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Alone Together episode 5: Emily Barnard '20, May 18, 2020

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Identifier: A7_Midd_Moment_Alone_Together_Episode_4_Emily_Barnard_20200518

Scope and Contents

In this special season of Midd Moment, Laurie Patton checks in with members of the Midd community to talk about how they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, Emily Barnard, a senior economics major and cocaptain of the Middlebury women's lacrosse team, shares how she's adjusting to her final season being canceled, how she's finding meaning through the alumni lacrosse community, and gratitude planks.

Dates

  • May 18, 2020

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restriction.

Extent

From the Series: 1 Digital file (1 digital folder)

Language of Materials

From the Record Group: English

Existence and Location of Copies

Episode transcript:

Laurie Patton:

You’re listening to Midd Moment. I’m Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury and professor of religion. In this special series, I’m checking in with our community to see how people are doing so that we might get a better idea of what it’s like to be alone, together.

Today I’m speaking with Emily Barnard, a senior at Middlebury, an economics major, and captain of the women’s lacrosse team. So you are here at Middlebury, and one of the things I start with in all of my check-ins with people is just asking folks how they are, personally—how are you doing?

Emily Barnard:

I’m doing kind of as well as I can be under the circumstances. It has been a blessing to be here with my friends in what would have been kind of our senior spring. We walked the entire TAM the other weekend, which is kind of something that had been on our bucket list.

Laurie Patton:

I have met more people as I’ve walked the golf course part of the TAM who are doing the TAM. How long did it take you?

Emily Barnard:

It took us six and a half hours. I think. I mean, we stopped a bunch of times and towards the end we were not moving very quickly, but we just packed a bunch of snacks and got back and made like a huge pasta dinner.

Laurie Patton:

Pasta, right. I also know that you are the captain of the women’s lacrosse team. You won the DIII championship last year. You had amazing hopes for your final season. Describe for me the moment when you heard that the lacrosse season had to end due to COVID-19. How did you get through those first couple of days? I know you heard that then the NCAA canceled. Every two or three days it was a different reality because everything was happening so quickly.

Emily Barnard:

First Amherst canceled their season. I mean, at that point we were all just kind of shocked. We went in to KP’s office on Monday—it was just kind of funny, looking back on it now—and had our whole meeting about how the weekend had gone. We were getting up to leave the meeting, had not once talked about the coronavirus, and KP was like, “Oh, I guess maybe we should talk about this virus,” and within 24 hours, our entire season had been canceled.

Laurie Patton:

So tell me a little bit about how you’ve been adjusting to that reality.

Emily Barnard:

A lot of our peers were sad about, “Oh, we lost senior week,” or “We don’t get our senior spring,” but we, going into the spring season, always have our heads set on the championship and we don’t necessarily want to be in Middlebury for the graduation because it usually conflicts with that weekend. It’s definitely been an adjustment dealing with our own emotions about all of it and how they differ from a lot of our peers. Our alumni network and our coaches have been really incredible through this time—I think recognizing how hard it is, not only for the seniors, but for the entire team. And we do kind of weekly Zoom calls with our whole team, just kind of check in. On Saturday and Sunday, we have amazing workouts, the calls are like 60–80 people. So you have alumni from ’70s, ’80s, and all the way through this current 2020 class. It’s been really incredible to see how many women have come before us. That even though kind of our four years got cut short, your Middlebury lacrosse experience is much bigger.

Laurie Patton:

That’s a great silver lining. I want to hear a little bit about that workout with the alums. That was such a wonderful thing.

Emily Barnard:

I mean, there are so many alumni and they all kind of kick our butts, they’re in way better shape than we are. Towards the end we do gratitude planks. You do a minute plank and there are three people who go every time and just kind of say what they’re thankful for. I mean, the first workout they did, it was just like the nicest thing. I mean, I almost cried, but they were holding signs that were just like, “We love you seniors,” and like, “We’re so sorry about your season,” and like all holding them up on the camera. They were like, “We are always here for you, if ever you need help with jobs or just like someone to talk to, we’re always here.” And you get to see their homes, right. And their kids kind of pop on the screen. At least me, I think it’s a lot to aspire to. I want to be one of those alumni in 50 years that is making a sign for the seniors and see kind of all that they have and what they feel and the values they represent.

