Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What is a Feb?

This month my daughter started college in Vermont. The so called "Febs" at Middlebury take a gap term after high school. It's a wonderful program for 100 freshmen who crave an academic break to experience the real world before college.

My daughter was the music counselor at a sleepaway camp before flying abroad. After visiting family in England, she took the high road round Loch Lomond with her Scottish cousin. Then she shoveled "merde" on a French horse farm. In New Zealand she fed alpacas, farmed crops, hiked into Mordor and was stuck 3 hungry days weeding the meditation gardens of a cult. After that, college doesn't sound so scary!

Still it's a big step starting college, especially when 5/6 of the freshmen arrived in September. The first Feb we "met" was a Chewonki Semester School friend, who has the room next to hers by chance! The photo is blurry due to shivering. It dropped below zero F, but these two Febs are winter camping for orientation.


My son, a "reg" junior at Middlebury, had kindly stayed on campus for vacation week to help his sister move into her dorm. Febs often get nice upperclassmen housing, vacant due to junior spring term abroad. My lucky daughter was assigned a single with a window seat, where she'll read philosophy and play guitar while enjoying the mountain view. My son and I left a very happy Feb with her new friends and headed to the mountains to ski ourselves. Middlebury has a cross country (nordic) ski course and a small downhill mountain. In 4 years the Febs ski down that mountain in their gowns to receive their diplomas. As one who is amazed to find myself an empty nester in my 40's, I can already tell those college years will go too fast!


Here's the soundtrack via The Head and the Heart:



A big thank you to the Feb leaders, staff & faculty for your warm welcome & help settling into Midd!

Note: I'm having a new modem installed tomorrow which will hopefully fix my problems connecting to you. Looking forward to catching up soon!

14 comments:

Charlotte Agell said...

Lovely to read this update.

Brian Duckworth said...

My son Chris is a new Feb also, and off to a good start. Is your daughter's friend in the picture Sebastian? If so he was the first Feb we met too, and very nice. Good luck!

Ginny Snell said...

Wow! Your daughter certainly took advantage of her time off! My daughter is a freshman at Middlebury and she is really enjoying meeting the Febs. Maybe their paths will cross soon.

Sarah Laurence said...

Thanks, Charlotte!

Brian, welcome to the Midd family! Yes, that's Sebastian (aka C-Bas) with my daughter, Gemma. He's a lovely lad and a good friend. I'm guessing they've already met by now.

Hi Ginny! Gemma is looking forward to making reg friends too. Follow the indie folk music to find her.

A Cuban In London said...

Blimey, she's done a lot for her age! :-) You and your husband must be so proud.

Greetings from London.

cynthia newberry martin said...

It's all SO cool!

Amanda Summer said...

What a fabulous experience your daughter had before beginning college. Close friends had two daughters graduate from Midd and they loved it - field hockey players. Congrats and welcome to the empty nesting life!

troutbirder said...

Most interesting post. It all looks rather idyllic. The time will go fast...:)

Rachel Federman said...

Wow - reading philosophy, playing guitar & looking at the mountains in a window seat - does life get any better?

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Well that's just brilliant. Her gap year sounds ideal to me.
I wish her the best!
xo

Bee said...

Hi Sarah,
Your daughter had lots of adventures on her gap semester! Good for her . . . and it's wonderful that her college offers this (unusual?) option. There is something about a window seat that is just so romantic. Reading with a view. Good luck to her -- and you and Henry! Yes, it's strange to be an empty nester already . . . I so agree. (Even though I'm not quite there, I'm getting awfully close.)

tina said...

Congrats to your daughter. I bet she'll love it!

Sarah Laurence said...

All, thanks! My daughter is enjoying her classes and making new friends. My internet problems are half resolved, but now we have heat problems as well. It may be a few more days before I have time to update my blog and visit yours.

Rachel, welcome to my blog! I'm looking forward to visiting yours.

Beth, the only other Feb program that I know of is at Colorado College. It's unusual but great for kids who don't want to take a whole gap year and for colleges with mostly second semester juniors going abroad. I so love window seats for reading that I hired a carpenter to build one in our house. She'll feel right at home.

thecuecard said...

That's very cool. I had no idea what a Feb is. I hope they both have a blast at Middlebury!