A “Welcome to Tail City” speech bubble extending from a Will Ferrell cutout greeted me on my way into the room of Ellie Wawrzaszek ’10 in Poker B. As the oddly decorated door swung open I suddenly felt as if I were entering a techno/rave dance party. Despite the lack of glow sticks, pacifiers and techno music, the main light in Ellie’s room was dying, producing a terrible but awesome strobelight effect. Although slightly worried that the constant flicker may give me a seizure, I told Ellie I could brave it for the sake of One in 2000, and she then cradled an Eph Purple Cow stuffed animal as we began the interview.
So what does “Welcome to Tail City” mean?
Well, it’s actually a joke that I have with my suitemates. We were coming up with a name for Poker B and it’s kind of an offensive story so I’m not going to get into it, but Tail City was nominated. But then we had somebody who disagreed with that name so we decided to have a name contest. Everyone had until Oct. 1 to come up with their name. So our final decision is Little Baby Danny [Chu ’10] Boy’s House of Fugly Sluts Featuring Brian [Simalchik ’10] the Male Stripper.
Wow. Who came up with that?
So Dan came up with the initial thought which was Pimpin’ Dan’s Brothel Featuring Brian the Male Stripper and then we just expanded on it and made it even better.
It’s phenomenal. I love it. Way better than the ChadPad where I live. So Ellie, did you just have the best Mountain Day ever?!
Well . . . [drawing out her words, thinking of how to put her hatred for Mountain Day politely.] It was okay.
Just okay? Are you kidding? What was there not to like?
Well. [Continuing to choose her words carefully, perhaps so as not to hurt my feelings.] The day in general. I don’t know.
Come on! What about the fall foliage? The apple cider?!
It was great, I went up to the mountain with my fellow classmates and sat really close to a pile of cow s–t. Like it was right there. [Points a foot away from her.]
So it was awesome?
Yeah, it was great.
So besides Mountain Day, what is your favorite thing about Williams?
Oh my god.
Didn’t you at least like the entry system?
No. [Ellie was in Pratt 3 ’06-’07, known by many as the worst entry ever at Williams College.]
Okay then, describe your entry experience for our readers.
An explosion of hatred [laughs]. I didn’t really speak the first month that we were here and [my male JA] told my female JA that I was cold and aloof and too cool for school and I was just terrified. We were in the car a little later and she somehow forgot that I was in the car and told one of the other girls what he had said about me and I was kind of like, “Oh, great. I love Williams.” That was the third week of school and things just got worse from there. The entry system maybe works for some people.
So do you have a favorite thing about Williams?
I like Little Baby Danny Boy’s House of Fugly Sluts Featuring Brian the Male Stripper. It’s a nice place.
That’s good, I guess. So from the sounds of it there may be many, but what is your biggest Williams pet peeve?
[Somewhat jokingly] The people here. Going to classes and learning. Being here in general. [We both laugh.]
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A janitor at Williams College, clearly.
So you can stay here forever? I’ll join you!
No, umm I kinda want to be a fifth grade teacher, but that’s just because I’m teaching fifth grade right now [at Williamstown Elementary].
That’s so awesome! Love kids! So I heard you ran a 10k race when you were abroad?
Oh yeah. I won a giant piece of ham.
Oh so you won the race?
I won the race, yeah. But the women in Italy don’t do anything. I joined a gym and like, I was the only person that would sweat. They would all give me weird looks and they would all go outside and smoke. But my host dad was a runner and he wanted to race with me so we did a few races. I had been injured for three months but I still ran and somehow I still won and they gave me this giant piece of ham like this big [puts her arms out making the biggest circle she can]. And it had this string on it so I could carry it around.
I love ham! Did you eat it?
Yeah. Well I ate some. I didn’t really like it that much. My host family was so happy and they were like, “We’ll eat it! We love ham!”
I also won a case of wine in another race.
Well that’s more like it!
But it was really, really awful wine.
Bummer. Well I heard a story about your high school. What’s it known for?
What do you mean babies?
At some point in the ’90s, Jay Leno was talking about our high school because it had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. I don’t think it’s that bad anymore but we still have that reputation so when we went to away basketball games some of the other schools would make signs that said things like “Got Babies?”
That’s pretty funny. Did you laugh or were you offended?
I wasn’t offended. My friend â€“
Was she pregnant?
No, but she shoved her jacket under her shirt and was like, “Yeah, we got babies!”
What are you going to be for Halloween? Do you want to dress up like Ephraim Williams or a purple cow with me?
Noooo, no, no, no, no.
I heard you had an interesting encounter on the bus the other day.
[Bursts into laughter] Ohh. Yeah, I was at the bus stop in North Adams and I was sitting there waiting and this big fat guy with a cane turns to me and asks, “Are you a student at MOCA?” And I was like, “What? No, I go to Williams.” And he says, “Oh I’m from a good family too. I was at Williams the other week and I was looking for music. I love music. And I was at Sawyer at the public computers and I was looking for music but all they have is classical music so I went downstairs to the stack and I can’t fit in them. I was trying to bend down and get the music and I couldn’t do it.” So I told him, “Yeah, that building needs to be torn down. They were gonna do it but now they can’t because we only have $1.5 billion and that’s clearly not enough.” So then he asked me where I was from and I replied, “Wisconsin.” And he said “Oh yeah I used to work at the carnival there! The carnival, you know the carnival! . . . Then he asked my name and I was like, “Kelly,” and he asked for a last name so I said, “Smith.” And then he says, “Oh! So you came on the Mayflower. My family came on the Mayflower too!” . . . I’m looking forward to seeing him on campus one day at Sawyer.
When you’re cleaning Sawyer?
Yeah when I’m cleaning and vacuuming and scrubbing.