One in 2000: Abigail Jackson

Abigail Jackson ’02

DORM Dodd 213

Hometown Brooklyn, NY

Sport interest Boxing

    [pulling out envelope with Abi’s name on it] Is this yours?

Yes! I was actually thinking that I should read this today. I was hoping, actually, that I would lose it so I had an excuse not to read it.

    What is it?

[Professor of English] Bob Bell’s essay on humor in epics.

 Oh, yeah! I took a class with him. I never quite understood his emphasis on explaining humor. How can something be funny if it has to be explained? [Note: this is funny because B. Bell will read this article and not find it funny.]

Well, I don’t understand how it could be funny for 25 pages. I could imagine a couple of examples here and there in a funny conversation, but 25 pages is a lot.

    And you’d think it would be to heighten the humor experience.

No heightening.

    So, what else have you gotten in the mail this week?

Well, I got rejected from Duke, but it is kind of funny because they sent me a letter for someone else. And I’m thinking whether I should mail it to him with a note saying, “Don’t feel too bad, I got a letter too.” I don’t know who Wei Chan is but he got rejected.

    Is it someone here?

No, he lives in Texas. It just got mailed to my mailbox.

    Wait, so are you definitely not in?


    Oh. . .but how does that work?

Well, I got one letter that said, “Dear Mr. Chan. . .” and another letter that said, “Dear Miss Jackson. . ..” I don’t know if I am supposed to relate this information to Mr. Chan.

    They should have put in a little audio clip “I’m sorry Miss Jackson.”

[Together] “I am for Reee-ee-aal.”

So I’m thinking that people should know not to call and leave messages like that anymore.

    How many have you gotten?

Well, since that song came out a year ago? A lot.

    From people you know?

From people I know.

    What’s the typical message?

“Sorry Miss Jackson. . ..hee heh ha ha. . .Hey Girl!” See they think it’s funny because it’s the first time they’ve done it, but I’ve gotten that “funny” joke over and over again.

    Well, maybe if you transcribed all of the messages, it would come out to 25 pages. Anyway, speaking of not funny jokes. . .oh no, now I’m all self-conscious.

The “other Abi?” Are you going to take it there?

    Well, yes. I was thinking for someone that plays basketball, you’re not all that tall.

People who know me come up and say, “Hey, I didn’t know that you were a basketball player. Great season!” And I wonder, does it look like I have athletic capabilities? I used to have this theory that it was genetic, that I couldn’t play ball. But now that there’s another Abigail Jackson out there, I have to wonder.

    Wait, is it genetics or the name?

I used to think the name was holding me back. And I used to think, and this is the funny part, that there were no other black Abigails. But apparently, not only are there black Abigails, there are other black Abigail Jacksons. But it’s changed my whole perception of the world because before, the only other Abigails I knew were Jewish.

    So should that be one of those highlighted quotes in the Admissions prospectus? “What I learned at Williams: other people have my name!”

I think Admissions definitely has a list of who shouldn’t speak at any of their forums for pre-frosh because I went and spoke at one of their forums and I was never invited back. So I think I’m on that list.

    Gina likes you.

Gina [Coleman, associate director of admission] likes me, but I think Gina likes me in a non-Admissions kind of way. So I still wouldn’t be allowed to appear.

    You’re not warm and fuzzy?

I’m not warm and fuzzy. I’m the type to ask, “Have you considered other places? Is Williams your only option?”

  I’m guessing you’re not looking for a job there after graduation, either. Anything else on the “other Abi Jackson?” Do you want to take this to some meta-level since you actually have a definite “other” to look at? [Please Religion Department: Do not take away my major status.]

Well, here’s what happened. When she came and I was a sophomore, she was the “other Abi Jackson” because I was here first. But then when I went away last year, I became the “other Abi Jackson” because she created this whole persona around basketball.

    Well, you’re not an athlete, but you have been working out at the gym.

Yes, I have been. I’m slowing down. My girl told me I was getting these really nice abs so I’m feeling motivated to go back.

    I’d be intimidated by Nalo. I’ve heard she lifts mad amounts.

Well, we went together a couple times and I was lifting in her shadow. But now she does her own thing. I go to the gym during off-peak times such as Saturday afternoons for the guys that couldn’t make it there during the week.

    Moving on, I was people-watching this morning at brunch and saw the slowest sandwich maker I have EVER seen. It turned out to be Mark Hobel, the editor of this fine section, and when I told him I was interviewing you, he told me to ask you about the Winter Study class you two took together, “Investigative Reporting.”

Yeah. That’s another instance of the “other Abigail Jackson.” I have never taken “Investigative Reporting.” If I did, it would have to appear in a much seedier publication.

    Are you kidding?! Mark Hobel’s an idiot!

You know, he might be a bit touched. But maybe not an idiot.

    What do you think of the Paula Jones/Tonya Harding fight that’s going to be shown on Fox this week?

Are you serious?

    Yeah, they had a weigh-in and didn’t tell their weights to the public. And Paula Jones is worried about her nose.

That’s what I was going to ask. Is she going to put it away for the evening and then put it back on? I have to say that when I first started on my thesis project, which is on boxing, I was really attracted to Laila Ali because I thought she was fine as all hell. So I thought it would be a great thesis project because collecting pictures of Laila Ali might be emotionally exciting, physically intense and academically challenging all at the same time. So now that I’m thinking of Tonya Harding and Paula Jones, women’s boxing sounds less visually engaging.

Engaging, yes- Attractive, no. As my boy says to me, “Fine from afar, but far from fine.”

    Oh! Speaking of noses, can I ask you about your nose ring? Have you ever thought of branching out from the stud thing?

Well, what happened was my father told me after I had gotten it done that it was the worst thing I could have done to my face ever and that I used to be an attractive girl, but he wasn’t sure what happened to me. And my mom told me that I looked like a boar-nosed pig, so I had a stud at first but changed it to a ring because if my mom was saying all those things, I should give her something to complain about. But now I’m back to the stud. The anchor thing kind of throws people off – they think it’s a booger. Overall though, it’s a good conversation starter: “Hey, you’ve got a booger in your nose.”

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