That's how the good people of Lebanon, Connecticut, agreed to pay Eleazar Wheelock in 1735 to be their minister. Wheelock's notes on the negotiations are part of a bundle of Wheelock documents that Dartmouth's Rauner Library just acquired. The agreement eventually fell apart, which led Wheelock to begin taking on students, which led to his tutoring Samson Occom, which led to the idea of teaching Native Americans, which led.... Well, you get the idea. The library's blog today has a nicely done recap of the whole thing.
Teasel and Turkeys: Mary Holland notices things about the natural world that most of us don't even think to look for, and then tells us about them on her blog. Today, it's an invasive called Teasel that's been used in woolens since the Middle Ages. Yesterday, it was the hard lot of wild turkeys in winter. They're quick but eye-opening posts. Do yourself the favor.
And while we're talking birds... The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count is gearing up, and The Vermont Standard has a really interesting look at it. In the story, Mark LaBarr of Audubon Vermont says the count “is one of the longest-running citizen science projects in the country and possibly in the world.” The Hanover-Norwich version takes place on January 1 -- if you're a birder who wants to take part, they'll be meeting at 7 am in front of the Hopkins Center for route assignments, though "feeder watchers" are also welcome to submit tallies from the warmth of your living rooms.
ON THE LISTS
The silence you hear... Every so often in a raging list discussion, someone will weigh in with a post that's so cogent and definitive that there's no point carrying on unless you can address its points directly. Two days ago, Margaret Cheney drew a line across the Norwich trash-bag debate, pointing out that the town's new policy to require special trash bags is not required by Vermont law. Which she helped write. She cites both language and intent in concluding, "There's no need to come up with a new, super-precise designer system." If you missed it in yesterday's email digest, just click on this link to read it on dailyuv.com. Then dig into the posts along the right-hand side, which will give you a good recap of the whole discussion.
A lovely story, well told. In a letter to the editor, no less. In today's Valley News, Robin Cushman of Orford writes about her search for a good but inexpensive guitar for her 13-year-old niece and the inspiring result. Go search it out in your fire-starting pile. Or you can find it on the newspaper's website (scroll down to "Gift Touches Heart Strings"; as usual, you need to get past the Valley News subscriber wall). On dailyuv you can find her original request to the Upper Valley list. While your heart is still warm, click on The Haven banner just above, which will take you to their page for contributing to the food pantry.
There's no shortage... of holiday-themed events this weekend (you can find them all on the dailyuv events calendar put together by Donna Pereira Mackall, Sam Candon, and T Davis), but if you're looking for something else, we've got you covered. On Saturday, in keeping with today's bird sub-theme, there's VINS's Snowy Owl Appreciation Day and Chris Rimmer's bird walk around Norwich to benefit the Haven. On Sunday, the Norwich Public Library is holding a pre-release party for "The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies." And, oh, what the heck, let's mix the sacred and the profane: Also on Sunday, Dartmouth men's hockey takes on Sacred Heart at Thompson Arena.