Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MiddBlog Has Moved!

MiddBlog has moved to http://midd-blog.com.

4/2 Commons Meeting

Wednesday, October 31 at 4:30 in McCullough

. . . because you hated the logo
. . . because you want Winter Carnival back
. . . because you might not like this either

Who knows? Maybe President Liebowitz and Dean Spears will wear costumes.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Reason No. 639 to Procrastinate

Overheard at Middlebury, an amazing, amazing Facebook group. Basically, if you hear something at Middlebury that is just so outrageous and you need to share it with everyone, you post it to this group.


Girl introduces her physics prof to a group of her friends at a senior champagne brunch
Girl: "Oh, I should introduce you...these are my roommates..."
Prof: "Okay, so these are the ones who are gorgeous, and afraid of committment?"
(Astounded laughter)

Girl in a short frilly skirt and uggs:
"Vegan beans? That could be cute for me."

And my personal favorite:

At Midd 8 T-Shirt making booth in Spring 2006:

Middlebury Student: So, are these T-shirts free-trade?

Midd-Kid: Well, I talked to the company and they promised me that they didn't use child labor!

Middlebury Student: Yes, but isn't that what Levis and Guess and all those companies said back in the 90's?

Midd Kid: Yeah, but they promised!

Middlebury Student: Allright, so, how much did these cost?

Midd Kid: Uh...about thirty cents each.

Middlebury Student: And where were they made?

Midd Kid: (checks label) ...Myanmar. Look, do you want a shirt or not?

Reason No. 456 to Procrastinate

The Facebook Group: "Summary of 99% of the People You Will Ever Meet in College." It will take you a good half hour to read the content of this Facebook group.

A few highlights:


The Cellphone Terrorist has the capability to disrupt classes without even being present. They will leave their belongings in class as they go for a bathroom break when, suddenly, the sound of "My Humps" fills the room. Yes, that's The Cellphone Terrorist's new ring tone for this week and it isn't going to stop until they return. Those unfortunate enough to be sitting beside The Cellphone Terrorist will hang their head in shame as piercing gazes are shot directly their way.

Upon return, The Cellphone Terrorist will usually check their missed calls and proceed to call said person back by means of a covert coat-over-the-head technique that they have perfected.


This is a student who has become very involved and uses his major as a replacement for a social life. He may, or may not work in the department office, but you'll see him wandering around the office anyway, chatting up the actual faculty. Maybe having lunch in the waiting area. He's only annoying when you actually have a class with him and he takes on the role of a teaching assistant.


This individual (almost always a guy) has been lifting weights since age 4, and never lets you forget about it. He goes to the gym twice a day, wears nothing more covering than a wife beater, and constantly twitches his pecs just to get you to look at his chest. McFlaunty may or may not be otherwise annoying, but it is a known fact that he eats creatine for breakfast, lunch and dinner to increase muscle mass even further; this will result in four different cancers before he is 30.


Often in groups of two or three they will stretch out in a line and walk slower than an old person with a walker. Also known to hog sidewalks force other students use the grass.

Go read the group and come back and tell MiddBlog which one you are. I am soooo Mrs. Degree.

Reason No. 327 to Procrastinate

Free epidsodes of The Office on NBC.com! New episodes are posted every Friday after 2 a.m.

MiddBlog wants to know: who is your favorite character on The Office?

A video that begs the question:

"Say what?"

I was scouring the internets for Middlebury YouTube videos. And I found this. I couldn't even bear to watch the whole thing, but I thought I'd share.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Can I Get Get Get to Know Know Know You Better Better Baby?

Can I Get Get Get to Know Know Know You Better Better Baby?
Can I Get Get Get to Know Know Know You Better Better Baby?
Can I Get Get Get to Know Know Know You Better Better Baby?

Oh, sorry. I just got this catchy little tune stuck in my head.

Check out this Middlebury music vid for Can I Get Get Get. It was posted by finnryan (update: a.k.a. Ryan Tauriainen!). According to the description, "The video is meant to reflect the notions of body image and performing gender within a person's normal morning routine." (Update: Go to the Gamut Room on November 2 for the "I Love My Body" Fashion Show!)

I like.

(Thanks, Ryan, for the submishe!)

Alternative Night: A Sub-Free Evening of Entertainment

Free Refreshments
Student Performers
Live Music
Good Company
No Regrets Sunday Morning

This Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Grille
featuring Scotty Hardwig, Mandy Poon, and Jared Stensland

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween Party!

Here I thought I was going to have beat up MCAB for not hosting a Halloween party.
VACA to the rescue!

by popular demand
THIS FRIDAY, October 26th
10 PM - 2 AM

DJ Count Drugula
And Bobby Teenager
MiddBlog wants to know: What's your costume?
(MiddBlog is going as a flapper sans cigarette.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

College Sustainability Report Card

If Middlebury College were a student, it would graduate at the top of its class. The College Sustainability Report Card was released today by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Middlebury earned ::drum roll:: an A-! ::crowd cheers:: (For the record, Williams received a B+. I heard that purple cows produce higher levels of methane than regular Vermont cows.)

