Author Archives: kalechipz

Seize the J: The Hunt

There’s no way we would leave this off the middbeat J-Term bucket list! The Hunt is one of my favorite Middlebury things EVER, second only to when Crossroads lets me have free smoothie leftovers.

Chances are you’ve seen the big question mark posters/table tents around campus, and if you’re unfamiliar with the Midd’s annual weeklong student-organized EPIC scavenger hunt, “The Hunt”, you probably have a few questions of your own.

First things first- check out this promo vid for the basics. Team registration (10 ppl max) starts tomorrow, first prize is $1,000 REAL AMERICAN DOLLARS, etc etc.

middbeat enlisted His Highness the Huntmaster Teddy Anderson ‘13.5 to explicate further.
Watch the video below for some pertinent info about The Hunt (or skip straight to the 1-minute mark to hear him use the word “cornucopia”!)

For more info, check out go/thehunt. And for inspiration, check out last year’s winners
GOOD LUCK! 

Seize the J: a middbeat J-Term Bucket List

J-Term, Yay-Term, Play-Term. If you’ve ever been on campus over January, you know what we’re talking about. Less class time and homework means you can dedicate much more of your waking existence to snow, inebriation, and Netflix! (unless you’re taking Chinese or Arabic, that is. We’re so sorry.)

Yes, some of us will opt never to change out of our PJs. Some of us will go an entire month without leaving Ross (#rosschallenge). But for those of you looking to get out and Seize the J, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite J-Term events, activities, and traditions, which we’ll be sharing with you over the course of this week. If you have a J-Term favorite activity you think we should include, shoot us an email and we’ll add it to the list. Carpe Januarius, everyone!

Middlebury-Snow-Bowl-Ski-Trail-map.mediumthumb
1. Go Skiing/Snowboarding at the Snow Bowl

This one is a no-brainer. Not many colleges are lucky enough to own a ski mountain (only two, actually; just us and Dartmouth). The Middlebury College Snow Bowl boasts 3 chairlifts, 17 trails, and a calendar-worthy Ski Patrol team, all just 13 miles up the road. We take our skiing very seriously– don’t be surprised if the suitemate who can never make it to that 8AM Spanish class is suited up for the slopes and rolling through Proctor for breakfast on-the-go at 7AM.

TICKETS: Middlebury students get a more than 50% discount on season passes ($175). You can also purchase day and half-day passes.  You can rent equipment by the day or lease it for the season, while supplies last.

OTHER: Don’t know how to ski? They’ve got lessons, too (though chances are you’ve probably got friends who will teach you for free). Not looking to pizza (“TIPS TOGETHER!!”) down a mountain all day? You can hang out and eat actual pizza in the lodge instead. They’ve also got Love-Me-Tenders, Dr. Feelgoods, and, of course, their famous bread bowl chili.

GETTING THERE: The ACTR bus travels to and from the Snow Bowl every day in January and February, and the ride is free to all Middlebury ID holders. Check out the full weekday and weekend schedules. Note that the last bus back to Middlebury leaves the Bowl at 4PM.

map_SBSB_2013-12_Web

(a note: ACTR buses are great and go a lot of other places too. There are dozens of stops around town as well as ones beyond town limits, including Bristol, Vergennes, and Burlington. They’re a great way to get around if you don’t have a car or want to save on gas. Check out their full schedule).

You can check the Snow Bowl website for conditions, subscribe to a daily snow report email, or just look out your window and make an educated guess. Be diligent in your prayers to the snow gods, and hopefully we can turn this nasty icy mess into some serious deep pow. Fingers and ski poles crossed. See you on the slopes!

What’s the Deal with the Weather???

It was 55 degrees this morning. There was a torrential downpour of Biblical proportions. Now it’s sunny and 36 degrees. The high for tomorrow? 11 degrees. Oh, and there’s a “polar vortex” determined to take the fingers and toes of everyone in the Minnesota.

WTF you guys. J-Term Cray-Term.

Thank you to Tim Parsons, Middlebury’s Landscape Horticulturist, who sent us some cool photos of water where it shouldn’t be, and thank you to Facilities for saving the day, every day. Also- if you send us a picture of yourself swimming in the new Gampitheater pool, we’ll post it and pay for your hypothermia treatment.

