We met Rachel Lee ’16 and Eva Fourakis ’16 as nervous section editors, and through our time on the Record board, they transformed from intimidating executive editors to intimidating editors-in-chief and, finally, to good friends. We sat down with them at their favorite spot, Tony’s Sombrero, to talk about their experiences leading the Record.
So why are we here at Tony’s?
RL: [Going to] Tony’s started over the summer, when we were trying to do overhauls and stuff between our two reigns. We were both here over the summer and we would meet here, for tradition, on Tuesdays (Record production day). We have our own two orders. So, you get the–
[In unison]: The carnitas burrito.
RL: And I usually get the Tony’s burrito.
EF: You should probably say, “Said at same time.” [Laughs.] It’s cuter that way.
RL: The burritos come with sour cream and green sauce, and so we both would have green sauce, and Eva would always give me her green sauce because it’s too spicy for her, and I give her my sour cream because I never eat all of it.
EF: It’s pretty cute.
What were your first impressions of each other?
RL: We definitely weren’t friends.
EF: Really, at all. Not because of animosity or anything. We just didn’t know each other.
RL: I thought you were kind of hard to get a hold of … Like hard to understand. I couldn’t get what your vibes were. I didn’t get what you were about.
EF: Were you intimidated by me? Be honest.
RL: No, definitely not intimidated.
EF: Well, I would like to clarify: I was 100 percent intimidated by Rachel.
RL: Oh, good, yay. I think I just couldn’t tell if you were friendly or unfriendly.
EF: We used to e-mail back and forth about things, and it would be really formal. It would be like, “Dear Rachel, Here are some edits to an e-mail you want to send to the board. Please let me know if you think these are appropriate. Yours, Eva.”
RL: I think at the very beginning, when I was scared of taking control and, like, emailing everyone, I was like, “Oh, I drafted this email about something important for the board. Would you like to proofread it for me, Eva?”
EF: [Laughs.] “Sincerely, Rachel Lee.” They’re fun to look back at now. I don’t know how we actually became friends.
RL: I remember talking to [fellow editor] Libby [Dvir ’16] before she went abroad, and she was like, “Ooh, are you gonna be best friends with Eva, how’s it going to go?” And I was like, “Ooh, I don’t know, Libby, I don’t know what Eva is about.” [Laughs.]
EF: [Laughs.] So what I’m hearing from this is that you were intimidated by me.
RL: I was intimidated by the prospect of being business partners with you and–
EF: I’m gonna take that as a win.
Other highlights of your partnership?
RL: Should we verbalize the time we switched clothes? So, the thing about me is that when it gets warm, I like to wear as little clothing as possible. Sometimes this extends to not really wearing a shirt, like, accepting a really loose definition of what “shirt” is. So it was especially funny to see us together over the summer, when I would be wearing very little and Eva, actually, you wear less over the summer, you wear shorts.
EF: [Laughs.] I wear normal human clothes over the summer, I would say. Shorts and a t-shirt.
I’m picturing Eva wandering around Williamstown in the summer in a little sweatsuit.
EF: No, the sweatsuit goes away for the summer. I wear, like, the equivalent of a sweatsuit in the summer, so I wear athletic shorts and a t-shirt. That’s like my summer sweatsuit. I miss it, though, during the summer.
RL: Yeah. But regardless of the seasons we have pretty contrasted styles of dress.
EF: And by that, she means she has a style. [Laughs.]
RL: So, anyway, we kind of always thought it would be funny if we switched clothing.
EF: Rachel and I thought that it would be a funny surprise for the board on our last issue if we dressed as each other. There were some rules, I think. We got to choose what we wanted the other person to wear … Rachel and I are a little different height-wise, so Rachel couldn’t give me pants, so we knew it’d be a dress. And Rachel, you knew what you were gonna wear, there was never any question as to what you were gonna wear: It was gonna be the classic Williams sweatsuit with Birkenstocks and socks.
RL: I had a lot of directions I could have gone in for you, but in the end I decided to go with this flowy, leopard-print dress, so I knew size wouldn’t be an issue–
EF: Are you calling me fat? [Laughs.]
RL: No, but I know you like the flow, the oversize fit. [Laughs.] But the leopard print, still sassy, still got some kick, some punch to it.
Moving away from clothing styles, how did your leadership styles differ?
EF: Basically I was cool dad, she was uptight mom. I feel like when you were editor-in-chief, or even when I was editor-in-chief, I would come to you and be like, “You’re gonna hate this idea…” [Laughs.] That was my opening line, always.
RL: It’s true. I think in general Eva was more flexible on, like, the role of the Record, what we can do, what we should not do. I was a little more stick-to-the-rules.
EF: You were like a strict interpreter of the constitution and I was like, we can do whatever we want.
What were some of your hardest days on the Record?
RL: My worst day was my second Tuesday. It wasn’t as chill as Winter Study, and obviously there was school on top of it. We had new hires. It was partially just a combination of getting used to doing editor-in-chief stuff with all my classes, and it was horrible, and I cried a little bit, multiple times.
Eva, what was your hardest time?
EF: I think it was hard for me to come in and be editor-in-chief the second semester, because I felt like I’d been kind of the fun one when Rachel was editor-in-chief, just because it’s easier to be. You can’t be the fun one when you’re editor-in-chief. So all of a sudden I had to come in and be, not mean, but strict sometimes.
RL: I don’t like raising my voice, I generally have a quiet voice so raising it is, like, a lot for me. So sometimes I’d ask Eva to do it for me.
EF: One of my favorite things, discipline-wise [laughs], was I feel like I have a very clear voice when I’m upset with people, like you can tell I switch to this really serious voice. So sometimes I’d just pull that out and try to scare people. But my favorite thing to do was during meetings, when somebody was whispering in the corner, I would look at them, and then as soon as they look up, which they inevitably do, you just look at them and shake your head and look away disappointedly. You don’t say anything, you don’t disrupt the meeting, you just make eye contact, shake the head and look away. Shame them. [Laughs.]
What do you miss most about Record?
EF: I miss the crew. There’s something about spending all day in a room together that brings you together. You know, when it’s getting late and everybody’s getting sort of delirious, like standing on chairs, singing… I miss those kinds of nights. Even though those were arguably the most stressful nights, they were also the nights I remember the most. Like, I don’t remember the nights we got out at 9 p.m. I remember the nights we were there until one in the morning.
RL: Yeah, it’s a weird thing to say you miss delirium: getting delirious together and all of a sudden everyone’s really happy and doing weird shit and everything’s funny and if I were a stranger and I wandered in here I would not wanna stay, that kind of thing. But it’s nice, together. The nights you get out at 9 p.m. everyone’s just so happy to zoom out, and you’re like, oh, you don’t want to stick around? I mean, I understand why you don’t want to stick around, but it’s nice to stick with people, maybe. It’s nice when everyone has to work together, when everyone is united for a common cause, supporting each other.