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The Rope Swing is a Green Mountain College Student run blog. We hope that you enjoy learning about the college as you follow each of our eleven bloggers. Each student has a different unique story to tell and will guide you through their own journey at Green Mountain College. Read more  >>


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A day in the life of Perry's : By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

Perry's Diner lies directly in the center of Main St. in Poultney, Vermont. It is a small but quaint diner with a homey feel and delicious smell. It is the place where many GMC students come for breakfast or brunch and to catch up with friends or do their schoolwork. With affordable prices and yummy food, it is the place I come when I'm craving a breakfast sandwich and some non Green Mountain coffee. I come for breakfast dates with friends and to get off campus for an hour or two.

Perry's, like most good diners, harbors a family-like feeling of warmth and positivity and always offers welcoming waitresses and busy happy chatter in the kitchen just beyond the swinging doors. Often, when visiting, you'll meet other students or Poultney residents. It's definitely a must visit place for any Green Mountainer. 

When looking online, there are countless positive reviews! This one in particular caught my eye: "This place made the overall best breakfast I have had out in a long time.  My egg was cooked perfectly.  This never happens so I was stunned and very pleased!  The fried potatoes were made in house from scratch and not those horrid frozen ones encountered almost everywhere these days.  The bacon was tasty.  The toast was yummy and made from bread they bake in house.  Cabot butter was available on the table.  I have no complaints other than it was a little smokey from the kitchen-but hey that was probably because they were actually cooking rather than warming things up in the microwave.  I'd be here all the time if it was near my home!"

Don't miss the opportunity to go visit Perrys! You won't regret it :)


GMC Track & Field

By: Matthias Baudinet


      Though Green Mountain College is not a division 1 school with a huge surge of athletes coming through its gates every fall, the athletic spirit here at Green Mountain is strong and genuine. With already 12 competitive NCAA Division 3 Varsity sports offered through the athletic department, in March of 2014 the athletic department announced that it would add men's and women's track & field to that list of varsity sports. 
      The new sport will be in season during the spring semester. Not only will this addition bumped GMC offered sports to 13, but Green Mountain College will also join fellow rivals Colby-Sawyer College and New England College in being the only members of the North Atlantic Conference that offer track & field (along with 38 other New England Division 3 schools).
      The addition of this sport was very well received by GMC students. Once the sport was suggested to be offered, student interest grew rapidly, and ultimately led to the creation of the program. President Paul Fonteyn also showed support in the addition of the sport. "I am very excited about the addition of track & field and the response of our current students...it demonstrates the commitment of Athletic Director Keith Bosley and VP Joseph Petrick to expanding and strengthening NCAA Division III athletics at GMC."
      That same summer, the athletic department announced that coach Peter Steese would be appointed as the inaugural coach of the program. Already coaching soccer, coach Steese has 18 years of experience of coaching track & field, and has guided student-athletes in New England to both regional and national recognition. He coached track & field for many years at Colby-Sawyer College, and is a United States Association of Track and Field Level I certified coach. 
      Not only has coach Steese coach 5 All-American athletes, but he also brought his former teams to 99 New England Track & Field championship appearances, 22 ECAC individual championship appearances, and 10 NCAA Division III championship qualifiers. 
      Being a former track & field athlete myself, I am very excited for the addition of the program and cannot wait for the season to start. Track & field is a universal sport, and is one of the oldest sports on Earth (some argue that IT is the oldest sport on the planet). Track takes determination, perseverance, motivation, will-power, and most importantly--guts. The fact that other sports apply running as a punishment speaks to the amount of strength and endurance required to participate in the sport. 
      Though the spring athletic season is not yet here, I encourage all of you to support the GMC track & field teams this coming spring, and in the meantime go out and support the winter sports currently in season! 



Salt Lake City

By: Matthias Baudinet


     This past winter break I had the chance to head out West. Being from France, I never have gotten the chance to travel in that region of the United States. For two weeks I was in the capital of the state of Utah--Salt Lake City. The city is surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The city lies in a valley between mountains, which means that you are always able to see the snow-capped, white mountains. 
     The reason for me visiting Utah is because my father recently moved to Utah for work purposes. Being a pastry chef, he was offered a top position at a world-famous hotel--the 5 Diamond Grand America Hotel. My father has worked in kitchens since he was a small boy. Son to a baker, he grew up around flour, bread, chocolate, and pastries. Its in his blood. As soon as he arrived at the Grand America everyone was instantly impressed with his skills and capabilities. 
     When I arrived in Salt Lake City I was immediately impressed by the friendliness of people and the overall cleanliness of the city. For a big city, Salt Lake was remarkably clean. The streets had barely any trash on the sides, the sidewalks looked brand-new, and there was very little graffiti. As stated above, the people were extremely friendly--almost too friendly. But, it did seem that their general kindness was genuine. 
     After spending some time in the city, going to restaurants, shops, cafes, and talking with local residents I became aware of the dominance of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Saints in the area (aka Mormons). Some people attributed the cleanliness and orderly nature of Salt Lake to the influence of the Mormon Church. After spending two weeks there I started to notice that almost everything was owned by a very influential and wealthy Mormon family. They owned libraries, hotels, restaurants, gas-stations, parks, businesses, and many other establishments in the city. 
     While in Salt Lake, I was astonished with the great diversity of the population. I went to Korean restaurants, Chinese restaurants, French restaurants, Bulgarian restaurants, Belgian restaurants, Vietnamese restaurants and so many more. Plus, all of these restaurants were owned by someone of the same nationality of the cuisine they were serving. 
     Utah is known to have to the "best snow on Earth." That saying is even on their license plates. People have it on bumper stickers, and there are banners with those words everywhere around Salt Lake City. When I visited nearby Park City, I admired the beautiful slopes from a distance as I quit skiing years ago. For me, the best part of Salt Lake was that I got the great vibes and hospitality of a small town in a big American city. If you are a fan of clean streets and friendly people I highly recommend visiting Salt Lake City. 



