Category Archives: Campus Life

WOMP, WOMP, BOBOMP: A Night with special guest, Tallest MC On Earth

thumbs_old bob dylan silhouette hat guitarNo surprise here: WOMP is back again to help you through all that midweek work, the pre-break disillusionment, and the sad, terrible, horror of existence.

Nothing outrageous or flashy this week, we will be sending y’all off into the jaws of spring break with a pleasant and audibly delightful performance by Dustin Lowman.

Come by for some post-patty’s day partying, some sweet wavering tunes, and the long awaited return of Middlebury’s very own Tallest MC On Earth.

When: 9 PM Tonight
Where: Gamut Room
Cost: Ebullience 

Need a Job: Apply to be a Presidential Fellow in Innovation!


Whether we (talking to you, 2015/2015.5) like it or not, it’s senior spring, aka it’s almost over, aka we need post-grad plans stat. To those of you with a job or alternative plans on lockdown, snaps for you. And to the rest of us: it’s crunch time. But, if you’re still in search mode, don’t fret, we’ve got a lead. Carter Makin ’15, intern at the Middlebury Programs for Creativity and Innovation Center writes in to tell us about an available professional opportunity here in Middlebury: become a Post-Graduate Presidential Fellow in Innovation! Sound’s like a sweet position, and if the separation-anxiety’s got you stressin’, what better option than to stick around for another year? Read up on Carter’s description below:  

The Post-Graduate Presidential Fellow in Innovation position will be filled by a recent graduate and selected by the president of Middlebury.  The fellow will provide full-time support to the Fund for Innovation (FFI).  This is a one-year term position that with approval may be extended up to 3 years.  The fellow will report to the president.

The job will begin April 1 as a part-time position (up to 10 hours/week) if it is filled by a current student scheduled to graduate this May, or full-time (from April 1) for those who completed their Middlebury education in February.  For May graduates, full-time work will begin June 15.   There is flexibility surrounding the start date.

The fellow’s responsibilities will include:

  • Maintenance of the FFI website
  • Assists in engaging students, faculty, and staff about the FFI, and encouraging proposals from across the institution (the undergraduate college, Institute, Language Schools, Schools Abroad, School of English, School of the Environment)
  • Secretary to and support for all meetings and Fund Advisory Committee deliberations (emails and in-person meetings)
  • Proposal categorization, logging, and communications with inquirers and applicants
  • Input and support in the selection process to ensure timely decisions
  • Enabling transparency in all FFI processes
  • Authoring summaries of proposals and posting results of the selection processes
  • Ensuring necessary follow-up, feedback, and networking to and among applicants and grantees
  • Support data collection, record-keeping, and trend analyses that will be conducted on the Fund and its grantees with the guidance of Office of Planning and Assessment
  • Other assignments related to the FFI and innovation initiatives


  • Graduate of the college (February 2015 or anticipated May 2015)
  • Ability and willingness to work independently and collaboratively
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Able to work within tight deadlines
  • Proven track record of engaging students, faculty, and staff outside one’s social and intellectual comfort zone

Hourly Wage $18.36 (annualized $37,000) + benefits for a full-time appointment.  If a current student is hired in a part-time status benefits will be offered once the position transitions to full-time (post-graduation).

If you are interested in applying for the President Fellow in Innovation, please send an email to Ron Liebowitz ([email protected]) by March 25th a letter that includes:

  • your graduating date (February 2015 or May 2015—anticipated)
  • major
  • the courses you have taken that you think are relevant to this position
  • two faculty/staff references
  • why you think you would be successful in this particular position
  • how you would help attain the goals of the FFI
  • any  other information you wish to provide

FEATURE INTERVIEW: The Scoop on Storytold

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“STORYTOLD: Your Stories. Our Words”

Perhaps you’ve heard this tagline, perhaps you haven’t. Either way, it catches your eye on first glance, and combined with an awesome logo (see above) makes you pretty damn curious about the new-ish student org “Storytold.

At Middlebury, we’re always telling stories — how we got here, what we want to do with our lives, how to deal with living in an arctic tundra, why we’re in love with a Proctor Crush we’ve never met, how to cure cancer, you get the picture. Think about it: whenever we chat with friends, family, or ourselves we’re constantly creating narratives to describe our lives and the world around us. In this sense, stories consume our conscious and unconscious minds all day every day — and to my fellow lit majors/lovers, well, good luck to you and the Red Sox.

Point is, we tell and listen to stories to survive: it’s a human instinct, and we undoubtedly enjoy the process. However, among the crazy hustle that is Middlebury College we rarely have the time or motivation to get those stories on paper (or a Word Doc, sigh). Thankfully, that’s where Storytold comes in.

