Category Archives: Dating/Love

TODAY- Last Day of : Improv Try-Out Week

Improv Plotter Poster

Both of the college’s improv comedy groups, The Otter Nonsense Players and The Middlebrow Society for Improvisational Theatre, will be holding try-outs this week in hopes of finding Middlebury’s future leaders of sarcastic party conversations.

Otters tryouts will be held TODAY (Tuesday) at 4:30PM and Thursday (2/26) at 5:30PM in the Forest East Lounge.

Middlebrow will be Wednesday (2/25) and Thursday (2/26) at 4:30PM in the Coltrane Lounge (in the Adirondack House, entrance is near Pearsons).

It is important to note that you need only go to one day for either group.  So you could do Otters Tuesday and Brow Thursday, par examplé.

Experience is never expected. Most of the current members had never done improv before either, and had to try-out a few times. No matter if its your first semester, last semester, or that sweet spot in the middle, both groups would love to have you come and play!

Email [email protected] or [email protected] with any questions.

TODAY- Last Day of : Improv Try-Out Week

Improv Plotter Poster


Both of the college’s improv comedy groups, The Otter Nonsense Players and The Middlebrow Society for Improvisational Theatre, will be holding try-outs this week in hopes of finding Middlebury’s future leaders of sarcastic party conversations.

Otters tryouts will be held TODAY (Tuesday) at 4:30PM and Thursday (2/26) at 5:30PM in the Forest East Lounge.

Middlebrow will be Wednesday (2/25) and Thursday (2/26) at 4:30PM in the Coltrane Lounge (in the Adirondack House, entrance is near Pearsons).

It is important to note that you need only go to one day for either group.  So you could do Otters Tuesday and Brow Thursday, par examplé.

Experience is never expected. Most of the current members had never done improv before either, and had to try-out a few times. No matter if its your first semester, last semester, or that sweet spot in the middle, both groups would love to have you come and play!

Email [email protected] or [email protected] with any questions.

middbeat Crush of the Week: Zack Isaacs ‘15.5

IMG_4782Middbeat’s newest crush of the week is Zack Isaacs ‘15.5, a Physics major from Oakland, California. When surveying Atwater, I (Lizzy) was encouraged by a group of senior girls to choose Zack. They assured me of his sweet demeanor and general thoughtfulness. Though he was definitely slightly alarmed when I approached his breakfast table, Zack immediately opened up with a warm and welcoming smile (see above). After chatting with him for a few minutes, I can say confidently that I’m a huge fan. He’s got an awesome spirit and a lot to say. Aaaand he’s single! If you’re interested, shoot him an email! (go/creep is your friend, people.)

MB: What’d you do this weekend?
Z: I went to the Taste of India apartments on Friday. They were all open and they had a bunch of people over, so that was really fun. I didn’t really do much on Saturday because I was tired from Friday. But I went to Vergennes Laundry and then to the Alpenglow concert.

MBWhat’s your Vergennes Laundry order of choice? Are you a cheese guy?
Z: I like cheese, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a cheese guy. Anything with yogurt and granola and some coffee is the way to go.

MB: What’s number one on your bucket list?
Z: Oh, man. This is gonna be kind of a strange one. I want to ride my bike up Mount Ventoux in France. I really like riding bikes and growing up I used to watch Lance and all those guys in the Tour de France climb up that hill and I think it would be something neat and different. Definitely very hard.

MB: What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Z: Can I choose more than one? Salami, olives, mushrooms, and spinach. I’m not super picky.

MBAre you close to your family? Do you have siblings?
Z: I’m incredibly close to my family, but I don’t have siblings. My cat and my dog, though, are viewed on equal footing with me. We actually foster cats whenever I’m home so we always have lots of animals in the house, but I’m an only child.

MB: Who are you more similar to, your mom or your dad?
Z: I would say I have the social characteristics of my mom but more of the academic characteristics of my dad. My mom is a really hard worker and is pretty introspective and a little introverted, and I would definitely say I’m more like that in social settings. But my dad also studied physics and engineering. Not so good at reading, better at math.

MBWhat is your favorite way to eat a potato?
Z: Baked with a healthy dosage of beets and lemon juice. Why, what’s yours?
MB: Mashed sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon.
Z: Okay, yeah, that sounds good too.

