This past Wednesday, a group of students organized a die-in in solidarity with the national movement against racist state violence. Around 100 students arrived in Ross dining hall at 10:30, lying down in every corner of the room, as students Rubby Paulino, Kizzy Joseph, and Elizabeth Dunn read a series of statements recounting recent police killings like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and calling for the student body to join in solidarity. You can find some of the statements below, and Molly Stuart’s video footage of the event above. If you are interested in learning more about student activism around these issues, see here.
We may have limited photo editing skills, but we have big hearts and the best of intentions! To fundraise for our trip over Feb break 2015, the MAlt Trip to Puerto Rico on Women’s Education will be selling flowers outside both the RIDDIM performances on Saturday. Bring cash, and support not one, but TWO awesome groups of students: the MAlt participants and your fave RIDDIM performers!
It’s for a good cause(s)!
When you’re crunching out those papers this week in Davis, and need some refuelling, stop by our station in the lobby outside Wilson Cafe. We’ll have coffee, ramen, chips and other fun, energising things! Please bring cash and help us out!
Dates: Tuesday 12/2 to Thursday 12/4, and Sunday 12/7
Time: 10 pm to 2 am
Place: Davis Library Lobby
Cost: depending on what you buy, between $2 to $4
Come out to Translingual Magazine’s Fall Issue Launch Event! It’s our 5th ever issue and we’re pumped! We will have coffee, tea, Sabai Sabai food, many languages and good company. Did we mention Sabai Sabai food, many languages and good company? If you submitted, edited or read the magazine, do come, and if you know someone that did any of those things, do come too!
Date: 5th of December, Friday
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: Forest West Lounge
Come audition for the Vagina Monologues 2015! Monologues and more information found at go/tvm15 and do not need to be memorised! If you want to write your own monologue, come with an idea!
Date: Friday the 5th of December OR Saturday the 6th of December
Time: 3 to 6 on Friday and 1 to 4 on Saturday
Place: CFA 125
Rubby Valentin Paulino writes in:
Monday is National Student Walk Out Day, a national call to action created by the Ferguson Action team to unite every community that has lost people to police violence and stand in solidarity with Ferguson, MO. We hope that we can come together as a college and make a change. The visible support will add to the greater pool of demonstrations and protests that occurred this past week to bring awareness to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Let us stand together and support a mass walk out on Monday at 1:01PM —the time that Mike Brown was murdered. Leave your classes, jobs, offices and dorms with your hands up and gather in front of Mead Chapel. At the location we will honor the lives lost and read the names of POC lost due to police brutality.
The purpose of this event is to bring together people around campus who are like-minded and can work together to organize future events concerning police violence against people of color. From here we can move forward and bring our ideas to change our local communities and police practices.
Regardless of race and social class, lets come together to acknowledge the very different experiences of law enforcement that come with white privilege and being a person of color in America.
When: Today, 1:01 PM
Where: Wherever you are, hands up and walk to Mead
Cost: your solidarity with Mike Brown
Much ink has been spilled over the notion of a “Sophomore Slump.”
A simple Google search reveals that MGMT’s Congratulations was deemed mediocre at best, as was Reggie Bush’s second season with the Saints. Whether or not you believe in the prolific nature of the trend, there seems to be a quiet understanding amongst Middlebury students that there is something uniquely challenging about sophomore year. Yet many upperclassmen also tend to characterize this second year as the time when they knew the most people on campus and felt the most at ease. So, what gives? As sophomores, are we thriving as semi-acclimated veterans or are we spiraling into the depths of monotony and apathy?
Academically, we are no longer the wide-eyed newbies that arrived on campus over a year ago (or just about a year ago for the Febs).
This fall, I watch as the freshmen in my classes answer questions with admirable eagerness. I can tell that they’ve actually completed all of their readings… even the optional ones. Yet now, as a sophomore, the thought of having time to do any of my readings in their entirety is absolutely hilarious. Like laughably ridiculous.
Perhaps the sophomore workload is actually more difficult. Many of us have moved up from intro courses and freshman seminars and into upper level classes. Or maybe nothing new is really being asked of us, and the change is purely attitudinal.
There are many explanations for sophomore academic apathy. It is logical to consider that the insane, overachiever lifestyle that got us into Middlebury in the first place finally takes its toll sophomore year. Maybe the expectations for going abroad have caused us to get some pre-requisites out of the way that we don’t really have much of a desire to take. Or maybe the pressure of major declaration, which prompts us to narrow our studies slightly, has created a more monotonous academic environment.
However, I think the most compelling explanation for the collegiate sophomore slump is that, with a year under our belt, we have begun to understand what truly has the potential to make us happy at Middlebury, yet feel too confined by the academic expectations of this institution to act in our own best interest.
During freshman year, we tended to club shop until we committed to one group or ditched the effort entirely. We learned about Dunmore just as the water turned so cold that swimming qualified as a polar plunge. The Snowbowl sounded great, but we didn’t all know how to get there.
