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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023

A Midd-Summer Night’s Dream

In between semesters, many students chose to spend their summers on campus, providing the perfect chance to enjoy Middlebury without having to endure the harsh weather and harsher workload. After being online during the summer of 2020, many of the Middlebury Language Schools were back in person this year, making campus all the more vibrant with multilingual students. Many students also chose to work on campus, helping to keep the campus up and running over the summer, whether it was at the gym, the library or the dining hall.

Reika Herman ’24 attended the French language school for the majority of the summer. Herman spent her time diligently studying French, taking up to four classes each weekday. In addition to studying, she was a participant in the French School Choir.

“Weekends were mostly spent in town with other French students or going to the French school dances at Wilson Hall,” Herman said. She was one of more than a hundred Language School students to call the Middlebury campus home for the summer. 

In addition, some students stayed on campus due to travel restrictions or logistical difficulties that barred them from international travel.

One such student was Angela Izi ’24. Izi worked five times a week in Proctor Dining Hall, serving language school students from late June, when the program started, until it ended August 13.

“I had a great time just meeting the nice people that were there and being able to help the language students that were on campus,” she said. 

For Izi, summer at Middlebury meant time to explore and become more familiar with a place that she had not fully gotten to know.

“I didn’t have any host family. Because of Covid, we never really got to do that for international students,” Izi said. 

She used her time on campus this summer to become more acclimated to the college. Izi also had free time to explore the town of Middlebury and the surrounding area, something she was not able to do this past year because she studied remotely in the fall and was too busy in the spring.

“I managed to find a circle of friends that I hung out with the whole summer, and we did a lot of exploring around Midd,” she said.

The group spent their time biking to the East Middlebury Gorge and down Weybridge Street. Izi was also able to explore Burlington for the first time.

Other students used time over the summer to gain experience working and volunteering. Abed Abbas ’24 stayed on campus over the summer due to the present economic and political circumstances back home in Lebanon.

“I wanted to make use of the summer to grow and get some experience,” he said.

Abbas worked as a student intern in the Disability Resource Center and as a lab assistant in the stock room of Bicentennial Hall. In addition to working forty hours a week, Abbas volunteered to work in Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Clarissa Parker’s lab for ten hours a week, helping with research on the effects of withdrawal on mice. 

Abbas experienced an ever-changing social scene that was unlike the past school year.

“It was kind of boring at the beginning, as not everyone was here yet,” he said. But once the language school students arrived on campus in mid-June, the campus was much more vibrant.

“It was much easier to focus on the close relationships and friendships after the work is done, which was totally different than last semester,” he said.

For some students who spent their summer at Middlebury, it was time to explore the area and focus on gaining non-academic experiences, while others devoted themselves to language learning or work while getting to know Vermont and the campus better. 

Emily Hogan

Emily Hogan '24 (she/her) is a Local Editor.   

She is studying Environmental Policy with a minor in Math. In addition to writing and editing for the Campus, she also dances with the On Tap dance troupe and serves on the Environmental Council. She has previously worked with the Sustainability Solutions Lab at Middlebury.