MB: What type of music do you listen to?
Z: I listen to a lot of stuff. I bet everyone says that. I have a soft spot for all sorts of classic rock from the ’60s. I really love Hendrix. I would say ‘Castles Made of Sand’ is probably my favorite Hendrix song. But really anything from that era. I like AC/DC, the Grateful Dead if I’m in that ten-minute-long-song kind of mood. Anything with a good guitar solo is good with me.

MBWhat is your relationship status?
Z: I am single. (“free as a bird” — friend sitting nearby)

MB: Are you looking for anything?
Z: I’m looking for anyone who’s willing to put up with someone who wears a lot of spandex– it’s for biking. And shaved legs. You don’t necessarily have to put that last one up. (Sorry I did!!)

MB: What are your thoughts on romantic culture at Midd?
Z: It’s definitely better than it is at Dartmouth (he spent his junior year there). It’s a lot less stressful. Everyone there is in fraternities and sororities, but there are a lot more ways to meet people here. I think that’s cool. People hate on it a lot, but it’s definitely less stressful than at Dartmouth. We have so many on-campus events, it creates somewhat of an insular community. And you’re not just always in the basement of a fraternity, which is kinda nice!

MB: Is there anything that I missed? What would you want me to ask you?
Z: I don’t know, I don’t think I’d want you to ask anything else. We got the shaved legs and the spandex, so you got most of it.

Post-Valentine’s Day Blues? Listen to this awesome radio piece…

Screen shot 2015-02-15 at 9.48.51 AM

And that’s a wrap for V-day! Thanks, mom, for the care package of chocolates. Goodbye, Snapchat “me and bae” filter. See you next year, conflicting feelings of romantic hopefulness and depressing acceptance of eternal loneliness.

If you’re feeling down and out about your romantic prospects, here’s a little treat to cure your Sunday blues. For the J-Term Sound and Story (audio documentary) class, John Terhune ’17 decided to try out the New York Times’ 36 Questions To Fall in Love with two Middlebury freshmen. Take a listen here! Smile, laugh, and share your own thoughts about love at Midd.


From the Archives – 1955 Winter Carnival


1924 photograph of Mead Chapel viewed from Old Chapel.

For the past 91 years, Middlebury students have continually upheld the tradition of celebrating Winter Carnival, which happens to be the oldest student-run Winter Carnival in the nation.  Although the first official Winter Carnival did not occur until 1934, the traditions that carry on today date back to the early 1920s when obstacle, snowshoe, and ski races were held along Storrs Avenue and ski races and ski jumping competitions took place around campus. The 92nd year of festivities kicked off last night with a Carnival themed dinner in Proctor and Ross, and tonight (Thursday) there will be a bonfire roaring outside Ross commons between 8:00-10:00pm and fireworks starting at 9:00pm. As always, there will be a comedian, an ice show, a concert, a snow sculpture contest, a winter ball, and oh yeah, the ski races at the snow bowl.  If you like this column and/or you like free snacks and hot chocolate you might want to check out the screening of historical Winter Carnival footage from 4:30-6:00pm in Crossroads on Friday.

In the last archives post we wound back the clocks all the way to January 13, 1955.  This week we find ourselves delving into an issue of The Campus from just a few weeks later–Feburary 17, 1955, just in time for the 32nd Winter Carnival.


1955 Winter Carnival Poster via The Campus

“Ice Capades” Modifies Melted-Out Show: Freshman Judy Johnson Is Star Soloist”
The two-act program was made up of twelve musical numbers and began with a gala of over thirty skaters (“16 red-jacketed guards and 20 ladies in waiting skating in evening gowns” to be exact) performing to “Pomp and Circumstance.” This was followed by the duet act, “Fire and Ice,” “a combination of baton twirling and skating” which was of course named after the best combination salad bar-cheese wheel restaurant in town.  Just kidding–Fire and Ice has only been Vermont’s landmark restaurant since 1974!  This act was adapted from a performance the year prior so that red electric battery lights were used instead of real fire. Lame.  Other acts included: The Cardioidal Concept (eight women skating around a red valentines heart), the Safari Scene (“a skating wild animal, a bathing beauty and a sun-helmeted hunter” accompanied by “the beating of African drums”), Card-Board Cards (Alice and Wonderland themed), Le Grand Ballet, A Bunny Hop, a couples waltz duet (The Campus pointed out that the only noteworthy part was “the bright orange bermudas worn by the rah-rah collegian”), The High and Mighty (barrel jumping), freshman Judy Johson’s much anticipated solo debut, and The Finale.


