Category Archives: Culture

TONIGHT: College Choir Tour Home Concert



Stop by to see the Middlebury College Choir perform their program from a concert tour of Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. They’ll be featuring “Songs of Liberation” as well as a repertoire that celebrates the 60th anniversary of Middlebury Hillel. This sounds like something cool and a little different for your Monday night!

Date: Today, March 30th
Time: 7:30 PM
Place: MCA Concert hall
Cost: Free!

Live Music! Eight 02 at 51 Main

eighto210112012lores61933Come down to 51 Main to hear the eclectic sounds of Eight 02, a contemporary jazz group with a distinct Vermont flavor.  The Burlington-based band has toured all over the world, including a recent appearance in Russia!  Their mellow tunes should provide the perfect accompaniment to 51 Main burger and beer.

Date: Tonight 3/19
Time: 8-10 pm
Location: 51 Main @ The BridgeCost: Free (food and drink strongly encouraged though!)

Thursday Thought: A Romantic Paradigm That’s Freaking Me Out


I’ve spent over 90 hours interviewing Midd students about their romantic and sexual experiences this semester, and I’ve come across a paradigm, a theory, a “rule,” you could say about male-female romantexual (romantic/sexual) relations. It’s controversial, and I kind of hate it, but I want to hear what you all think, so why not middbeat thought of the week it?

Guys grow on girls, but girls don’t grow on guys.

Nah, let’s modify — that’s a bit nauseating:

(Frequently), guys (who make an effort, show genuine interest, and are genuinely interested) can grow on girls (even if they weren’t initially physically or emotionally interested in them), but (more often than not) girls (who make an effort, show genuine interest, and are genuinely interested) don’t grow on guys (though it’s certainly (I hope, though I haven’t heard of it) happened that a guy who’s pursued by a girl and doesn’t initially find them attractive grows attraction for said girl, and develops a romantic, not just a sexual, relation with them).

~Sigh~. That’s a mess and I’m not sure it’s any better. Really, what it boils down to is:

Frequently, guys grow on girls, but except in extremely rare circumstances I’ve yet to hear of, girls don’t grow on guys.

To the girls throwin’ middle fingers in the air: I feel you. And, importantly, this isn’t a law, it’s a proposition posed by a 21-year-old white, economically privileged, heterosexual female who hasn’t had nearly enough experience to tell you what’s undoubtedly true or false. That being said, almost everyone I’ve talked to has (whether hesitantly or not) admitted, “Shit, that’s actually really true.”

Anyone who’s done an interview has been slapped over the head with this fact: It’s all about first impressions. Recently, I read an article on interviewing that explained a judgment is made in the first ten seconds, and the entire rest of the interview is basically negligible, as it’s just an effort to confirm the positive or negative impression made in the first ten seconds. While I hadn’t considered the relation between romantic pursuits and job interviews until yesterday (thank you, obsessive senior spring job pursuit), I think they mirror each other all too well.

If in interviews humans so instantaneously (and subjectively) decide whether they’re attracted to a candidate or not, why shouldn’t this instinct hold steadfast in the romantic realm? I think it does, both for guys and for girls; but for girls, it’s a pencil mark that can fade fairly easily, while for guys, it’s Sharpie status. Or so it seems. Consider Circumstance 1, which I’ve heard time and again:

Girl, let’s call her Jen, has a huge distance crush on boy, let’s call him Andrew. Jen and Andrew are both objectively attractive people, but neither is “model-status,” whatever that means. Jen and Andrew sit next to each other in class, joke around, exchange glances, and even chat it up at a party on Saturday night. Jen feels chemistry, she’s a smart, independent woman, so she decides, “Fuck it,” and asks him to grab coffee. It goes great. “We got along so well, we felt so compatible, we chatted for hours and laughed a ton and had so much in common. We had such a good time, and he seemed so into it. Plus, he’s so cute.” Jen and Andrew start hanging out more, grabbing a few meals and kiss once or twice. Jen’s excited: How often do you feel actually compatible with a distance crush?” But then it just stopped. He said he thought I was awesome, smart, funny but it just wasn’t there for him, and that was that. It just made no sense.” Andrew’s side of the story: “I do think she’s an awesome girl, so funny, so friendly, so smart. She told me she was really attracted to me and felt a real connection, and I’m flattered. Honestly. But she pursued me, I wasn’t initially sexually attracted to her, and though we had a great time, it just wasn’t there from the start.” What wasn’t there? The first 10-second sexual attraction. Did it matter? Hell yeah.

