Category Archives: Middlebury Town

Introducing… The Dream Bus!!!

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Lena Jacobs ‘17.5 and Brandon Gell ’16 on the Dream Bus. Photo by Teddy Anderson.

It’s no secret that middkids do some pretty dope stuff over the summer. From internships that take us across the globe to volunteer opportunities in our local communities, our entire student body is scattered this summer trying to gain a little bit of that real world experience that everyone tells us is so important. Right here at home, though, some Midd students have been working on something extraordinary. Just last weekend, MiddChallenge winner Lena Jacobs ‘17.5 celebrated the completion of the Dream Bus. Intrigued? Like Lena’s perfectly coordinated blue shoes? Read on…

[Editors note: this article was originally published in the Addison Independent, speaking of summer internships…]

For unsuspecting middle schoolers, a school bus turned blue overnight.

Here, in the parking lot of Anna Sunderland Stowell Bingham Memorial School in Cornwall, Middlebury College junior Lena Jacobs has transformed a typical, yellow school bus into a mobile classroom that will soon depart Vermont for a summer-long trip across the United States.

The newly converted bus, which Jacobs purchased off of Craigslist from a seller in New Haven, CT, is designed to encourage social entrepreneurship and intellectual risk-taking by connecting high school students with experts in graphic design, marketing, social media, and more. For Jacobs, the project is a continuation of her work with The Future Project, a national campaign to empower young people to pursue their passions and bring their ideas to fruition.

The Dream Bus, as it is now known, will leave Cornwall this weekend for a months-long trip, stopping in 7 major cities, including Detroit, Omaha, Denver and Los Angeles. At each location, the bus will park at the various high schools where The Future Project has already established a presence. There, the Dream Bus will provide those high school students with the opportunity to workshop their ideas with local community members and Future Project specialists known as Dream Directors.

“When a student gets on the bus, they sit down with a Dream Director in the lounge seating area and chat through their idea,” explained Jacobs. “Then they come up to a high top table where local community members will stand with their computers. In every city, we’re going to ask people to volunteer their time,” she added. “These people might be graphic designers who will develop a logo for your project idea, or maybe they’ll be campaign managers who are really good with social media, so they can help you figure out what your Twitter should be called and what you should be tweeting about.”

Jacobs will spend the next week working to enlist such community volunteers for the Dream Bus. “The bus is kind of just a liaison, bringing these (community members and high school students) together for the time being. The important thing is that when it leaves, there are still people there to follow up with the students.”

After receiving a grant from The Future Project and MiddChallenge, an ideas competition sponsored by the college, Jacobs and a team of fellow students including Brandon Gell ’16, Morgan Raith ‘16.5, and Josh Espy ’17 have worked tirelessly to create this unconventional learning space.

“It’s all happened really fast,” said Gell, an architecture major who has been instrumental in the bus’s transformation.

“When Brandon arrived the only thing that was in the bus was the flooring,” Jacobs said. “There was no electrical, there were no seats, it was not painted, the table didn’t exist. We hadn’t even purchased wood yet.”

Yet Jacobs and her team have not been been working alone.

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TONIGHT: Happenstance, an Alumni/Senior Mixer

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Okay, okay– we’re not supposed to talk about graduation yet. But we’re nearing the month of May, and it’s kind of getting real. Here’s a really cool event for seniors and senior febs that sounds like a lot of fun mingling. Nes Martinez ’10 writes in to middbeat:

With just weeks away until graduation, when will there be a better time to make your own luck? Come meet some alums, chat, and make some connections. Free apps, cash bar. Business casual!

Date: Today, April 27th
Time: 6:00
Place: 51 Main
Cost: Free

The Last Five Years at the Town Hall Theater

11059508_10206009888268360_2397574688251865022_nWant to spice up your Thursday night with a little off-campus culture? Tonight and through the weekend, the Town Hall Theater will be showcasing senior thesis work of a Middlebury senior. Mike McCann ’15 writes in to middbeat:

The Last Five Years is a heartfelt contemporary musical that recounts the twists and turns of a failed relationship. The story is told from two perspectives: Jamie starts at the beginning of the relationship and moves to the end, and Cathy starts at the end and works backward to the first date. Jason Robert Brown’s beautiful story was even recently made into a movie starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. This show is the senior thesis performance of Mike McCann and also features student musicians Tevan Goldberg ’18 and Zak Fisher ’16.