Liquor Prohibited in Ski Bowl Area
“All spectators are requests to refrain from bringing alcoholic beverages to the Snow Bowl” Sound familiar?  The Men’s Undergraduate Association also chimed in, discouraging “the consumption of any form of intoxicant at athletic events at which Middlebury participates, on or off campus.”  Middlebury has such a strong sense of tradition!

Cigarette Ad appears in The Campus
Apparently a student’s best friend is Lucky Strike. Also, cigarette advertisements were ubiquitous in old issues of The Campus.

News Briefs section keeps us updated on who’s engaged to be married at Middlebury
A total of six couples announce their recent engagements in the paper.

“Partypooper, Trying to Avoid Carnival, Can’t Fight It, So Is Advised To Face It.”
Dear Editor, I don’t Like Carnival.  I get cold at hockey games, I hate to dance, I can’t stay awake past en and I’m allergic to spirits beverages. And besides, I don’t have a date.  In other words, my problem is how to avoid Carnival.  What shall I do.  Antisocially yours, J. Partypooper ‘58″


While I can relate to J. Partypooper in some aspects regarding the participation in somewhat forced traditions or mass student activities for the sake of feeling social, the multi-faceted approach to avoiding the over-hyped Carnival given by the campus editor Kathleen Platt is pretty hilarious, not to mention timeless. Though, her final thoughts? If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

Read the full page of news below:FEB_17_1955_winter_carnival_PARTY_POOPER

If you’re inspired to do a little digging in the archives yourself, and you find an interesting article or photograph from Middlebury history that deserves a spotlight, email it to middbeat@ In the meantime, you can follow Middbeat’s resident retronaut in her weekly quest to troll the depth’s of time.

SEEKING INTERVEIWS: Senior Research on Romantic Culture at Middlebury

Apologies for the cheesy photo.

Apologies for the cheesy photo.

While I hesitate to use middbeat as a means of shameless self-promotion, I’m gonna use my one get out of jail card free today: 

Hello, my name is Leah Fessler and I am a senior English and creative writing major at Midd. I also help run middbeat, which is very fun. For my senior thesis, I am writing a long form journalistic article on romantic culture at Middlebury and the effect of technology on communication in romantic relationships, and I’d really like to talk to you about it, whether you are a student at Middlebury now or an alumni of any year.  The article will be completely non-fiction, meaning it’s real stuff, meaning I need to interview many Midd students to compile significant reflections on the topic. I’ve sent out a couple mass emails to students I know, but wanted to copy and paste the email text below in hopes of reaching a greater range of the Middlebury community. Importantly, this article will be published on middbeat as well (in a modified version, retaining complete anonymity for those interviewed), later this spring. I would appreciate it beyond belief if you took the time to read the text below, and considered signing up for an interview slot here!

Hello friends and interesting people,

While I’ve talked to some of you about the thesis work I’m tackling this semester, this message will likely find many of you pretty out of the blue. Here’s the basic gist: My thesis depends on talking to a lot of Midd students about their experiences with and thoughts on romantic culture at Middlebury and in college at large, and how technology effects romantic relationships and communication in the “modern age.”

When I say “romantic culture” I mean hookup culture, dating, not dating, flirting, being “together,” having “the talk,” getting rejected, rejecting, being loved, being liked a lot, being liked a lot a lot, being used, using others, having good sex, having great sex, having shitty sex, breaking up, long-distance crushes, best friend crushes, texting, snap-chatting, message read receipts, Tinder, Hinge, one-night-stands, respect, lack of respect, etc. etc. You get the point: Everything. These talks will be 100% research, should be considered human-based research, and can remain 100% anonymous if desired.