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2013: middbeat Year in Review

This year, on planet Earth:

Miley twerked and rode construction equipment. The government shut down (and so did the Obamacare website, for awhile). Edward Snowden leaked big secrets and then searched for a safe haven. The war in Syria turned biological. Wendy Davis filibustered. So did Ted Cruz. George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin (and other charges). The US Supreme Court struck down DOMA. Tragedy struck at the Boston Marathon. The Pope resigned, and his replacement was TIME’s person of the year, maybe a Marxist, and way less creepy-looking than his predecessor). BEYONCE broke the Super Bowl and the internet. Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines. Over 300 million unlucky people got that song stuck in their heads.

this is Ylvis and I wouldn't mind if that fox said "nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom and ate them.

this is Ylvis and I’m sorry but I wouldn’t mind if that fox said “nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom” and ate them

What a year, huh?! A lot of other things happened this year, too, and they’re on Top ___s of 2013 lists scattered across the internet. There are so many Top ___s of 2013 Lists that someone should probably make a List of Top ___s of 2013 Lists list. But not us, because we made a list of our own!

2013 was a big year for middbeat, too. Drumroll, please…

aegdfh

TA-DAAAAA! i made this on the internet and it took me longer than it should have. 

By the Numbers

In 2013, we:

  • Celebrated our 1st birthday! 
  • Published over 600 posts
  • Got over 234,000 pageviews…
  • ….from over 54,000 unique visitors (“unique” as in, my mom visits the site every 5 minutes but she only gets counted once)

And here’s a profile of you, our visitors–

  •  You visited us from 172 countries/territories. A special shout-out to our 1 visitor from Myanmar. Rock on. 
  • You used 39 different browsers and 478 different types of mobile devices. Props to the 2 people who used their Nintendo 3DS.
  • You left 935 comments (not including the spam ones about “secret millionaires club” or “poker-online-indonesia,” sadly)
  • Nearly 2,000 of you linked to us from middleburyconfessional. Busted.
  • of you was [the real, verified] President Ron Liebowitz! Thank you for reading and for your kind, encouraging words on one of our earliest articles, MOTHA FUCKIN SNOW BALL FIGHT.

Our Top Stories of 2013 (by number of unique views)

  1. Flags commemorating 9/11 taken down as political statement.  9/11/13. 
  2. Middlebury Student Dies in Car Crash. 7/1/13.
  3. Blacks are Lazy and Gays are Bad Parents? (updated w/ audio) 11/21/13.
  4. Local High School Kids Made A Video About Middlebury Students and It’s Pretty Amazing. 11/12/13
  5. Enemies of the State: Pussy Riot and the New Russian Protest Rock. 2/25/13.
  6. 10 Best Places to Poop on Campus. 11/18/13.
  7. Liebowitz Ends Purple Jesus. 5/23/13. (or does he…)
  8. Check out this amazing video of our beautiful campus. 10/16/13.
  9. Middlebury Senior Charged With Felony Sexual Assault. 5/19/13.
  10. Middlebury Community Council Releases RLC Report. 3/12/13.


Getting Sentimental
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It’s been cool to look back through the archives and see how middbeat has grown and changed over the past year. We’re grateful that so many of you have jumped on board to help us improve. Thank you for your story tips, your event submissions, and your article shares. Thank you for posting thoughtful comments, for starting conversations, and for keeping them going. We think that middbeat is a valuable forum for the Middlebury community past, present, and future, and all of you help make make that happen. So hey, thank you.

We also owe a big thanks to the folks who joined the middbeat team this year. Whether you wrote about the Gettysburg Address or poop, thank you for contributing your voices. The more dedicated beaters, the better. if you’re interested in regularly writing for us, we’d love to have you! shoot us an email at middbeat [at] gmail [dot] com.

Enjoy the rest of Winter Break, everyone. Can’t wait to break all our New Years Resolutions with you in 2014. XCITED GET WILD OVER J-TERRRMMMMM!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo <3, <3, <3
middbeat

Riddim Tickets on sale at MIDNIGHT Tonight

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SET YOUR ALARMS, FOLKS: Tickets to Riddim’s Fall 2013 show, “The Riddim Music Video Awards,” go on sale TONIGHT at 12:01AM. They’re $6 each at go/boxoffice.

The once-a-semester Riddim shows need little introduction. These performances are a part of our collective unconscious…they represent a rare coming-together of all sides of campus. Hipsters, bros, biddies, mountain clubbers. We’re all in one place. Sitting. Waiting. The room buzzes with anticipation and road beers.

Then, the lights go out. A primal roar goes up from the inebriated masses. Curtains open. For an hour (two hours? three? we all lose track of time), some of Middlebury’s most talented dancers grace the stage with moves so sexy that it’s all we can do to stop from tearing off all of our clothes.

