Last spring, being away from the UV made me realize how much I love it. Madrid, however much I love it, and fondly look back on it, made me find myself.
We care about what we eat. We don’t put chemicals into our food.
We like renewable energy and efficient cars.
Not so goods:
Why are you judging me? You’re a posh, superficial ninny. Get over yourself.
Why don’t these people recycle?
Do all of these women come from the Spanish girl factory? Are you all the same? Do you think for yourself?
Clarification: They’re not all the same. There are down to earth people everywhere, but Madrid is considerable more homogenous than Burlington.
I’ve already gone through this, and I fully appreciate and embrace cultural differences, but y’all hopefully know what I mean.
Where does this all point? Where does this mindset I love hang out?
Yes, you guessed it. Vermont. Thank you admissions at Boston College, Dartmouth, Villanova, Cornell, etc. for not accepting me three years ago, because I wouldn’t be where I am today had I gone somewhere else. Sure, I can be happy anywhere. Cornell would be great. Zack loves Dartmouth. Life is give and take, and it just to turns out that I’m doing everything I want to do here at UVM. Pentathlon. Business. Spanish. Spain. Argentina. Slade.
Yes. Slade. It’s like Oz for people who care.
Being away from UVM made me realize how much I love my school. Where does the essence of the UV reside? The environmental co-op. Slade Hall.
Senior spring of high school, visiting UVM, my parents and I went to talk to Stacy, a counselor at Nashoba North who was a senior (?) at that point. She was an RA in the Greenhouse (dorm with an environmental theme). I asked how green the greenhouse was. She informed me that it wasn’t excessive. There was a dorm called Slade for the hard-core folk.
Well, freshman year, I roomed with a high jumper named Ross. Ross and I learned a lot from each other. We made each other a lot more open-minded in terms of peoples’ differences (in a good way).
Freshman year, when I wanted to go out, I would go to 239, So. Prospect Street, or what was then known as the Cross-Country House. One night, some sweet people came in, and invited us to a party down the street at Slade. I thought SURE. I’m down. In my polo and white jeans (which are now white jhorts, thank the Lord Jesus my Savoir*), I walked south to 420 So. Prospect St, looked into the basement, saw people dancing shirtless to a jam-band, and said, I can’t go down there, I look like a yuppie. I went back to 239, not realizing how open the people down there was. Slade was intimidating at first. That was my first and only experience with Slade.
*This is sarcasm. Jesus and I aren’t friends.
One day in nouveau-riche Madrid, I thought, “Where do I want to live next year?”
On campus was good, but where can I find the true community I have here in Spain? Where can I find people like me? Can I bend the rules, so I don’t have to deal with dining halls, annoying freshmen, and people who just don’t care? Wasn’t there that place called Slade?
Isn’t that like Chewonki? Didn’t I love the Chewonki mindset?
Don’t I love eating good, fresh, local, sustainable food?
Do I love gardening?
Do I like people who are interested in who I am as much as I’m interesting in who they are?
*Writes long application to Spring 2011 Sladers about dancing about liking wolves etc., running, eating my pseudo-paleo diet, just normal HPG stuff, being shirtless frequently, Pentathlon.*
*2011 Sladers like application.*
Over the summer, I email Emily Piché about stuff. I become more excited. Emily is the shit.
Fall 2011. I show up at Slade. The first person I meet is Taylor. I don’t know her name. She just looks at me. She is wearing a white and blue dress. Is she judging me?
First Slade meeting, I fall in love with it. It’s like heaven.
So if you’ve read this, and you’re still confused, here’s what Slade is (Angie Freeman, if you’re reading this, take notes):
Slade is an environmental co-op. Cool, thanks for the description.
We order our food locally from the source or City Market, and we each cook once per week. Cook crew gets together two hours before dinner, and whips up the greatest vegetarian food ever. Creativity is a plus.
We also have a garden and a greenhouse to grow a lot of our own vegetables.
We have open-mics every other Wednesday night.
