I met Emily Pavlini ’14 on a Friday morning in Paresky, with staff dashing around in full “Pirates of the Cowibbean” regalia.
I’ve been told I need to ask you about pirates. Where did your obsession with pirates come from?
I don’t know. I think it started in middle school when I saw the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. I just love how adventurous they are. I love how pirates talk, too. That’s the only thing that got me through Moby Dick in high school, because of the way Ahab talks. I just have this pirate voice in my head.
Where do you think their accents come from?
I have no idea, but I did watch a YouTube video that was called “How to Talk Like a Pirate,” and it explained how all the saltwater and air and constant drinking of rum is hard on your vocal cords or something. That’s why they have such gruff voices. It’s a quality video.
How do you feel about the Winter Carnival theme?
I like it. When they announced it, four people texted me to be like, “Guess what the Winter Carnival theme is?”
Sounds like you have a reputation.
It’s actually funny because everyone knows that I really love pirates, so every time there would be a pirate attack, like the Somali pirates, people would e-mail me the articles in the newspaper.
How did this reputation come about?
I guess last year I had a pirate flag hanging up in my room. That might have had something to do with it. And every time people wanted to watch a movie, I’d recommend Pirates [of the Caribbean]. I have all four of them in my room.
What’s your room like? Are you a neat person?
I am. I have issues. But yeah, I’m pretty neat. Especially last year before people knew me, they’d be afraid to sit on my bed because they didn’t want to mess it up. And I have a little garbage can in my room, and there’s never anything in there because I empty it probably multiple times a day. I just always empty it; it stresses me out. So people come into my room with like, a gum wrapper, and they’re like, “Is it ok if I throw it out?” They probably think I’m absurd.
I wish I were like that!
My family is pretty messy. At least my brother and sister. It’s so stressful when I go home for vacation because I literally just follow them around all day and pick up after them. I don’t understand – they come home and just take off their backpacks and drop them. When my sister goes in her room, she just takes off her clothes and they’re just on the ground.
You have siblings? Older or younger?
I have a younger brother and sister.
So you got to be the first one to go off to college. How is it going back?
Whenever I go home for break, my parents are so easy on [my brother and sister]. They don’t punish them at all. When I was in kindergarten, I was grounded because I drew a little line on our kitchen table with a marker. When I was home over Christmas break, my mom wouldn’t let my brother go to hockey practice until he cleaned his room because it was disgusting. And he got really mad and punched the wall and made a dent in it. And she didn’t even get mad at him. She was like, “No, don’t do that.”
Tell me about field hockey and lacrosse. I’m not a sports person, so this is kind of a mysterious world to me. Do you have morning practice a lot?
Well, when we start having games on Saturdays, then we don’t have morning practice. That would be rough. I wake up really early all the time, but I’m not a morning person.
How does that work?
I think it’s my mom. When I’m at home, 9 a.m. is so late, and she comes into my room like, “Why aren’t you up yet?” And if I wear pajamas around the house she’ll be like, “Why aren’t you even dressed yet?” So when I come back here, I just need to wake up early or I feel like a failure at life. If I’m not in the library when it opens, I feel like, “What would my mother say?”
Oh, mothers – they even follow us to college.
Yeah, my mom really shouldn’t be talking. She actually doesn’t wake up that early. We used to have to wake her up to take us to school.
I guess parents always want to teach their kids to be better … What’s your mom like?
Oh my gosh, I love my mom. She’s kind of crazy. She’s so motivated, a go-getter, but for really weird stuff too. There’ll be a tree in our front yard that needs to be cut down or it’s dead, and she’ll call the tree company. But then she’ll get tired of waiting for them and just grab a chain saw and she’ll be like, “Help me take down this tree!” We’ve had some lumberjacking adventures in our backyard.
Where are you from?
I’m from New Jersey.
Lumberjacking in New Jersey … that’s probably not too common. So you’re not in New Jersey suburbia then?
Well, I live kind of close to the suburbs, but right where I live, there’s a lot of farms and big fields.
Was that one of the appeals of the College?
Yes, actually. I guess I didn’t really consider it when I applied, but after I got here [I realized] some of the other schools I applied to were in the city, and some were in not-so-nice neighborhoods. I could not just go out for a run, and I was thinking, “What would I do?” I didn’t even really consider that.
Do you have any time for other things, like relaxation, for example?
[Laughs] No! The break between fall and spring kills me. Just having all that time with no practice … I feel like when I have less time I get more done.