It might sound uncomfortable and awkward, especially if we aren’t close friends. But if you’ll hear me out, and trust my promise of confidentiality, I’d really (really) appreciate it. Not only because I’m extremely fascinated to hear your thoughts, but also because my thesis, frankly, won’t exist without them. Also because it’ll be fun, and many of us spend a lot of time talking about this stuff anyways, so it really won’t be too abnormal.

So, what’s the thesis “gonna be”? I’m an English major with a creative writing focus and I want to write stuff for a job. My thesis will be a ~40-page long form journalistic article (i.e. non-fiction creative writing) on a comparison of romance culture at Middlebury now, communication within such culture, and the effect of technology on such culture, and romance culture at Middlebury 20+ years past. I’m working with the editor of Middlebury Magazine, and we hope to get a version of this article published externally. While we cannot claim Middlebury is representative (at all) of the greater public, I also hope to reflect on how our Middlebury-based experiences might shed light on larger trends in romance culture and the effect of technology on romantic and sexually based communication and relationships among college students and young professionals of our generation at large. The article will hopefully reflect upon many of our actual experiences, include actual interview excerpts, and trace the stories and experiences of a few individuals in extended detail (all anonymous, of course).

We’re 18-23ish year old humans. We have sex drives, we crave connection, and we seek to fulfill those drives. Sometimes it’s really great. Sometimes it’s really, really shitty. And most of the time it’s somewhere in the middle. However, I would venture to guess romantic/sexual culture effects all of us all the time, and at Midd it often just ain’t easy. Of course, romantic culture can change (if need be), can improve, can mature, but that requires conversation, exposure, and honesty. In short, that’s what I’m trying to do: start the conversation.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Long emails suck but I wanted to get across the point first, because here’s my request:

No matter what your romantic experience at Midd has been, if it’s been a lot, a little, none at all, good, bad, decent, your thoughts are valuable, and I would really like to hear them (seriously, if you think you have nothing to talk about you probably have a lot to talk about). It’s crucial to collect a breath of experience, from guys, girls, different social scenes, etc. 

Over the next few weeks, I will be available almost any time of the day to meet for these “interviews,” which are really just talks. We can grab coffee, or just sit somewhere private and chat. If your an alumni or off campus, we can chat on the phone or Skype! It’ll be very low key, I promise not to be awkward, and again, they’ll be totally anonymousBelow is a link to a Google doc sign up sheet​I’ve put in hour-long slots, but conversations can be anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, I just wanted to avoid scheduling conflicts. If you would please take the time to consider helping me out with this project, I can’t express how much it would mean to me, and how much good it could do for our community. To sustain privacy, if there’s a time slot that works for you, shoot me an email or text indicating that time and I will write “FULL” in the slot, so others can see it’s unavailable. I promise it won’t be stressful and could be quite a good time. As I’d really like to get the ball rolling, if you can meet as soon as possible, that would be very much appreciated. 


Seriously, thank you so much for your time and attention. I apologize for ranting. I really hope to hear from you, andplease forward this message on to absolutely anyone you who goes/went to Midd. Especially non-seniors! Please don’t be shy. We don’t have to talk specifics if you don’t want, and can keep it at general reflections or whatever is most comfortable! You’re the best. :)


Leah Fessler
[email protected]

Humpday HornBlog!: Tromboner Edition

10 Things To Look Forward To Before April

Maybe spring will look like this soon?

Maybe spring will look like this soon?

February break may be among the most disorienting of weeks during our time at Middlebury. On one hand, we get a little time off from J-term shenanigans… rest those livers y’all. We’re reminded that pain isn’t the only sensation associated with the outdoors, and that sun in fact does exist outside the bubble. But it’s also super weird. We’ve only been at school for a month when we’re forced to transition once again. And after a teaser one week vacation, we have to come back to school and face the semester ahead– in a snow storm nonetheless.

If you’re thinking about the stress of the add/drop period, dreading the single-digit weather, or already missing your dog, here are some reminders that there’s actually a lot of awesome things to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

1. WINTER CARNIVAL!!! Remember this? It’s the first weekend we’re back. Nothing says smooth transition like already having a Friday off. Rejoice in the four day week and get ready to watch some awesome ski races with a side of free maple cotton candy. (No promises on the cotton candy, only wishful thoughts). BTW, Middlebury is the first college in the country to have a winter carnival. This is a really big deal, especially considering the rave Dartmouth makes of their snow-time celebration. SO, we really should make a deal of this.