And now, Circumstance 2:

Boy, let’s call him Ryan, has a huge distance crush on girl, let’s call her Kate. Ryan and Kate are both objectively attractive people, but neither is “model-status,” whatever that means. Ryan and Kate sit next to each other in class, joke around, exchange glances, and even chat it up at a party on Saturday night. Ryan feels chemistry, he’s a smart, independent man, so he decides, “Fuck it,” and asks Kate to grab coffee. It goes great. “We got along so well, we felt so compatible, we chatted for hours and laughed a ton and had so much in common. We had such a good time, and she seemed so into it. Plus, she’s so cute.” Ryan and Kate start hanging out more, grabbing a few meals and kiss once or twice. Ryan’s excited: How often do you feel actually compatible with a distance crush?” Kate’s on the fence. “I mean I wouldn’t have picked him out of the crowd, he’s not my type. He’s not ugly or anything, instinctually, I’m just not super attracted to him.” Ryan senses a tension, and meets up with Kate. “Look, I think your really beautiful, interesting, and smart, and I just want to get to know you.” Almost no one’s ever said this to Kate. Heart flutters. “And we have such a good time together.” Kate agrees, they do have a good time together. They continue “dating” for a few weeks, and fast forward: “It’s true, I wasn’t super attracted at first. But he was so nice. He really cared about me, and more than anything he was interested in me. He thinks I’m beautiful. I don’t know how it happened, but something changed, and I’m really happy it did. We’re really happy.” What wasn’t there? The first 10-second sexual attraction. Did it matter? Nope.

Of course, Circumstances 1 and 2 are oversimplifications. There’s a million criticisms that could be made (sociologically, gender roles, cultural norms, you name it). But I’d be so bold as to say, none of that matters. It’s just kind of, really true. If you’re a guy, put yourself in Andrew’s shoes, then in Ryan’s. If you’re a girl, put yourself in Jen’s shoes, then in Kate’s. Tell me you can’t relate, you can’t understand, you wouldn’t do the same thing.

Human’s are animals, and biologically, female animals seek protection, care, a male who desires to be with only them while they birth and care for an offspring. Biologically, male animals seek not protection, care, and commitment, but to have sex with as many females as possible, to spread the seed. Humans have evolved, and we’d like to think this dichotomy has blurred quite a bit. In many ways, it has. But when it comes to that instinctual sexual attraction, it seems we’re back to basics: For a girl, if protection, care, and commitment are there, sexual attraction can develop, and it frequently does, because what’s attractive is the romance, the love, not the body in and of itself. For a guy, if protection, care, and commitment are there, and the sexual attraction is not, I’m afraid it’s most likely never going to be. So, given the sex drive, which is perhaps more fervent in men than women, ultimately, the body in and of itself, is the deciding factor.

Hear me out: I don’t like this potential reality, I don’t believe it’s always true, and I don’t want it to be true at all. But if we’re being honest, I think it just might be.

So, what does it mean for us? You tell me. Here’s my two cents: To the ladies: if you’re into him, remember you’re fucking awesome and test the waters. But protect your heart. While initially I was gung-ho on the “bold girl,” I’m realizing it’s not that simple. Bold is good. Confidence is good. But sometimes, if he think’s “it ain’t there,” it’s likely not going to be, so move on up. To the dudes: if you’re into her, remember you’re fucking awesome and test the waters. If you think she’s beautiful, intelligent, smart, tell her. Tell her why, and be honest. Spend time with her, and give her space to think. It’s not a sealed deal, but remember it’s the honesty, the feelings, that’ll seal the deal, not the sex (most likely).

I’m still confused, unsettled, and unsatisfied. Upon first read, my instinct to this reflection would be “That’s bullshit, and jam packed of untrue generalizations.” But when I’m honest with myself, and more importantly, when my interview participants (especially guys) have been honest with themselves, that defense fades and a troubling truthfulness sets in. If romantic/sexual pursuits are an interview, to extend the metaphor, I really hope the questions, beyond the “how are you?” upon walking in the door or initiating the Skype sesh, actually do matter.

Nonetheless, remember, this Thursday Thought is just a thought. It’s not a claim. It’s an open platform, so share what you think.