To read the full report, visit the Sustainable Endowment Institute site. Compare Middlebury to all of the other colleges that you didn't get into, such as Colgate (D!) or Hamilton (C+).

Colleges were evaluated in eight categories:

Administration (A): President Liebowitz signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. Sustainability principles are outlined in the mission statement and are currently being integrated into the new master plan. Middlebury employs a sustainability coordinator and six student interns, as well as a recycling coordinator. The college has a standing environmental council that advises the president.

Climate Change & Energy (A): Middlebury has committed to carbon neutrality by 2016 and plans to build a biomass facility that will reduce carbon emissions by 12,500 tons per year. The college has a solar array on campus and has built a 10-kilowatt wind turbine that is currently supplying power to the grid. Thermostats in residence halls were lowered two degrees at the request of students. Biofuel is used in heating furnaces. (Surely, we could have gotten an A+ if they had known about our elimnation of trays and juice!)

Food & Recycling (A): Dining services spends just under $1 million per year on local food products from over 40 local farms, orchards, and manufacturers. Thirty percent of the college’s food budget is spent on food from within Vermont, and 15 organic products are regularly incorporated into the menu. Strong recycling efforts contribute to a solid waste diversion rate of about 60 percent, including food
waste composting, which comprises 20 percent of recycled materials.

Green Building (A): Green building standards, which incorporate innovative design practices and the use of greencertified wood, have been used in the past five major campus construction projects. The historic renovation of the Hillcrest Environmental Center was completed in June 2007 and will be the first LEED-certified building at the college.

Transportation (A): Support from Middlebury helped the regional transit service put biodiesel-fueled buses into operation, and students and employees may use the service free of charge. The college’s fleet includes some alternative vehicles and hybrid Zipcars were made available to students fall 2007.

Endowment Transparency (C): Endowment holdings are made available to select members of the school community such as the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investment. Proxy voting records are available only to trustees and senior administrators.

Investment Priorities (A): The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy investment funds or similar investment vehicles. The college has established a green fund as part of its current capital campaign to which the class of 2007 and other donors have directed gifts. (The capital campaign is another sort of green . . .)

Shareholder Engagement (A): In 2006, the college created the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investment, which includes three students and one alumni, faculty, and staff representative. The committee is charged with making recommendations to the investment committee of the board of trustees in regard to proxy voting and related matters of shareholder engagement.

This is what I love about Middlebury. Before I arrived, I had never heard the words "sustainable," "localvore," "carbon footprint," or "carbon offset." I had heard of "organic," but I had no idea what it meant. Concern for and care of the environment is IMHO the greatest skill that Middlebury College teaches its students. By the time we leave, we all can read 300 pages in one night, write papers pretty well, understand the scientific method, and analyze great works of literature. For me, the single greatest shaper of who I am today and the kind of person I aspire to be, is Middlebury's environmental activism. When I arrived in September 2004, I had no idea that in September 2007 I would be writing my thesis on Jewish environmental ethics. Or, that I would be a localvore.

MiddBlog wants to know: What do you think about Middlebury's grade in sustainability? Should it be higher or lower? What more do you think the College can do to help the environment? Hit the comments.

Midd Student Recognized for Think Outside the Bottle Effort

Gigi Kellett, Think Outside the Bottle Campaign Director, sent out an e-mail today reporting on the progress of the campaign. She took the opportunity to recognize Middlebury's own Jen Foth. She wrote,

"Jen is a student at Middlebury College in Vermont, who has signed-up nearly 500 people to the Think Outside the Bottle Pledge. Jen and her friends have gone door to door gathering signatures, talked to students in the dining hall, and invited Bill McKibben (a pledge signer) to speak on campus. Jen is among a growing number of people committed to spreading the word and we need your help as well in building the movement!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Middlebury Union High Student Sues School

I found this interesting article in last week's edition of the Addison Independent. While it does not directly effect Middlebury College students per se, it is no doubt a thought-provoking article which I expect will spark an exciting dialogue.

According to the Independent, "A Shoreham teen is asking United States District Court to compel Middlebury Union High School to officially recognize the on-campus religious club of which she and other students are members. . . . V.O. alleges in her lawsuit that UD-3 officials have unjustly denied the Youth Alive Club the same official school recognition as other district-sanctioned clubs, such as the Gay/Straight Organization; the Arabic Club; the Outing Club; and the Student Coalition on Human Rights."

Also, "V.O. alleges that by not officially recognizing Youth Alive, UD-3 officials have:
• Denied the plaintiff equal access to all school facilities, benefits and privileges because of the religious content of the speech and association of Youth Alive Club meetings.
• Denied the plaintiff’s right to free speech.
• Treated Youth Alive differently that other student clubs 'on the basis of religious content and viewpoint of plaintiff’s speech.'
• Violated the plaintiff’s rights to due process, citing a perceived lack of district criteria and guidelines on how to attain club status.
• Violated the plaintiff’s 'free exercise of religion.'"

