Two in Two Thousand: Briana Marshall ’11 and Kevin Lawkins ’13

This year for Valentine’s Day, instead of featuring a pair of established lovebirds on campus, the Record decided to assign two total strangers of different class years to a blind date. We tested our matchmaking skills first-hand with two fantastic, outgoing Ephs: Kevin Lawkins ’13 and Briana Marshall ’11. I sat down with Lawkins and Marshall in the cozy Mission lobby after their romantic lunch date in the nearby dining hall. After brief introductions, we settled into place to discuss the post-game lowdown, which consisted of everything from martial arts to music.

What’s your ideal date?
L: My ideal date is a fantastic hour-long lunch in Mission dining hall, with enthralling conversations.
M: My ideal date would be something adrenaline-spiking, because then they could misattribute their arousal for being really attracted to me. Something outside like a ropes course … something intense and athletic … you build up your appetite and then go out to a delectable lunch somewhere, preferably in the sunshine … or Mission dining hall. That’s my close second.

What made this very casual date special for you?

M: Looking into his eyes.

L: Wow, now I’m trying to top that one. This was the first time I heard French in about three years. I mean, it is the language of romance.

How would you woo a girl/boy?
M: Does this have to be realistic? Because I don’t think the realistic options are suitable for print.
L: I would disarm them with my stunningly irresistible looks and my good charm. I would also serenade them.

What were your first impressions?

L: My first impression was that I just felt dumb, because I was supposed to meet you upstairs in Mission lobby by the stairs but I was downstairs. Also when I was told what you would be wearing I asked what a cardigan was.

M: He had already gone downstairs and gotten a table, and he walked with me while I got my food. He immediately was very chatty. Not in an annoying way, though, he was –

L: Friendly.

M: So my first impression was that I knew this would be easy. Another first impression was that I felt like such a cougar.

Had you ever seen each other around campus before or ever been in the same classes?

L: I’d definitely seen you before, but I didn’t know your name.

M: I know I’d seen you before, but we’d never met.

How do you about the blind date?

M: It’s interesting, because it’s not like we were set up by two friends who thought, “Oh, you would be perfect together!” Otherwise, it would be really high pressure … there would be more awkward moments, I think. Here, it was just so chill.

L: Yeah, it’s always good getting to know a stranger.

M: He’s already finishing my sentences!

What interesting things did you learn about one another?

L: She’s fluent in French. And she’s a martial arts master. She did Aikido.

M: [laughing] It was my Winter Study class. I took the class, but whether I’m a “master” is questionable. Oh, and I learned that he did Tae Kwon Do.

What can you tell me about Aikido?

M: Its not about aggressive combat, its about neutralizing aggression … it teaches you how to defend attacks. I would recommend it, it’s really fun.

Kevin, were you intimidated that she’s experienced in martial arts?

L: I was disappointed because I wouldn’t get to see her beat someone up.
What is the most romantic thing you’ve done on Valentine’s Day?
M: I’ve never had a romantic Valentine’s Day. I’m still searching.
L: I went out to a fondue restaurant one time … in Elmont, N.Y. It’s called The Melting Pot.
M: Did you feed each other?
L: There might have been a little of that going on.

And what did you learn about Kevin over the last hour?

M: He did crew, and he isn’t doing it any more but instead spending a lot of his time pursuing music. He’s about to study the bass next week with [Jazz Bass Studio Instructor] Avery Sharp, took a singer-songwriter course during Winter Study, during which he wrote a song about Long Island seceding from the Union. He likes to play the guitar and is considering a music major.

L: She’s a psych major, was going to do psych and English, but after going abroad to France she decided on doing psych with a certificate in French. After graduation she’s going down to D.C. to do some consulting work with the government. Real classified stuff. She couldn’t tell me too much about that … She’d have to kill me with the Aikido. I was shocked that you were a martial artist …

M: Well, I’m not really a martial artist … I don’t really want people coming up to me and attacking me. Can we put a disclaimer about that in here?

Would you two be willing to get lunch again?

L: Sure, yeah.

M: [laughing] That wasn’t a very warm response! You fall into your same routine of the same people … it’s interesting to branch out. (To Lawkins) Come over to Driscoll and I’ll show you some Aikido in French!

L: Let’s do it!

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