*This thought focuses exclusively on heterosexual relations solely because I do not feel I have heard about enough homosexual relations to make significantly supported claims.
** Contribute your two cents on romantic/sexual culture by taking this (anonymous) survey GO/ROMANCE

Empire of Ecstasy: Nudity, Movement in German Body Culture, 1910 – 1935


Who doesn’t like talking about nudity, sex, and body freedom? If you answered no, well, meh. Otherwise, be sure to come to “The Ecstatic Horizon of Modernist German Body Culture, “ a talk today by Karl Toepfer, Professor Emeritus of Theater Arts at San Jose State University. Here’s some background: The early 20th century German-speaking countries saw an intensified interest in the body and its place in modern life. A new investigation of the sexual experience impacted the way in which people thought about the body; new approaches to dance, the visual arts, nudity and nakedness, and body politics helped shape a culture and horizon whose consequences are still relevant today. Prof. Toepfer’s talk will explore the implications of modernist German body culture on our own time and trace this modern body culture from its beginnings around 1900 to our early 21st century. This talk is free and open to the public. What better way to celebrate St. Patty’s day!

Date: Today, March 16
Time: 4:30-6pm
Place: Robert A. Jones House (RAJ), Conference Room upstairs

Lecture TODAY: My Struggle Made Me Strong: Discursive Resistance in the Personal Narrative of a Refugee-Background Student


A lot of us at Middlebury are all about languages. But how many of us have taken a linguistics class? Linguistics is hands-down one of the most underrated fields of study here at Midd, and we should all take advantage of this awesome lecture sponsored by the linguistics club. Bekah Moon ’15 writes in to middbeat:

In this talk, Shawna Shapiro (Assistant Professor of Writing & Linguistics) employs the lens of discourse analysis to examine the case study of a Somali Bantu student, Najib, who uses storytelling to make sense of his experience with forced migration, resettlement, and formal education. While much of the educational discourse about refugee students–particularly those from African countries–propagates a deficit orientation, Najib’s written and oral narratives emphasize a discursive alternative, by focusing on assets, rather than deficits. This case study has numerous implications for educators and researchers in applied linguistics. Refreshments will be provided by the Middlebury College Linguistics Club.

Date: Today, March 16th
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Place: RAJ conference room
Cost: Free!

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,


Tonight: Paul Asbell Jazz Group

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGuitarist Paul Asbell and his quartet will be playing tonight at 51 Main tonight! He has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Stitt, Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Kilimanjaro, Big Joe Burrell, and other renowned musicians. They will play a “blend of bluesy swing, New Orleans grooves, lush melodies and fiery Latin tempos.”

Date: Tonight
8-10 pm
Place: 51 Main
Price: Free!

Iron Eyes Cody & Friends at the Marquis TONIGHT!!!


It’s midterms, almost, I guess. But that definitely doesn’t mean you should be locked in the lib on a Thursday night! Granted, there have been numerous bar nights to remember this spring, but it’s time to switch it up. This Thursday, the beloved Middlebury student band Iron Eyes Cody will be performing at the Marquis Theatre (movie theatre) in town, and will be joined by extremely talented soloists Innocent ’15 (you gotta know him by now) and Sophia Donavan ’18 (check out Sophia’s unreal music video here!). Renn Mulloy ‘15.5, vocalist for Iron Eyes Cody explains “There will be $2 PBRs… cheaper than the bar! And there is Mexican food of course!”. The Facebook event page also claims “these performers are guaranteed to make the theater sweatier than a showing of 50 Shades of Grey.” Okaaaay!

Performances start at 9:00pm in the Marquis Theatre and will go on till v late! Be there! All are welcome and tickets are only $5 at the door! 

Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series: David Stoll


Numerous super interesting lecture series take place every week at Middlebury, and one of the students’ and faculty’s favorites is the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series. In this lecture series, Middlebury faculty discuss their own personal research. This lecture series is named for the late Carol de Dobay Rifelj  who came to Middlebury in 1972 as an Assistant Professor, serving also at that time as Director of the Château, and of the French House. Carol received tenure in 1979, was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 1985, and was named Jean Thomson Fulton Professor of French in 1993. She retired from Middlebury in spring 2010 after 38 years on the faculty.  An energetic scholar, Carol was the author of several books and numerous articles and essays.  She was also active and innovative in electronic publication, producing a significant website, Le Lexique, that won a prize in 1996 from the American Association of Teachers of French and has continued to be an influential resource for French teachers worldwide.

Anyways, we see our professors every day and spend hours talking to them about our work, but all too frequently we forget to inquire about what they are researching. After all, for the most part they can’t stay here if they aren’t publishing.

If you’ve dabbled in the sociology or anthropology departments, you’re sure to know about Professor David Stoll. Today, Professor Stoll will be giving a talk based on his personal research on “Rednecks, Latinos, and the Next American Melting Pot” in the Hillcrest Orchard at 4:30. Professor Stoll is extremely intelligent, a bit quirky, and sure to deliver interesting material. See you there!

Date: Today, March 11
Time: 4:30-6pm
Place: Hillcrest Orchard Classroom
Cost: Nada!