TONIGHT: Pierre Dulaine Lecture and Dance Lesson

World renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine will give a lecture and dance lesson tonight at 7 PM in the Mahaney CFA Concert Hall.  Zeke Caceres ’15 writes in:

Four-time world champion ballroom dancer and founder of the American
Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms program, Pierre Dulaine has
gone from public schools in New York City to his hometown of Jaffa,
Israel bringing reluctant public school students together through
sharing the gift of ballroom dance. His work has inspired major films
such as Mad Hot Ballroom (2004), Take the Lead (2006), starring
Antonio Banderas, and more recently Dancing in Jaffa (2014). On his
visit to Middlebury, Pierre will discuss his life experiences and how
he has been able to use ballroom dance as a tool for peace making and
social change.

Pierre will deliver a lecture on Wednesday, October 1st at 7 PM at the
Mahaney Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall and will be followed by a
dance lesson, capped at 40 participants, in the MCA 109 Dance
Rehearsal Space. To secure your spot in the class, please enter your
name and e-mail here.

This event was made possible by the generous sponsorship of the
Rohaytn Center for Global Affairs, Arabic, Hebrew and Middle East
Studies Department, Charles P Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious
Life, Project on Creativity and Innovation, the Center for Social
Entrepreunership, MiddCORE, Atwater, Brainerd, Ross and Wonnacott

RSVP on the Facebook event page

When: Tonight, October 1, 7 PM
Where: Mahaney Concert Hall
Cost: Free

Op-Ed: The Middlebury Dilemma

(An environmental perspective)

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A middbeat contributor weighs in on the People’s Climate March from a few weeks ago where more than 130 students travelled to New York to protest the UN’s 2014 Climate Summit, and speaks to the culture of environmentalism at Midd.  Feel free to share your thoughts below and join in on the conversation.

“Shoulda, Coulda, Didn’t”, was the call to arms for the 400,000 other people marching across New York City in arms against the global climate change crisis at the People’s Climate March two Sundays ago. Mass demonstrations like the PCM are often points of conflict in our generation—radicals want to burn down all industrial institutions while the opposition continues to lobby in favor of fracking, fossil fuel excavation and emissions. Efforts to change the culture of our current energy investments and security are numerous and strong, but bureaucracy for change is slow and often painfully ineffective.

Middlebury College has branded itself as a big leader on the environment nestled away in an idyllic Green Mountain setting. The decorous history of our institution seems to speak for itself: in 1965 we were the first college to offer an environmental studies major, more recently in 2007 we pledged to go carbon neutral by 2016, and we were the cradle of the international climate change movement  At the PCM, 130 Midd students turned out to put pressure on the 2014 UN climate summit. The issue of global warming isn’t a new item on Middlebury’s agenda. A few weeks ago Middlebury scholar and leading environmentalist Bill McKibben, Middlebury Physics Professor Richard Wolfson, and student activists stood in front of a standing audience in St. Stephen’s chapel, exposing the dangers of rising temperatures: acidification of the seas, drier and more frequent droughts and the increased intensity of hurricanes—we all can think back to Hurricane Irene that swept chaos across Vermont in 2011.

Yet there is a kind of darkness that breeds a strong sense of discomfort in Middlebury’s current environmental agenda. The college’s support for the Vermont Gas Pipeline, which will be used to transport fracked gas across Vermont, having fossil fuel firms in our endowment portfolio, and the obstinate lack of transparency in the administrative rings exposes a destructive inconsistency between Middlebury and its green mission – or rather, its pseudo-green one. The Middlebury mission statement reads:

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Don’t miss the Wednesday Night Open Mic Party tonight in the Gamut Room. In our first two events of the year we’ve had some of the best performances of all time. Tonight’s headliner is Iron Eyes Cody, who you won’t want to miss. So get up out of that library, burn your books, and come have your life changed and WOMP. All musicians are welcome to perform!

When: TONIGHT (Wednesday October, 1)
Where: Gamut Room
Cost: Fo Free

Groennfell Meadery: Owned and Operated by Midd Alum, Interviewed by middbeat

Ricky and Kelly Klein ’07, ’09 are living the life.  No, they don’t have a Manhattan penthouse, they don’t go sailing around the Carribean for vacation, and they haven’t made their fortunes (yet). Rather than leading a life of glamor and riches, these Middlebury graduates manage their own meadery, Groennfell, in nearby Colchester, VT.  