Storytold is “a serial, personalized fiction service for anyone who has struggled to find a certain kind of book or story, for anyone who has ever thought, “I wish someone would write about…” Basically, it’s a group of super creative, writing-inclined students here to make us happy, tell our stories, and let us read them: to “make our dreams a reality,” nonetheless. It’s like Seamless for stories except free and better. What more could we ask?

Storytold started up this year, and has hit the ground running. Because this kind of thing has a tendency to get a bit “niche-y,” we story-lovers at middbeat decided it’s crucial to spread the word on Storytold a bit wider. We’ve interviewed Storytold co-founder Ben Mansky ’15, and we’re excited to give you the scoop. Read up below, request a story here, and if you’re interested, join the Storytold team! They’re always looking for writers, designers, illustrators, and other interested persons, and feel free to show up to their weekly meeting, held each Wednesday at 9:15 PM in Chateau 107! Also check out Storytold on Twitter (@storytold1), Facebook, and at their website (go/storytold), it’s really cool, .

MB: So, simply said, what is Storytold?

BM: At its simplest, Storytold is a personalized, serial fiction service. What does that actually mean? It means that people ask us for stories, and we deliver. Like, we literally deliver the specific stories they ask for to their mailboxes in a series of hard-copy installments.

MB: Where did the idea and inspiration for Storytold come from?

BM: It was the natural conclusion of years and years of geeking out over the ridiculous variety of ways people have managed to construct a piece of fiction. Inspiration came from so many different sources, expected and unexpected.  On the expected end, there’s an endless number of books, the indie video game industry, choose-your-own-adventures, and new interactive and alternative fiction platforms including Twine, Inform, and StoryNexus. On the less expected side of things, it came from food. I was working on a design for a fast food restaurant, and the idea of prepackaged vs. made-to-order had been stewing in my mind for a little while. Somehow, I made the leap to fiction. I figured books are currently served pre-packaged, but there’s no reason they couldn’t be made-to-order.

MB: Who’s in charge of Storytold, and how is it run? Who’s writing these stories?

BM: I suppose I’m in charge (along with help from our treasurer), though our writers do most of the work. Now that we’re officially a student org, we’ll be electing a third co-president for next semester. The group meets each week to check up on story progress, bounce around ideas on individual installments, do some peer editing and package pieces for delivery. Stories are delivered every other week so as to give the writers plenty of time to produce quality content while allowing our clients plenty of time to read. The stories are written by a group of approximately six or seven students who are passionate about storytelling, with a wide range in terms of year, major, and prior experience–we even have a couple of alumni on board!

MB: How long has Storytold been in the works?

BM: Fall 2013, Storytold was officially founded as a project at the Old Stone Mill. Still in its earliest stages, it was little more than an okay-looking WordPress site that received a tiny bit of attention from a small handful of friends and a couple interested students. At that point, it was mostly about figuring out how the system would actually work, and after we took our first few requests in spring of last year, it became clear that we would need more than two, three people to make this actually happen. Over the summer I switched to a different web platform, which allowed me to totally revamp the website to make our system clearer and more accessible.

MB: Will you take any story idea? What are the boundaries?

BM: We will take anything within reason! Our basic boundaries are built into the request form: only two out of a handful of genres can be applied, and it can’t run any longer than ten installments. We’re committed to giving our clients the stories they want, so unless a request seems terribly offensive, we will accept it. If it does seem offensive, we put it up to a vote among our writers. If it passes, it’s published, and if it doesn’t, it isn’t. If one of our writers is still willing to take it, that’s up to them. And if a request is just too ridiculous for us to accommodate, we’ll get in touch with the client and work with them to figure something out–but I don’t anticipate that being a problem!

MB: What’s the craziest story request you’ve received?

BM: It really depends on what you mean by “crazy.” We’ve had a couple of extremely specific requests, including one that required at least two “that’s what she said” jokes and a Spice Girls reference. In terms of something you won’t find on the shelves of bookstores, we’ve had a request for a story featuring a trans-identifying (female to male) princess (or prince, rather) who lives in a land where people occasionally turn out to be shapeshifters. We’ve also had some unusual requests on the other side of the spectrum, like the one that was just a couple lines of song lyrics.

MB: How do you go about matching a story to a writer?

BM: It’s largely personal choice combined with coincidence. Our writers see all the new requests at each weekly meeting, and stories are assigned based on who would prefer to write what. If a writer is already working on a story, she won’t be assigned a second one, but if she really, really wants to write a particular request, she can hand off a story to another available writer. In cases of story-swapping, we do our best to keep voice and style as consistent as possible.

MB: What’s been the most fulfilling part of Storytold so far? And what’s been the biggest challenge?

