Middlebury

 

Chat Transcript April 25 2012

Chat Session Transcript

(Apr 25 2012, 20:00:37 -04:00 EDT - Apr 25 2012, 21:15:22 -04:00 EDT)

 

Time From -> To Message
Apr 25, 20:00:37 Amy -> Everyone Hi everyone!
Apr 25, 20:01:05 Sarah Chapin -> Everyone We're all online and waiting to answer your questions.
Apr 25, 20:01:21 Sara Cohen -> Everyone Hi everyone! Send us your questions! We're here to talk to you!
Apr 25, 20:21:50 Participant -> Sarah Chapin What's the food like at Midd?
Sarah Chapin -> Particpant Excellent! Because many of the chefs have worked in actual restaurants, it's always high-quality, and the dining halls are always coming up with new recipes to try. There are some tried-and-true favorites, but I love being surprised by what new dishes show up every day.
Apr 25, 20:19:37 Participant -> Sara Cohen What's the food like at Midd?
Sara Cohen -> Particpant Hi Ashley! Food at Middlebury is great! We have no formal meal plan here, so you never have to worry about spending too many points or swiping a card or paying by item. We have two dining halls on campus that are open for three meals a day, and one that is open for continental breakfast and hot lunch. I think the food at Middlebury is delicious. Each dining hall has their own distinctive style, and a lot of the chefs try and incorporate local and fresh ingredients in their dishes. Meal times are very social and dining halls are always a great spot to catch up with friends, or even meet a professor for lunch!
Apr 25, 20:23:25 Amy -> Everyone Hi Skyler! I'm an environmental chemistry major and I love the science departments here. Some of the introductory classes can have up to 70 or 80 students, but they all break down into groups of 15 or 20 for lab and discussion once per week. Upper level courses tend to have 10 or 15 students (and sometimes as few as 3 or 4) and there's great emphasis placed on student research and learning how to write well.
Apr 25, 20:29:24 Participant -> Zach What is orientation like?
Zach -> Particpant I'd describe orientation as a bit of a blur. A good blur, of course, but still a blur. Every day is a mix of meeting 600 new people, getting to know the campus, and trying to find your way. That might sound fairly intimidating, but the nice part is that a fourth of the campus is getting lost together! Of course, everyone else on campus is there to help, and by the second or third week, it's more or less home.
Apr 25, 20:32:45 Participant -> Amy What are your best Midd memories?
Amy -> Particpant My best Midd memories center around exploring Vermont with my friends. A couple of years ago about 10 of us went up to Middlebury's Breadloaf campus to the Rikert Nordic Ski Center for a late-night walk along through the woods. We spent a couple of hours walking around, drinking hot cocoa and looking at the stars, before heading back to campus to get warmed up.
Apr 25, 20:35:49 Participant -> Zach What's your favorite activity or event on campus?
Zach -> Particpant The Middlebury Moth is a monthly or bi-monthly program in which a few students, a few faculty, and often a few staff members get together to tell stories around a common theme. Think of sitting around a campfire with six or seven incredibly interesting people telling remarkable stories. Or, better yet, bedtime with the coolest Mom and Dad you could imagine.
Apr 25, 20:36:07 Participant -> Amy I would be interested playing french horn in the Orchestra—can any student audition for it?
Amy -> Particpant All students are welcome to try out for the orchestra.
Apr 25, 20:36:25 Participant -> Sara Cohen I'm planning on continuing studying French (I'm in AP classes now). How intensive are the Language classes, and what is your experience studying abroad (if you have).
Sara Cohen -> Particpant Hey Skyler! That's great you want to continue French at Middlebury. I took a French class every semester except this past one, and I also studied abroad in Bordeaux, France during my junior spring. All language classes at Midd, French included, are rigorous but very rewarding. Most all language professors are native speakers, and all language classes are taught 100% in the target language, so you get a lot of practice speaking and writing. A lot of Middlebury students plan to continue studying a language they started in high school like you, and many students also start a new language here. I have loved all my French professors, and the classes have been very interesting. I've taken a lot of literature courses and a film class too. I felt very prepared to go abroad, and I had a fabulous experience. Middlebury has programs in Paris, Poitiers and Bordeaux.