The two met during Ricky’s senior year at Midd while he was pursuing a degree in Philosophy and Religion, and Kelly, then a sophomore, was working for a Math degree.  Both hail from Wilmington, Delaware, however didn’t know each other until meeting at Middlebury; Ricky relates that “in fact, when we were growing up, I knew her mother, and she knew mine.”  After a few years in transition working odd jobs and pursuing master’s degrees, the two married and decided to bring their marital partnership into the entrepreneurial world: they made a down payment on some property in Colchester, and started Groennfell Meadery where Ricky is the Head Meadmaker and Kelly the CEO.

middbeat recently caught up with Ricky, who was just at last weekend’s EatxNorthEast festival in Burlington doling out samples of Groennfell’s mead.  Ricky filled us in on everything from the epic bonfire parties he would host in Ripton while at Midd to his time studying theology, his take on Midd’s drinking culture, Norse mythology, and the entrepreneurial spirit.  His mead is now available on tap at Two Bros, and 4-packs are also available at BevCo. and the Co-Op (maybe). See after the jump for our interview with Ricky, and here for more info about Groenfell.

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Come Watch the TEDx Student Speaker Competition

Come be a part of the awesomeness!

Be a part of the awesomeness!

Like TEDx? Want to hear some fantastic ideas? Interested in hearing what other Middkids have to say? Enjoy Grille food?

If you answered yes to any of those questions (which you know you totally did), come out to the annual TEDxMiddlebury Student Speaker Competition! Support your friends and other fellow Middkids, listen to some fantastic ideas and eat FREE cookies and brownies!

Date: September 30th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Place: Crossroads Cafe, McCollough
Cost: Free

A Case of the Mondays: music to start your week off right

What’d I tell you about the weather last week? I hope that everyone enjoyed the incredible weather and got as much sun as possible..and that you’re getting prepared to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage!

This week on A Case of the Mondays we’re getting outside of the Middlebury student population. I’ve always appreciated different perspectives on music — those who consider themselves audiophiles, casual listeners, die-hard fans, etc. Yet I think one of the most interesting groups to talk to are musicians themselves. Shane Carroll ’17 goes to Fordham University, and as personally experienced, is a phenomenal drummer. Seeing musicians engage in something they’re so passionate about is a joy to see, and Shane on the drums is no exception. Playlist after the break.

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MONDAY: Saha Global Info Session, Global Leadership Program in Ghana

Did you know: 
780 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water.

 Water-related diseases, like diarrhea, dysentery and cholera, kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
The most vulnerable population are children under the age of five.
Globally, 1.3 billion people, over 18% of the world’s population, live without electricity.

That’s where Saha Global comes in:

38,108 people served
100% sustainability rate

If you’re passionate about international social justice, environmental sustainability and public health, you should absolutely attend the Saha Global information session tonight at 6pm in Hillcrest 103, led by Kate Clopeck, Saha’s Co-Founder and Executive Director (there will be FREE PIZZA)! Previously known as Community Water Solutions, Saha Global is an incredible non-profit providing innovative and sustainable water purification and solar electricity services in Northern Ghana, and they’ve got an outstanding 3-week Global Leadership Program (offered over J-term and summer), which various Midd students have participated in. Having been a summer Saha Global fellow myself (Leah Fessler ’15), I can vouch for this non-profit’s fantastic reputation. Here’s the basics:

Saha Global empowers women in rural communities in northern Ghana to solve their village’s need for clean water and electricity by providing business opportunities. They do this by bringing leaders from around the world to Ghana through our Global Leadership Program where they train local women to launch profitable social enterprises such as sustainable pure water and solar energy businesses. All of the revenue from these businesses stays in the community and is managed by the women entrepreneurs. To date, Saha Global has launched 71 clean water businesses and 5 solar electricity businesses, which empower 164 women entrepreneurs who serve 38,108 people. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today.

