Chillin’terviews: Ms. Reyes

We wanted to get to know Ms. Reyes–so what better than a Chillin’terview? Victoria Liu `24 talks food, Govs, and more food with the new faculty member.


Ms. Reyes: Artist Rendering by the author

Victoria Liu, Editor

Victoria: So, first question of the day. I know that you used to be a student at Govs. Were you afraid of the upperclassmen?

Reyes: No, not really. I had some really great proctors in my dorm, and I would see them around campus, and they would say hi to me and, y’know, introduce me to their friends and also just playing on different sports teams…so, I wouldn’t really say that I was ever scared of upperclassmen. It was fun and exciting, right. You definitely wanted to follow them and if they were going to weekend activities, you were going to weekend activities. So, I was never scared of them. I did enjoy getting to be around them, though, for sure.

Victoria: Ok, cool. Because as a freshman, lord knows I’m scared of some of them.

Reyes: Yeah? (Chuckles) Aww, that’s too bad. Well, we’ll have to do some more community building so that we can change that fear into friendship.

Victoria: Yeah. (Laughs) Why did you choose Govs again after being a student here?

Reyes: You know how they say there’s no place like home–there’s no place like Govs. I feel it’s really humbling to have the opportunity to come back and to be working alongside so many of my former teachers and coaches and dorm parents. And now we’re colleagues, right, like that’s incredible. Since coming back, I just feel there’s so much support in every area from the dean’s teams and the language department to the dorm team. It’s really just great–so great to come back to a place where you feel loved and encouraged and supported. And I love Govs even more than I did when I was a student here, for sure.

Victoria: Is it weird having your English teacher become your colleague?

Reyes: You know, that’s–that’s so funny.

That’s not as weird for me as seeing the faculty kids that I used to babysit all grown up. Yeah. So, like, for example, Sadie Falconer. I used to babysit Sadie Falconer and her brother Elijah, and we would have these Nerf gun battles in their apartment when I lived in Nannie B with them. And now, like, they’re students here, right? (Editor’s note: Elijah graduated in 2019) And like, Hunter Kingsbury. I used to babysit Lily and Hunter, and now Hunter’s like a sophomore, I guess. So that’s…that’s a little weirder for me because all the faculty look exactly the same as when I was here. They all look exactly the same. But the kids are all grown up. 

Victoria: What was the most memorable thing that you did at Govs? 

Reyes: Ooh, that’s a good one. 

Victoria: Cuz, you know, four years of high school, I’ve seen a lot of high school movies and like, insane stuff happens.

Reyes: I mean, one of my favorite moments, really, when I think back at Govs was my senior year and one of my teammates who was a junior, Kat Fogerty, I assisted her one-thousandth point during a basketball game. And that was a really special moment for us because during the game we were getting blown out. We were losing by like over 20 points. And you would think that we were all just kind of upset and in a bad mood, but…but for us, the goal was, let’s get Kat her one-thousandth point. So, when we were able to do that, as the clock was ticking down and the game was almost over, that was a really special moment for me. And I think about it all the time because everyone on the team, you know, we put our pride aside, we put everything aside. And it was kind of like all for one. We were more excited to celebrate her individual accomplishment at that moment than to be focused on the fact that we were losing. 

Victoria: Well, yeah, I don’t know anything about the sports yet because, you know, being online. I’m actually kind of happy that I get to worm my way out of doing a sport.

Reyes: (Chuckles) Yeah, sure–afternoon activities are super broad. There are so many things you can do.

Victoria: OK, have you ever seen someone famous in public?

Reyes: (Pause) I have.  

Victoria: Woah, really? 

Reyes: I saw Rob Gronkowski. I was at a basketball game in Sports Zone and he walked in for this, like, football training camp and signing autographs, so that was pretty cool. And…I’m trying to think of who’s like a cool celebrity that I’ve met. (Laughs) Someone who’s well known. I met Jojo White at a basketball game. He’s a Celtics legend. I was actually on a Govs trip. We were watching a Govs alum play–he was in the NBA. And um, we sat right behind Jojo White, so that was pretty cool.

Victoria: Cool. I’ll pretend like I know something about sports. I don’t–I don’t know who he is, but, cool. Cool. Yeah. I’ve never met anyone famous, so, you know (pause). 

Would you rather eat super spicy food for the rest of your life, like impossibly spicy? Like every time you ate you’d have to drink gallons of water, or would you eat food that tasted like nothing?

