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Middlebury College

November 16, 2008

Middvites

So, you're really into that guy in psych101 who wears that neon hat and sits two rows and three seats to left of you. Or, maybe you've been eyeing that girl who creates the most beautiful salads at [insert name of wealthy benefactor] dining hall. You've got a crush, so obviously, the next step is to simply ask him/her on a date, right?

Not exactly. Generation Y, especially those of us on college campuses, are increasingly dependent upon modern technology as a dating crutch. Whether it be AIM, Facebook or text messaging, we have a talent of prolonging the inevitable face-to-face interaction that is, actually, necessary for a healthy, stable relationship. Well, Konstantin Schaller and Hussein Alramini, two Middlebury seniors, created yet another medium that perpetuates this e-dating trend.

"Middvites" is a website where you can anonymously invite your crush to social functions that range from dorm parties to discussions with the college President, or even, to the end of class registration (now that's a hot date right there). You simply fill out your email address, that babe-with-the-dreads' email address and the event you will be attending on said night. Middvites then sends the invitation, and, if necessary, facilitates a conversation between you and your crush, all anonymous of course. From there, the difficult choice between confessing your love or simply staring from a distance, is on you.

Since the site is relatively new, the success rate is still to be determined, but at the very least, it does provide a list of hot on-campus events, which, through Twitter, can be sent to cell phones... Freshman twiddling their thumbs in their room at 9pm on Friday nights are rejoicing everywhere.

October 30, 2008

Quidditch World Cup Video

Seven Days' staff videographer, Eva Sollberger, attended the Quidditch World Cup last weekend at Middlebury College and filed this report.

The video is part of her awesome web video series, "Stuck in Vermont." Find more episodes here.

Here's Maeve's blog post previewing the event.

October 21, 2008

Quidditch World Cup, Muggle Style

N4403292_31274426_504 So, you can’t fly. And, you can’t cast a magical spell. Well, here at Middlebury College, a group of students decided that they wouldn’t let such trivial matters squander their ambitions to compete in the fantastical sport of Quidditch. Founded in 2005 by a horde of enthusiastic freshman, “Muggle Quidditch” is now played at over 150 universities and colleges under the management of the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association.

How the hell do you play Quidditch without the Nimbus2000 or flying golden snitch? Instead of confusing you with all the rules and logistics of the game, I recommend you to check out these videos. And, yes, the snitch is a cross-country runner dressed in yellow with a tennis wrapped in a sock attached to his shorts.

If you can’t get enough and need more, then look no further. This weekend is the 2nd annual Quidditch World Cup, where teams from fourteen different schools will battle to stand among the ranks of Harry Potter, Oliver Wood (my favorite) and Viktor Krum. It will take place at Middlebury on Sunday, October 26, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., with a whole assortment of additional festivities — the student fire-juggling club, exploding potions by a chemistry professor, stilt walking, performances by Middlebury bands are just a few of them. Also, it’s free and there will be food… think American Flatbread! So, grab your cape and disapparate over here!

Oh, and make sure to check out Seven Days very own videographer Eva Sollberger’s coverage on the tournament next week!

October 02, 2008

Jumpin' Out of Airplanes, No Big Deal.

Img_0797_2 October in Vermont = best time of the year. Not only is the birthday I share with Eminem just around the corner, but autumn is also when the Green Mountain State truly shines. Suddenly, the radiant foliage emerges, creating majestic landscapes that, as a friend of mine once observed, even the most eloquent person is reduced to "Wow, that is so pretty. I am happy."

Even though traffic becomes slightly congested with leaf-peeping caravans, the unbearable summer humidity finally transforms into crisp hair-tingling breezes. This is the time, my friends, to truly carpe diem and take advantage of all Vermont has to offer. During the next four weeks, I will promote various opportunities to help turn your life into a feel-good-movie-montage.

Opportunity #1: Jump out of a plane.

On Tim McGraw's country smash hit "Live Like You Were Dying" — don't judge me — he lists skydiving as his first step to, well, live like he was dying. Agreed, Tim, agreed.

My freshman year, I, along with nine friends — the more people, the bigger the discounts — ventured to West Addison, VT for an afternoon of death-defying fun (just look at that sheer ferocity, or fear, as a I tie my shoes before heading up). Vermont Skydiving Adventures (VSA), owned by Ole Thomson, who has more than 8,500 jumps under his belt, is located approximately an hour from Burlington and provides stunning views of the Adirondacks, Greens and, if you're lucky, "Champ" the monster.

