birch, to grass and tree. Here we have it all!

The irony about allergies is on days like today when the sun is shining  perfectly, reflecting on all the cherry blossoms in bloom, I find my face making more contact with a tissue than the beautiful breeze. It’s days like today where I feel conflicted. I love the aesthetic beauty of Middlebury’s landscape, yet my poor nose, ears, eyes and throat itch like I have swallowed poison ivy. Today I yearn for the relief only the concrete jungle of NYC can provide.

In 2 weeks’ time I will officially be a Middlebury College alumna. In 4 weeks’ time I will begin my post-bac class at Brooklyn College. In 3 months I will hopefully have a part-time position while finishing my classes.  In 9 months’ time the federal government will begin to ask my for payments on my loan. In 12 months’ time I will begin my graduate program at U Cincinnati and be asking to government for a little assistance. It will also be spring again and I will need a box of tissues to assist my nose in its bi-annual anti-environmental spasms. It’s funny how although things appear to change the actual remain the same.

Weekend plans

Prospective students and parents always ask:

“What do you guys do for fun on the weekends?”


Well here is a line up of what’s happening this weekend at Middlebury!




one of my class is cancelled! yippee!
Free Friday Film: Man On a Ledge




Spring Asian BBQ– sponsored by the Asian organizations. SOOOOOO DELICIOUS. I mean, who can say no to Korean BBQ?
Cook Carnival– four hour festival involving trampolines, circus performers, games, prizes
KDR– daytime rodeo at one of the social houses
DMC Block party and Basketball tournament  – fun, food, and basketball!




MCAB staff brunch at Waybury Inn (yummmm!)
Middlebury Maple Run- half marathon
Museum dinner catered by Tourterelle 
lots of homework

What do you think?

I’ve been asked that question so many times over the past four years: what do you think?

Yesterday I met with about 15 other junior and senior environmental studies majors to work with a few of the administrators in charge of developing the curriculum in order to figure out how best to serve the academic needs of students interested in our field. Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary course of study at Midd, one in which all students take a core set of classes related to the environment before focusing on one particular subject area, like conservation biology or nonfiction writing, in greater depth. This approach provides students with a strong basis in the environmental field, but it’s also quite challenging because the program is, by design, so broad. A survey from last year’s graduating seniors in environmental studies revealed that students had hoped to have more opportunities to develop leadership skills, and yesterday’s discussion focused on how best to do that.

Each of us had taken a course called GIS, Geographic Information Systems, and had found the process of learning how to use Esri’s ArcGIS software suite and using it to solve spatial problems extremely difficult, frustrating, and rewarding beyond belief. The course forced us to dive into the problem solving process, an approach that led us to experiment in different ways before coming to any conclusions. The lab component of the course encouraged both working together as well as courageously branching out on our own, and all of us agreed that the experience, though not by any means easy, had been one of the best parts of the ES curriculum.

Because we all learned so much from GIS, we brainstormed ways to make other classes in the program more similar in their approach to teaching. Several of the core ES classes, including Natural Science in the Environment and Nature’s Meanings, have a strong lecture component as well as time for a lab section or discussion. We agreed that using some of this course time for independent or small group projects would encourage students to find their place in the program and to explore topics of deep interest to them. An administrator recorded our entire conversation and asked us detailed questions about what we would like the program to look like in the future. Our input, as students, was given high value and truly respected, something very common at Middlebury.