Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dinner at Dave's - GRACE Potter and Barefoot Truth

Each spring semester I invite students from my Men & Masculinities course to my home for dinner. I cook, they eat and then we sit around and talk until I have to throw them out - this past Monday I asked someone what time it was and they said 11:15 and I just said they all had to leave as it WAS late for me and I had to get up in the morning :) Each group consists of 4, 5 or 6 students - here are pictures of the first two groups - we have a great time and they are so appreciative of having dinner at a "professor's" home that it is worth all of the effort in planning and feeding young college students.........

Last night the Student Association held their Spring Concert. There was a great deal of discussion on who the performers could/should be and they settled with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals AND my all-time favorite group, Barefoot Truth. Running a concert on any college campus is a challenge - there is the set-up, the management of tickets and security, the advertising and marketing, the "management" of the venue and the overriding fear that any concert MAY NOT be a success. Grace Kelly is our Director of Student Activities and in that capacity, she works closely with all of the students involved in the concert activities. Mark Litchfield is our Special Events man and he has the experience and skills to work with performers, physical plant AND most importantly, with our students. The collaboration between Grace (Kelly) and Mark is amazing to watch. They arranged for student-workers to handle all of the needed tasks and rather than DOING the work themselves, Grace and Mark have taught our students by example how to get things done. Matt Seklecki and Claire McQuillen are the two students from the Student Association who are co-chairs of Programming and it is their responsibility to make sure that things run smoothly from a student perspective - their responsibilities run the gamut from marketing to enlisting student volunteers to work the event.

Well, the concert was amazing. There were several, several hundred people in the Ross Sport Center gym last night for a great time. Barefoot Truth first became MY favorite during the senior year of two of the band members who were SMC students. Garrett and Will have worked tirelessly to make this band what it is today - they travel all over the East Coast performing and their sound has grown over the years - you can check them out at their website at - it is well worth a listen. I spoke with both Garrett and Will last night before they performed and they were just so happy to be back on campus and performing before an SMC crowd. Their sound in that gym was the best....... They have a solid following on and off campus in the Burlington area and their fans were NOT disappointed. Both Dean Jeff Trumbower and I have been avid fans for several years and it was great to have our Academic Dean at the concert too.

Grace Potter - what can I say about her? She has recently been on the Letterman Show as well as the Leno Show and she was completely on fire last night. Early on in the evening after she finished her sound check and before the doors were open to fans, she walked past Grace Kelly, Mark Litchfield and a couple of students and waved to us, said hello and was just amazingly friendly and welcoming. A Vermonter herself, she clearly appreciated being on OUR campus and she put on a fantastic show. Unlike so many "performers" today, both Grace Potter and the guys from Barefoot Truth were approachable (Grace Potter even offered to sign autographs for folks and was so unassuming that you would wonder who she was if you ran into her on the street) and clearly appreciate their fans. The smile on Grace Potter's face lit up the entire gym... So, congratulations to Grace Kelly and Mark Litchfield for once again setting the stage and enabling our students to actively work at making a concert a success. Congratulations to Matt and Claire for the success and to all of the many, many student workers who all combined to have a very successful concert..... Well done!!!!

We only have a few weeks of class left in the semester so all of my students are busy completing major assignments, readings, journals and projects - it has been a great semester and once again I am able to say that I have not had even one bad class the entire semester...... They WERE a bit upset last week with the prediction of another 8 0 10 inches of snow for Friday BUT in the end that did turn out to be an April Fool's Day joke as we barely had a dusting. While winter isn't over yet, warmer days are coming and hopefully they all see the end in sight. Our seniors are looking back on their four years and ahead for when they leave - an interesting mixture of emotions. The next few weeks will go faster than they realize.

Please take good care and, as always, please keep all of the members of our military and all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.


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