Dana Hogan ’15 is possibly the busiest person I’ve ever met, but also one of the nicest. I met Hogan in Lee Snack Bar on Homecoming evening, amidst the bustle of students getting dinner. We found out we had a lot in common: After comparing notes on our mutual interest in English and art history, and chatting about some favorite TV shows, we settled down for our interview, talking about everything from her jobs to skinny dipping in a graveyard to her bike Dolly.
This is kind of stalker-ish, but when I was looking you up on Williams Students Online, I saw the awesome picture that you had up. Where was that taken?
I live near a cemetery that’s really more like a park – it was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park. It’s a lovely place: families picnic there in the spring when the flowering trees are in bloom, cross country teams practice there … hipsters go on dates there. Many of my close friends in high school were really into art photography, so often we’d end up in the cemetery, and since I’m not a photographer, I’d end up pretending to be Grace Kelly next to President McKinley’s grave or doing ballet on top of a mausoleum or something like that. You’d have to see the cemetery to really understand what distinguishes it from creepier graveyards … I’ve had some of my best adventures there. My friend and I went spelunking in the sewer one time and ended up in the manhole under Main Street, and another friend and I once went skinny dipping in the pond before we realized that the water had anti-freeze and really big fish in it. Most of the time we just dressed up for themed photo shoots and had picnic parties, though.
You’d think that a cemetery might be creepy, but that sounds like a really great place to hang out. So why do you think you were picked to be “One in 2000”?
Probably because I’m the gelato lady. I scoop gelato in Paresky some nights. I started scooping gelato last spring, and I’m pretty sure my popularity peaked then. Now I do it from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.
What insight can you give the College into snack bar gelato?
Well, there’s this one lady who makes all the flavors. I find that the most popular flavors are the ones that are hardest to scoop, like Knock-You-Naked or anything with caramel. It also surprises me how often people go for the weird flavors. On Halloween, we had gray licorice gelato, and I was really proud of people for trying it! I also like to put together different flavor combinations that work well together, which is good because people always ask for recommendations.
Do you have any other on-campus jobs?
I also work at the Development Office [and] the Center for Environmental Studies, and I also teach science to a first grade class at Williamstown Elementary. They’re my favorite.
That’s so cute! Does the fact that you teach science mean you’re a Div. III major?
No, actually. I think I’m going to do art history and English.
No way! Me too! [We high-five.] Do you have any idea what you want to do with it? Because I don’t.
I really want to be a museum educator. I’m taking the spring semester off to do an internship with the Smithsonian in [Washington,] D.C.
Good for you! On another note, I’ve been told to ask about how much you love your bike.
Her name is Dolly. She’s my baby. I got her once I found out that I was going to be living in Agard. The bike I had before Dolly was my 10th birthday present, so it was about time I got a new one. But having a bike has been great. I was walking to the Homecoming game today, and I actually forgot how hard it is to walk on this campus! Struggles.
I’ve also been told to ask about an incident with biking with turkey and gravy.
So I go to Shabbat every week. I’m a wannabe Jew. I have a t-shirt that says “Bubbie in training.” Anyway, I’m obsessed with the brisket that they make, and I found out they were going to be making it the one weekend I’m out of town. I gave my friend some Tupperware and begged her to get me some brisket. When I got back I picked it up from her, and I was riding my bike with my art supplies in one hand and my Tupperware containers full of brisket and gravy in the other hand. I hit a bump, and my gravy flew off into the middle of Route 2. I was late for practice for Dance Dhamaka, so I left it, but I went back later when it was dark and waited for all the cars to go by so I could search for it. I found it, and it hadn’t even been run over!
That’s some pretty impressive luck. So what’s Dance Dhamaka like?
I love it. I’m the social chair and costume coordinator this year. I’m actually happy that we could do our interview tonight because tech week starts tomorrow! We have our big show Friday and Saturday of next week.
You’re quite the busy bee! Four jobs and Dance Dhamaka. Any other activities readers should know about?
I’m on the Student Advisory Committee at [the Williams College Museum of Art], and I’m also the president of the Williams Exploring Team, which started last year. We basically go on field trips – we went on a bike tour of Bennington, we went snow tubing in Pittsfield and we went to Howe caverns. If you ever want to take a field trip on the College’s dime, let me know! It’s a great way to get to know the area.
What do you do to relax? Do you even have any time to relax?
Well, I allow myself one TV show per semester, and right now it’s “The Vampire Diaries.” My friends always rag on me for it, but honestly, when you think about it, TV shows are like a one hour reboot to your system. It doesn’t necessarily have to have intellectual value. We work, work, work, and it’s nice to be able to recharge.
I agree. I definitely have my own guilty pleasure shows. Where are you from? What’s your family like?
I’m from Buffalo, N.Y. I have a half-sister, but she’s 12 years older than I am. For all intents and purposes, I sort of feel like an only child. It depends on the context, though. Whenever she brings a boyfriend home she always tells the story, which I don’t remember, of how when I was three, she was babysitting me and went to go hang out with a friend. When she got back I was dunking her teddy bear headfirst into the toilet. I also have my dog, Chloe, who’s the favorite child. My mom will always say, “Take your sister for a walk.” I’m like, “She’s not my sister, Mom, she’s a dog.”
[We check out photos of each other’s pets on our phones.]
My cats are hilariously stupid. Is Chloe smart?
She is way too smart for her own good. When she knows she’s in trouble, she will not look at you and she’ll pretend she can’t hear you. And when I first left for college (she never messes anything up), she went into my room and ruined it! I was impressed that she knew where to target to get revenge, but not impressed enough to be amused.
How did you end up at the College?
I was initially never going to come to Williams. I visited during my junior year during a blizzard, so the Admissions Office was closed and there weren’t any tours. My mom was sick and stayed in the car, so I walked around alone in the snow thinking, “I hate this place! I’m never going to come here.” But my parents convinced me to apply anyway, and I came here to visit for Previews and went on the Stone Hill midnight hike. It was the s’mores that got me. Everyone was so friendly, and even though Williams wasn’t initially on my radar, I got that feeling.