Apr 25, 20:37:40 Participant -> Sarah Chapin Sarah-how is the dance program at Middlebury? Can I double major with dance and science?
Sarah Chapin -> Particpant Good question, Emma. I came in not expecting to major in dance, but I just fell in love with the department and classes. I've been blown away by the level of artistic education I've gotten a liberal arts college--and after having been in the department for four years, I can honestly say that it feels like a family! I think the Dance Program is the best-kept secret on campus: sometimes I feel like I'm cheating because I enjoy my schoolwork so much!
Apr 25, 20:39:00 Sarah Chapin -> Everyone You can also definitely double major in dance and science--I know people who are joint or double majors in psychology, environmental studies, and geology--and those are just a few examples of the possibilities.
Apr 25, 20:40:17 Participant -> Sara Cohen Do students stay on campus for the weekends or go home?
Sara Cohen -> Particpant Quinn, most all students stay on campus for the weekends. All of campus life is centered on campus, so students don't really want to be anywhere else. On any given weekend, there may be dance performances, free movies, late night dance parties, food festivals, formal dances, basketball games, orchestra concerts, etc. Usually the problem is choosing what you have time to go to, since there's always so much going on! Our campus is vibrant and close-knit, and people are invested in making Middlebury to learn and have fun in and out of the classroom.
Apr 25, 20:42:15 Amy -> Everyone Middlebury works hard to ensure student safety. The Department of Public Safety is open 24/7 to monitor the campus and respond to any incidents that occur. Public Safety maintains a constant presence so that students get to know the officers and build rapport. The campus itself is extremely safe, and students feel comfortable walking around at all times of the day.
Apr 25, 20:44:35 Participant -> Zach Does the college help you find jobs and interships? Have they helped any of you?
Zach -> Particpant The CSO (Career Services Office) is one of the more aggressive groups on campus--and I mean that in the best way possible. I found my summer job freshmen year--whitewater raft guide in Tennessee--through a Midd alum and the help of the CSO. I had the opportunity to complete an internship in the Boston Federal Courthouse during our winter term sophomore year, again entirely through the help of the CSO. And, of course, now that I'm into the job hunt, the CSO has become an even bigger part of my everyday life. Middnet, essentially a database of active and eager alumni, is incredibly helpful, and there is also MOJO, a listing of job and internship opportunities targeting Middlebury students specifically.
Apr 25, 20:47:38 Participant -> Amy What is your faviorate class and what are the class sizes like?
Amy -> Particpant Hi Quinn. My favorite class this semester is called Education in American. It's a look at the history of education in America and how it intersects with social and political issues. Class sizes at Midd range from 3 (yes, really!) to up to about 90. The average is around 15 or 20, and larger classes break into discussion sections of 15 students once per week.
Apr 25, 20:48:18 Participant -> Sara Cohen What’s Middlebury like in the wintertime? What is winter Carnival?
Sara Cohen -> Particpant Middlebury is tons of fun in the wintertime! In fact, a lot of students would probably say that winter is their favorite time on campus! We have a four week winter term, January Term (or J-term, in Middlebury jargon) that allows students to make the most of winter in Vermont. During J-term, students only take one class, so you have a lot of free time to go skiing (the College owns a mountain called the Snow Bowl, and there are also cross country trails at Breadloaf), sledding, snowshoeing, or anything else you like to do outside. Be sure to bring lots of warm clothes to Vermont--and take advantage of the winter! It is one of the most beautiful times of year, and it offers a lot of opportunities to get out and explore.
Apr 25, 20:49:44 Participant -> Amy What will you miss the most about Middlebury after you graduate?
Amy -> Particpant I'll definitely miss having my friends so close by. Middlebury is a residential campus where 99% of students live on campus for all four years, so all of my friends live within a 5 or 10 minute walk from me.
Apr 25, 20:50:07 Participant -> Sarah Chapin What happens if you have a health emergency?
Sarah Chapin -> Particpant The first resource would definitely be Parton Health Center, the health center on campus. They have nurse-practitioners on call and a very supportive staff (that also gives you non-emergency care, like flu shots and band-aids and the like). If it's too serious for Parton, Public Safety will give you a ride to Porter Hospital, which is literally on the other side of the baseball field. I had a sledding accident a few years ago (totally my fault--turns out sledding through trees is a bad idea), and I was well taken care of at Porter.