VSA offers a variety of services, ranging from a first-time tandem to cheaper jumps for all you experienced divers. While the prices can burn a minor hole in your pocket, the feeling of falling out of a moving vehicle at 12,000 feet truly justifies it. Check out their website at http://www.vtskydiving.com for more information, and start making a killer Fall 2008 mix — Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" and "Learning to Fly" are good starters.

September 21, 2008

More like "Broken-Foot-alicious"

The Middlebury College community was rocked on Wednesday afternoon, after a Facebook message informed students that Gift of Gab of Blackalicious sustained an injury in France. The rap duo was scheduled to perform on campus this evening, and with tickets already sold, the Concert Committee was hard pressed to find a replacement…fast! Well, only 24 hours later, the substitute artist was announced: Talib Kweli.

While I am not complaining, I still have no idea how they were able to find such a stellar act so quickly, or, embarrassingly enough, how to pronounce his name…I can empathize, though; I mean Whelan-Wuest, thanks mom and dad. Anyways, doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm TONIGHT at the Kenyon Athletic complex, and, as far as I know, tickets are still available.

September 04, 2008

Middlebury Hearts Acronyms

We down south on rt. 7 like to start things a bit later than you yankees up north, so while everybody in Burlington was receiving syllabi and homework, over 400 Middlebury first-years kicked off their college careers through "MiddView" (MIDDlebury Volunteer Initiative Exploration and Wilderness).

This new program — it replaced the old "MOO" orientation, which consisted of wilderness and volunteer trips — offered a completely inclusive opportunity to get to know Vermont and surrounding communities through various excursions. After "the gauntlet", a tradition where all the leaders dress up as fools and scream at the uncomfortable freshman entering the hockey rink — similar to the SMC orientation tradition, minus the sexual innuendos — the M.V.P's (MiddView Participants...ahhh god!) set off.

Whether it was learning about Vermont's local music scene, helping out at a nursing home, hiking fifteen miles a day in the 'dacks or lake hopping from silver lake to Middlebury's Snow Bowl, the freshman awkwardly mingled in three fun-filled days they shall never forget. Or, at least something they'll remember better than the upcoming not-so-dry on-campus orientation...

September 01, 2008

Point-five!

Hey y'all. What's going on? My name is Maeve and I am a member of the Middlebury College class of 2009.5. You're probably all like, what is UP with this point-five business? Is she some sort of half person? No fools! In fact, it refers to this wicked cool program Middlebury offers known as the "Feb" program.

You see, the college allows a certain number of incoming freshman to defer their first semester to work, study abroad, save polar bears, cure cancer, etc. This means that each February a group of wide-eyed, overzealous 18-year olds enter the community just after an equal (or so) amount of 23-year olds, feeling way too old to still be in college, finally graduate. The thing is, many "febs" are just so excited to finally be in college that they — I guess, "we" — are known to try to be involved in EVERYTHING. It's pretty adorable, but at times a bit overwhelming. Spend a day in Middlebury, and you're guaranteed to hear the phrase "fucking feb" at least once...

August 27, 2008

MiddBlog's Top Students to Watch in 2008-2009

A couple years ago, I started reading MiddBlog to find out what was going on at Middlebury College. MiddBlog delivers the "'unofficial' happenings at Club Midd." At least, it claims to. And because I don't go to school there, I have no idea whether they do a good job with that. But I enjoy it anyway.

Last week, MiddBlog contributor "Ryan" — dude, what's your last name? Why can't I find it on the website? — published a post identifying his picks as the Top Students To Watch in 2008-2009. They are: Pooja Shahani ‘09, Bobby Joe Smith ‘09, Sam Lazarus ‘09 and Jimmy Wong ‘09. Click the link above to find out what makes them so special.

Last year, I mined MiddBlog's list of top students for a story I did on Hiba Fakhoury, who was one of their picks last year. Hiba was singlehandedly answering the questions of hundreds of incoming freshmen on the Midd class of 2012 Facebook group. She started her own site this year. And I hear she's going to be contributing to MiddBlog, too. Cool.

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