These are the key points in the article, but I encourage you to read the full article here.

MiddBlog wants to know: Do you think MUHS should be required to recognize the Youth Alive Club as an official school organization? Do you think that V.O. will win her lawsuit? Hit the comments.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Put that Emergency Evacuation Plan to Good Use!

Phew. Good thing I filled out that Emergency Evacuation Plan form last week. Otherwise, I would not have thought to come home since a good portion of the campus has been evacuated. For those of you who put Ross Dining Hall as your Plan A location, congratulations.

Mr. MiddBlog is on the beat downtown. He reports that there are lots of police officers, reporters, and Haz Mat crews standing around. One little old lady was asked to get the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of the street. Others have been threatened with arrest for going down Main St. Kids: Don't mess with Middlbury P.D.

I can report that it took me over an hour to drive through town. Well, around town is more like it. Good to know: Buttolph Acres to Route 7 South is no longer an option for getting home. Now, you have to head for Foote St. to Lower Foote.

Oh, by the way: several cars of a train derailed by Water St. Some cars were carrying road salt ('tis that time of year) and others were carrying gasoline, which is now leaking into Otter Creek. Mother Nature: 0, Man: 1.

Update 10/23: Middlebury is basically back to normal, with the exception of one block of streets. The gasoline spill is not as bad as originally feared in terms of the health of Otter Creek. But in light of Middlebury's disaster, let's not forget our friends in Southern California.

Starbucks and Staples Meeting Tonight!

MiddBlog is going to make like The Campus and encourage its readers to attend the public hearing on Starbucks and Staples tonight at 7 p.m. in the Ilsley Library. Cancelled!

Relay for Life Announces Date

Friday, April 25 - Saturday, April 26, 3 p.m. until 9 a.m.

Be there or be square. It's good karma.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, MiddBlog!

MiddBlog turned one on Sunday, October 14.

I completely missed it. But that's ok. Ryan missed it, too. And he was there.

Women's Field Hockey Gets a Blog!

Geez, I feel like I'm Carol's Hungry Mind and Starbucks just came to town . . .

The women's field hockey team has setup a blog!

Please, don't forget MiddBlog.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What's Your Paper Count?

Mine is 578. My environmental impact was like running a 60W bulb for 163 hours which produced 4.849 kg of carbon dioxide and used 0.0072% of a tree. How big is this tree?

578 is a little high. I'm looking around my thesis carrel, and I do not have 578 pieces of paper laying about. I call shenanigans.

I just overheard a student say, "This is so guilt trip. This is awful."

MiddBlog wants to know: what's your paper count?

Update: This just in-- President Liebowitz's paper count was under 435 pages. He shares a printer with three others, so he could not provide an exact total of his usage. Either way, he puts us all to shame, to shame. That, and he refuses to buy a printer for his own office. Way to fight consumption!

Update: For those who were wondering, you can check your paper count via e-mail; you should have received one this afternoon.

Update 10/18: There has been some talk in the comments about Count Paper's suggestion that students should e-mail papers to professors. As one commenter noted, students can and do e-mail papers to professors, but then the professors end up printing them out anyhow. One of my professors uses a feature in Word (I think) that allows him to electronically comment and grade papers. Are there any MiddBlog readers out there whose professors have used this method? Did you like it? Are there any faculty MiddBlog readers who could chime in on the pros and cons of this method? This might be something for all professors to look into: imagine how much paper could be saved if a lot of professors went this route.

Stephen Colbert Running for President!

I am not joking. He sounds pretty serious, guys.

On Tuesday, Colbert, announced on his television show, "I shall seek the office of the president of the United States." He added, "After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call."

Colbert's main strategy in the race is to run in South Carolina-- only. He will run as a Democrat and a Republican. He has not selected a running mate yet, but has suggested Huckabee, Putin, or Colbert as potential candidates.

On Sunday, in the New York Times, Colbert wrote, "I am not ready to announce yet-- even though it's clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative."

And how!

MiddBlog wants to know: Will you vote for Colbert? How does he compare to other candidates on the issues? Hit the comments.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Copyright Law and You

I'm sorry. I really just couldn't think of a better title.

Jeff Rehbach, Midd's very own LIS Policy Adviser, writes in to share this article from the New York Times, File-Sharing Students Fight Copyright Restraints.

The article highlights students, like you and me, who have paid out some pretty large sums (i.e. $3,000) for illegal file-sharing. Ouch. That's roughly 2/3 of my yearly income. One such student, Zachary McCune, started Brown's chapter of Students for Free Culture.

Jeff asks, "There are ways to share files safely and legally, so why do people take the risk?" You know the drill. Hit the comments. Do you download files legally or illegally? (No worries-- this isn't some sort of sting operation.) What do you think about U.S. copyright laws? Have some of them gotten out of hand?

on the books...