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Week Two as a MELP

I can’t believe we’re already into the second week of classes. I spent my first real weekend in Vermont exploring the area. I began by venturing over to Woodstock, which was about a half hour drive away. I still have trouble getting over how green everything is here – certainly a change from Southern California’s dry, brown summer. Woodstock was adorable, lots of little boutique-y shops. I bought a bracelet cleverly created out of forks, made locally of course. In Woodstock, I also got my first real bird since I moved out here. I pished in an American Redstart, which is a striking eastern species of warbler. Saturday I spent with a fellow VLS student up in Burlington. I was very happy shopping along Church Street, which reminds me of home a bit, with all the name-brand stores. Lunch at a vegan-friendly restaurant called Magnolia was well worth the 45 minute wait. I also took the down time to get some cooking and baking in. So far I’ve made a too-salty batch of hummus, an okay loaf of bread, and some delicious chocolate peanut butter bars. Bagels are next on the agenda.

Classes so far have been very interesting, we did a hand’s-on experiment in my Ecology of Food and Agriculture class, by doing a blind taste-test of organic versus conventionally grown tomatoes. Now that’s the sort of classwork I can really get behind! The readings for class have been surprisingly interesting as well. Gone are the boring, dry textbooks of my undergrad years. Hello China Study and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. THIS is what I wanted when I applied for this degree, mentally stimulating classes, readings, and discussions, on various environmental topics.


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