Category Archives: Dating/Love

Weekly Hump Day HornHub: Human Horn

middbeat Crush of the Week: Andrew Goulet ’16

photo (4)It’s J-term, almost February (Valentine’s Day, meh), and middbeat believes it’s time to spread the love on campus. Got a ton of free time? Wish you had someone to cuddle with besides your laptop? Sick of going to overcrowded parties where you can’t talk to anyone and walk home solo? Generally ready for romance, but lost hope that it could ever happen at Midd? We’ve got your back.

While we could (and will at a later point) go on and on about the oddities of the hookup and dating culture (or lack thereof) at Middlebury, rather than complain, we’re ready to take action. Truth is, almost all of us would prefer a genuine connection with a significant other over a meaningless one night stand (correct me if I’m wrong). But, due to the “small campus” mentality that there’s too few people, too much overlap with friends, it’s too awkward if you break up, etc. etc., more often than not romantic relationships fail to flourish at Midd. Then there’s the few couples that are always together and appear infinitely happy and in love, and you at the table behind them as they coddle in Proctor thinking, “Well, fuck.” And of course there’s some generally great relationships too, but they’re rare.

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True Life: I Have the J-Term Blues

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Ohh J-Term.

If you’re like me, you first heard about the 4-1-4 system from your insanely attractive, Patagonia-clad tour guide who talked about “skiing like, alllllll the time,” and you were pretty much sold on Middlebury as a whole. The very concept of J-term is tantalizing. During the fall, when the amount of work I had from four classes felt unbearable, I started counting down the days until January, and I’d venture to guess you did the same.

Objectively, J-Term is kind of ridiculously great… just ask anyone who went out this Tuesday! (I’m pretty sure that the ILOVEMAKONNEN song has never before in the history of Middlebury been employed in a non-ironic context.) But really — the classes are geared towards creative thought, visiting professors are fantastic (or at least a breath of fresh air), new skills are developed in workshops, and new friends are made with what sometimes feels like limitless free time.

But let’s take a second to honestly acknowledge that J-Term can also be very difficult.

A lot of us start out winter term thinking about self-improvement. Maybe you’ve made a few promises to yourself about the type of life you’d like to live this January. Think: I’ll read books and watch less TV. I’ll work out once a day. I’ll get meals with people I don’t know too well. These resolutions may be the result of the “New Year, New You” mentality many of us adopt once the holidays pass and reality kicks in. On top of that, the amount of free time we have during J-term also makes this month appear to be a fool-proof experimental period for turning our lives around, or more colloquially, getting our shit together.

So where do we go from here?

I think the key to J-term success may be self-awareness. Check in daily. Think about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Are you reading War and Peace instead of indulging in the new season of Girls? Are you trying to take up knitting even though you might be absolutely hopeless? To me, emotional authenticity is far more important than tricking yourself into developing new habits. And, on the other side of things, if you’ve gone through all ten seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. by yourself in your dark room and you’re feeling lonely and bored, well, to be blunt, no shit! There actually are plenty of things going on around campus, and you might be better off hopping out of bed, putting on something other than sweats, and braving the cold (I know I am). Check out middbeat for suggestions, or take a glance at the bulletin boards outside of Proctor. Grab a friend and try something new.

Sounds cliche, but it’s not. Whether you’re a freshman or a super-senior-feb, there’s always something you’ve never tried, and the only way to escape monotony is to get up, get out, and try it. Plus, you never know — the chance your Proctor crush you’ve never spoken to shows up at Kenyon Hockey Rink free skate hours might not be 100%, but it’s certainly higher than the chance they come knockin’ on your closed dorm room door out of the blue.

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middbeat’s Montreal Travel Guide

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So it’s Thursday, you’ve made it through another excruciating week of J-term, and you’re looking forward to an even longer bigger night of partying followed by even more sleep. That is, unless you chose a class that meets on Friday, in which case the joke is on you. You don’t want to do your same old thursday-night-that-feels-like-friday-night thing. What if I told you, not a three hours drive away, was one of the best cities in North America? Montreal is the go-to destination for students in the northeast over the age of 18. Its great food, vibrant past, and forward thinking alcohol laws hold great appeal – and with our help you can turn a weekend otherwise spent in Atwater into a culture-filled vacation north of the border!

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Fall Student Film and Animation Screening

What better way to sneak a break from finals work than watching a series of short films created by your incredibly talented peers? Answer: none. Get pumped, because tonight the Film and Media department invites us all to attend a screening of final Sight and Sound II and Animation work in Dana Auditorium, fo freee! The lineup is stacked, to say the least. Some features middbeat is especially stoked to promote include:

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The FMMC final screening is always a highlight of the semester. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll temporarily forget your finals woes. Grab a friend and some snacks, and be there at 7:30.