While the Riddim show itself is reliably amazing, especially to a drunk audience, it has also been a source of great controversy in recent years. First came the advent of assigned seating and private security, apparently in an effort to curb the time-honored traditional rowdiness at the 10:30 show. But in middle school, moving Jimmy and Robbie to different ends of the classroom didn’t make them any less disruptive; they just learned to shoot spitballs farther. Similarly, assigned seating didn’t make the 10:30 any less of a shitshow. We can party long distance.

Then…remember Riddim-gate 2012 2013? Last year, 28 people snatched up all 400 tickets to the 10:30PM show in a mere 25 minutes. The 7:30PM show sold out shortly afterward in a similar fashion. 

In response to last year’s seating/ticketing fiasco, the powers-that-be have made a few changes. Ticket sales for this semester’s December 7th shows are now capped at 4 per person. And you don’t have to awkwardly pick your 3 fave friends to sit with, because assigned seating is gone, too! Let the debauchery live on.

Things might have changed, but Riddim ticket sales are still hyped. Even with a cap, these tickets are gonna fly. Don’t miss getting one (or four!)

Black People are Lazy, and Gays are Bad Parents? (updated w/audio)

UPDATE: This afternoon Dr. Amy Wax gave a talk using demographic data from (elite!) universities to show that massive inequality in our society has been caused by “cultural disparities (that) have emerged by class and race in attitudes and behaviors surrounding family, sexuality, and reproduction”  not “economic conditions or social expectations.” If you couldn’t make it we recorded some parts of the Q&A so you can get a taste of what happened:

The orchard in Hillcrest was overflowing for Amy Wax's talk

The orchard in Hillcrest was overflowing for Amy Wax’s talk

(We apologize for the quality of the audio)

Here are some place to tune in:

3:35: Amy Wax condescendingly addresses people who call her and her work “racist”

6:40: Amy Wax talks about how we tolerate too many things (like having a child out of wedlock)

8:55: Amy Wax calls out people using “anecdotes” as evidence

10:25: Amy Wax tells us that we should care about the underclass with “broken wings”

11:00: Professor Jonathan Miller Lane asks Amy Wax a question.

15:09: Amy Wax says that all you need to do is these 4 “really simple” things you will never be poor:

1. graduate from high school
2. get married before you have a child
3. take any job and stick with it, and keep working if you can
4. don’t break the law

ORIGINAL: Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking. You came to check middbeat for a

awax

Best Places to Poop On Campus Part II” or a new installment of middbeat BEATS, and all you’re getting is another lecture listing. Stick with me, for a second, though, because as [murray]dry as the “Jessica Swift Lecture in Constitutional Law” may sound, things are bound to get heated this afternoon…

For those of you who haven’t heard of Amy Wax (I hadn’t, until a friend brought her to my attention), here’s the lowdown— Dr. Wax was educated at Columbia, Harvard, and Yale (ok, we get it, you’re smart) and is now a law professor at UPenn. She’s done all the professorial stuff- written books, articles, participated in online debates- and has also argued 15 cases before the Supreme Court. Her most recent book, “Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century,” is what she’ll be speaking on in this afternoon’s lecture, entitled ”Diverging Family Structure by Race and Class: Economic, Moral Deregulation, or Something Else?”

Wax’s bio says that she brings a “uniquely insightful approach” to issues like social welfare, same-sex marriage, and government policy. “Uniquely insightful” piqued my interest, so I read some of her articles online, as well as (positive) reviews of her work.  Her arguments are neither unique nor insightful, in my opinion; rather, she reiterates some of the oldest and most offensive arguments about gender, race, and class, ones that I’d naively thought had been rejected by the academic world a long time ago. She’s a white academic who claims that her quantitative data trumps the real, lived experiences of marginalized individuals.

Blah, blah, blah, something’s “problematic” again—I know, being offended on everyone else’s behalf seems to be the most popular form of social capital for privileged liberals these days.  But I think even the least-often offended of us all can find Amy Wax’s arguments to be pretty messed up.

Here’s Amy on important issues like, I don’t know, the rights of marginalized people:

On Black people:
African-Americans are poor, incarcerated, and unsuccessful because they’ve internalized a “victim mentality” and are too lazy to help themselves.