Reyes: (Very confidently) Super spicy. I already love super spicy food, um… yeah. Super spicy all the way. I love spicy food. You know, when you’re eating it, you’re starting to sweat…(fans face) oh my god, I love that. Like, I love that.

Victoria: Really?

Reyes: (Laughs and says sheepishly) I love spicy food. 

Victoria: I can’t stand it…I don’t know why. 

Reyes: Yess. I cook with jalapeños all the time. Um, I love, like a mango habanero… Love spicy food.

(Her phone dings) Sorry, I’m getting a text and– (unlocks her phone) going to call you right back (texts and says out loud) call… you… right.. back.

Victoria: Oh, no problem. 

Reyes: Sweet. (Puts the phone face down on the table)

Victoria: So, OK, when did you learn to first cook?

Reyes: Oh, from such a young age (in a reminiscent tone). 

Victoria: This is becoming very food-oriented–my bad. (Laughs)

Reyes: No, that’s OK. I love food. I’m so passionate about food, I love talking about it all day long. Um…from a really young age. I remember being, like, coming home from kindergarten and making a grilled cheese. And I know a grilled cheese is not a big deal, but like, the fact that I had to get a chair to stand there and make my grilled cheese…I just love to eat, so I’ve always loved to cook. Yeah, I think I made my first grilled cheese when I was five.

Victoria: Really? That’s impressive. 

Reyes: Right? (Laughs) It was really…it was a big deal.

Victoria: Yeah.

Reyes: I remember… I’d come home after school and I’d make a grilled cheese, like, almost every day.

Victoria: Was that your favorite after school snack?

Reyes: Oh, for sure…and leftovers! I. Love. Leftovers. Like, I could, I would have leftovers for breakfast all the time. My mom would be making eggs and pancakes, and I would be like warming up the spaghetti from the night before, or like the rice and chicken from the night before. (Laughs) 

Victoria: She seems chill, then, because I know some parents, like, they would not– like sometimes, my dad, he’s super peculiar about breakfast. He says, no, you have fresh food. Why are you eating the leftovers? Throw those away.

Reyes: Yeah, my mom was like that at first as well. And I…when I was younger, I also wanted to be vegetarian– (backtracks) not that I wanted to be vegetarian, just that certain meats just didn’t really appeal to me. So, I would kind of eat around it, and for a while she was like, you’re not a vegetarian. Just eat the food. But then when she realized I was really eating around it, she was kind of like, all right, do whatever you want (laughs), eat whatever you want.

Victoria: Are you still eating around those certain meats, or have you shifted (puts air apostrophes around this word) back?

Reyes: Yes, I still–I do love meat. I love a steak, I love chicken, I love seafood, but… like, I don’t like when a piece of meat has like, a ton of fat on it or like, kinda like, soft…I don’t know, I just like a very nice, clean…cut of meat.

Victoria: Yeah, I get that because sometimes pig meat like it has that slimy…pig fat?

Reyes: Yeah.

Victoria: Ok, last question, because I know we’re both (pauses slightly for dramatic effect) busy people, right.

Reyes: (Laughs)

Victoria: I had it. Oh, my God. (Pauses and tries to think) I had it and it was good, but let me come up with another one, my bad.

Reyes: Oh, no worries. 

Victoria: (After a few seconds of surfing the web for interesting icebreaker questions) OK, so are a hugger? Because I felt like this is a really interesting question, cuz it can say a lot about your personality, I feel. But are you like a hugger or more like a don’t-touch-me-a-handshake-is-fine person? 

Reyes: I am 100 percent a hugger, which is why in the time of COVID, this has been so challenging for me (laughs), especially coming back, right? I’ll see faculty that I haven’t seen in forever. And I initially want to run over and hug them, then I’m like, that’s right, I can’t, because…

Victoria: (Chuckles) Social distancing. 

Reyes: I am totally a hugger.

Victoria: That’s nice.

Reyes: Totally. And like, high fives. I’m all about the high fives like at practice and stuff like that. (Laughs) Anything to transfer that good energy, right. (Laughs more) 

Victoria: Good vibes only, right.

Reyes: Exactly! 

Victoria: (Laughs) OK, well thanks for your time!

Reyes: Thank you, and so nice meeting you. 

Victoria: You as well. Bye! (Waves at the camera)  

Reyes: Bye!