Apr 25, 20:51:19 Sara Cohen -> Everyone Also, Winter Carnival is awesome! It is one of Middlebury's oldest school traditions, and it happens every year over a long weekend in February. There are no classes on the Friday of Carnival, and all the festivities start on Thursday evening with a bonfire and an 80s dance. Then Friday students are encouraged to go to the Snow Bowl or Breadloaf to watch the alpine and nordic ski races, and then there is usually a comedian show on Friday night. Then Saturday night is the main event, a formal dance with a DJ and catered food. Everyone dresses up and has a great time. Winter Carnival is one of my favorite Middlebury traditions!
Apr 25, 20:52:13 Participant -> Amy What's one thing that you wish you had known about Middlebury when you first arrived?
Amy -> Particpant Hi Melody! I wish I had known to bring lots of "flair"-dress up clothes to wear to theme parties, of which there are many! Anything 80s-related will definitely serve you well in your time at Midd.
Apr 25, 20:54:21 Participant -> Sarah Chapin How many classes do students take each semister?
Sarah Chapin -> Particpant Students take four classes each semester and one each Jterm. With AP or summer credit, you can opt to take three classes (I totally recommend that for your senior spring!!!). You can also get special permission to take five classes if you really want to, though it's a commitment for quite a workload. I've found four per semester to be a good amount.
Apr 25, 20:55:36 Participant -> Zach Is the solar farm working? What other things does the school do about sustainability?
Zach -> Particpant The solar farm is the most recent addition to the college's sustainable energy portfolio (accompany the biomass plant and the wind turbine). The college expects the solar panels to produce an average of 200,000 kilowatt-hours each year, which I'm told isn't too shabby, and is just about enough to power one of our dorms for a year. Outside of these big projects, you'll find sustainability working its way into just about everything on campus: dining halls, residence halls, your classes. Even the Nordic Ski Team has gotten in on the Carbon Neutrality by 2016 goal, recently outfitting their truck to run on waste vegetable oil.
Apr 25, 20:56:33 Participant -> Amy Can I play on a team if I am not a varsity athlete?
Amy -> Particpant Hi Judd. There are many opportunities for playing club (including intercollegiate club) and intramural sports. I've been on both the club crew and club cycling teams here and have loved having the chance to travel to other schools to race. It's been the perfect level of commitment--enough to challenge myself and have fun with my friends, but not so much time that I feel overwhelmed. Intramurals happen during all seasons, with everything from soccer and basketball to broomball and hockey.
Apr 25, 20:57:06 Participant -> Sara Cohen Do any of you have any opinions on the differences between Middlebury and Bowdoin?
Sara Cohen -> Particpant Hey Hannah! That's a great question, and I was actually deciding myself between Middlebury and Bowdoin when I was choosing a school. Both schools are great, and have a lot of really wonderful things in common, why is probably why they are your choices! I loved Middlebury's natural setting--in between two mountain ranges--and the layout of our campus, which includes of open green space and beautiful buildings. I also love the town of Middlebury and how it is situated in relation to the college. There's tons of awesome shops and restaurants in town, and its just a short walk to get into "town." A lot of students take advantage of volunteering and job opportunities in town. I also really liked the emphasis at Middlebury on international education (including languages, which I knew I wanted to continue), the small class sizes, and the sense of community that I felt here when I visited. We're also a a little bigger than Bowdoin, we have roughly 2450 students, so our campus has a bit bigger feel. Let me know if this helps, and if you have something more specific you're curious about, ask away!
Apr 25, 20:59:32 Participant -> Sara Cohen I live in San Diego and will not have a car. Is it hard to get to Middlebury from the airport?
Sara Cohen -> Particpant Hey Fiona, I'm from Washington DC and I never had a car on campus. It's relatively easy to get to Middlebury from the Burlington airport. There's a private shuttle service called Middlebury Transit that is great, and its also pretty easy to get rides with friends. Middlebury also offers shuttles to the airports before and after breaks. All in all, it's not hard to get to the airport, even if you don't have a car.
Apr 25, 21:00:21 Participant -> Amy I live in San Diego and will not have a car. Is it hard to get to Middlebury from the airport?
Amy -> Particpant You also don't need a car to walk into town to go to the grocery store or out to eat.
