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Thursday, August 4

Sterling visit Day 3 (Tuesday, June 7)

So I forgot to mention the part about working at the coffee shop during my conversation with Sarah last night at Stardust. We were chatting about anything and everything that came to mind Sterling (and of course the residence issues) and I told her that I had initially thought of working at the coffee shop as an employment option while I'm here but, after learning that it's a non-profit and wholly volunteer run, I didn't think I could work it into my school/studies/potential job/presumably very busy schedule. Well, I was immediately informed that the position would count toward the Sterling required work program! WOO HOO!!!

Sarah asked if I had any experience (as in, she's been having a hard time finding people with any experience) so obviously, I told her my story of the Lakewood coffee shop and how wildly successful it was and how happy I was with the final results (recycling, organic, local, etc.). She immediately got just as excited telling me that she's not only been hoping for a person with experience, but a Sterling student that can help spread the word about the "campus" coffee shop, promoting events (coordinating events), getting involved in product and inventory and management, and just plain luring student awareness to the place to increase revenue for the non-profit organization that it is (which I thought would also be an interesting introduction to the non-profit sector as Steve and I have talked several times about looking into non-profit for the farm).
Journals, address books, date books, notebooks, etc. made from
the covers of actual books (some even include the first chapter
or the entire book depending on the original the artist used)
Made by RecycleMoe
Other than finishing up on last night's awesome relief and renewed confidence, I had a fantastic day here again (surprise)!
These bibs are made from plastic bags ironed together (more
RecycleMoe product)! Those little jars of All Naturals
(bug repellent, yes, I'll surely be purchasing THAT!)
made by KatNap Herbals
I slept in and felt kind of lazy but wound up chatting with mom in the morning and gave her a thorough update of everything happening so far (even though mom and I are record phone chatters, I still managed to make it out of the house by 10:30)!

I went right to the coffee shop and bought my first latte in Craftsbury Common. Sarah walked in just as I was about to go in search of her for my secondary personal form tour so off we went! I still never saw an actual dorm room in either Mager or Madison halls but Sarah gave me a descriptive enough picture as to the size and general layout of the rooms. Still not loving the idea but much more comfortable in these buildings than the lower dorms!

And then we took the most lovely walk through a small trail that starts through one of the smaller gardens and leads to a gorgeous back lot of grassy open--it used to be where weddings were held when the property was still the Inn on the Common.

Through two large treed arches, we came into the backyard of Houstons House--I'm immediately in love, there is a quant breakfast garden table in the lawn and (albeit and ugly canopy) a covered porch which runs the length of the house--a wall of windows!

And finally, I get to see the inside of the house--a gorgeous large fire place on the wall of the sitting room which is again, surrounded with windows; an AMAZING formal dining room (which used to lead out to the porch but it looks as though all the doors have been sealed, super lame-o); and a commercial kitchen which has been nearly completely gutted, scrubbed to sparkling new and is currently being remodeled (this is a classroom for the culinary students--oh how I WISH I could craft a Thanksgiving feast in this beautiful kitchen!)

The upstairs hallway is still papered with the original--morbidly hidden in colonial red and artistry-- lord and serf story of the countryside (we're talking a man on his knees being pitch-forked while a woman, one can only assume is his wife, looks on in helpless horror). I still totally loved it.
We were only able to look into one room as there were no students but one to request permission of--the far corner room, the former honeymoon suite of the Inn is gorgeously papered in a warm buttery yellow with what appears to be a hand-painted floral "mural" over what I assume was the original bed location on the solid wall. The one thing that just took my breath away were again, the walls of windows! The two outside facing walls met in the corner, nothing but windows (yes, I assume this is probably the worst example of energy efficiency especially in the winter months but still, I want nothing more than to live in this beautiful room)! Each of these rooms have their own attached bath (the honeymoon suite has a corner jetted tub)--needless to say, I would give anything to live in this house!

One super bonus of my staying here for the whole week is that I've been very privileged in that I've gotten to personally meet with a lot of the "behind the scenes" administrators. Most importantly of which is Sydney. Sarah had set up a meeting with her for me after our tour of Houston so, sitting down with Sydney face-to-face I 9short of begging) plead/made my case as to why I am so particular about my room and why I therefore feel I would be an asset in the Houston House community. This space is going to be the only space on campus that I can truly call my own, a place that I can make a sanctuary for myself as that is very important to me as a person and to my success here at Sterling. Space to feel comfortable, a place that is generally very clean, and most importantly, quiet are all conducive (and invaluable) aspects to my being successful in any studious environment.

With some additional advice from Sydney (as in, certain phrases and aspects to focus on--she even told me at the end of our meeting I should apply to be the House Leader--I don't remember what they call the students that "run the house" but that's what Sydney told me to apply for right away in my second semester), I very thoughtfully and carefully filled out my campus living form over yet another, mouthwateringly amazing dinner at Claire's (sorry, no pictures this time, I didn't want to stay out late like I did last night and therefore, didn't want to be at Claire's for very long. I just took the time be away from campus and be with myself--in a busy restaurant).

I spent the afternoon taking the "Food Writing Seminar" which is part of the "Vermont's Table" program that as far as I know, isn't necessarily part of the Sterling curriculum but is hosted by Sterling and can count toward Sterling credits as a student taking parts of the program. It was amazing, I loved every minute of the class; the instructor is in town from the University of Massachusetes (if I remember right) and the only other TWO students in the course, one was a Sterling summer student, the other was simply at Sterling working through the Vermont's Table program. I just loved it though--we read and discussed Robert Frost's "Mending Wall;" they discussed a film they had viewed the week prior called "King Corn" (which led into a short discussion of another film called "Fat Head" both of which I want to see for sure), and for the main piece of the course, they are reading (in massive chunks per week I might add) Michael Polan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Immediately I'm taking notes with fervor, writing lists of these films and books and readings I want to absorb at some point in my life, and lists of the classes I want to take during my Sterling career. This whole class just struck me (as much of this entire area has), the awareness and the motivation to make the necessary change in our societal life-style was just plain refreshing.

I left once again, with overwhelming excitement, a sense of satisfaction and confidence (I belong here, I will succeed here, I love it here!) and couldn't stop myself from riding the high and taking myself out to a guaranteed amazing dinner again.

[As a side note, I finally caught the local public library on an open hour--seriously, I've NEVER seen such weird operating hours in my life--and as I have online class work due for Red Rocks, decided to check it out. Honestly, maybe I was just too distracted from the class I had just come out of, or maybe it was just distraction (read: procrastination) from the work I needed to get done that I didn't find the library very study friendly for me. At least not today. But I got a few good shots of it and did enjoy it for it's overall offerings and feelings! Lots to DVDs available for rent--if I ever have that kind of time while I'm up here!]

Sterling visit Day 3 photos


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