Bored How-To: Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

Ever since I got to college, I’ve been dying to try to make a mug cake.

If you’ve never heard of them before (are you in college?), mug cakes are essentially tiny cakes for one that you can supposedly make with very few, very basic ingredients, and in a MUG. So cute, right? It’s like the broke-er, humbler version of a cupcake. But just as sweet and delicious.

I don’t know why it took me almost two whole years to finally get this bug out of my system (oh, right, homework) but my friends and I have finally started experimenting with the fabled mug cake recipes. And they are super duper fun. Plus, we’re only using ingredients that we can scrounge on campus from the Marché and the Redstone Market, so they are incredibly easy for anyone at UVM to try to make. If you’ve got a sweet tooth and a little time on your hands (or need a good excuse to procrastinate), here is my version of a chocolate-chip-cookie-in-a-mug recipe. Good luck! ♥



Processed with Rookie



Baking How To

Processed with Rookie

Processed with Rookie

Check out our Pinterest for more cooking ideas!

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Burlington Snow Days

After months of skimpy flakes and even a few rainstorms, it’s finally here: the snow. Winter in Vermont isScreen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.00.47 PM actually looking like winter in Vermont and it’s already nearly February! Burlington in the snow is both a blessing and a curse. It’s cozy, fun, and has all the lovely small-town charm of a life-sized snow globe. On the other hand though, it can be bitterly cold, treacherously slippery, and a little difficult to see through when the wind off the lake blows it in your face (does anyone else desperately wish that it was more socially acceptable to wear goggles around campus??) But all in all, we’re UVM-ers, and so at the end of the day, most of us can love a great snowy day.

But aside from the obvious (Skiing? Snowboarding?) what else is there to do around town when we suddenly get buried under a couple inches of snow? I, personally, have a few favorite haunts that I’ll let you in on.

First of all, there is nothing better to do when the weather gets weather-y than to bundle up and make your way over to the warm, Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.06.11 PMdark, popcorn-full hideout of Merrill’s Roxy. With all of the awards season buzz that is swarming around the news these days, I’ve been aching to get over there and catch up on some of the latest and greatest flicks. Plus, I’ve been able to collect even more free movie tickets from Student Life than usual this year because (have you heard???) they’re being given out on Mondays AND Tuesdays now! That means that you could theoretically spend pretty much all weekend at the movies. Which is sounding pretty good to me right about now.

Secondly, the increasingly cold weather has had the side effect of increasing my consumption of hot drinks and caffeine, and so whileScreen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.03.02 PM I’m not hibernating at the movie theater, I might also be found attempting to be productive in the lovely café called New Moon. Not only do they have delicious cappuccinos, chai lattes, and all manner of teas, they also have an amazing salad bar and sandwich selection. It’s the perfect power food to power you through that mountain of homework that isn’t looking too entertaining right now.

Last, but certainly not least, if you can bundle up enough to make it all the way down to the waterfront for a walk along the bike path, I’ve always found that it’s well worth the trek. I’ve always found that if I’m starting to get down about the weather or cave to the January blues, the most reinvigorating thing to do is to get out IN it. The cold will wake you up, the sights will lift your spirits, and the walk will get the blood flowing to your brain again. Especially in the winter, when we tend to be more prone to duck down and stay inside, the snow-globe of campus can feel like being trapped in a bubble. But don’t forget that to burst it, all you’ve got to do is take the first step!

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.00.20 PM

How do you try to make the most of the winter? Feel free to connect with us and let us know! Happy snowy days lovely UVM-ers! ♥

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Winterfest is Back and Better Than Ever

Hey UVM, it may have been significantly below zero last week, but if you know where to go, the Burlington windchill and the freezing Vermont winters don’t have to get you down. This year, campus is bringing back its perennial Winterfest, but this year, it seems that UVM is totally kicking it up a notch. No doubt about it, there’s something going on that absolutely everyone can get into. Usually, I’m so fearful of the cold I’d be the last person encouraging you to get back into those layers and get out there, but I have a feeling that this year, Winterfest is going to be worth it. Plus, it’s always seemed to me that there’s nothing better for beating the winter blues than engaging with people, listening to music, getting active, and warming up with free food. So, why not? Right?

Why should YOU go to Winterfest?



