Green Mountain College Academies Hit the Road!

July 10, 2014

Spanish Academy:

We are amazed at how the students continue to go about their day with such energy and enthusiasm, invigorated by a healthy balance of technical language learning and cultural exploration.   

This week the students are learning the merengue, the salsa, and the Bachata. Cipriano, the dance teacher, emphasizes the importance of knowing about the music, the artists and the historical as well as socioeconomic implications of each genre. As a testament to Cipriano’s expertise, during the evening assembly, one of the dance students explained to the entire academy that the bachata comes from impoverished areas in the Dominican Republic, and the merengue, which has a speedier rhythm, began and still is usually danced in bigger urban areas. The students will be swinging their hips to a couples’ group dance for the World Expo on Friday!

-Susana, Spanish RA


Chinese Academy:

Today has been quite an eventful day. First, we all gathered in the East room for our routine morning assembly. Max, the RA in charge of the morning assembly for the day, started us off by giving an introduction on his past travels in China. Then, we split up into small groups to play a game of “telephone”. Do you remember the rules? Whisper a phrase into the ear of the person sitting next to you, and then the next person does the same until everyone has gone. After, wait for hilarity as the original phrase becomes distorted into something completely different. On the first round, the word “豆腐” (“tofu”) was transformed into “屁股” (“bottom”). On the second round, the phrase “吕老师的声音比孔子的大声” (“Teacher Lü’s voice is louder than Confucius’”) was transformed into “吕老师的屁股白色的” (“Teacher Lü’s bottom is white”). Don’t ask me how that happened.

After the morning assembly, the students all headed out to class. At 10:30 a.m.they returned ready to get on the bus to Middlebury College. On the bus ride, students sang, chatted and slept. When we arrived at Middlebury’s beautiful campus, we all rested on the grass in front of the Middlebury Chinese Academy’s student dorm. Then, we took the students on a tour of the campus, making sure to stop by “Yogurt City” for some delicious froyo and the school’s main library. However, the fun didn’t stop there. The students were treated to a kung fu lesson by one of the Middlebury Chinese Academy’s student-teachers. Once they were all rested, we brought them to one of Middlebury’s cafeterias for a delicious international meal of chicken parmesan, avocado soup and Italian pasta.

With full minds and stomachs, we finally returned to Green Mountain College. It’s odd, but even after just two weeks, this place feels like our home now. I think that I can speak on behalf of all of the staff and students when I say that the time we’ve spent here has already gone by too quickly.

 -Pheakdey, Chinese RA


German Academy:

Today the German Academy students took a field trip to the von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. They listened to a presentation by one of Werner and Maria von Trapp’s grandchildren about the family’s journey to the United States and about the differences between the family’s actual trip and the series of events portrayed in “The Sound of Music.” As part of this presentation, students watched a video of an interview of Maria von Trapp filmed during a return trip to Salzburg, Vienna. They were also allowed to visit the family graveyard. After eating a delicious lunch of Austrian and German food, the students were able to explore the grounds of the lodge before heading back to the bus. During this time, some students tried the disc golf course while others went on a short hike to visit a small Kapelle built by one of the von Trapp children.

On the way back to Green Mountain College, the Academy visited the Ben & Jerry’sice cream factory. Students enjoyed trying some of the ice cream flavors as well as paying a visit to the Flavor Graveyard, which contains a tombstone for each discontinued flavor.

-Allison, German RA

French Academy:

Today was arguably the busiest day of the program for L’Academie Francaise! Our excursion began earlier than usual with a 7:45 am departure time for Lake Champlain. Once there, the kids boarded the ferry that took us around the beautiful lake and back to Burlington. Once docked, the kids enjoyed a few hours of shopping and Ben & Jerry’s and crêpe-eating fun. Once all the crêpes had been eaten and ice cream cones consumed, we boarded the bus for the dernière partieof our excursion–Middlebury! There the kids perused la librarie before having dinner at Proctor, Middlebury College’s cantine, with the older students from Middlebury’s French Language School. The evening ended on a high note with a concert by Quebecois band “Vent du Nord.” Tired from dancing and singing for several hours, we boarded the bus again and headed back to GMC for a well-earned night’s sleep.

-Alexandra, French RA