Wax rejects Critical Race Theory and contemporary concepts of structural racism in exchange for long-refuted arguments about IQ and Cultures of Poverty, stating that, “The most important factors now impeding black progress are behavioral: low educational attainment, poor socialization and work habits, drug use, criminality, paternal abandonment, and non-marital childbearing.” These so-called Black behaviors, Wax says, have remained problems because “the racism drum is being beat, beat, beat constantly”– Blacks have blamed racism for their struggles [well, duh?] and in doing so have not taken responsibility for fixing their own marginalization.

Not only do I find her ideological framework to be racist, plainly and simply, but I also find that she also makes some pretty offensive offhand remarks in explicating it– in a bloggingheads.tv video, for example, she says that a Black man who writes an NYTimes op-ed about racism should “get a life,” and in another says that President Obama has a hidden “black agenda.” Hmm.

On same-sex marriage:
Gay marriage is a no-no because gays can’t parent children in the traditional loving and supportive way that real mommies and daddies can.

Wax says that gays are not entitled to the right to marry because gay parent families “are destined to lack certain valuable attributes”- that is, they’re not the ideal white, middle class, mom-dad-child paradise of 1950’s black-and-white TV. They’re not Daddy’s home, dinner’s on the table, sweetie, wash up before dinner, sport! “This is not prejudice,” though, she says, [sorry, but how?]; it’s just “a recognition of loss and deprivation: a child will grow up without the love and guidance of its natural parents, and may never even know their identity. The state is entitled to acknowledge this reality, and to structure its laws accordingly.”

That is, children of gay parents grow up deprived of the better things that only real biological mommies and daddies can give. She’s not only homophobic, though, you guys! She tells other people their marriages shouldn’t exist either. By extension of her “ideal family” argument, Wax delegitimizes marriages between couples who cannot conceive, who choose to adopt, and who choose to use in-vitro fertilization, not to mention single-parent households, etc. etc. Yikes.

Despite the fact that I vehemently disagree with Dr. Wax, I’m going to attend her lecture this afternoon. As we’ve discussed with respect to recent controversies on campus, like Chance-gate, it’s important for Middlebury to engage with the real and sometimes deeply problematic ideologies that shape the world beyond our bubble (and within it, as much as we’d like to deny that fact). Part of engaging with these issues, though, means questioning “authority,” and challenging the assumption that one’s status as an invited lecturer or one’s position at the front of the classroom can make one “right.”

I think this has the potential to be one the more polarizing lectures of the semester, and that, with our participation, the Q&A session can be an occasion for us all to better articulate and define our own stances on these important issues.

Also, there will be refreshments.

WHAT: Lecture by Amy Wax
WHEN:
Today, Thursday 11/21 at 4:30PM
WHERE: Hillcrest 103

Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

UPDATE 11/15/13: Some tweets from the vigil yesterday:

 

UPDATE: Adrian Leong ’16, one of the people fasting today in solidarity with Yeb Sano (the Filipino delegate to the UN COP19 climate talk) sent us his statement of purpose, which we posted below the jump for people interested in learning more.

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Divest Middlebury
 writes in:

In light of the devastation caused and being caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, Divest Middlebury is holding a candlelight today, November 14th, at 5pm eastern time outside Mead Chapel.

This is a truly, deeply sad time. For many of us in the climate fight, the unimaginable devastation in the Philippines is a reminder about why we are doing this work, what it is really about.

We will be reading the words of Yeb Sano, the Filipino delegate to the U.N. Climate Summit at the vigil. If you haven’t had a chance to read to read it we recommend taking a few minutes; he articulates the many ways in which storms such as this one are anything but natural, and have deeply unequal impacts on those who did the least to bring about this crisis.http://www.rtcc.org/2013/11/11/its-time-to-stop-this-madness-philippines-plea-at-un-climate-talks/.

There are also a number of people fasting today in solidarity with Yeb Sano and the youth delegation to the Climate Summit, email Adrian Leong at [email protected] if you would like to join in the coming week or have further questions.

Solidarity and love,
Divest Middlebury

 

WHAT: Candlelight Vigil
WHERE: Mead Chapel

WHEN: 5PM Today, 11/14 Continue reading

The SPAM We Get

Here at middbeat, we endeavor to post all event submissions sent to us through our convenient online form by students, faculty, staff, and robots alike.

Take this SPAM “event submission” we received this evening, for example. Clear, concise, relevant. How do these machines know that the middbeat team absolutely loves “supply[ing] kids with photocopies of cartoons,” or that we often make the simple mental leap from Cheap Oakleys Sunglasses to rodent droppings? Beats me, but damn it feels good to be understood.