The three week Saha Global Leadership Program in Ghana has run successfully since the Summer of 2010, and over 10 Midd students have participated. The Saha site explains the program as follows:

Young leaders who participate in Saha’s three-week Global Leadership Program will be trained to become Saha Field Representatives. Before traveling abroad, they will fundraise to cover the start-up materials needed for each community business, as well as their in-country travel expenses. Once in Ghana, they will participate in a vigorous and comprehensive training program designed and led by our Saha Global team. Groups of four will be partnered with a rural community in which they will first introduce the business concept and its particular health, social and economic benefits, and then train local women to launch either a clean water or solar business.

By the end of the three-week program, these businesses will be up and running and the women entrepreneurs will be fully in charge of all operations. Our Saha Global team will then monitor the business for the next 5 years to ensure long-term success.

For more information about Saha Global, read their story hereSaha is currently accepting applications for 2015 Winter Global Leadership Program, which takes place in Ghana from December 28th – January 20th (J-TERM).

The CWS Summer Fellowship is an incredible opportunity, and if you’re at all interested please come learn more this afternoon. All years are welcome!

What: Saha Global Leadership Program info session
Date: Monday, September 29
TIme: 6-7pm
Place: Hillcrest 103 (the big classroom in Hillcrest)
Cost: None, but there will be FREE PIZZA!

Midd’s Most Popular Classes: Physiological Psychology

imgresThis series will be taking a look at some of the most popular courses here at Midd – the ones that you hear your friends and Middkid course evals raving about, and that have waitlists longer than the Atwater lunch line.

This week’s spotlight is on Physiological Psychology (Psych0301), a course that explores the biological basis of human behavior and features hands-on labs that involve studying real human brains, dissecting sheep brains, and investigating the effects of hallucinogenic drugs (on lab mice, not yourselves…). Maybe you do those things in your free time anyway – who are we to judge; but at least in Physio-psych, you get bona fide college credit for it! This course is so popular that it’s been offered every semester since 2010, sometimes in two sections due to demand; and although it’s primarily targeted at third and fourth year psych and neuroscience majors it’s open to others and garners an infamously long waitlist almost every time. Taught this semester by Clarissa Parker (though taught in the past by Kim Cronise and Mark Stefani) this 20-person class boasted a 30-person waitlist and was eventually over-enrolled to 26 students. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether this demand is driven by extremely interesting course material or by the popularity of super cool, super feisty Prof Parker – but whether you’re showing up to carve up some brains or to hear Professor Parker use awkward yet effective sexual metaphors to describe neuronal communication, you definitely won’t be bored. Did we mention that your homework is a coloring book? Yeah, it’s that sweet. Sure, this class is a lot of information and a lot of work; but hey, you’re probably used to that by now (and if you’re not, WHAT CLASSES HAVE YOU BEEN TAKING? SHARE YOUR SECRETS).

If you’re unable to claw your way into this class through Bannerweb registration or behemoth waitlists, here are some alternatives:
if you’re interested in the biological basis of behavior: Sensation and Perception (Psych0303)
if you’re interested in Professor Parker: Intro Psych (Psych0105) if you don’t have much background in the subject; or Genes, Brains, and Behavior (Psych0434) if you do.

Grape Harvest Party at Lincoln Peak Vineyard

unnamedIf you’re not slammed by work today, we highly suggest you make the quick drive to Lincoln Peak Vineyard for the Grape Harvest Party. Picking grapes and crushing them with your feet, live music, bubbly wine, VT cheese and sausage, and it’s free… what’s not to like? If you’ve never been, Lincoln Peak Vineyard is just three miles north of Middlebury, right off Route 7.

And, if you’ve got no time for anything but reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic today, just watch this and be happy.

Date: Today, September 28
Time: 12-5pm
Place: Lincoln Peak Vineyard

TAM Trek Tomorrow!


FLVT50TAMlogoThe annual TAM Trek fundraiser to benefit our beloved Trail Around Middlebury is returning tomorrow, Sunday the 28th. The event is open to individuals and to teams of 4 to 6 people, and will include running races as well as casual hiking around TAM sections from the pint-sized two miler to the 16 mile full TAM behemoth. Registration money goes towards TAM maintenance, and the goal is to raise 10K this year on theTAM’s 25th anniversary! Register here to support this awesome recreational resource.

Date: Sunday Sept 28
Full TAM 7am, Half TAM 8:30am, Quarter TAM 9am, Pint TAM 9:30am, Hike 9am.
Starts at football stadium parking lot
$25/individual, $90/team