Dear Bread Loaf Community,
We want to follow-up on the news that Middlebury sent out today, announcing our decision not to offer face-to-face programming this summer at the Bread Loaf campuses. We, of course, will all feel the loss of community this summer—of that glorious coming together that inspires so much creativity and understanding.
But we have worked with a fabulous team of faculty and staff to invent remote learning opportunities that will allow students and faculty to work closely together nonetheless. Opportunities that are flexible in their timing, venues, and demands; that will enable students to remain on track for their degree completion; and that can foster the kind of dynamic, personalized learning that “is” Bread Loaf.
Specifically: this will be the summer of writing, running from June 29 to August 5. Instead of the courses scheduled for 2020, we are offering small group writing-centered tutorials, each led by a Bread Loaf faculty member and tailored to our students’ distinctive needs.
New students may take a one-unit First-Year Tutorial in Critical Writing, an excellent first step into graduate study: participants will have an opportunity to bolster their critical writing skills while working on a range of writing assignments. For our returning population, we’re offering a two-unit Advanced Writing Tutorial, based on students’ interests: participants will select a critical or creative project they’ve begun in a prior Bread Loaf course, or a pedagogical exchange they’ve completed for the Bread Loaf Teacher Network, and will refine and expand that work under the guidance of faculty and peer mentors. As well, students who have planned to complete an Independent Reading Project (IRP) in summer 2020 and students who want to propose an IRP for 2021 will be able to do so remotely.
Add to that live-streamed lectures and readings from Bread Loaf faculty, past and present, which will be free and open to everyone—students, alums, faculty, friends—across the summer session. These will provide at least some of the co-curricular life that feeds our imaginations and our souls.
We know that we will not be able to replicate fully that improvisational “magic” and immersion that happen across our campuses every summer, as we exchange ideas over meals, performances, hikes, class trips, and more. And we will have to wait to celebrate our Centennial. But we will be able to learn together, to connect, to grow—and to engage intensively in new and surprising ways. And we hope you will be with us.
In the coming days, we will reach out to you again and post more information about these opportunities on our website. At that time, we will be available to answer all questions. For now, we thank you for being the community you are and for helping Bread Loaf to be what it can be, under the best and the worst of times.
Be safe and stay well,