I have a lot of things in common with Santiago Sanchez ’11. We both entered Sage E in the fall of 2007 as international students despite having gone to school in the U.S., and we are currently both wise seniors living in Goodrich House with an affinity for cheesecake. Yet due to Santiago’s workhorse tendencies and secretive nature, much remains unknown about this red-haired philosophy major. I sat (collapsed) on Santiago’s rug in his famously shoddy room this past Sunday to probe this mysterious creature about his admittedly weird outlook on life.
Shouldn’t we change up the setting? This is kind of boring and I thought the interviews were supposed to be fun and exciting.
This is fun and exciting. You’re lying on your bed and I am sprawled on your fuzzy rug, and we are going to have a conversation like good friends.
You mean the carpet of doom that causes nothing but sorrow? It was such a mistake!
Where did you even get this rug?
[Santiago sighs emphatically.] K.T.’s [Katherine Tandler ’11] mom was nice enough to say, “I don’t want it, would you like it?” And then we took it and I was really excited about it, but [insert preferred expletive]! It sheds everywhere! And it’s been shedding for months and it won’t stop. Tony [Lorenzo ’11] and I have tried everything and it still won’t stop. It makes the room so … annoying.
I am enjoying this rug right now though.
Yeah, but you’ll be all fuzzy … and also our room has slanty ceilings. That just makes everything worse. I don’t like this room!
[I laugh to hide my shame. Santiago and Tony only picked this room so that the rest of our pick group could have sweet singles in Goodrich.]
You look up, you can’t move. You look down, there’s fuzz everywhere.
You sound depressed right now.
Nah, son. That’s why I don’t spend time here – except when I take naps.
And when you punched that hole in the wall, or is it the ceiling?
That’s because I was sick and I had to write my thesis and my computer had gotten stolen.
You know it’s weird that the thing that makes you most upset is that you can’t write your thesis, right?
It was in a feverish delirium. It doesn’t count and I feel bad about it.
Well, on a different note. How’s life?
Life is good! The thesis is going well.
Oh my god. Stop talking about your thesis.
Sorry! Well … I have great friends.
Aw, I’m blushing.
I also like cheesecake. [Santiago looks as if in deep thought, then turns his head slightly as if he has had an epiphany.] Cake smack!
How did that even come about?
Random thoughts sometimes pop into my head, and sometimes these thoughts become words that I say out loud, and then they prompt actions. So sometimes I’ll think about how I like cheesecake, and then I think about smacking someone with cake, and then I say it, and then I do it. It’s a good thing!
Not if you get smacked in the face with cake. [True story.]
I also like soft things! And touching soft things …
That sounds a little creepy.
Okay, fine. I also smell things a lot – like the perfume that used to be worn by my ex-girlfriend that one time in France I recognized you were wearing. That’s pretty weird I guess. Contrary to some people’s assumptions though, that does not mean that I am gay or that I am girly. Just because I like to compliment girls’ earrings because I was conditioned that way does not make me any less of a man.
[I can’t disagree with Santiago there. At 5’6”, Santiago just exudes strength and masculinity.]
Well, I’m sure the ladies of the campus will be happy to hear this.
You stop it! [Santiago proceeds to try and hit me repeatedly with a pillow. I scream.]
Who are you, Santiago Sanchez?
I am a red-headed Mexican – but not ginger! Because I tan.
Aren’t they the same things? Red heads and gingers I mean, not the Mexican and tanning part.
No, if you had watched that episode of South Park you would see that there’s a difference between a ginger and a day walker. The difference being that day walkers do not have light skin and can tan. The sun does not burn me like it does a ginger.
You’re offending a lot of gingers.
That may be right. Gingers are fine, fine people. I just happen to not be one of them.
So tell me more about yourself.
I study English and philosophy, I’m a bit of a workaholic, but I love people and hanging out.
Except you prefer to work, no?
That is false. It depends on the nature of the work and the nature of the hanging out and the friends. Reasons arise from life’s circumstances. Prescribing …
Stop – too much philosophy. [Santiago hears this a lot.]
I also like coffee a lot.
That’s for sure.
I get a lot of heartburn though – that’s pretty important. Last semester I drank way too much coffee, but I’ve undergone a lifestyle change. Before it used to be eight cups a day, now I’ve gone down to two, so the heartburn has gone down.
No more pill-popping Tums?
I don’t like Tums. They taste like chalk. [Santiago is lost in thought for a minute, probably reflecting on Tums.]
So you have a twin?
An evil twin. One time he threw me down a spiral staircase.
Oh no! How old were you?
We were only like seven. I didn’t die though, so it was funny afterwards. At the time it was quite scary though. And then at some point in retaliation I threw a skateboard at his head, but he closed the door so the skateboard didn’t hit him. It’s a good thing because then he would have gotten hurt.
Uh, he still threw you down a spiral staircase.
But I didn’t die.
Well in that case, if I had to get on anyone’s bad side, it would be you.