A Self-Proclaimed MiddCOREr

Like most Middlebury students, I’ve been developing an ongoing bucket-list in my head since my first day at Middlebury. And like most seniors, I am now hyper-aware of the time restrictions with which I need to complete my bucket-list. I haven’t been procrastinating too much; throughout my time at Middlebury I’ve been checking off these items one by one. Maple Run – check. Spend a summer in Middlebury – check. Sunrise hike – eh, close enough. Tell a story at the Moth – this Thursday! MiddCORE – umm…

For those of you who don’t know, “MiddCORE is a mentorship-driven, experiential-learning program that builds skills, creates opportunities, and expands networks for tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.” More simply: MiddCORE is a class you can take during January term (J-term). From my limited understanding of what MiddCORE actually is, I would describe it as an intensive training in real-world problem solving using a liberal-arts mindset. I realize that is equally as vague, so this is where I direct you to the link at the bottom of my post to learn more.

I have never taken MiddCORE (hence my umm…) and I know I won’t have the opportunity my final J-term. But it’s on my bucket-list for a reason. It’s intense, interactive, collaborative, goal-oriented, and all those other buzz words that make my (somewhat) career-driven-self salivate. I want to do MiddCORE, but I can’t.

Or so I thought.

Turns out MiddCORE hosts workshops throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. As the eager-beaver trying to plow through my bucket-list, I signed up for almost every MiddCORE workshop available this Fall, obviously thinking that by the end of the semester I could be a self-proclaimed MiddCOREr.

So first week of senior year I walk into the MiddCORE house (their headquarters) for Persuasive Speaking with Mike Kiernan. His biography online says he is an expert in “all areas related to communication” – how persuasive. If you read past the first sentence of his biography you will also learn that he has worked as a communication consultant with political candidates, physicians, and business executives. He is also a doctor. Really, there is nothing on the website that communicates how wonderful of a workshop he would host. He is a communication guru.

There were six other students in attendance for the two-hour workshop. We did all things in a circle formation, which included activities like:

  • State the energy in the circle
  • Overcome your subconscious consciousness
  • Give a pitch (these ranged from why you should eat at Proctor if you are looking for Vegan deliciousness to how to invest sustainably)
  • Listen to Mike Kiernan’s wealth of wisdom

It was a great way to kick-off the semester. Meet new people – check. Get a fix of the out-of-the-classroom learning (that happens all the time at Middlebury) – check. Practice speaking in front of strangers – check. Become a self-proclaimed MiddCOREr – almost!

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