November 11th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — This weekend, the fourth annual Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup is slated to take place, not on Middlebury College’s grassy Battell Beach, but in the heart of New York City.
“We are all very excited for this weekend,” said Middlebury College senior and member of the undefeated Middlebury quidditch team Matt Engel. “I think everyone is a little disappointed that the tournament isn’t being held at Midd because we love playing in front of the Middlebury community. However, we also are thrilled that the game has grown popular enough to force us to change venues.”
As they left the polls last Tuesday, 869 Vermont voters completed an exit poll conducted by a consortium of national news organizations. This poll shows some of the ways in which Vermont differs from most of the nation, and provides some of the reasons why Peter Shumlin was elected governor.
Nationally, President Obama’s approval rating is 45 percent. In Vermont, his approval rating is 60 percent. Only in Obama’s native state of Hawaii — where he has 66 percent support — is the president’s approval higher than in Vermont.
So, you lost at fantasy baseball this year and you’re itching to have a second chance, but the spring seems so far away. Here’s an immediate substitute. Let’s call it political baseball.
RIPTON — Ripton Elementary School officials are seeking community input on how students can mark the holiday season as part of their learning experience.
The outreach comes in the wake of decision by school officials to take a pass on typical Halloween activities this year in favor of a more general celebration of the fall and Thanksgiving. The school community has, in its recent history, marked Halloween with the reading of scary stories and the donning of costumes, among other things. Some activities had been co-organized by the Ripton Elementary parent-teacher organization.
What better time to talk about the summer game than a week that opened with a wintry mix of precipitation, a little slush, a dash of sleet, a touch of freezing rain, and a rush to Randy’s Citgo to get the snow tires on.
Before the Major League Baseball playoffs began, I told a group of sports fans at the Elderly Services headquarters that anyone who pretended to know who would win the World Series was, in so many words, full of organic fertilizer. Anything can happen in a short series, including favored teams choking away 3-0 leads in seven-game sets.
To hear what it was like to play professional football in the early days of the NFL, you’d want to talk to a guy like Y.A. Tittle. Interested in the history of the feminist movement? Go hear a Gloria Steinem talk. George McGovern could tell you all you needed to know about trying to change a political party.
And if you wanted to learn about folk music — which reaches back several centuries yet still shapes the music we hear today — you couldn’t do much better than going to a Tom Rush concert.