One in Two Thousand: Natalie Jean-Michel ’23

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ETHAN DINÇER/THE WILLIAMS RECORD

Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College. So long as the owner of the selected unix is on campus, willing to be interviewed and not a member of the Record board, that person becomes the subject of that week’s One in Two Thousand. This week, the computer (using a very simple script in R) chose Natalie Jean-Michel ’23. 

What are some little things that make you happy?

Tea. I drink tea maybe, hmmm, usually four or five times a day. But lately, since I’ve been sick this week, I’ve been having at least maybe eight or seven cups a day. Free tea is a splendid thing. I remember in the beginning of the semester when Snar had first opened up and I was pulling up the Williams app and the dining thing and it was like, ‘Hot tea is a dollar twenty five’ and I was like calculating everything — like that one meme with the woman and all the little tiny formulas floating around her head [in] white chalk – and I was like, ‘All right, I have my order together, can I get this, this, this and a hot tea,’ and [the] man was like, ‘Tea is free, my guy-o, and I was like, [sings] ‘Ahhh.’ Do you have a favorite tea? Do you like tea or coffee?

Coffee.

Dang it. I guess I’ll just [pretends to leave the room]. Kidding… We can still be friends. I would hug you if I wasn’t recovering from this stupid cold. That’s been the hardest part of this frickin’ week… Basically I haven’t been able to hug people, which is very, very hard, because I am big on hugging people [sighs], so that’s tough. Tea is like a hug but for your throat and for your heart. It just permeates through you and brings bliss through your veins. That sounds like heroin [laughs]. Tea is not addictive, I swear. I really hecking like tea. What’s your favorite season?

I like fall. What’s your favorite season?

[Intense nodding.] I love fall with a passion. Tiny things that make you happy! Boots and the little crunch of dry leaves underneath it in autumn. Autumn is so wonderful. Oh my goodness. Tiny things. Hmmm. Sunlight through windows in the morning is hella underrated. That shiz can be really beautiful. Waking up early. Oh goodness, I really really really really really like the moon. Ahhh. I’m actually like low key hella obsessed with the moon.

Why?

I’m not really sure. Fun fact, I was born on a one hundred percent full moon. When my mom was pregnant with me her water actually broke while she was outside looking at the full moon.

What is your favorite cycle of the moon?

Full moon. I have stood outside for extended periods of time just watching the moon. People probably think I’m crazy for that. I remember one time during a blood moon when I was in high school, I went outside into my backyard and ended up standing there for 50 minutes in the middle of the morning watching the blood moon. I just very much appreciate the moon. I don’t know what it is about it. Also, it’s soft but it can also be intense as hell, which is extremely relatable. What are other things that make me happy? I love baking a lot. And wildflowers. Wildflowers are so frickin’ cute. Also bees. 

What about bees?

I just love bees. For my birthday — actually, my older sister, my older brother and I all share a birthday.

That’s crazy! Are your older siblings twins?

No, they’re born a year apart from each other.

And all three of you were born on what day?

October 2. You’re my JA, shouldn’t you know what my birthday is?

[Laughs].

I was joking… For my birthday this year, my sister gave me a cup — it’s so frickin’ cute, I’m gonna go get it. Wait right here. I’ll be right back. [Runs down the hall singing and comes back with a mug]. Also while running I just remembered, I also really like ginger. Ginger is incredible. Ginger and clove make a really good tea. Mmm [sighs]. Look at this [holding up mug]! And it has a little tiny bee on the inside! That’s so frickin’ cute!

What is it about bees that you love so much?

I don’t know. Apparently, honeybees understand the concept of zero. They’re really frickin’ cute and cool. I watch vlogs about bees a lot looking at hives. Spiders are really cute. The Australian Funnel Web Spider, oh my gosh, so cool. [Shows pictures of the spider web.] It’s like a vortex.

Oh my gosh no it’s so scary. How does that not scare you?

I don’t know, if I saw it in my room I’d be kinda mad — mans doesn’t pay rent. But, I don’t know, it’s just so beautiful. How do they make it that shape, and how is it a perfect little funnel? It’s fantastic. One of the other things that brings me joy, there’s this one channel on YouTube called Deep Look, KQED with PBS studios, and they have these brilliant videos. There are some really cool animals I had never heard of or really cool bugs or really cool types of corals that do cool things. 

Tell me about your love of bread.

Pizza, oh my gosh. I think that trying to go gluten-free for fun, yeah you do you, that’s kind of a cool idea, I say go for it if you want to. But I could never personally imagine. All the respect to you, but I could never. Also, cinnamon buns. I baked so much over this past winter break, it was insane. [Chef’s kiss.] I don’t know how you could handle dough and not smile. Dough is magical.

Did you ever go to one of those restaurants as a child where they give you dough to play with?

They’re the real ones. We love that. I would take that over a coloring book with waxy crayons that don’t even really work that well. That’s the thing that annoyed me about it. And then you try them out and it’s like, “Why does it feel like I’m using a literal candle?” What were we talking about? Tiny things that make us happy? Hmmm. Ginger, and baking, and tea. Working with dough. MUSIC in all caps and also music like MuSiC. I just love music.What was the last song you listened to?

I was at practice this morning, and my coach insisted on playing “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. What about you?

I think, hmmm, “Love Like That” by LambC. [Plays Love Like That.]

Do you have a favorite meme?

I actually do have a playlist of song memes. I have a proposition to make an a cappella group that solely sings meme music. I don’t think that’s a bad idea.

What’s an example of a meme song?

[Pulls up playlist.] “Allstar,” “Roundabout,” “A Thousand Miles,” “Mans Not Hot,” “Ocean Man,” “Careless Whisper,” “Take On Me,” “Watcha Say,” “What is Love,” “Crawling,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “I’m a Believer,” “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” “Photograph,” “Crank that Soulja Boy,” “Ghost Busters,” “Dancing Queen,” “Only Time.”

Any last little things that make you happy?

Oh! Over the Garden Wall. If you haven’t seen it, watch Over the Garden Wall. It’s beautifully crafted [and] masterful. I’ve watched it goodness knows how many times. Cozy flannel is also up there with the tiny things that make me happy. Books are cool. Hmmm, what to say? Have you drunk water yet? You should drink water — that’s always a good reminder. Hydration nation.