That’s right…there’s no denying that free coffee and hot cocoa would be the perfect way to start your wintery day. Just find UPB in the Davis Center atrium on your way to class to score some! Plus, we heard that there will be a limited number of Winterfest coffee tumblers being given away if you get there early…


Ben and Jerrys


Usually, I’m not really a big fan of cold foods like ice cream on a cold day…but A) It’s B & J’s and B) It’s FREE. I hear there’ll be two flavors (Milk & Cookies and Phish Food) and I’m sure I won’t be the only other person there, so show up early!



When the cold really, really gets into my bones, there’s absolutely nothing that can get rid of the chill except for exercise. And I know that not all of us are super eager to leap onto the treadmill either, so if you’re looking for a low-key (and FREE) way to warm up those muscles, try out this Davis Center yoga class!


A mug and colored sharpies


Ahhh I know that there’s a crafter hidden deep inside all of us. Dig into your inner Pinterest and make a cute, artsy mug that you can fill with the free hot drinks our friends at UPB will be supplying.




It’s pretty tempting to burst out into song when you hear these catchy tunes, and now, it’s socially acceptable! This is the perfect way to “let go” of some of that beginning-of-the-semester-stress…



Now that Spotify has named Misterwives as one of their forecasted stars for 2015, there’s really no reason not to go see these guys. Admittedly, this is one of the only Winterfest activities that isn’t free, but such a big name band for only $5? I don’t know about you, but that sounds totally worth it to me.




Sledding isn’t just for kids anymore (was it ever though, really?). Being able to enjoy the snow rather than grumble about it makes winter SO much more enjoyable. Take the plunge. Go sledding!

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Eight Days Before BREAK

8051411945_c2b5af4d40_mI don’t know about you, but with Thanksgiving so late in the semester this year, I am truly running on fumes in order to crawl across the finish line right now. There will be no celebratory leaping into the void of vacation because there is a distinct possibility that I will be on my hands and knees groping my way to the end of next Friday with a few too many too many understudied exams behind me and pumpkin pie in my mind’s eye.


That said, I’m doing my best to keep my head above water to overcome the procrastination and the fatigue and make the most of these last few days ahead of us, because there are only EIGHT of them left! Here’s how I’m doing it.

Eight days before break.

TGIF. There was a lot to be done last week and there is still a lot to do in the next couple days, but for the moment, the healthiest thing to do is forget about it all and relax. I’ve totally earned it, right? Let’s get hooked up with a cup of tea.

Seven days before break.

Saturday has struck! I have recently noticed that the Cats at the Movies tickets that I’ve been hoarding and forgetting to use all semester expire on December 5th! Therefore, this is one of the last weekends to use them. I guess this means a night (or two or three) at the movies with me and a few of my nearest and dearest movie buffs.

Six days before break.

Sunday = work day. Time to make up for all that procrastination. Trying to avoid a crash with these tips!

Five days before break.

Mondays start (far too early) for me with an 8:30am geology lab, and they stay pretty busy from there. I find that the best way to self-motivate is with a treat at the end of the day…Hendersons’ chai latte; here I come!

Four days before break.

With everything that happens this time of year, it is far far too easy to forget to head outside, but despite how much I moan and groan, I always know that some fresh air will get me back on track in no time. For some ideas for some quick walks to get the blood flowing before launching back into the madness, check this out.

Three days before break.

Happy Hump Day! We’re nearly there, I promise. Here’s to last-minute late night essays, midnight cramming sessions, and putting it off just a liiiiiiiittle bit longer. Oh, hello there my old friend Pinterest.

Two days before break.

Because I’m one of those strange folks who would rather do their laundry at school than truck it home to throw it in the familial wash, this Thursday is laundry and packing day. It may be a drag, but guess what? It means we’re almost there!



Hooray! Huzzah! We’ve done it! Even if you’ve decided to roll to class (good thing we live on a hill) or have downgraded to an army crawl at a snail’s pace at this point, we’ve all made it. And that’s what counts. We’ll see you on the other side UVM-ers! And don’t forget to tag your vacation Instagrams with #BoredOnBreak to let us know how you’re making the most of the time off!

Good luck with the last few days and lots of ♥ from Ruby & the BORED Team!

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How to Better Explore Burlington

Although we live in a small place, I find that it is often still too easy to get tunnel vision that encourages us to adhere to our usual path, forgetting to explore even so far as our backyards. Yes, we’ll travel, we’ll go out of town for a few weekends, but its as if we’re under the impression that we’ve already seen all there is to see under own feet. Since moving to Burlington, every couple of months I seem to have a “re-awakening”, when I realize that I’ve been assuming that I’ve already seen and done it all and givenlocalvores myself a free pass to give up trying new things, and then suddenly I remember again the extent of what really is going on in our city.

Although I’m as big a fan of traveling as anyone, its an even bigger breath of fresh air to realize that there is actually tons of new exploring to be done right here in the vicinity of our homes. One means that I’ve found to keeping up this spirit of domestic exploration, is the organization called Localvore, whose mission is to connect local businesses, industries, and events with local people.

And with offices down on the waterfront in the building to the left of the Skinny Pancake, Localvore couldn’t be more local themselves. The way it works is simple; Localvore offers coupons and discounts at local businesses and for local activities on their website, which locals can buy in order to get deals at places that they already eat and shop at, or get to try entirely new places for incredibly cheaply! It’s a win-win-win. There’s absolutely no downside here.

Indian foodThis week, I went on a Localvore experiment of my own in order to see this outcome in action. Although there were some more expensive deals, I went for the “Pay $6 for $12 of food at Shalimar of India”, because its cheap, 50% off, and who doesn’t love indian food? And in the end, my Localvore adventure absolutely paid off. Not only did I get to try some spicy new indian foods at a new place, the whole thing revived my spirit of adventure, and afterwards my friend and I went gallavanting off to a show at the Flynn and then discovered the brand new “Lamp Shop” on Winooski Ave.

Despite having hardly travelled more than a few blocks away from my dorm room, the night fulfilled some of the wanderlustiness that had been plaguing me recently. It wasn’t very far, sure, but a grand adventure nonetheless.

For a new experience of your own, check out the Localvore website to see what deals they’re offering this week! Happy exploring! ♥

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Why We’re Loving Fall at UVM

First and foremost, downtown is absolutely hustling and bustling with events!

Church Street Burlington

Lately, it has seemed like every week there is a new wave of great new events happening in our nearby area. Our calendar isn’t usually as likely to be stocked quite so chock full of goings-on as it is during the months between September and December. Weekly events like the Arts Riot Truck stops kept up the constant flow of energy and activity, as well as exciting new happenings like the advent of the Eat x NE festival, and the WYSIWYG festival. Even though the warm nights are over and we’re starting to have to bundle up for these colder months, the events are still flying in left and right. With Halloween on the way, we’re getting particularly excited about spooky events like Nightmare Vermont and thinking it might be time to try Queen City Ghost Tours

Secondly…let’s talk about that FOLIAGE this year…am I right?

Fall Foliage Road Vermont

Fall 2014 has undoubtedly had some of the best foliage that Vermont has seen in YEARS! We here at BORED have been going crazy for this marvelous foliage, especially since we’ve had the privilege of seeing everyone’s great foliage pics through #uvmpotd. Check out ongoing foliage reports from the “Leaf Squad” here! Also, fun fact: UVM happens to be a USA Tree Campus, which means that we meet 5 tree-y standards to qualify. Right now, we’re in the running for some prizes in order to receive even MORE trees for our wonderful campus! To help us win, you can vote here!

Thirdly, the great outdoors has had absolutely perfect weather for [insert just about anything here]!


Whether you’re a hiking, kayaking, biking, running, badminton, frisbee, soccer, cloud-watching, star-gazing, etc. fan, this is absolutely the best time of the year to get outside and do it. UVM-ers had a great opportunity to do some hiking AND raise scholarship money this past month during the Catamountain Classic, which succeeded in having the UVM community join together to hike 273 miles of the Long Trail! You can see some of the great instagrams taken on the hike here.

Last but certainly not least, is the fact that we’ve been filling our bellies with delicious fall-y food and drink.


My guilty pleasure, like so many others, is pumpkin spice coffee. Although admittedly, it may not be the greatest flavor combination in the world, and perhaps not the classiest drink, I absolutely cannot stay away from it this time of year. Something about that tantalizing blend of warm cozy coffee and spicy delicious pumpkininess just gets me going! We’ve also been grooving on apples this fall! There has been no shortage of apple themed foods around campus–from apple latkes at the Marché to apple crisp at Harris Millis, there’s just no avoiding this hearty fall favorite, and we’re not complaining!

