I walked into Juanita Monsalve’s room in Morgan basement to find her chatting with one of her friends. “I don’t want to hear what she has to say,” her friend said as she rushed from the room. My curiosity piqued, I proceeded to interview her for One in 2000. These are her stories:
Whoa, what was that about? Why is she so aghast at hearing you speak?
I don’t know . . . I can be pretty mean, I guess . . . but I like to call it honesty.
Can you remember any particularly . . . “honest” things you’ve said to people?
[Laughing] Not lately. I think college is making me nicer. In high school my friends and I were really mean. We had this rating system for all of us. One was right above the devil, two were above that and then there was me. I was the nicest one. But the thing is, I don’t just talk behind someone’s back. If you ask, I’ll say it to your face, “I’m sorry, you’re just not that good a dancer.” I’m also not politically correct. It makes things awkward.
[An incredibly loud scream emanates in from the hall.]
So how do you like living right next to the common room here in Morgan?
Most of the time it’s just fine, but during parties it gets pretty bad. Like during frisbee parties, naked people run by. That’s always entertaining. The morning after parties is the worst, though. That’s when you see the nastiness. And then the people try to clean up, but they’re really only cleaning with beer.
You don’t find beer to be an effective cleaning solution?
Depends what you want to clean. Also, the wall situation in this building is bad. You can hear everything from the next rooms over. Some random guy upstairs just got a guitar, and I kinda hate him because I can hear everything he plays and he’s not very good. I also really like living in the center of town here right next to the bells. I’m going to get a shirt made that says, “I heart downtown Williamstown,” as soon as I get some money.
You know, my freshman year, I lived in the kitchen over there in the basement. Only it wasn’t the kitchen then. It was the Inner Sanctum. You had to walk through my boy Craig Sundberg’s ’08 (the best roommate ever) room to get into my palatial suite.
. . . yeah, the kitchen is nice, too, even though I don’t cook. I keep stuff in the fridge . . . Uh, were you going to ask me some more questions?
Oh yeah, sorry, I was reminiscing. So where do you hail from?
Bogota, Columbia. I live in Orlando, Fla., but I would never say I’m from Florida. I hate it. Everyone’s parents work at Disney, except my mom who works in a hospital.
Do you go to Disney a lot?
Not really anymore. We would go a bunch when I was in high school when it was someone’s birthday or something.
What was the highlight of going?
Well, the best part was honestly the jokes we would tell. We would make fun of the people who get married there. Also, we would make a lot of bad art history jokes. I have a friend who looks like the Duke of Urbino. He has a bad nose.
Ah yes, Federigo De Montefeltro, a mighty schnoz indeed. Did you five the AP art history exam?
Yeah. My mom used to say I was gonna be, like, the ultimate bum. She was not impressed with art history and philosophy. She wanted me to take a language, in case a war happens, so that I can teach the language and survive off of that. She also thinks Florida’s going to sink. Or maybe she wants it to.
I can tell you really like it down there. So, what can you tell me about Ritmo Latino?
Well, I would say I was kinda the founder of Ritmo Latino last year. We’re partly about just dancing and having fun and celebrating Latin culture, and partly about education. Latin dance is very romanticized. When people hear Latin Dance they think of hot women with their hips and their skimpy clothing . . .
Hips don’t lie.
Yes! But we’re not all Shakira. Everyone can do Latin dance. Also, she mixes in a lot of Arab dance. Hey Ritmo needs guys, you interested?
Sorry, I only modern dance and Irish dance. Thanks for the invitation, though. Okay, let’s pull out of the matrix. Bye, everyone.