Dave and I sat down with Ivette on Sunday morning, her birthday, over a bottle of cabernet cauvignon. Ivette was lying on her bright, red mamasan (for those who don’t know, a mamasan is a large, whicker, bowl shaped futon, according to Ivette a necessity in any home), while she perused her horoscope. As we sipped from our glasses, Dave and I began the interview.
Samuelson: Ivette, since you were a Junior Advisor (JA) last year, could you start by explaining how you got the JA nickname “Babushka”?
Well, during First Days freshman year my JAs sat down the whole entry to do an icebreaker and get to know each other. As they were explaining their policy that there would be no hard alcohol allowed, I decided everyone would appreciate it if I shared something I learned while in Russia that summer. I said, “You know guys, I bought one of those really pretty, large babushka dolls in Russia, and I’m sure that you could use one both to hide a bottle of vodka and for decoration.” I guess people were surprised by my comment, I’m not really sure why.
Did you attend JA training?
I really, really wanted to, but I had a family trip to Greece. I think I learned a lot of really useful life skills from that trip that served me well as a JA.
I remember that now. Moving on to your life outside of Williams, I know that you are very close with your family. Who aside from your parents would you say you are closest to?
Definitely my cousin Kevin. He’s one of my best friends. I tell him everything. It’s great to have him because I just know I can call him whenever and we can talk about life and my boy troubles. He just always really understands. It’s nice having a family member who I just connect with on such a deep level.
Oh, where does Kevin go to school?
School, like college? No, Kevin’s in sixth grade now, but he’s really mature for his age, don’t worry.
I’ve heard that you have strong feelings regarding a girl named Tatiana. Is that a friend of Kevin’s?
Tatiana! Well, I can’t explicitly talk about that girl, but it’s safe to say that she’s on her way to becoming [censored for publication].
Wow … How did you meet Tatiana?
I haven’t met the girl personally, but all I can say is that my poor cousin Kevin has had a crush on her since Pre-K. I have to buy her a gift from him every Valentine’s Day. But she won’t tell anyone in the class who she likes so that all of the boys will buy her gifts. I’m not a fan.
Zackheim: She sounds awful. Moving on, I’ve heard rumors that you are a psychic. Is this true?
I wouldn’t say that I’m a psychic, but I can tell the future a little bit. I get vibes about situations before they happen. Sometimes, I’m talking to someone, and I just get a vibe about them. I have also met other psychics, like this kid Patrick. He’s the little snitch who used to work for Security hunting out drugs in dorms. Sophomore year he read my aura, he told me I was going to Georgetown Law after I graduated, and he totally convinced me.
I have noticed that you are the Baxter Fellow of Fitch. Could you tell us a bit about the building’s theme?
Well, when deciding what the theme would be, I didn’t want to do something traditional. I know that this sounds a little self-involved, but I themed it after myself. Every door has a fun fact about Ivette Stanziola.
I noticed that one of the doors says that your “Favorite Wedding Registry Store is Pottery Barn.” Why is that?
I am in no rush to get married. I don’t know who the lucky man will be, but I do know that I love Pottery Barn. Every time I walk in, I like to pretend it’s my house.
Samuelson: I understand that you have certain feelings about showering and cold weather. Could you explain this a little more?
Certainly, I don’t think enough people on campus are aware of this danger. But when I went to college, Ivette Senior [her mom] gave me a really important piece of advice: She said that I have to be very careful after taking a hot shower to not open a window during winter because it will deform my face. I have been very careful ever since.
I was unaware of that danger. I heard you like pranks. What was your best prank at Williams?
I would say that I am obsessed with pranks. My whoopee cushion gets me through a lot of boring situations like the Health Center meeting during fall JA training. Prank calling my grandmother is another winner. But my best Williams prank to the date is leaving fake secret admirer letters throughout the school year on someone’s door. He eventually figured out it was me. Awkward!
I have noticed that you wear athletic clothing all around campus.
I figure that if I wear athletic shorts to Tunnel City or Paresky, it will force me to go to the gym since I’m all prepared.
Does this work?
I wouldn’t say it works 100 percent of the time, especially seeing as I am a senior and still need two P.E. credits to graduate. I’ve begun six so far, but it just never works out.
Don’t you get cold?
I have a very specific strategy about cold weather. I’m from Miami, and I love the heat, so when I came to Williams I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I’ve noticed that a lot of people react by bundling up against the weather, but I think that’s just giving in. I believe that if I want to wear something and it looks good, I should wear it. If this means just wearing a bright red dress and heels in January, I will do it. It’s all about convincing yourself that it’s warm out.
Zackheim: I didn’t know that worked so well. Speaking of questionable attire, I remember seeing you in our entry last year in a pink Victoria’s Secret Velcro-towel on the mamasan?
Have you not heard of “Towel Time”? It’s the best time of the day. There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day, showering and then laying freely on the mamasan with just your towel. I think my freshmen enjoyed and appreciated the tradition.
Well Ivette, it has been really nice talking with you today, and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!
Thanks guys. This was bomb.