What have you been loving about fall here? Show us your autumn-y pictures by tagging #uvmpotd !


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Top 5 Reasons You Should Use Localvore

1. It’s an easy way to explore Vermont!

Not only are there tons of offers that are easily accessible in the Burlington area, but Localvore offers coupons for places all over Vermont. Been wanting to go on a spontaneous adventure? Maybe Localvore has a deal at that quirky pizza place you’ve heard tons about—here’s your opportunity to go! The coupons are a great excuse to start exploring a little farther from your usual path.

2. You can save money by getting deals through Localvore’s coupons!

We ARE college students after all…and therefore always scrounging for a good deal. Localvore’s coupons offer all sorts of deals, which could mean eating out for half the price, getting 30% off a great yoga class, or getting two concert tickets for the price of one. What’s to lose?

3. You’ll be supporting local businesses!

One of Localvore’s mottos is “Buy Local, Be Happy”, and we’ve got to say that we agree. Local businesses are part of what make Vermont such a unique and thriving community, and one of the best ways that you can give back is to keep supporting the small businesses that make Vermont so wonderful!

4. Their offers can be delivered to your inbox so you can easily see what’s new!

There’s no need to go out of your way when you want to find out what the newest deals are, because Localvore can let you know in their weekly newsletter. If they’re sponsoring a contest (Year’s supply of Speeder and Earl’s beans, anyone? Free wanderlust ticket?) they’ll also alert you to it in that email. Just sign up on their website!

5. It’s an opportunity to try something new!

Whether its a new restaurant, a new bar, a new yoga studio, an exciting event, or a cafe you haven’t tried before, being a part of Localvore will keep you in the loop about what’s new and exciting in your community, and will give you the opportunity to take advantage of it. Been meaning to try that {insert something out-of-your-comfort-zone here}? Now’s your chance!

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Top 26 Favorite UVM Professors

As voted for by students at UVM and compiled by the BORED team from

Steve Flemer

Steve Flemer

What students said: “He is the best at what he does! He teaches HUGE classes, yet knows every student by name, he explains things in lecture SO well, and always finds ways to connect something as abstract as chemistry to the real world. Not to mention the awesome scene of Gotham he has tattooed on his arm, that just makes him even better!”

Joan Rosebush

Joan Rosebush

What students said: “She is the only professor I have ever met who is willing to meet with you at 10pm or later.”
“She cares about how students do in her class.”
“She is always available to her students and cares about their success.”

Pat Erickson

Pat Erickson

What students said: “She cares so much about her students and their success!”
“She’s hilarious and always wants to help her students!”

Harvey Amani Whitfield

Harvey Amani Whitfield

What students said: “He makes talking about race in America so interactive and interesting. Not to mention that he literally runs around the room shouting because he’s so excited about the subject.”
“One of the absolute best professors I’ve ever had, extremely engaging and smart, and not afraid to talk about the tough shit. He deserves way more recognition.”

Jonathon Leonard

Jonathon Leonard

What students said: “He plays bluegrass music before class starts.”
“Not only does he take the time to actually get to know the students in his CALS lectures, he helps to provide a safe space for students to share their experiences. He embodies the ideal educator in the sense that he learns while also allowing his students to learn alongside him.”

Richard Foote

Richard Foote

What students said: “He is the man!”
“He was instrumental in helping me get into and then navigate grad school at UVM. As the first person in my family to go to college, I have found his guidance to be invaluable as I further my education. He is always available for me to talk with about my goals, and he continues to mentor me as I finish my master’s and look toward a PhD. My success at UVM would not have been possible without him.”

Alan Parshley

Alan Parshley

What students said: “He teaches so many classes in the Music Department, runs the Wind Ensemble, is always willing to accompany you for your recitals and is always willing to make time for his students. He’s also the nicest professor in the whole music building, hands down.”

Ilyse Morgenstein-Feurst

Ilyse Morgenstein-Feurst

What students said: “She teaches religion in a way that is engaging, exciting, and relevant to our lives! She wants to teach the material but gives assignments that make sense to our futures.”

Annika Ljung-Baruth

Annika Ljung-Baruth

What students said: “She is extremely passionate about Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and creates a great atmosphere for conversation in class! She also picks the best readings.”