2. Meeting new febs! While many of us have been away getting some space from our home-away-from-home, new Freshmen febs have flooded campus this past week. Introduce yourselves!

3. New classes. A new shot to discover an academic passion, to establish a meaningful connection with a professor, or make some new ‘class friends.’ A breath of fresh air for your gpa! Maybe some new pencils and notebooks too– type A homies like me know what’s up!!

4. Valentine’s Day. Is this something to look forward to? The jury is still out. Celebrate this day with your significant other, eat tons of chocolate, grumble about American consumerism, or ignore it altogether! Maybe just maybe this is the day you finally approach your Proctor crush…

4. Daylight savings. Sure, we lose an hour and that kinda sucks for a day. Buuuut on March 8th we’ll be saying goodbye to those 4:15pm sunsets. Let there be light!

5. CHILI FEST!!! The Vermont Chili Festival will be held this year on March 14th from 1-4pm. Watch as the great chili makers of Vermont convene on main street right here in Middlebury to prove that their batch reigns supreme. It’s for a great cause, and the limitless supply of chili is pretty #chill too.

6. St. Patrick’s Day! March 17th this year. I’ve just been informed that it’s actually March 17th every year. Maybe green’s your color, you like darties, or you’re Irish! Whatever… it’s a holiday!

7. The Oscars! February 22nd. I didn’t see any of the movies but I’m still excited.

8. Warmer weather. A girl can dream can’t she? I’m pretty sure the groundhog (the one Bill Deblasio didn’t drop) predicted an early spring and I’m also pretty sure that means nothing. But real talk it has to get a little warmer over the course of the next two months, right?!

9. Use of the new field house. Tired of not being able to breathe when you run outside? Have you fallen one too many times running through town? Maybe it’s time to start training for the Middlebury Maple Run! Good news is that the new field house seems like it’s up and ready for us to use. Fingers crossed. More info on this soon.

10. Spring break! If you can’t think of anything else to get you through these next few weeks, know that spring break is really just six weeks away.

Middbeat Crush of the Week! Kayla Nahi ’18




This week we bring you a new crush! Kayla Nahi is a gorgeous freshman who aspires to be a computer science major.  She was a bit coy at the beginning of the interview, but she began to show her true colors as the interview proceeded.  Watch out men, Kayla is the real deal!

Middbeat: Start with your name, year, and hometown.
Kayla: Okay, um, my name is Kayla, my hometown is San Francisco, and I’m a freshman.

MB: Interesting. Kayla, what’s your spirit animal?
K: My sister is always an elephant and I was always a giraffe when I was younger so I guess giraffe.

MB: What do you generally do on a Wednesday night?
K: On a Wednesday night?
MB: That’s tonight, what are you doing tonight? Yeah what are your plans, what are you up to?
K: I mean we have a huge presentation today and a big paper due on friday so probably tonight I’ll be working, but , I guess just, hanging out with the Allen crew.

MB: What quality do you find most attractive in your sexual preference?
K: hmm…

MB: Are you interested in men or women?
K: Men

MB:What quality do you find most attractive in men?
K: Probably sense of humor

MB:That’s a good one. How would you describe the Midd dating scene in one sentence?
K: [Laughs] , random hookups or committed relationships

MB: That’s definitely fair. What’s your j-term class right now?
K: Social and environmental justice

MB: How’s that going?
K: Okay, hard but good.

MB: What’s the funniest thing you’ve done over j-term?
K: The funniest thing I’ve done over j-term… [laughs] it’s not really funny but I slipped and fell down almost the entirety of Chapel hill.

MB: [Laughs] that is pretty funny. If you could be anywhere right now, other than Middlebury College, where would you be?
K: Probably home in San Francisco.

MB: What was your childhood screenname, like AOL?
K: Oh this is super embarrassing: I was ksnowprincess. [laughs]

MB: So there’s a question here that is beach or snow, I’m assuming the answer is snow?
K: oh, snow no question.

MB: What’s your ideal date night or day look like at Middlebury?
K: Okay, probably skiing during the day, and then, I was gonna say walk, but no… maybe then going to a restaurant in town.

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Weekly Hump Day HornHub: Human Horn