For the “Chillin’terviews” column, I’ll be conducting interviews with a staff/faculty member or a member of the student body.
What makes these interviews “chill”? These two people are randomly selected. By randomly, I mean I walk into the dining hall and interview whoever is there and whoever doesn’t look too busy. These are “chill” questions because these are conversational topics. Some of the questions are silly—some of them go deeper. They’re the kinds of things you somehow find yourself discussing as you’re chillin’ with friends or maybe thinking about in the shower or as you walk your dog.
I want to share the voices of people in the community, whether they are the ones we hear from often, or not often enough. Maybe, through reading these interviews, you’ll find someone chill. Enjoy.
Ah, this issue I found success in the traditional Chillin’terview method of finding an interviewee. I strolled into the dining hall at around 4:00, fully expecting it to be completely empty (it usually is). Much to my delighted surprise, I found Annabelle Svahn doing homework. She warned that she was going to be boring—everyone says this, FYI—and that she has a cold and would be coughing the whole time. She was. But isn’t everybody these days?
RR: Do you prefer tea or coffee?
Annabelle Svahn: I think that’s a hard question. Naturally, I’d say coffee—I’m an iced coffee person. But, I do enjoy tea… I am one of those weird people who can drink coffee really late at night and still go to sleep.
RR: What is your favorite fall activity?
AS: (Pauses, considering). (Quietly) My favorite…hm… I just really like fall as a season, so I don’t think I can pick a favorite… Like, I like it all, but in general I really like going to the barn in the fall… and just getting to ride outside after my lesson… and it’s so pretty out… It’s just a really nice way to spend an afternoon.
RR: Are you going to go on the trail ride with Borgatti?
AS: I don’t know… I feel like I don’t want to take a spot from someone… cause I can do that—I get to do that every week on on my own…But it sounded cool!
RR: What is one skill you wish you had?
AS: (Pause) I guess of the top of my head, I would really like to sing—better… Like, you know, just a little bit better, just so that I could feel more comfortable… like being comfortable singing in public would be a really nice skill… But otherwise, I don’t know. (Stops to cough). There’s probably a better answer than that but…
RR: No that’s good.
RR: What is your favorite thing about Tianyu Fang?
AS: Um… (laughs)
RR: (Laughing) Among the many things to choose from…
AS: (Laughing as well) Um… We have good conversations! That’s like a favorite thing… I mean, he just lent me the US History SAT subject test book, so I feel like, right now, you know… he’s kind. Yeah, I don’t know… That’s broad, but, ya know.
RR: No, that’s perfect. I agree.
RR: Could you describe a regrettable haircut or phase of fashion that you’ve had in your life?
AS: Mm… I might need a minute to think about this. (Pauses, to consider her answer). I don’t think I have anything super regrettable… I mean my mom… You know, I get a lot of fashion ideas from her. You know, naturally, growing up, like, your parents [influence you]. So I don’t think she was ever wrong in any way that I developed into, into those interests… I’m sure, if I could see myself as a child, I’d be like “oh god, why did I allow myself, why did she allow me to, like where was it we went wrong?” (Pause) But, I don’t have any, like, vivid memories of, like, “that was so bad” … But I’m sure they exist.
RR: Did you tell anyone that you loved them today? And, if so, who was that person?
AS: I actually… I don’t know if I did. I usually say I love you to my mom before I leave, or I’ll, like, text it to her when I get to school or something… So I probably did… but yah. (Stops to cough).
RR: Yeah, I was thinking about my answers to these questions as I was writing them, and I was like—cause I usually do the same thing—I was like, I honestly don’t remember…cause it feels very second nature.
AS: And like, sometimes my best friend and I will do that, like we haven’t seen each other… or we’re talking about something… but not today, I can’t remember.
RR: What do you want to be when you grow up?
AS: (Laughs) I feel like this is like… I don’t know, anyone who knows me pretty well, like, ya get it. I, uh, I want to do something with history. I definitely want to teach at, like, a college level… get my doctorate, all that sort of thing… Um, work in a museum, historical research, I’m kind of interested in archaeology from a museum perspective… soo, anything in that field. And I wanna write books too. Like I want to be one of those people that writes books on history (laughs).
Author’s Note: I loved seeing Annabelle’s face light up as she talked to me about this question. I love hearing about people’s passions, their dreams and aspirations. I encourage you to ask someone about theirs because it provides such incredible insight into that person’s world and soul and sources of joy, and what a beautiful thing that is. If you ever want to talk to me about your hopes and dreams, let me know.
RR: Well, this question isn’t that good for you (laughs). Have you ever considered writing for the school newspaper?
Yes. And I have. And I was an editor last spring, and I plan on being one this winter (laughs). I would like… I feel like one of my regrets over the four years of being here is not writing more. Like, I always say I don’t have time, which is kinda true, but also, you know, I could’ve written more. Especially freshman and sophomore year. I could have put myself out there more.
RR: What is your astrological sign?
AS: Aries… technically… well, story time: So, I was supposed to be born, like May 3rd or something—or whatever taurus is—I was supposed to be born then. But I was born, like, wicked early, in March. So I don’t know how this works—I have to look it up… see if what you’re actually born as is your only star sign—but I feel like I identify more with taurus things… but I’m technically an aries since that’s when I was actually born. But I was a c-section child, so I don’t know if that affects things at all, you know? I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into these things…
We then went on to have a somewhat long discussion of our relationships with our signs. I’ll summarize for you: I was also a c-section baby, and so, since my birth was quite literally scheduled, I related to questioning the legitimacy of my astrological sign (not so much anymore, I’ve come to terms with my virgo ways). So, we further discussed unusual births possibly affecting your star sign, and then went on to talk a little bit about rising and moon signs, what they mean, etc. Overall, it was a lovely chat on astrology! Let’s continue…
RR: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Governor’s community… given this… “platform?”
AS: (Coughs) Ugh, see, this is the sort of thing where the minute you leave, I’ll think of something profound… I don’t think I have anything to share… I don’t know, stop by writing club?
RR: Mmm… what time do you guys meet?
AS: Mondays 6:30 to 7:00 in Classroom C of Frost. That’s probably, like, the only shoutout-related thing I can think of.