Rory Waterman

Rory Waterman

What students said: “He teaches chemistry as it is, doesn’t bother with extraneous details or history which isn’t relevant anymore and is a great resource for help and guidance. Plus he has the dry humor I like.”

Jen Hurley

Jen Hurley

What students said: “Her passion and dedication towards the special education field is infectious. She’s an amazing teacher and mentor because she truly knows her field. She inspires me to try harder and think more deeply. I love all of her classes!!!! I know many people would say the same.”

Jennifer Pontius

Jennifer Pontius

What students said: “She makes her her biological statistics class important and interesting within the context of “real life”- plus her enthusiasm for science and great attitude in Remote Sensing! Wish every science teacher was as fun as she!”

Dale Jaffe

Dale Jaffe

What students said: “He is such a great professor. For the class I had with him, SOC54, he was like our mentor/guide to college for our fist semester and he still cares so much about all his students and checks in with me once in a while.”

Todd McGowan

Todd McGowan

What students said: “The funniest/most informative lecturer of all time. A philosopher and a standup comedian rolled into one. Loved his classes on film history and the Teen Picture!”

Kathy Fox

Kathy Fox

What students said: “Super passionate about what she teaches and is out in the community doing what she teaches about!”

Erik Ruggles

Erik Ruggles

What students said: “He’s tough for sure, but he’s a great lecturer, he gives any and all materials and resources to help you succeed, he does fun in-class demos, and he’s always bringing energy and smiles to class. I love his enthusiasm and passion for teaching!”

Larry Kost

Larry Kost

What students said: “1- he smokes a pipe. 2- he wears and winter hat with earflaps. 3- he looks like the classic/stereotypical Vermonter. And last, but certainly not least, 4- he ended class 10 minutes early one day last semester so he could ‘go outside, sit on a rock and sun myself like a lizard.’”

Ellen Marsden

Ellen Marsden

What students said: “Ellen really challenges you to be the best you can be.”

Cathy Paris

Cathy Paris

What students said: “Cathy makes sure you are learning even when she’s testing you. It’s something you so rarely see and it’s really nice.”

André Wright

André Wright

What students said: “He’s the coolest guy ever and is also an awesome advisor, he doesn’t teach many classes but the ones that he does are incredibly interesting and are always fun.”

Hugh Marble

Hugh Marble

What students said: “He was a significant source of support, as my advisor, two semesters ago when I needed it most.”

Cindy Leonard

Cindy Leonard

What students said: “Without her I wouldn’t know the first thing about teaching elementary aged students! She’s amazing!”

Erica Andrus

Erica Andrus

What students said: “Professor Andrus is my favorite professor. She takes the time to ask about me outside of class and takes interest in knowing her students wholeheartedly. She shares about her life and gives us space to do the same. She makes her classes exciting and engaging so much so that you look forward to the next. You can tell she not only loves the material but teaching in general and is willing to learn from us as students like I’ve never seen before.”

Don Loeb

Don Loeb

What students said: “He teaches one of the most interesting,fun and real classes I’ve ever taken. Definitely an awesome guy with the right mindset on teaching us great information.”

Bill Raszka

Bill Raszka

What students said: “He works to make sure all of us are successful. He takes time out of his busy clinical schedule to run our Attacks & Defenses course. He inspires all of his students be great clinicians some day.”

Ben Eastman

Ben Eastman

What students said: “He’s so available to students and makes a big lecture class interesting with jokes and activities to get out of your seat. Also he’s an awesome guy and plays frisbee!”

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5 Ways To Avoid Midterm Breakdowns

1. Eat 3 meals a day!

This may seem a little obvious, but we know how easy it can be to forget a meal or skip it because you don’t have the time when things seem stressful. But the reality is, your body really needs that food to keep going—especially when you’re stressed! Even if it means setting an alarm on your phone, your body will thank you for taking the time to give it some love.

2. Try the 45-15 rule.

Although it is often feels like the best way to get everything that you need to done is to plow through it for hours on end, there is an inevitable burnout at the end (or in the middle) of that homework marathon. The best way to tackle lots of work, is to be sure to give your brain some rest by working 45 minutes-on, and then 15 minutes-off. That way, you’ll keep up the pace without burning out.

