One in 2000 with Bethie Miller

What are you taking for Winter Study?

I’m taking this fabulous class called the Spirit and Practice of Yoga. I think I wanna be a Yogi. It was not only my first choice but I contacted the instructor beforehand and was pushy and maniacal about why I NEEDED to do this particular Winter Study.

Why did you need to do yoga?

Last year I did a bit of yoga when I was in India. I’m a little bit sore, honestly. We have class two hours a day, and when we don’t have class we have a practice CD featuring the voice of John Friend. Sometimes I light a scented candle, and roll out my yoga mat, but since I live in Greylock Quad this means shoving the mat in the two feet between my bed and my desk. . .

Don’t some of the positions have fantastically bizarre names?

Well, there is the plank, the pigeon and there is upward facing dog and downward facing dog. . . there’s a few that are real hip openers. I’m getting in touch with my hips in ways I never knew I could.

Whoa. Was the yoga your favorite part of being abroad in India?

No. The people were so nice. . . but also the pop music, the Punjabi Pop. I had seen an Indian pop video by Daler Mendhi – “Tanuk Tanuk Tanuk” – before I went, and decided my mission was to meet Daler. In the video, there are four of him wearing different colored robes and turbans, and terrible background effects with this sort of earth, wind, water and fire theme. The best part though is the choreography, and while I didn’t meet Daler himself, I did meet a middle-aged man who could perform the dance. He was the father of my host family, and as a Chanukah gift they got me the “Tanuk Tanuk Tanuk!” cassette tape so now I like to listen to it when I go running.

I’m glad you brought back some foreign pop music, it’s part of the going abroad obligation to bring back bad dance music that won’t become popular in the states for another year or so. What about your living in the Greylock Quad, how did you get stuck living amongst juniors and assorted sophomores?

We didn’t get into a co-op and then really wound up with the bottom of the barrel, in Bryant. We live on the fourth floor, which I refer to as the penthouse.

While I know you are trying to add a little glamour and panache to your situation, may I remind you, it’s still Greylock.

We have fabulous custodians, Jean and Artie. They’re just so friendly, but I got a little upset with Jean and Artie before Thanksgiving. I was all ready to go running, and I was losing my mind trying to find my sneakers. . .

Did you leave them in the hallway? For shame, Bethie, did you read theAll-Campus e-mail? You are violating the laws of Massachusetts and impeding your friends’ and suitemates’ progress out of the building in case of a fire.

A lot of times, though, Jean and Artie hand my shoes up on the pegs outside my room though, but this time my shoes got confiscated. I had to go down to the fire thing because right before Thanksgiving, the fire marshal came through and just took everyone’s shoes. I had to go down and sift through bags and bags of shoes. A lot of things were confiscated, shoes, sleds. . .

Sleds? Is this part of the campus-wide campaign that is trying to end all fun? The same one that made beirut and drinking games illegal?

Possibly, but I think the sleds were taken just because they were in the hallway. I mean, maybe they thought people were gonna try and sled down the stairwells in case of a fire. . . people have been sledding everywhere these days. There’s just something about sledding, I think it’s a little scary. People have been going down some steep cliffs, going at night, and there have been some injuries. I prefer to make snow angels.

There is a wide gap between sledding and snow angels. The latter is hardly an extreme sport. Do you play a sport here?

I play Bethie Ball.

Do you get College Council funding?

No, it’s something I made up freshman year to counteract the organized sports here. It’s all about spontaneity. I’m the referee, I’m the captain. . .

It’s like Calvin Ball from Calvin and Hobbes; the rules change according to the creator’s own whims and fancies. . . something those of us in the world of organized sports loosely refer to as cheating.

I guess.

If you don’t want to discuss to protect the names of the innocents who were on your WOOLF trip I understand, but there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Nothing wrong with nudity, I’m a big fan. Do you feel like you have matured past this phase in your group nudity phase of life?

No one really grows out of that phase. Guess what? I am actually being recruited to play rugby this spring. That’s a real sport.

Why are you being recruited?

We had a powder puff game where the senior girls play the junior girls in high school, and no one could control me. I was tight end. No one could control me during practice, but I was practicing for a little tackling action and then we played the real game with flags so I never got to. I also got a lot of cards in field hockey for a bit too much hip action. I liked to dig into them.

That’s how I knew I was supposed to play rugby, I got a lot of red cards in lacrosse. . . dangerous checks, hitting, biting. . . Well, I think you will like it.

Yeah, I’m pretty pumped for it.