Date: Tonight, December 4
Time: 7:30 – 9:30ish (you can leave between films)
Place: Dana Auditorium
Cost: Nada.

Acapella Concert Tonight Featuring SIM

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Roger Winters ’17 writes in:

Come listen to Middlebury’s all-male Acapella group Stuck in the Middle this Saturday evening at 8pm in the Abernathy Room. They have a bunch of great new songs and rumor has it there will be some appearances by the rejects of the preidential search! Ever wondered who else applied for the job maybe siamese twins, or a cross-dresser, or Malhalo Mailikiewalo?!! Well this is your chance to see and hear all about it. Plus it will be a great way to shake off the edge of finals!

When: Tonight 8 PM
Where: Abernathy Room

 

The Sophomore Slump Just Became So. Real.

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…

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Let’s Talk About Sex

zTmSXmqc_400x400Sex educator, Kate McCombs and founder of Sex Geekdom, will share tips and techniques to develop your sexual communication abilities. Kate’s workshop will include an empathy-building activity drawing upon non-violent communication trainings, sex talk, and plenty of Q&A time (which is anonymous if you’re afraid to talk). This workshop will offer strategies to make the most of your sex life regardless of gender, relationship status, or sexual orientation. So come with your best questions and be prepared to learn a lot!

When: Thursday, November 13th 4:30-6:30 pm
Where: Hillcrest 103

New Online Project: Resilience

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There’s a new online project happening at Middlebury, and it’s not only incredibly inspiring, but much-needed. This fall, Emma Erwin ‘15.5 began “Resilience,” a website dedicated to exposing real accounts of students’ internal struggles – no matter what they may be – in an attempt to build solidarity and support. The website’s tagline is “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?”, a question encouraging tremendous introspection and honesty, which Emma answered beautifully in the site’s first published story, “Therapy.” Emma writes in to share the mission behind Resilience, and invite you all to participate:

So much goes on beneath the surface (especially at Middlebury) where the crazy tough times, traumatic events, and difficult experiences that people deal with often seem to be a taboo subject. Whether it involves mental health, mental or physical illness, family issues, the death of a loved one, relationship issues, sexuality, sexual assault, body image, or whatever else—there are so many tough things that almost everyone has had some serious struggles with at some point in time.

In the moment, it usually feels like you’re completely alone, like you’re in the worst place in the world and that no one understands. But that’s rarely the case: so many of our peers have experienced so much of life, and not all of it is rainbows and butterflies. In an effort to break this norm about hiding one’s struggles under he facade of having it all together, I thought it might be neat to shed some light into some of those darker moments, to share them. My hope is that by sharing our stories, we can both support each other in our struggles and celebrate our strength in the ways we manage to overcome them. 

The Resilience project has a few parts: Writing, Photography, and Story Telling. Basically, Emma encourages any and all students to “Think about your story, write it down or type it out. If you feel comfortable, submit it (either openly or anonymously), to be displayed on a blog site, and later in an open forum on campus,” (that’s the writing), “Select a picture, or volunteer to have your portrait taken. Take a sharpie, and answer the question: what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Write the answer on your picture. If you feel comfortable, submit it to be displayed online and in a public space on campus,” (that’s the photography), and attend a J-term storytelling event where all the stories on the website will be told (if you wrote a story you are more than welcome to read your own, or have it read anonymously), and the photos submitted will be displayed.

Middbeat absolutely cannot wait to see the Resilience project develop, and strongly encourages all of you to consider writing a story, whether attached to your name or annonymously. Also, if you submitted a story to middbeat’s Body Image Event in the Gamut Room last spring, please consider re-submitting to Resilience!

And a sincere thank you to Emma, for being brave enough to speak up. The whole campus appreciates you.

Check out Emma’s story here, and go to go/resilient/ or go/light/ for more information on the project and to get involved. Keep spreadin the positivity, happiness, and courage, lovely humans.

TONIGHT: MCAB Spooky Social

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FYI it’s Halloween, so get ready to turn upppp! There will undoubtedly be a bunch of bashes tonight, so remember to stay safe. And, if you’re lookin for something more contained than the mess that will be Atwater, be sure to hit up MCAB’s Spooky Social in Crossroads Cafe! The social will have all the Halloween treats you’d wish for: DJ Yeager will be jammin it up from 9pm – 1am, there will be a Costume Competition (judging at 8:30pm) with BIG prizes (team of 4 or more with group costumes win $300 for first prize and $150 for second prize, top two individual costumes get $25 in Grille certificates), and there will be delicious Grille snacks. P.S. there will be a taco truck outside the Bunker tonight, too (throwback to 2012).

Win money, dance it up, and get free Grille food? Not gonna complain.

Date: Tonight, October 31
Time: 8:30 pm – late
Place: Crossroads Cafe
Cost: Just some solid Halloween spirit