BM: The most fulfilling part has definitely been people’s reactions once they understand how the service works. There’s obviously some initial confusion with a service as uncommon as this, but when people realize the potential it has for the way people read and the way people view fiction, there’s this air of excitement that’s particularly contagious. Reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, and really, it’s extremely validating to see that I’m not the only one who thinks that personalized fiction is an avenue worth investigating.

We’re still a burgeoning student organization, and our biggest challenge has been staying on top of our bi-weekly installment schedule. We’re trying to amp up our recruitment efforts so that we’ll have writers to fill in if any one of us gets too busy to finish a particular installment, but as it is, we mostly just rely on our clients to be understanding with us and our crazy schedules. After all, we’re students too.

MB: What are your hopes for the future development of Storytold?

BM: I have high hopes for Storytold, and I think the potential for growth is nearly endless. In the short term, I’d love to see more writers getting involved, more stories being requested, more content being produced, more media being explored. As we’re now a student org (and able to host events), I’d like to hold monthly or bi-monthly write-ins for anyone who wants to just come hang out, snack, brainstorm, and write creatively. Eventually, we’ll produce a hard-copy publication containing the completed stories that appear on our website and perhaps a few that don’t appear anywhere else. If we are successful in our on-campus endeavors, there’s no reason this service can’t expand to encompass a significantly wider area. After all, if you can receive mail, you can receive a story. And if you can receive a story, you can have whatever experience you’d like with just a little imagination.

Middbeat wants to send a sincere thank you to Ben Mansky ’15 for taking the time to explain the in’s and out’s of Storytold to us! It sounds like a fantastic organization, and we encourage everyone to participate! Tell on.

Submit to Translingual!


The Translingual submissions deadline is this Friday (3/20)! Make sure to send in those poems, stories, photos, and whatever else you’ve got to [email protected] before it’s too late — more info can be found at go/translingual. 

Special Sunday Horn Treat: LAUGHTER

Time to take a break from pleasuring yourself with unadulterated horn and frustrating work–sorry, liberal education leisure. I see you Campus article–to get some much deserved smile time. Check out Triple Chin Comedy’s newest sketch. Meta-as-fuck. Is the whole world a stage?



Keep your eyes peeled and your vaseline ready for some more horn next week, you Horn Addickts, you.

Peace, love, and self-loving,


Check out the Milk With Dignity library atrium display!

malt-2 Let’s face it — it’s Sunday afternoon, and if you’re like most of us, you’re probably going to be spending a lot of your time today in the library. If you find yourself in need of a study break, we strongly recommend heading down to the library atrium and checking out the Juntos/Milk with Dignity display, before it gets taken down tomorrow.


The display, constructed by members of Juntos and the MAlt El Paso trip, features a “border fence” dividing the atrium into two sides: the US and Mexico. On the Mexico side, you’ll also find a model of a casa de cartòn, one of the cardboard shacks where many of Mexico’s poor end up living. The display focuses on how some US policies have led to poverty in Mexico, and on how the problems with our current immigration policy relate to life here in Vermont.

This is definitely something you won’t want to miss, so make sure to take a look before it’s too late!



B9316562005Z.1_20150311171737_000_GHEA6LUUQ.1-0Finally– the arrival of one of the year’s most anticipated events! Drum roll please…. today is the seventh annual Vermont Chili Festival!!! We cannot contain our excitement. Don’t believe us? Middlebury’s chili fest was named one of the top ten winter events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce– sounds like a ringing endorsement from people who are really in the know.

So what does Chili Fest actually entail? For all you newbs or those who just need a little refresher course, here’s some basic info to make chili fest the wonderful day of unlimited eating that it is.

Vendors from all over Vermont will convene today at 1PM on Main Street to vie for the title of best chili in Vermont. A panel of judges will award a winner for each of six categories: veggie, beef, chicken, kitchen sink, pork, best overall. If anyone can clarify what kitchen sink means in the comment section that would be much appreciated!

What’s our role in all of this? We pay a $7 fee upon entering in exchange for a spoon, some voting chips, and day of delicious fun. Line up on either side of the tents to sample each of the batches of chili. You’ll probably recognize some of the vendors– many local restaurants compete as well as some of our own Midd students!

When you try a batch that reaaaaally speaks to you, drop a chip off for that vendor. The top vote will get a people’s choice cash award!

So now you have the basics. Let’s talk strategy.

1. DRESS IN LAYERS. We’re all in the phase of spring right now when any weather above thirty degrees feels effing tropical. But guys it’s still really cold, and standing outside for a few hours takes its toll. Warm socks are a must. We’re all wishing the winter away with spring outfits (I’m looking at you, people breaking out the chacos), but in truth it’s still quite chilly.

2. Get used to the chili puns now. See above.

3. In the same vein, it’s probably going to rain today. Plan accordingly and still go. We’re psuedo Vermonters now, and the chili fest website describes us as hardy. So.

