One in 2000: Pelagia Ivanova

Place of Origin: Bulgaria

Current Residence: Mission Park

Five Favorite Movies:

Life is Beautiful, When Harry Met Sally, The Shawshank Redemption, Indecent Proposal. How many is that?

Four.

I can’t think of any more.

We’ll leave it at four then. How long have you been in the United States?

Two years now.

So since coming to Williams?

Yes.

Did you ever visit before?

No. Just came straight here to Williams.

What’s your favorite thing about the US?

Pretty much the only place I know in the US is Williamstown. . . No, I’m kidding! I’m kidding! I like Boston a lot.

More than New York?!

More than New York. It’s more European.

Have you ever been to New York?

I have. I like New York too but Boston is more European so I like it more.

Well, I can’t print that. I’m from New York.

[Laughs].

What do you miss most about Bulgaria? Besides the obvious things like your parents.

I miss going out with people. Going to have coffee at 4am.

4am coffee? You can do that here.

Can I?

Not really.

I miss going out and going to clubs.

Did you visit as a pre-frosh?

No. I’m happy I didn’t, though. When I see all those pre-frosh walking around I’m thinking “Oh my God, I’m happy I didn’t come visit.” I like it a lot, though. It’s just so different from what I’m used to.

How did you know that you wanted to come here if you didn’t come as a pre-frosh?

Oh God. Ok. I have this all remembered. I’ve been asked this so many times I found myself repeating the story over and over last year. The story is pretty much that I wanted to go to a good liberal arts college. I have a friend who goes to Middlebury and when I got into Middlebury, he said, “You’re not coming here if you get into Williams.”

So you came here. Any other places you were looking at?

Not really. I’m the one who didn’t apply to Amherst. I’m proud.

Yeah! I didn’t apply there either! Let me ask you something different. What’s the worst or most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in a class?

I feel asleep in a class once.

Only once?

Yeah. It was pretty bad because I had to take really good notes because I had to write a paper afterwards. I had to go to a different section.

Did they see you sleeping? That would be truly bad.

No, they didn’t.

So in two years you’ve only slept in one class?

Yeah.

Once?

Yeah.

How do you do it? ’Cause I can’t.

I don’t know. I guess I take very exciting classes. No, forget that.

Does it have anything to do with your 4am coffees?

I don’t like coffee.

Yet you like to go out for 4am coffee?

Yes. But I don’t drink coffee.

What do you drink?

Orange juice. Or banana shakes. That’s my favorite.

Banana shakes? In a coffee shop? They don’t have Starbucks in Bulgaria, do they?

No.

What’s your favorite animal that flies?

I’m not going to say the eagle. What is it? The dove, I guess.

What about animal that swims?

The dolphin. That’s pretty standard, isn’t it?

What about goldfish?

Yes. I love goldfish.

What about dead goldfish?

I don’t like them very much.

I heard from a source that you have an interesting story involving a dead goldfish.

No! I’m not going to tell you the story!

Come on. I heard it’s a good story.

It’s a sad story with a happy ending. That’s all you need to know.

How did the goldfish die?

It was an accident.

What kind of accident?

It was too warm in the room.

What did you do with the goldfish?

I didn’t do anything. They were my friend Stephanie’s goldfish. I was very sad.

Are there any goldfish left?

No. The other one died later. I’m never going to have goldfish.

What did you do as a little kid?

What did I do? I played. Pretty much all day long.

Did you have the same stuff we had in the US, like Barbie?

Yeah. But I never played with Barbie. I was more the fight type. I fought with the guys a lot.

So you were a tomboy?

Yeah, I guess.

Did you wrestle?

I wrestled a lot. When I came back from kindergarten one day, and somebody had beaten me up, and my dad saw me crying, he was like, “You are never going to let anyone beat you up again!” So I interpreted that as: “Beat them up back.”

You started beating up kids when you were in kindergarten?

I did! And I had my dad’s excuse. That is a past period of my life, though.

Did you just go up to them and start beating them up?

No, no. When someone would offend me or make fun of my friends.

Did you get in trouble at all? Or did you just say your father told you it was ok?

I did. My dad got in trouble too. He had parents calling him and complaining. . .hey, are you going to put that in the paper?

One last question: What do you want to tell the Williams community?

I guess I have to now! Please don’t be scared of me. I’m a nice person.

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