Arts & Leisure

College students build a place of contemplation

Middlebury College students Ben Merz, left, Cate Becker and Ellie Copps work with others chiseling out mortises in the roof of the Japanese teahouse they built as part of a Winter Term course. The interdisciplinary course, which wrapped up last week with a Shinto blessing and tea ceremony on Thursday, taught not only carpentry but also the cultural underpinnings of apprenticeships in Japan.

MIDDLEBURY — For several years, Vergennes boat builder Douglas Brooks has taught Middlebury College students how to make boats using traditional Japanese methods. This Winter Term he mixed things up a bit by overseeing 14 Middlebury students in the construction of a Japanese teahouse, which provided the students a global, experiential learning opportunity.
The Middlebury students followed a strict adherence to the Japanese apprentice system in which there was no music, no talking and no power tools. One observer said Brooks “turned the studio into a peaceful oasis of concentration and focus.”
The handmade, timber-frame building was completed in the lobby of Johnson Memorial Hall last week. On Thursday it was dedicated with a Shinto ceremony blessing of the structure and its builders, followed by a tea ceremony conducted by licensed tea master Yui Kato, an exchange student from Tokyo studying political science at Middlebury this year. The building will remain in Johnson Memorial Hall at least through the end of February, and Brooks will discuss the class and its underpinnings in a public talk there on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
 

Share this story:

More News
Arts & Leisure

Middlebury Snowbowl lights up more fun

“Magical” is the word Derrick Cram used to describe the skiing and the community activity … (read more)

Arts & Leisure

Ice skating show comes to town

The Middlebury College Winter Carnival Ice Show will be held this year on Saturday, Feb. 2 … (read more)

Arts & Leisure

Free concert series kicks off with Atlantic Crossing at Bixby Library

Lace up your dancing shoes! On Saturday, March 2, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the Bixby Library w … (read more)

Share this story: