Two in 2000: Judith Harvey and Shirin Shakir

Judith Harvey ’03

Shirin Shakir ’03

Dorms Doughty 210

West 211

Homes Princeton, NJ Manhasset Hls., NY

Found Sawyer 3rd floor

So apparently I overbooked for this week’s interview, and I am going to have to do a Two-in-2000. But I am sure you will complement one another nicely.

Shirin: Yes, I think so. We are both part of the third floor Sawyer cult, and are writing our political science theses while seated in adjacent Sawyer Library carrels.

Judy: It gets pretty rowdy on the third floor of Sawyer sometimes, seeing as there is only one public computer that is not Francis-exclusive. Fighting has been known to break out.

S: I never have this problem seeing as I bring my computer and ethernet cord for the specific purpose of being able to check my e-mail every four seconds. But I do hate those people that sit there typing their five-page life story e-mails. I mean, come on now, move along, move along.

J: There are a lot of computers in the basement. But the basement is scary. Although they do have lots of legal documents down there.

The glee and rapture with which you just said “legal documents” makes you a certified political science nerd.

S: Well, maybe she is, but I am not a nerd. Would a nerd dress up as Slash from Guns and Roses for Halloween?

That is a fantastic costume. How did you pull that off?

S: Well, Caroline Norton and I were Axl Rose and Slash. I wore a large curly black wig that I thought was a mullet, but most people wound up seeing the wig and asking me if I was supposed to be Cher. But to confirm that I was in fact Slash and not Cher, I also had on a top hat, pleather pants and a bottle of Jack Daniels tucked into my pants.

Did either one of you do anything particularly exciting for Homecoming this weekend?

J: I got up pretty bleeping early.

Judy, you don’t need to say the actual word “bleeping.” I can edit out expletives.

J: Well, it was really early. We got up at 4 a.m. and were at the front of the line, but the way they let the cars in we got stuck in a corner. It’s really hit or miss. And then we all slept in the car.

That is what you get for having your own tailgate, you need to learn to be a freeloader like myself and mooch off all the other people. Have either one of you ever watched any of the football game in your four years here?

J: I watched a lot of the game sophomore year. I think. I don’t really remember.

S: I watched five minutes during freshman year. I think they were playing Amherst and they won or something. Honestly, I don’t know what team we play at Homecoming nor do I care. I am solely there for the beer and the hot dogs.

Okay Shirin, we see the extent of your athletic participation at Williams College, but Judy, you just came here from a run. You’re training for a half-marathon, right?

J: Yeah, and I had a really good run today. I ran Stone Hill and only fell once!

Did you fall flat on your face or was it just a stumble?

J: I would classify it as a three-quarters fall. One hand touched the ground, and then I was back up and running. It’s really all about the recovery.

S: Another connection between Judy and me. I trip a lot, too. Or rather, I walk into things. I walked into a closed door last night, for example. It was four o’clock in the morning and I had just come back from the pub. That’s my excuse.

J: I had another good sober trip in Stop and Shop the other day. I was busy looking at these cookies for our tailgate. They were really expensive though, so I decided not to buy them.

Judy, you seem to have this amazing ability to insert irrelevant details into your stories.

J: Thank you. Anyways, after deciding against these expensive cookies, I was walking with my cart and I collided with a shelf-like structure. I looked around and felt like no one saw me, but then this old lady came up behind me and laughed at me and said “Hah! I bet you think nobody saw you!”

I know what will make you feel better. One time I collided with the glass partition that I thought was a door in the Dunkin’ Donuts of North Adams. One of the kind patrons of this Dunkin’ Donuts, spiffily dressed in army fatigues and red high tops and seemingly inebriated, proceeded not only to point and laugh, but got up and reenacted my moment of gracelessness, asking the other customers if they could guess whom he was imitating.

S: All I have to say is that my tripping is done in the privacy of my own home, and usually under the influence. Neither of you have an excuse.

So how are your political science theses going?

S: We can’t discuss my thesis or my thesis progress for fear that my advisor will read this article and learn how worthless and unproductive I actually am.

J: Mine is actually an environmental studies thesis, but it’s on native land claims, so it’s quasi-political stuff. . . it’s not as boring as my ex-boyfriend’s thesis last year. He was a physics major. You might have seen him walking around campus in his “Varsity Physics” T-shirt. He wore a lot of articles of clothing involved with physics. But he had nice jeans.

Nice jeans? Once again there’s that knack for inserting random and irrelevant informative tidbits in your stories. So any greater life plans after the completion of your theses?

J: I am going to be a junior high school or middle school history teacher. Middle school kids are a tough age since it’s the awkward preteen years. Teachers on that level have to be a little weird to offset the kids’ weirdness. My middle school math teacher used to wear a mask to school everyday. They were cleaning up all the rugs in the school and she said the mold released into the air bothered her so she walked around with this gas mask apparatus. You have to be weird like that to teach junior high.

I assume you are prepared to deal with your students mocking you like this next year. I am sure with your tendency to fall down often you will provide the students with plenty of material to work with. Shirin, what are your plans?

S: Drink heavily, be a wino on the street corners in New York City. . . or maybe go to law school.

I am glad we get to see both sides of the Sawyer Library third floor. We have the workaholic and the alcoholic, it seems.

J: Just because I used to have a printed out library rotation schedule doesn’t mean I am a nerd. But I settled down in a carrel this year, because I experienced library burnout.

S: When I reach burnout I start eating beef jerky. Or I scrounge for change to buy pizza-flavored Combos from the vending machine. But mostly beef jerky.

That is healthier than the aforementioned Jack Daniels that you cart around in your pants for special occasions.

J: And less expensive. Alcohol is more expensive compared with the cost of milk.

That has nothing to do with anything.

J: I meant to say meat. Shirin, I hope I didn’t steal your thunder by crashing the interview.

“Steal your thunder?” That was definitely something a middle school teacher would say. Okay, enough of this. I am releasing you back onto the third floor of Sawyer.

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