4. The corn bread goes fast. Just a warning.

5. Give your chips out carefully. You can walk through at the end to cast your votes, but don’t be shy to drop a chip when you taste the best thing you’ve ever eaten.

6. If you don’t like chili (like me), it doesn’t really matter. Just go. There’s live music and other things to do too!

7. Think about pacing yourself, but don’t think too much. You’ll know when you’ve had enough, but it probably won’t come till the end. If you don’t like a sample, don’t finish it. This is your best way to ensure that you won’t get too full before you’ve tried everything. If getting full is something you anticipate, avoid the chips.

8. Try not to lose steam. Call it when the sight of chili is too much, or when you get too cold. But other than that, soak it all in and take advantage of seeing the whole state converge on Middlebury’s main street all in the name of a hot meat meal. (weird)

9. Veer off the beaten path.  While the restaurants you recognize will obviously be bringing it, some unexpected contenders may surprise you.

10. Teamwork.  Fire up that GroupMe and keep your crew informed about what is not to be missed, and where to steer clear. Thats what being a friend is all about.

Go forth and gorge!


Student Group Profile: Women of Color (WOC)


Once again, we’ve been out and about talking to students involved in some of the coolest groups on campus. Recently, we sat down with Dorosi Valle Flores ’17, to learn more about Women of Color (WOC), a rad organization with a lot going on:

middbeat: So, for those of us who don’t know, what is Women of Color?
DVF: Women of color is a cultural organization on campus that is devoted to uplifting women of all backgrounds by establishing a safe space on campus where everyone can come and talk. It’s really meant for critical discussion, sometimes we plan the topic in advance at our board meetings, and other times we leave it open to our members…the discussion really does range from anything really casual to something serious…anything concerning women.

Recently we were actually talking about school funding and how to bring radical speakers to campus, and it was the perfect transition from the meeting to the speaker we had on campus, Ta-Nehisi Coates… if our members are passionate about someone that they know, we want to make sure that they know how to bring them to campus! But in the past we’ve also talked about body image, and other issues. We usually have a pretty big turnout, which is great, and we always welcome anyone to come.

When do you meet?
We meet every Wednesday from 6-7 in Chellis House [behind Proctor].

So how did you get started with WOC? When did you join and why did you join?
So I actually heard about WOC through the student activities fair my freshman fall and the people who were advertising the club in general seemed really cool. One of the biggest things about WOC is that it’s supposed to be a supportive system on campus, and that’s what I was looking for as a freshman, and really since first semester I started going and I really liked them, so I continued to go.

How has being a part of this group been important for you? How has it been a part of your life here?
I think just that for me its good to know that there’s that support from the club on campus. It might feel at times like there isn’t that community on campus… but it’s good to know that everyone can come together at this spot and it’s good to know that I can have someone that I can relate to.

At the student activities fair, people would come up to us and say “I’m not of color, it is okay that I join?” and the answer is yes, of course — everyone is welcome! We do have at times meeting where there are guys that show up to, too — it’s not like it’s an exclusive club on campus, it’s very much the opposite of that. We want this to be inclusive, and if people have something they want to talk about, if there is something that’s concerning them, we want to hear about it.

So what kind of events do you guys put on?
So we have a big one that’s coming up: on Friday, March 13th, we’re doing a women’s history month dinner at Crossroads, and we’ll have different students who volunteer as performers, like last year we had different women on campus do poems, or sing, it really ranges. And right after the dinner there’s a Divas party…we’ll play music by powerful women artists, like Beyonce. It’s going to be in Coltrane and it’s going to be awesome!

Nice! Is there anything else you’d like people to know about WOC?
I think it’s just really important that people know that this is not an “exclusive” club on campus – getting rid of that misconception. We want people to know that you don’t just have to be “of color” in order to join – like, what is that, anyway? The goal [with WOC] is to spread awareness. [Even if you don’t necessarily identify as one way or another], you go to these things get a little bit of exposure, to see what it’s like, to be a little more knowledge about these issues.

 Want to see your student group profiled? Shoot us an email: [email protected] 


TONIGHT: It Happened Here Screening


It’s no secret that sexual assault on college campuses has received an uptick in attention from the national media over the past year. Middlebury has followed with a series of awesome events to bring light to the problem and its pervasiveness on our own campus. On the heels of Middlebury’s own It Happens Here event, tonight the Chellis House will be hosting a screening of the film It Happened Here. Maddie Orcutt ’16 writes in to middbeat:

Through intimate portraits of five student survivors, IT HAPPENED HERE explores the alarming pervasiveness of sexual assault on college campuses, the institutional cover-ups and the failure to protect students, and follows students’ fight for accountability and change on campus in federal court.

Watch the trailer here:

Date: Today March 12th
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Place: Twilight Auditorium
Cost: FREE