One in Two Thousand: Alex Rouyer ’24

Kiara Royer

(Kiara Royer/The Williams Record)

Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature. As long as the owner of a selected unix is willing to be interviewed and is not a member of the Record board, that person becomes the subject of our interview. This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Alex Rouyer ’24, who talked about hiking Pine Cobble once a week, getting pranked with Jell-O, and becoming (sort of) internet-famous because of quarantine milk. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Kiara Royer (KR): So we’re suitemates, and we have very similar last names. What are the chances?

Alex Rouyer (AR): Well, what’s crazy is that we met each other last year and realized we had a mutual friend, and then I [was] like, ‘Oh, I should probably text him that I know Kiara.’ So then I asked you, ‘Kiara, Kiara what? Royer? No way.’

KR: Have you met anyone else with a similar last name?

AR: Yeah, I have a sister. [Laughs.]

KR: We then became friends through our history class, but you’re leaning towards majoring in physics and econ?

AR: Yeah, so far they’re the two types of classes that I enjoy taking the most, but physics is super hard.

KR: I know you like both subjects, but I think you’re more invested in the club you started.

AR: Oh, yeah. I’m a founding member of the Slow Eaters Club, which is so far composed of four people, but I think we’re gonna slowly get some more people once we finish our lunch meeting.

KR: How long has this lunch been going on?

AR: Three months. Someone went abroad, so we paused it. So far my WOOLFies [Williams Outdoor Orientation for Living as First-years orientation group] really want to join, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who are slow eaters.

KR: Is there an initiation?

AR: There is. You can only join in pairs. Slow Eaters Club is actually sort of a misnomer because only half of the members are actually slow eaters. The other half are fast eaters who make fun of the slow eaters. So Zach [Houlton ’24] and I are the slow eaters, Reed [Putnam ’23] and Oliver [Hall ’23] are the fast eaters. Reed makes fun of me, and Oliver makes fun of Zach.

KR: Got it. So it’s like a partnership.

AR: Exactly.

KR: You actually also got famous last year because of another one of your food adventures. 

AR: Oh, yeah. I have a Twitter that I frequent very occasionally ­— only when I have a genius idea for a tweet. And one day I had it. It came to me. This was when I was in quarantine, when I first came to campus last August. Williams gave us a lot of milk — a ton of milk. And one of them — I guess my refrigerator broke or something like that — it froze. So I tweeted a picture of the milk saying, “frozen quilk frozen quilk,” because “quilk” is quarantine milk. And the Record asked if they could use it in their article, and it was put in. I remember sending that to my parents and all my relatives because they thought it was really really cool.

KR: And now you get your very own interview. Is this more exciting than your quilk?

AR: I’m not sure. I’d have to do something really crazy to top my quilk.

KR: I think something that is pretty crazy is that last year, you hiked Pine Cobble every week. 

AR: Oh yeah, I did do that. I love to hike. Last semester, I had this huge amount of time. On Thursdays, my first class was at 6:45 p.m., so I just decided to do the most iconic hike at Williams every Thursday. I would send my podmates a selfie of me at the top, and I also took pictures of the view every single week and I would put them all together.

KR: In a compilation?

AR: Yeah, in a compilation, so you can see the change in seasons.

KR: That’s so cute. Are you going to continue that this year?

AR: I have a car now, so I don’t really need to. [Laughs.]

KR: What about Mount Greylock?

AR: I haven’t hiked Greylock, but I have driven it once. I do want to hike it eventually, but I think that for now, my WOOLF trip was enough walking for at least another week.

KR: Speaking of Greylock, now we’re living in Greylock Quad. How do you like Carter so far?

AR: I really do like Greylock. I think the big windows are a big plus, and I have a bigger room. Last year, my room in Willy was tiny. And people would just always be in my room all the time. I would [receive] pictures of people who were just hanging out in my room when I was across campus. One time, I went back to my room and there was just hot chocolate on my bed, which sucked.

KR: Like a cup of hot chocolate?

AR: No, like powdered hot chocolate. And rubber duckies. My podmate Sam [Phan ’24] would prank me sometimes. 

KR: How would she prank you?

AR: She took all of my socks.

Sam Phan (in the background): I only took the left ones!

AR: She would just take little things from my room. And the thing is, I’m a little bit of a mess occasionally, so I wouldn’t notice that they’d been taken. I would just think that I [had] lost them. And then she would be like, ‘Oh haha, I pranked you!’ two weeks later and give them back, and I would just be like ‘Oh, thanks?’ I [also] got really pranked on April Fools’. April Fools’ is the only real holiday of the year. I thought I went hard, but I made a terrible mistake by leaving my key in my door. So I got Jell-O-ed. They put all my stuff in Jell-O. 

KR: I remember that. Do you like Jell-O at least?

AR: No, I hate it. The texture intimidates me. But I do like to cook.

KR: You did make us a homemade meal the other day, which was super nice.

AR: I’m trying to cook more this year because we actually can use the kitchens. Two weeks ago, I made shakshuka and pasta, which was very good. I’m going to try to do it semi-occasionally. I think it’s like a nice little break from Paresky food, and everyone loves a homemade meal. I think getting recipes from my parents and making them — you could treat it almost as a visit, which is super nice. And I think especially now that all of our friends are living across campus, it’s a nice way to bring everyone together to cook and eat something.