3. Keep your blood moving!

One way to spend those fifteen minutes of brain-rest time? Exercise! Standing up from your desk for a few minutes to stretch, do some jumping jacks, and take some deep breaths will shake up your body enough to revitalize you before you have to launch into more work.

4. Prioritize.

The truth is that there will be times when you simply can’t get it all done. If it seems like this is going to be the case (or even if it doesn’t), try tackling your work by making a list of the most important to the least important, and work on it from one end to the other. That way, the worst of it is over in the beginning and you know that if you don’t make it to the end, it won’t be the worst thing in the world!

5. Try working in a new environment.

We know how easy it is to fall in love with a study nook and have trouble working anywhere else, but changing up your study location could actually be a figurative “breath of fresh air” for your brain. Changing your routine is a healthy thing to do, and it might help you to reinvigorate your studying pep. Check out our blog on alternative study corners for some more ideas.

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Exploring Burlington Through Coffee

It truly cannot be denied that nothing goes better with a fine fall day than a hot cup of coffee.

Or a latte, or a cappuccino, or an americano or a shot of espresso for that matter. icp1

Thanks to Burlington’s latest foodie phenomenon, I’ve been exploring our beautiful city through its various and abundant cafes, bakeries, and coffee-shops, guided by the help of the Indie Coffee Passport.

The idea is simple: one city, 10 coffees, twelve dollars. Not bad eh? Particularly because the Indie Coffee Passport is not only selling coffee, it’s also selling an experience. Although twelve dollars for ten coffees is already a marvelous deal, the passport also gives you the opportunity to get off your couch and away from your desk, and into the nooks and crannies that comprise Burlington’s beautiful downtown.

I took off for my first stop on my Indie Coffee Passport adventure on a quiet Sunday morning. The sun was shining but there was a chill in the air, and campus was still lost in the quiet moments before the students who stayed out late on Saturday night shook off their fuzziness enough to get out of bed. Being the rare sort of person who actually loves getting up early, I was feeling particularly blissful to have the stillness of the morning all to myself as a I set off down Main Street.

Once I got to the bottom of Main, I took a left instead of following the crowds of tourists over to Church Street, and wandered down until I found Maple Street; the quiet residential street where the cafe called Maglianero’s resides. Maglianero’s is part of a gorgeously remodeled building in a very “industrial chic” style. The style is consistent inside, where the cafe uses the warehouse-studio feel of the space to its benefit, creating a very urban and artistic vibe. Huge windows overlook Lake Champlain and let in tons of natural light, which reflects really nicely on the light floors and whitewashed walls, covered in artwork from local artists. Coffee

The art not only covers the walls though, because each drink that is made by Maglianero’s baristas is a piece of artwork in itself. The drinks not only taste like a symphony, but are visually stunning–Instagram worthy to say the least. I usually stick with cappuccinos whenever I’m at a new place, and this drink did not disappoint in the least. Dare I say, that it was one of the most fantastic coffees that I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a LOT of coffees). Cappuccino in hand, perched on a stool by the window, watching the passerby meander down the sidewalks on a lazy sunday morning; this is my heaven.

For your own taste of coffee and adventure, look for Indie Coffee Passport here.

♥ ♥ ♥

Comment and let us know where your passport takes you, or take a picture and tag us on Instagram with @uvmbored or #uvmpotd. Good luck exploring! 
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But Who IS Gary Derr?

10614399_10152707582016255_1172281856586786265_nWe’ve all gotten the “UVM News You Should Know” emails from the elusive Gary Derr, but the question that we’re all REALLY asking is…who is Gary Derr??? After his special guest appearance in the Davis Center Ball Pit and last year’s fabulous “Email Gary Derr Day”, I figured it was time to find out. That’s why this week, I interviewed the mysterious Gary Derr in an exclusive interview about what life is like through Gary Derr’s eyes. Read our interview with the ultimate behind-the-scenes-man to get the scoop…

When did you start working at UVM? What were you doing when you began here?

I started in July 2000 in the president/provost office.  Prior to that I was the Dean of Students at Green Mountain College for 10 years.

What does your job now entail?

I provide executive level support to a variety of operations in the President’s Office.  I have a great staff that do an amazing job.  Together we manage all presidential events including convocation and commencement.  I manage senior level searches.  I direct the administrative review process.  And anything else the President asks me to do! The office is complex and never slow.  There is always something going on.