Laurie Patton:

So how have you pivoted as a leader, and how do you lead in that space where your job is to help people be better players on a field with lots of contact and very little social distancing.

Emily Barnard:

Our coaches have done a really good job of instilling the values that we want to project through this time. Like gratitude, we’ve as a team really tried to focus on that. And even kind of our lowest point when we’re all like sitting in the locker room just like in tears and packing up our lockers, still are trying to find things that we are grateful for. And like, I was grateful for the health of all 28 of us and that we have like an incredible alumni network and that we have families that we can go home to and we can still kind of get our education. I think it’s just important to keep checking in with people. And now I think that is one way that I try to lead is just knowing when they might need a, “Hey, how are you?,” or, “How are you doing?”

Laurie Patton:

Also, in addition to focusing on gratitude, you’re thinking about a competitive team spirit, right? So how do you do that in quarantine?

Emily Barnard:

So we are doing a challenge called Yards for Yeardley. So the One Love Foundation is trying to raise money for domestic violence awareness. We have a competition going between us and the alumni. We track how many miles you do. So it’s kind of a way to encourage people to get out, whether that be biking, or swimming, or running. That’s kind of one way we try to be like, “Hey guys, get on your bikes today, the alumni are ahead!” KP always tells us how her two kids were like, “Mom, we need to get up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow so we can go for a bike ride and then go for a walk and then…,” because they’re also in this competition too.

Laurie Patton:

I can’t decide whether I should root for the current students or the alums on this—I think I’ll root for you both. You’re in the midst of remote classes in addition to remote lacrosse—tell me how are your classes going? Do you have a routine? What is it feeling like?

Emily Barnard:

I am a special student actually. So I’m only doing my thesis and one other class, which is, it’s been nice because I’ve really been able to kind of put a lot of my energy into my thesis, which is something I’m really interested in.

Laurie Patton:

Tell me what the topic is.

Emily Barnard:

I’m an economics major and I’m writing mine on the impact of a conditional cash transfer program in Honduras on domestic violence and homicide. It’s kind of a great, I think, project for a time like now, because with a thesis there’s always more that you can do.

Laurie Patton:

Right.

Emily Barnard:

So I’ve really had the time to delve into that and explore.

Laurie Patton:

Wow, that’s an intense project, but you can focus almost completely on that. Plus one other class.

Emily Barnard:

I do feel like I’ve been able to kind of give a lot more to that than I would have. As far as a routine, yes, one of my roommates the first week she was like, “Okay, we’re going to make a plan that we do every day,” and like wrote a schedule for us every day that we follow to varying degrees. We try to get up and go for a walk, get outside, do a little work. We’ve been trying yoga. That is our kind of newest hobby. Then in the afternoon, we try to get outside to run or hike or do something fun. And then all kind of come together to make dinner.

Laurie Patton:

I think the final question is, I wonder if you could share a story or a moment when you’ve been sheltering in place and you felt like it’s been closest to playing a lacrosse game. That has had the resonance of what you feel when you’re on the field.

Emily Barnard:

My cocaptain, Julia Keith, we have done all of our workouts together kind of for four years. Now that kind of our season is over, she decided she wants to train for a marathon. The other day we had like our longest run yet, which was 11 miles, which is way longer than anything I’ve ever done. Just kind of feeling like the process when you start a game, you’re excited. and you’re gearing up to go and then you get to the middle and you’re just trying to find a rhythm. And then towards the end, when you’re like exhausted and you feel like you have kind of nothing left, but you know in that case, Julia kind of running right next to me and you’re like, we are doing this. We’ve made it nine miles and we’re going to keep going. So I think that, even if we never actually run in a real race, it’s been really nice to at least feel like you’re training for something. Feeling like your body just really wants to give up and you’re really exhausted, but you set your mind to something, you’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and persevering was a really nice feeling for both of us.

Laurie Patton:

So Emily, this has been really wonderful to hear about your experiences and learn from you about the kind of work that you’re doing in leading a team that had to pivot on a diamond and experienced some huge losses, not losses on the field, but losses in their sense of a future that was really different than what they thought it was going to be. I just want to say how much I appreciate you and all of the women, both current and alums, and I hope I’ll see you around.

Emily Barnard:

Yes, you too.

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

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Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States