Apr 25, 21:01:14 Participant -> Zach I live in San Diego and will not have a car. Is it hard to get to Middlebury from the airport?
Zach -> Particpant Better yet, you can pay $3 to take Addison County transit from Burlington to Middlebury, just about anytime.
Apr 25, 21:06:41 Participant -> Amy Is it hard to find a job on campus? What are some of the fun places to work?
Amy -> Particpant Quinn, I've had some great jobs on campus. I've been everything from a laboratory TA for chemistry to a waitress at Dolci. Right now, being a Senior Fellow is a great amount of fun, as I get to share my experiences here with prospective students.
Apr 25, 21:06:45 Participant -> Sarah Chapin What is your relationship to your advisor and do they really help?
Sarah Chapin -> Particpant My advisor and I are, quite honestly, friends. She is certainly a teacher and I've learned a lot from her over the years, but I've also babysat her kids, been to dinner with her family, stayed at her house over the summer, and often stop in to her office just to say hi. She's been immensely helpful--not only to my academic work and navigating the College, but also in advising me about summer plans and what to do after graduation. I feel lucky to have gotten to know her!
Apr 25, 21:08:54 Participant -> Amy I'm still deciding between Middlebury and a couple of other similiar schools. How did you guys decide on Middlebury?
Amy -> Particpant Julia, I loved Middlebury's combination of academic excellence and fun extracurriculars. Students here definitely get involved in a lot of things outside the classroom, and I saw that while visiting campus. There are over 150 student groups that do everything from teach ESL to migrant farmers to play Quidditch, and I've been able to try loads of new things. Plus, students at Middlebury love to be engaged in conversation and to have a good time getting to know their friends. It's always fun to hang out on the weekend and cook dinner together before going to a performance or party.
Apr 25, 21:09:31 Participant -> Sarah Chapin I'm still deciding between Middlebury and a couple of other similiar schools. How did you guys decide on Middlebury?
Sarah Chapin -> Particpant I went to Preview Days at both Middlebury and another small New England liberal arts school. They both had what I was looking for in terms of the checklist: classes, majors, facilities, etc. What it really came down to for me was the feeling I got on Middlebury's campus: the feeling that "this is home." It's felt even more so with each passing year here, and I cant imagine having been happier.
Apr 25, 21:09:46 Sara Cohen -> Everyone Hi Julia, I decided on Middlebury mostly due to the feeling I got when I visited campus. I loved the library when I toured, and I loved the open spaces and beautiful campus. When I spent a night at Middlebury during the fall of my senior year in high school, I stayed with a complete stranger who showed me all around, introduced me to her friends, and showed me the type of community that I could be a part of as a Midd kid. I got to sit in on a class (with a professor who is now my advisor!) and eat in all of the dining halls. I had a great time, and I felt like I could fit in here. Middlebury fit all of my big requirements: small, liberal arts school in the northeast, and I felt something extra when I visited that sealed the deal for me.
Apr 25, 21:09:50 Participant -> Zach I'm still deciding between Middlebury and a couple of other similiar schools. How did you guys decide on Middlebury?
Zach -> Particpant Julia, I never really had a revelation moment like some of my friends (e.g., "I was wandering in the middle of a field, there were a lot of berries, and then I knew! Middlebury!"). Instead, Middlebury just made sense. I knew I was looking for a school with a good language program; an international focus; a beautiful setting; and an engaged, happy student body. Middlebury certainly filled all of those boxes, and then added whatever that X factor is that I'm sure you're reasoning your way through right now. Perhaps not terribly helpful, but that's what brought me here.
Apr 25, 21:13:58 Amy -> Everyone Thanks for all of the great questions! We look forward to welcoming you to Middlebury.
Apr 25, 21:14:13 Sarah Chapin -> Everyone It was great talking to all of you! Thanks for all your questions. Best of luck with the rest of your senior year!
Apr 25, 21:14:15 Sara Cohen -> Everyone Great talking with you all tonight! It was fun to answer your questions about Middlebury. Good luck with your decisions and we hope to see you at Middlebury!
Apr 25, 21:14:46 Zach -> Everyone Enjoyed it everyone--don't hesitate to contact me with any questions in the future.
Apr 25, 21:15:22 scott -> Middlebury College Thanks everyone!