How do you feel about “Email Gary Derr” Day? How does it feel to be a bit of a campus celebrity?

It was a great day!  A lot of fun.  I tried to respond to every email – took a while.  One student replied to my message back that he was impressed that I replied even at 11:00 p.m.  I got some amazing messages.  I am humbled by my celebrity standing!

How long have you lived in Burlington and what brought you here?

I actually do not live in Burlington.  I live in a small town – Danby, Vermont – about two hours south of UVM.  During the summer months I live on board a small sail boat on Lake Champlain.  In the winter months, I rent a small cabin in Panton, Vermont.  We are a two career family in a small state, so we make it work. My wife loves her work in Rutland County and I love my work at UVM.  I came to UVM to in 1998 to get my doctorate degree in higher education.  I graduated in 2002.

What are some of your favorite things to do around Burlington?

I love to do anything on Lake Champlain.  I also think that the restaurant options in the Burlington are are amazing.

When is your favorite Vermont season? Why?

I know this is going to sound silly, but all four are my favorite for different reasons.  Winter – we love to snowshoe, cross country ski, and down hill ski.  We also enjoy sitting by the wood stove reading a book.  Spring –  great to watch everything start to come alive.  We enjoy walking in the woods and see the flora and fauna start to emerge.  Seeing the first blue bird return to the boxes is always a treat.  Summer – we garden way to much.  We have extensive organic vegetable gardens and flower gardens.  We grow all our vegetables for the year so it is a lot of work.  We have a small pond and after a long day floating on inner tubes is about as relaxing as it can get!  Summer we also spend time sailing Lake Champlain.  What a great experience.  Fall is spectacular as the leaves change.  Hiking is always great this time of year.

Sorry, all Vermont seasons are my favorite!

What is your favorite place to eat on campus? What is your favorite food?

I eat mostly in the Waterman Cafe and Waterman Manor because my office is located in Waterman.  I love the fresh salads they offer often with local produce.

My favorite food is anything made with local organic ingredients.  Right now our favorite dinner is tomatoes and basil with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and fresh corn both from our gardens.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

The Davis Center is amazing.  It is hard to remember the campus with out the Davis Center.  It is such hub of activity for all members of the UVM community.

What are your favorite events to attend on campus?

Anything student related.  I do not get out often enough because of my schedule.  Commencement is my most favorite event each year. It is great to celebrate the accomplishments of our students.  To see the excitement in their eyes and the pride of their family members is really moving.  Commencement is a reminder of why we are all here!

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Chunky Sweaters and Musical Saws

Oh my, Neutral Milk Hotel, you can do no wrong.

Wednesday night was one of our first perfect fall nights; warm air, cool breeze, nearly full moon–the whole thing. And also, consequently, the perfect night for seeing one of indie rock’s universally favorite bands, Neutral Milk Hotel. The opportunity to see them live is an especially huge treat since the band hardly ever tours, so the fact that they stayed in Burlington for two nights was extraordinary.

The ballroom was packed to the brim. but with the sort of folks who aren’t pushy or obnoxious at concerts, but are instead able to fill up a whole room without creating claustrophobia or frustration with too many sweaty elbows in your face. Everyone was calm and happy as we waited for the band to appear, but the anticipation in the audience was tangible, and when Neutral Milk Hotel finally made their first appearance, they were greeted by an extremely enthusiastic roar from the crowd.

Jeff Mangum, the lead vocalist and guitarist, opened the show with a few solo songs, some of the classics which the whole crowd was able to sing along to, imitating Jeff’s unique vocals. Everyone particularly loved Jeff’s alpaca sweater, which, although it looked broiling up on the lighted stage, would’ve easily fit in on the streets of Burlington. After a few songs, the rest of the band humbly took to the stage to help Jeff finish out the repeat chorus as a whole group. Though they were met with huge rounds of applause and eager cheers, the band stayed quiet and serene throughout the show.

Overall, it was an incredibly gorgeous night. The whole concert, although it was clearly a performance, had a definitively intimate feeling, as though we were all good friends listening to a little jam session on an early autumn night. If they EVER come around again, Neutral Milk Hotel is absolutely a must-see, but for now, here’s a little sampler of one of their most popular songs to help you finish out this chilly week. Happy listening!

Also, check out the rest of Higher Ground’s calendar here:

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