Unity in France

By: Matthias Baudinet

        Since its birth, the 21st century has been very troubling. It seems that every morning when we turn the tv on and put on the news we learn about another bombing somewhere, murders, kidnappings, suicides, and other unfortunate events. On January 7th, 2015, at around 11:30am the famous satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. These terrorists killed a total of 12 people that included magazine editors, cartoonists, and police officers. The two terrorist brothers also wounded another 12 people right in the heart of Paris. The terrorists attacked freedom of speech and freedom of expression. These two fundamental pillars of Western civilization are not embraced by many radical, extremist groups all over the world.

        On the 9th of January 2015, another radical Islamic terrorist took hostages at a Paris Kosher supermarket. This separate event was conducted by a Muslim terrorist that supported and encouraged the Charlie Hebdo shooting by stating that "Charlie Hebdo insulted our sacred prophet and religion." The hostage-taker killed 4 people until he himself was killed while 9 people were severely injured. These two terrorist acts where supported and funded by Al Qaeda. Though they were French citizens, they belonged to one of many underground terrorist cells in Europe. These radicalized Muslims tried to scare the Western world by staging unsuccessful attacks on the freedoms and liberties that French people (and other Western nationalities) enjoy. Instead of giving into fear, millions of French people all throughout France (and around the world) gathered and marched in Republican marches that stood for liberty and unity in these troubled times.

        On the 10th and 11th of January 2015, millions of people all across France gathered in the center of many French cities to march in "Republican marches" in response to the multiple terrorist attacks that had occurred only a few days before. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, and people of many other faiths came together in unity against terrorism. French Jews with symbolic signs that stated "I am Charlie, I am Muslim, I am French" showed how despite fundamental religious differences, French people saw each other as one. Muslims and Christians carried similar signs in many of the Republican marches all over France. 

        Leaders from over 40 countries attended the main Republican march in Paris at the famous Place de la République. Thousands of French citizens around the world showed support for the marches that stood for freedom of speech and the fight against terrorism by creating their own smaller marches. In total, about 444,000 people marched outside of France. The biggest foreign rallies took place in Montreal, Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Vienna, New York City, Moscow, Stockholm, Madrid, and Dublin. 

        In France, over 4.4 million people attended one of many Republican marches. This was the largest public rally in French history since the French Revolution of 1789. Bigger than when France celebrated her victory in World War I, or when France celebrated her liberation from the Nazis in 1944. Stores were closed, all government officials throughout France attended the rallies and millions of French people took off work to be part of the largest unity march in French history. Paris accounted for more than half of the 4.4 million who attended the Republican marches. Over 2 million French citizens in Paris alone gathered for one of the biggest marches in world history. 

       The French people came together in one of the most terrible events in France in the 21st century. They honored the lives and memories of all those who perished in the unfortunate attacks and shootings, and showed the world that the French would continue to be a beacon of free speech and liberty in the world, and continue to fight against all those who would seek to destroy that. Vive la France!


My Last Semester

By: Matthias Baudinet

     Since the fall of 2011 I have been part of the GMC family. I still remember applying to Green Mountain College in the fall of 2010. All the hustle and bustle of getting letters of recommendation, constructing your resume, sending your SAT scores, and writing the personal statement essay all make the college-application process a memorable part of one's life--especially my life. The day that I submitted my application was the first step to a new chapter in my life. 

     Coming to Green Mountain College changed my life significantly. Before being a student there I was not an environmentally conscious person. I had the typical mindset of an ordinary, privileged, upper-class, conservative, young French citizen. My primary Roman Catholic education did not provide me with the tools to understand today's problems--both environmental and political. Though I am very proud of my upbringing, my heritage, my culture, and my religion, they did not include a strong environmental education.  

     Since my 7 semesters at Green Mountain College I have developed into a well-rounded young individual with the tools and skill set to make a difference in the world. That is the beauty of a Green Mountain education. Professors at GMC do a great job at providing knowledge on environmentalism, environmental justice, environmental policy, and environmental racism. By learning that knowledge students have the potential to educate others and make rational decisions when it comes to elections. 

     The GMC community has the power to make one feel at home. To me, since my freshman year I have felt welcomed and appreciated at Green Mountain. The community is one that is openly friendly and open-minded which makes all sorts of people feel like they have a second home in Poultney, Vermont. The small town complements GMC's small campus. The tight-knit GMC community fosters an academic environment that pushes students to beyond their limits. 

     Spring 2015 is my last semester at Green Mountain College. After almost four years in Vermont I have had the time of my life. I have pursued academic endeavors that interest me, I met fascinating people, made great friends, and saw great places. I experienced harsh, cold Vermont winters, and the beauty of springtime in New England. I spent hours in the Griswold library while I read and studied, and watched the trees slip into autumn. 

     In May I will graduate and start another chapter in my life. I am most excited about this coming semester. Not only because of the classes I will be taking, but also because I want to make the most of this last brief period at GMC. Though I will be sad when I leave Green Mountain College, I am also happy that I will become fully dependent and a contributing citizen to society. Green Mountain College has prepared me for many things. The education that I received will help me greatly in becoming the gentleman that I want to be.