But as sophomores, we have a better sense of the daymakers, the hidden gems, the places and things previously out of reach. Maybe it’s finally finding the quarry, or successfully learning to navigate the ACTR. Maybe it’s starting to find your niche in the community and realizing a real passion for your extracurriculars. Maybe it’s your Old Stone Mill space, or your volunteer job in town, or a newly discovered section of the TAM. Regardless, by sophomore year, many of us have begun to identify something outside of schoolwork that makes Middlebury our own.
I believe that one of the publicized advantages of attending a liberal arts college is the proposition that learning environments similar to that of Middlebury are conducive to “finding oneself” academically as well as in a greater, metaphysical sense. But sometimes the pressure of an intense workload can cause academics to feel more like an impediment than a means to this self-discovery.
We sit back in class and hand in our problem sets less frequently than we’d like to. We feel fine about getting a B or B- because, hey we tried… sort of. We have a hard time shaking the feeling that schoolwork has no meaning, even though it’s ultimately why we’re here. We feel guilty and confused because we are no longer defined by our perfectionist impulses. And perhaps most importantly, we often forget how insanely lucky and privileged we are to be learning at a place like Middlebury.
Socially, things are looking up. Well, sort of…
Voices From Abroad is back, and this week we’re stoked to feature a unique perspective on life abroad from Mariangela Bucci, a junior feb who’s been studying in Paris, France this fall. In Paris, Mariangela is studying political science at the Pantheon-Sorbonne, in line with her poli sci major at Midd. Mariangela is from Bermuda, though she’s not new to Europe, as she lived in Italy for four years when she was younger, for a year after high school, and spends several months in Italy everywhere. As Mariangela would say, “I was born in Bermuda but live between Bermuda and Italy.” While we constantly hear about all the awesome aspects of life abroad, Mariangela presents an extremely refreshing outlook on the often bleak and less-satisfying features of a semester overseas. So read up, and if you are a Middlebury student presently living or studying abroad, please consider submitting writing of your own (absolutely any format is welcome) to Voices From Abroad! Here’s Mariangela:
In typical Middlebury fashion, all students studying abroad in Paris are required to create a list detailing their motivations, goals and fears for the semester abroad. First on my list, escape the bubble and return to Europe.
At Middlebury, I dread the impossible division of the scholastic from the personal. Unless you are a fan of the great outdoors (which I am not), there is little chance of real detachment from being constantly surrounded by your peers. Middlebury is the most open space I have ever lived – with the greenest grass, the freshest air– and yet it is the most suffocated I have ever felt.
Like any lover separated from their beloved, I blindly romanticized Europe in all its metropolitan greatness. I chose to study in Paris to lose and reclaim myself at once, to disappear into the city’s anonymity and assert my independence in its vastness.
After completing my list of Paris hopes and dreams, the final hurdle between my European freedom and me was a safety talk on how to survive the big, bad city. The talk was administered by the director of the Middlebury School in Paris and two policemen. However well intentioned, their advice was as infantilising as it was offensive. Beyond universal reminders to students that leaving their belongings unattended invites thievery, special attention was paid to female students. As a sort of grand finale, the trio performed a dialogue to illustrate how the fairer sex might successfully discourage unwanted male attention.
“Please, you’re so beautiful. Just one drink.”
“No thank you. I have a boyfriend.”
Now although I have not been at Middlebury long enough to learn to take offense at how heteronormative the example was, I was bothered by the suggestion for obvious reasons.
Beyond the fact that I am 21-year-old woman, I know Europe fairly well; I’ve spent half my life in Italy, and already attended university in a European city. I’ll be fine I thought to myself.
But before I had finished unpacking, I learned that Paris was a very different sort of Europe, and that I, a very different sort of European.
As most of you may know, MiddIncluded is a student led movement pushing for a change in Middlebury’s Eurocentric Cultures and Civilizations requirements. Since the launch of our petition in the Fall of 2013, we have been working to ensure that Middlebury adopts a more egalitarian curriculum that
1) reflects the values Middlebury says it stands for,
2) provides greater educational opportunities,
3) educates global citizens who come from all walks of life and will go off to be leaders around the world.
To keep things moving, we need YOUR help. Join the movement!
Come to ONE of our three scheduled workshops to see what you can do (or just to find out more/give us suggestions/have a conversation with us), and go/aal to find out more about us.
Date: Friday the 21st, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of November
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 pm on Friday and 2:00 to 3:30 on Saturday and Sunday
Place: Coltrane Lounge on Friday and Ross B11 on Saturday and Sunday
Acclaimed Iranian-Canadian film director Shahin Parhami will present on his work and self-representation in film tonight at 4:30 PM in the RAJ. Parhami’s work predominantly revolves around heartfelt depictions of Iranian art, music, and culture, both at home and in diaspora. His most recent project, Amin, “is the story of an ancient musical tradition and one man’s struggle to preserve it,” and “is told using a unique approach to documentary storytelling that challenges the boundaries of fiction and reality.” For those interested in narrative arts, this will undoubtedly be an intriguing talk from a director who has expanded his medium into new territory. Brainerd Commons will host a reception following the talk at 6:30.
When: Today, Monday November 17, 4:30 PM