Author Archives: Margaret Graham

J-Term: the most wonderful time of the year!

Hello Again!

I’m back and here to talk about my favorite time of the year: January Term! As I head home to Minnesota for winter break, I can’t help but look forward to coming back to Middlebury in a few weeks for January Term. January Term or, as it’s more commonly referred to, J-Term is a one month long term where students take one class and get a semester’s worth of credit for it. This means that although you’re only taking one class, it’s fairly intensive. Many J-Term classes are often taught by visiting professors, so there are all sorts of new and interesting classes offered. For instance, every year, the former Governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas, teaches a class on Vermont Government and Politics. Even cooler, he happens to a Middlebury alum!

J-Term is also fondly referred to as “yay-term” or “play-term” by Middlebury students because it is such a fun time to be on campus. There’s a long list of workshops offered every winter. Students or community members, who want to teach one of their hobbies to students, organize these workshops. The workshops range from learning to salsa dancing to learning to properly taste Vermont’s finest chocolate.

This J-Term, I’ll be writing my senior thesis. While I’m not working away in the library, I plan to take full advantage of the extra free time that J-Term offers. I’m hoping to take a juggling workshop taught by one of my friends (he can juggle fire!!!). I also couldn’t resist taking a cupcake-baking workshop taught by another friend. I plan to try to ski (either Nordic or alpine) almost every day. Last year, I studied abroad and didn’t ski at all so I have a lot of making up to do! Here I am, during my Sophomore J-Term, skiing at Middlebury College’s Snow Bowl:

Most importantly, my friends and I decided to start a new Harry Potter movie watching tradition. Once a week for four weeks, we will watch a double feature and, by the end of J-Term, we’ll have watched all eight movies. Plus, there will definitely be some Wizarding World themed movie snacks involved!

Be back soon,

Margot Graham ‘18

First-Year Seminars and Picking Your Classes!


Classes are in full swing now that September is coming to a close. The first due dates for major assignments are looming and the smell of brand new textbooks is fading. Of course, the excitement is not!

First-year students are getting increasingly comfortable here on campus—getting lost less and feeling more confident. This is especially true in the academic setting because of their first-year seminars. This is the first course you enroll in as a Midd Kid. It’s a small, discussion-based, writing-intensive course.

First-year seminars exist in every department across campus. Professors are always excited to teach these classes and often come up with really creative courses. This fall, first-year students had cool options like Fifty Shades of Italy and The Women of Game of Thrones (read more about classes being offered here:

I wish I could take The Women of Game of Thrones so I could learn how to be more like Denerys Targaryen…

During my first-year, I took a first-year seminar called Global Youth. It was a geography course where we discussed how young people occupy space and place. It was a great class to take seeing as I was a young person in a brand new place (Middlebury College!).

This semester I am really excited about the classes I’m taking. Harkening back to my experience in a seminar-style class during my first fall semester, I’m taking a history seminar on fascism during my final fall semester at Middlebury. I’m excited to grapple with questions like: what is fascism? Can it exist outside the time period of the Second World War? Are fascist movements defined by their leaders? Maybe I’ll fill you in on the answers we come up with later on in the semester….

Until Next Time,

Margot Graham ‘18