Is there any reason to bring high school class notes to Midd?


I know some people bring their notes but I don’t think you need them. They’ll just add to the clutter and you won’t use most of them if any at all. Plus, the library and the internet will have all the references you need to remind you of information you might have forgotten.



I was looking at the course schedule for Beginning Russian, and it says that Drill meets on MWF with two different teachers at two different times. Does that mean I might end up in either one? Or do I go to both?


When it comes to Russian drills (which also apply to a lot of classes), if there are two options, hypothetically speaking:

Russian 101 – Drill X – Prof. X – MWF 8:00 – 8:50 A.M.

Russian 101 – Drill Y – Prof. Y – MWF 10:10 – 11:00 A.M.

Then you only need take one or the other because they give you a few options for drills, labs and discussion sections so that you can fit one or the other in your schedule.



Is it plausible to schedule two classes that are only 15 minutes apart, or do students find it really hard to make it to the second class on time?


Most often 15 minutes is plenty of time, it theoretically should get you from anywhere on-campus to anywhere on time. however, thinking practically, you should imagine campus as one big rectangle, with bihall (the science building) on a corner, Atwater dinning hall on the one next to it, CFA (center for the arts) or the gym next to that, and finally Ridgeline dorms (which are upperclassmen housing)…

During my first semester I had to commute between Bihall and CFA 4 times in a row with 15 minutes between each time. It wasn’t pleasant, especially in the cold. And Profs. sometimes go over time, or others like to start a little early. So I would say it very much depends on the building where classes are. Look at the map. Another bad combination of buildings I had in a row was Ross Dinning Hall (where some Spanish classes are) to Twilight (where some humanities are). This was also equivalent to 15 minutes, but my professor never finished in time, so I had to run most of the semester.



How do we find out where the classes are located? Are there specific subjects per buildings?


The locations are listed on BannerWeb, where you registered for FYS but I am not sure if you can see the schedule yet or not. Generally, science classes are in Bihall, political science is split mainly between Munroe and Twilight, Economics and Math are mainly in Warner, Languages are all over but German and Russian are in FIC (right next to bihall). Some classes happen in the dorm lounges, so there is a very wide range. It also depends on the professor, but you can try logging on to BannerWeb, click on student records and registration, and then try to view classes in the fall. Near each listing, it gives you a 3 letter code indicating the location.



I have a question about classes and their prerequisites. Do you have to take the lowest level class before you can take others? I know that this is true for subjects like math and science, but what about others? (For example, do I have to take Geography 0100: Place and Society before I can take Geography 0212: Urban Geography?)


It depends on the course. You usually don’t need any 100 level courses for the 200 levels. Or some electives in the 300’s. If you have taken the material before, you can talk to the dept chair and ask for a waiver, or talk to the Prof. I have had many pre-requisites waved. When you try to register, it will tell you if you need to take it or not. Feel free to email the Prof and ask.



Are you more likely to get into your top choice FYS if you register quicker? Or can I wait until the last minute with no harm done?


Registering for FYS courses is NOT based on first-come first serve. They will try to accommodate as many people as possible. I think you will most likely end up with one of your top 3. So don’t rush it, and don’t worry so much about it. You will be surprised by the results. This does NOT apply to normal registration unfortunately, but that’s a little more complicated.



I’m wondering about when we actually find out which books we will need for our classes. Is it the first day of class or when we receive our final schedules? And approximately how much do the books costs each semester?

Also, where do students buy their books from? The College may have some place, but are books bought elsewhere, as well?


It is a little bit harder for freshmen in their first semester to know books in advance because you don’t register until orientation. The day before classes begin, the book store opens and you can buy your books from there, they try to have used as well as new books there. I personally email Profs before the semester begins and I ask them about the books we are going to use, then I look them up on Amazon and buy them there. I pretty much buy them for almost no money sometimes. Now I am paying close to a $100 for my books. Of course, it depends on what courses you will be taking, for the sciences, languages and economics, it is usually one textbook per course that costs a good $100-150. But for most of the humanities, they assign somewhere between 5-10 books that cost around $20-30 each. So it really ends up being the same amount per course. However, some Profs don’t use books, and others focus on notes. It is helpful to look at the syllabus and figure out how much you need each book to decide which ones you want to buy. But I definitely recommend buying books online unless you need a book quickly and there isn’t a significant difference in the price.



Are drills for languages (Chinese) and discussion sessions required?


For Chinese especially I think you have to take the class, a discussion and a drill. For classes like languages and poli sci (among many), the main lectures have a lot of students which doesn’t leave room for group discussions, there would be 30-40 kids in the class. so they divide the lecture on one of the days into smaller groups (max 15 students I think) in order to have group discussion (where participation becomes very important, as opposed to the big lecture meeting time when the Prof. mainly does all the talking). I am not sure exactly what drills are for Chinese, but I think they just meet at that time and do skits or something to practice the language, only in smaller groups. So yes, you have to take one of each, depending on what works for your schedule. It actually won’t let you register unless you have all of these requirements met.



It says that we have to have two noncredit phys. ed. courses, what does that mean?


Each student is required to finish 2 PE credits during their 4 years. These are very similar to the regional credits, and distribution requirements that you are supposed to have finished before graduation. They will explain a lot more about this to you when you get here. But several classes, especially during j-term award that credit. I got one of mine in Dance 160. You can also get them from a first aid course, a yoga class, or something of that sort. They’re not hard at all to get so no worries.



Are there any summer books we have to read up on?


There aren’t really any books I can think of. Unless they email you otherwise, usually Profs don’t expect that you read anything in advance, and you’ll see why when you get there! I suggest you take all the rest you can and enjoy the summer so you’re all charged up for school.



How easy is it to create your own major? For example, if I had an idea to make a major that unifies many disciplines—a major that I hope to make useful for the future—is the administration generally open towards that type of course distribution?


It is very easy to create your own major so long as it fits well and makes sense. A lot of my friends created their own disciplines because they couldn’t find what they wanted. I have a friend who’s doing African studies, and had to combine that with French.

You can really do anything at Middlebury so long as you can back it up with a good argument. The best thing to do is to consult a professor or a dept chair in the area you are interested in.



When registering for other courses, do we need to rush once the registration opens, like my friends in some colleges?


For your first semester you will receive a random number, and go to the big arena according to your number, and register for classes. It’s first-come first-serve. I have always gotten classes I wanted even though my number freshman year was 541 out of 560!

After that, you will be registering online, so it really depends on when you get a connection on the server.



I was wondering if we have access to databases like LexisNexis or anything through the library.


Yes, there is a huge list of databases that Middlebury provides access to. You will need to log-in using your Middlebury email and password from the library page.



I know they often say that the International Studies major is intensive–so much that it’s not recommended to double major when doing IS. I am really interested in IS, but I love English more–is it a feasible idea to do both?


I am doing a double major in Computer Science and International Politics and Economics (IPE)! Of course it’s doable. You just have to work harder. You will have less space to take random courses. For IS you also have to take a language, and go abroad (like IPE) so that can also restrict your options. But it can be done. You just have to be on a tight schedule.






%d bloggers like this: