One in 2000: Felipe Perez

Major: Economics

Dorm: Parsons

Hometown: Bell Gardens, CA

Hometown Hero: A guy in my high school played the Spanish guitar on Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita.”

Last Good Movie You Saw: Babe, the Gallant Pig

Favorite Book: 1984 by George Orwell

Favorite Foreign Country: Tasmania

Favorite Five Albums: The Beatles, Abbey Road; Led Zeppelin, IV; Young MC, Stone Cold Rhymin’; Carlos Santana, Greatest Hits; Sir Mix-A-Lot, Put ’Em On The Glass (the EP).

Are you going home for Thanksgiving?

No. I’m going to New York City to see my girlfriend.

The idea of going home makes me think of high school. Do you feel that you’re closer to your friends from high school or your friends from Williams?

Both. I have a small circle of really good friends back home. I’ve made really good friends here, and they all actually know each other because my good friends from here have been home to visit me and they’ve met my friends and hung out with my friends. So they all mix and they all get along and it’s just one big happy family of friends. There’s no line between home and here.

Do you consider Williams a kind of home?

It’s a kind of home, but not “home” home. I don’t really have a “home” home right now.

How do you keep yourself busy?

I spend the majority of my time probably with Combo Za, just hanging out with them. Not necessarily doing anything productive. They’re great guys – and three women. Guys and gals – we are co-ed.

When did Combo Za go coeducational?

It’s always been, except that it was sort of de facto all male. Mostly women don’t try out. There are a ton of funny women on campus and they don’t try out.

What do you think about the AIDS Postcard Project?

I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t exactly know what to do with it. When I read about it I thought is was a good idea, but then I got the postcard and it’s still sitting in my room. I feel like you should do something, though. I unfortunately do know people who have died of AIDS, and I didn’t think that I would, but then all of sudden there they are. So I’m glad that somebody’s doing something

If there were fraternities at Williams would you consider joining?

No.

Why not?

I like drinking at my own leisurely pace.

Do you think that there are a lot of things to do at Williams?

I actually do think there’s a lot of interesting stuff to do here and I never have enough time to take advantage of everything I’d like to do. So I generally don’t complain about Williams’ being a boring place. I’m too busy to be bored.

Do you like it here at Williams? Why?

I do. Because there are great people here at Williams. I’ve always loved the people I’ve met at Williams. Not every single one of them – but lots of people that I’ve run into here that I would never run into anywhere else are amazing.

Can you describe, without naming any names, any of the people you don’t like at Williams?

It’d probably describe about half the campus, so in order to not get my [behind] kicked, I plead the fifth.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you’ll get out of a Williams education? Specifically, I’m wondering about the relative worth of academic pursuits compared to various other things. For example, everything I need to know about being a man, I learned on the middle school football field, personally.

I played Little League. After a year I quit. I hated everybody. I hated them all. I hated the umpire, I hated my coach, I hated teammates, I hated the opposite team – I hated everyone. The umpire always struck me out, because I just stood there hoping they’d walk me. But I’d say the most valuable thing I’ve gotten and will get out of Williams is not so much the academic experience. The things I’ll remember are the conversations with people, more than lectures.

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re just biding your time at college because intelligent and successful people are expected to have gone to college?

Yup.

You’re a senior, what are you thinking about doing after you graduate?

If all goes well, I’ll spend next year in Mexico, South Africa and Taiwan on a Watson fellowship studying public education. Option B, which is probably just as ambitious: I’ll be a consultant for McKinsey. Option C: I’ll make enough money to pay my rent in New York, doing something.

If you were given a Rorschach test right now, what would you answer?

Something about sex.