Weekly meeting is on Sundays, where we talk about our weeks, and what we need to do in Slade. It’s super constructive. Usually. Sometimes we beat dead horses, but that’s okay. They’re already dead…no harm done.
Every night is a potluck as well. Anyone can show up, bring whatever large vegetarian dish they desire, and eat with us.
What kind of people would Slade attract?
THE BEST KIND. We’re being articulate here.
Everyone is interested in who everyone else is. Everyone cares.
We compost. A lot. I love compost.
We turn the heat off, because we don’t need it.
We use drying racks instead of the dryer.
We eat together as a family.
We love the natural world.
We bike places, even when it’s cold as balls, just to nix that little bit of carbon dioxide.
We don’t use plastic wrap (frequently).
We feel bad recycling things, because we aren’t re-using them. Jars, yogurt containers, cups, everything gets re-used.
Music is good. Oh, so good.
So, that’s what Slade is all about, but there’s so much more to it than than. You have to be there.
One weekend, a bunch of us went to Greg Soll’s (slader) farm to work, get veggies, and make KILLER salsa. Unreal Salsa. So good. On my bike home, I noticed a wild apple tree growing on the side of the road. The next week, Patrick, Nick, Emma, and I drove back to pick apples. So many apples. We made apple sauce, crisp, apple everything. I’m going to go with *epitome of decreasing carbon footprint* for this one. It was great fun, too. Climbing apple trees. The best ones really do grow at the top of the tree.
Things I made on cook crew:
-Vegetable Lasagna, homemade pasta, tomato sauce, everything from scratch except the cheese.
-Corn muffin patty things that were meant to be tortillas, but ended up not being tortillas.
-Vegan soup. Celery root, garlic, rutabega, butternut squash, beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, kale, tomatoes from the garden, peppers, carrots, oregano, olive oil, salt, etc.
-Pesto pasta with homemade basil from the garden. I used hazel nuts. It was dope.
-Potatoe fries and sweet potatoes fries with homemade ketchup and tomatillo ketchup. Tomatillo ketchup is tangy and perf.
Bro’s night + Sladies night turning into clothing-optional invasion of most of Redstone campus, turning into singing Bob Dylan on the front lawn. Amazing night.
Standup and open mic and people laughing at it (WHAT?)
Cooking venison burgers with Gretchen. Avocado + cheddar + English muffin + Venison.
Spaghetti squash with Kaleigh.
Ernest the cat.
Ocelot the rabbit.
Angie (resident director) walking in on everyone sitting naked in the living room after the naked bikeride, seeing Patrick holding a beer, and doing NOTHING about it (dorms are dry).
Compost. 3-bin compost getting funding from SGA, but never making it past ResLife.
The Trial and Execution of Bozo the Clown. Henry Kellogg put on a play. I was Beastman. It took place, the future, and Bozo was on trial for being a clown. In a corrupt judicial system, he was sentenced to death by a pie to the face. Three judges. Glog (Carmen), Oswald (Devin), and Beastman (myself). Witness: Jenkins (Patrick), Mr. Jeanine Priss (Piche), Dr. Nanjoo Nakarimplati (Nick, the clown expert), Bailiff (Ilana), and Bozo himself, (Anders). Beastman sits through the play, making grunting remarks at the ridiculousness of the other judges, and finally at the end gives a speech (broken with beastly gibberish) about how Bozo is innocent. Glog and Oswald cannot understand him, and thus find Bozo guilty. Brilliant.
Sloliday: everyone gets together, does yankee swap, sings songs, eats breakfast.
Swords: Each member of Slade, during finals week, must carry around something longer than his or her forearm at all times. If you are seen without your sword, you may be challenged to a duel by another slader. If you decline the duel or fail to produce your sword, you are out. Bathrooms, and rooms are safe. I made it to the final four. Hallie, Hana, Devin, and myself. I left early to head to the OTC, and thus forfeited. I tied my sword to the top of the Mother Tree. It’s probably still there.
That’s it for now. I love you all. I’ll be back to Slade next fall.