[email protected] wants us all to know:

the internet. It’s somewhat like affiliate marketing, but you’re paid
on a cost per action basis.Your better not aware of the proper
techniques to utilize. Apply this article’s advice and you’ll be well
on your way to Cheap Oakleys Sunglasses will be easier to check
multiple schools to view how their plans fit in with a student’s
targets.Secondly, she did. Another enjoyable activity is to supply
kids with photocopies of cartoons with the captions taken never been
carried out with full dedication and arduous work because the process
servers Manchester are sworn and lenders get more leads than they can
deal with , mainly because the people do not qualify for their Replica
Oakley Sunglasses they’re a free program?When joining a free network
marketing business, the product must be sought after and with an
extended warranty. A car that has passed this inspection is worth the
higher price as opposed to a Cheap Oakleys Sunglasses attributable to
the activities and droppings coming from rodents and other creatures
that have infested.

In [email protected]’s own words, “the internet.”
Good night, everyone.

Tickets on sale for Senior Thesis Dance Concert

poster-figuresofspeech1

Tickets are now on sale for “Figures of Speech”, the Senior Thesis Dance Concert featuring the work of Amy Donahue ‘13.5 and Adeline Cleveland ‘13.5. I’ve had the good fortune to see a lot of dance performances over the past few years, and while I don’t know much about dance, I do know that these two women have choreographed and performed some of the most beautiful, provocative pieces I’ve seen here. Buy a ticket and witness their final performances, testaments to their four years of dedication to hard work, creativity, and self-expression. You won’t regret it.

WHAT: Senior Thesis Dance Concert
WHEN: Thursday and Friday, December 5th and 6th
WHERE: MCFA Dance Theatre
OTHER: Tickets are $6 at go/boxoffice

(Updated w/link to recording) “Unpacking Chance the Rapper” Forum

UPDATE 11/7/13: The Campus posted a link to its recording of the “Unpacking Chance the Rapper” forum that happened on Monday (its at the bottom of the story). It’s really worth listening to no matter where you land on the issues surrounding Chance the Rapper performing at Midd (many different perspectives on his controversial lyrics, both critical and supportive, were voiced that evening). The discussion moved way beyond Chance the Rapper and into if and how we can become a safe and supportive community of individuals with many different intersecting identities. (LDubs)

UPDATE: If anyone wants to use the comments of this post to leave their impressions/thoughts from tonight’s discussion we encourage that (while acknowledging anonymous comments don’t always make for the richest dialogue). Also, after the discussion ended in Axinn 229, a member of Palana  welcomed anyone who wanted to to head to Palana house (two streets behind proctor) to continue the discussion. (LDubs)

UPDATE: We were going to try to liveblog this discussion but quickly realized that liveblogging was not an appropriate platform to convey what’s going on in this packed room. There has already been a lot discussing and confronting really important and really sensitive issues–race, sexuality, oppression–(which does not happen enough at this school, we might add).  Trying to capture a dynamic discussion on a liveblog led to butchering and simplifying what people were saying. Fortunately, we heard the Campus is recording this so we will let you know when that coverage goes up because what’s being discussed now should be heard outside Axinn 229. (LDubs)

Censorship. Homophobia. Free Speech. Hate speech.  
These are all terms we’ve heard debated over the past few weeks in response to a recent incident of homophobia on campus and the controversy over Chance the Rapper’s lyrics.
Want to be a part of the conversation about how we navigate these issues? Check out the forum “Unpacking Chance the Rapper: Exploring the complexities around Community, Artistic Expression and Academic Freedom” happening tonight from 7:00-8:30PM in Axinn 229

As Dean of Students Katy Smith Abbott said in her all-student email last week, the forum will address the following questions:
 
·         How do we uphold our community standards while still providing provocative and  
          interesting programming on campus? 
·         How do we as a community bring in outside speakers, performers, and artists to
         Middlebury who might challenge our own ideas?
 

The candid conversations will be led by Asst. Professor and Chair of the Dance Program Christal Brown, Assoc. Professor of American Studies and Director of CCSRE Roberto Lint Sagarena, MCAB President Elizabeth Fouhey ’14, SGA President Rachel Liddell ’15, and Verbal Onslaught Lead-organizer Sadé Williams ‘14.5.

WHAT: “Unpacking Chance the Rapper” forum
WHEN: Today, 10/4, 7:00-8:30PM
WHERE: Axinn 229