Date: April 9th, April 11th, April 12th
Time: 8 PM, 8 PM, and 2 PM respectively
Place: Middlebury Town Hall Theater
Cost: $6 for students

Our Fair Governor Speaks! A Jim Douglas Retrospective

image002Come hear former Governor of Vermont and Midd Alum Jim Douglas speak about his career today in the Abernethy Room.  As a Republican governor in a very blue state, Douglas has a very interesting perspective on being a head executive.  The talk will promote Douglas’ new autobiography, The Vermont Way, a thorough synopsis of his career int The Vermont State House.

Date: Today 3/19
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Abernethy Room


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!


MAlt Las Marias: 51 Main Entertainment Night

1506524_10152667656613358_4239853781455193081_nMAlt Plenitud Puerto Rico would like to invite you to a fun filled entertainment night at 51 Main from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Friday January 23rd. Come to enjoy musical performances by our very own Middlebury Bands Ingoma, Zale the Whale and the Rest of Hadley 5 and many more! There will also be an open-mic opportunity and many more performances coming!

When: Friday, Jaunary 23, 4-7pm
Where: 51 Main Restaurant (Right across the bridge on College Street in town)
Cost: free!

MAlt Las Marias: Taste of India


Do you LOVE Indian food? Are you looking for an excuse to eat more? Come to Eat Taste of India this Friday (16th January 2015) from 4:30 – 9:30 pm. The Las Marias trip will be learning about Permaculture, sustainable farming and living so come out and show your love of the environment and tasty food! 10% of the sales will go to MAlt Las Maris Puerto Rico!

If you are unable to make it and would still like to contribute to the trip or learn more about the Las Marias group, check out

When: Friday, January 16th 4:30-9:30pm
Where: Taste of India, 1 Baker Lane (Middlebury, VT)

Candlelight Vigil at 4:30 on Town Green

Black Lives Matter

In addition to today’s discussion, there will be a town-wide candlelight vigil held on the town green at 4:30.  If you are planning to go to both, the orientation seems to be to go to the vigil first, then to Warner following the vigil.  Can anyone confirm this?  In any case, come out and show your support at both.  These events follow another devastating blow this Monday where a grand jury in New York decided not to indict the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death this past August.  This killing was recorded on a telephone, calling into question the potential efficacy of Obama’s recent request for $262 million dollars in federal funding for police officer surveillance as a method for reducing police brutality.

When: Today 4:30
Where: Town Green
Cost: solidarity

Charity and Sylvia: A Same Sex Marriage in Early Webridge Vermont

This afternoon at 4:30 in Twilight, author Rachel Hope Cleves will present a talk regarding Sylvia Blake and Charity Bryant, a couple from Weybridge whose parternship was recognized by their Vermont community in the early 19th century.  Mary Manley of the Henry Sheldon Musuem writes in:

This talk explores the history of same-sex sexuality, and reveals how the mechanism of the “open secret” enabled Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake to be recognized by their community as a married couple two centuries before the United States v. Windsor landmark case. Cleves is Associate Professor of History at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. She is the author of Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (Oxford University Press, 2014). She based much of her research for this book on archival materials at the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury.  Immediately following the talk, a book signing with Professor Cleves and opening reception for the exhibit Charity & Sylvia: A Weybridge Couple will take place at the Sheldon Museum, 6-7 pm. The events are free and open to the public. Twilight Hall is located at 50 Franklin Street, Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. The Sheldon Museum is located at One Park Street, Middlebury, VT. For more information, go to <>  or call the Sheldon at 802-388-2117.

When: Today at 4:30, museum reception 6-7
Where: Twilight Hall, and the Henry Sheldon Museum
Cost: Free