About The Rope Swing

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.


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GMC Sophomore Annie Tuthill- By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

For this blog, it is my pleasure to introduce you to a Green Mountain College sophomore and my fellow colleague on the social media team, Annie Tuthill.

I decided to interview Annie about the story that led to her decision to come to GMC.

Seraphina: Annie, Why did you come to Green Mountain College?

Annie: Well, I was looking into coming to school in Vermont and I was deciding between UVM and GMC, but GMC had an amazing sustainable agriculture program and they were willing to help me with financial aid. I actually came to visit the day before classes started and I was super anxious, but they helped me relax and make me feel at home and I felt comfortable here right away. It was cool. They gave me a t-shirt and everything. I'd actually applied and had taken a gap year but GMC was always in the back of my mind.

Seraphina: How did you hear about GMC?

Annie: Well, my friend Madi Zeek actually told me about it. We went to high school together in Jamestown, Rhode Island. She told me all about the farm on campus and that made me really excited. I'm currently undecided but I'm heavily leaning toward 'Sustainable Agriculture'. Well that's actually not true, I want to design my own major that comes agriculture, film-making and media. I want to make films about what's going on relating to environmental issues. And I love farms.

Seraphina: That's awesome! Are you working on any films right now?

Annie: Well, as you know, I actually work for the Green Mountain College social media team and I get to make lots of fun videos about things happening on campus. I just made a video about the new baby goats that were born on the Cerridwen farm.

Seraphina: What advice would you give to a student about whether or not they were going to come to Green Mountain?  

 Annie: I would tell them to think about what kind of college experience they're going to want, and if they like a sort of small community feel where you can get to really know everyone and interact then choose Green Mountain!

 During her spare time, Annie is a kite-skiier! Go start up a conversation with her to find out more! 



Study Abroad in Nepal with GMC! By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

This December: You have the opportunity to go abroad to visit the country of Nepal with Green Mountain College! I had the opportunity to attend the informational session that Joe Petrick held a few days ago, and below is listed some of the important information that he shared with us about this trip:


Don't forget to apply by APRIL 1st OR talk to Administrative member Joe Petrick about extending your time if you have further questions. This should be an amazing experience!


Student Casualties in Myanmar

By: Natalie House

The uprisings of peaceful protests by university students in Myanmar have been met with violence from police, resulting in deaths and imprisonment of students. Police are using lethal weapons during these actions, causing major uproar and riots.

The protests are in opposition to the recently passed education bill that seeks to dictate the following in institutions of higher education: restrictions in funding, the prohibition of student-teacher unions, and influence over other education related laws and polices.

Protestors believe that education is a right for citizens and think the Myanmar government should be investing heavily in institutions of higher education to improve the overall economy. Students are also pushing for more freedom within the education system.

Tonight, GMC students came together to show our support for Myanmar students with a group photo that reads “Green Mountain Supports Myanmar Students.”


Call for #GMCspring pics!

By: Natalie House

In effort to celebrate the transition into spring, the GMC Social Media Team is launching an Instagram photo contest. Students and staff are encouraged to post pictures to Instagram continuously over the next two weeks (contest ends 4/6) using the hashtag #GMCspring. The best photos will be displayed in Withey Lobby! Here are some submissions thus far (including one from our spirited President, Paul Fonteyn!):


#GMCspring #greenmtncollective, #gmcvt, @greenmtncollege

A photo posted by @fonteynp on Mar 23, 2015 at 11:30am PDT





๐ŸŒฟ LiFe #GMCspring

A photo posted by Heather Keir (@heatherkeir17) on Mar 21, 2015 at 2:46pm PDT




Apple Appreciation - By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

Yesterday in Professor Mark Daily's Human Ecology class, we talked about the history of food production and food consciousness. My group was given an apple as asked to talk a little bit about where it came from and how it got here. This breif in-class exercise made me realize I wanted to know more about apples, so I decided to do some research.

The apple has emerged as a fruit that has been recognized and admired from the very beginning of human history. Celebrated across multiple religions and societies, the apple dates back to many of the famous stories that we tell today. Apples play major roles in history ranging all the way from symbolizing temptation in the early biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden or the studies of anthropological data on the Stone Age and humans in Europe, having found the charred remains of apples in a Stone Age village in Switzerland. Greek and Roman mythology refer to apples as symbols of love and beauty. In England during the first century B.C., Romans conquered the land, bringing apple cultivation with them, even though their apples were less edible. The first trees to produce sweet, flavorful apples similar to those we enjoy today were located many thousands of years ago near the modern city of Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. Consider the story of William Tell, an archer who was arrested and then promised his freedom if he can shoot an apple off his son’s head with an arrow when being ordered by Swiss invaders. The Greeks were also growing several varieties of apples by the late 300’s BC.

As the U.S. was settling as a country, almost every farm in the states grew some sort of apple. Many of the varieties that were originally grown would be considered very poor quality fruit today, although some were quite good. Of nearly eight thousand varieties known around the world, the U.S. contains about one hundred grown in commercial quantities, with their top ten including over ninety percent of the crop.

In the mythological sense, apples have been seen as sacred or magical in almost every country in which they are grown, even early on in history. According to myth, on the day of December the twenty-fifth, Christmas day, if the sun could be seen shining through an apple tree’s branches, then the owner of said tree, if he were a farmer, would secure a healthy crop the following summer. In ancient Sumerian belief, the pentangle was a symbol that represented the teachings of spiritual growth and development, and the apple, when cut in half, contains a small pentangle shape within its center. The apple is sacred and symbolizes eternity, represented with the goddess Kore who is also known as the queen of the underworld.

The Orchard-Visiting wassail refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year. Wassailing the apple trees was intended to awaken the sleeping apple tree spirit and drive away bad luck. It usually took place around Yule and townspeople would cheer their drinks to the trees and throw cider over its roots. They would even put a piece of toast soaked in cider into a fork of the tree’s branches. Guns were fired through the tops of the trees branches and a ruckus was made all around. People would usually dance and sing around the apple trees. They believed that if they were to disregard the ritual then they would see a poor crop of apples that year.

In many parts of England, destroying an orchard was almost sacrilegious. It was said that if an orchard had been destroyed to make way for another crop, that crop would never flourish. It was considered unlucky in Yorkshire to strip an apple tree entirely: you should always leave a few apples as gifts for the fairies. It was also thought that an apple could be peeled in one long strip and tossed backwards over the left shoulder, leaving a peel that would fall into the shape of the initial of one’s future husband or wife. Samhain, the Pagan celebration of Halloween that celebrates the time when the veil is thinnest between the realm of the living and of the death, had an old charm for unmarried young people to tie an apple onto a piece of string and whirl it around in front of a fire. The partner whose apple fell off first was said to be the first to marry; the one left without an apple was doomed never to be married.

The phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has proven to also contain much wisdom. The health benefits of eating an apple are profound. Apples are low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, niacin and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Eating apples has been associated with lower risk of a variety of cancers, stroke and diabetes. These nutritional powerhouses may also help protect the brain from developing diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Apples could even lower a person’s risk of tooth decay.  The apple is a mysterious and multi-faceted fruit that plays a pivotal role in society. It’s very difficult to even try to imagine that there was no such thing as an apple. It just doesn’t seem right to say “The banana of my eye”, or associate Snow White’s wicked stepmother’s devious plan with a tangerine. Isaac Newton may not have been able to discover gravity if he had been sitting under an orange tree instead of an apple.